Associate Professor of Anatomy
Director of Anatomical Services & Body Donation Program
Faculty Fellow for Instructional Redesign- Michael V. Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning


Dr. Joy Balta completed his BSc in Zoology from the Lebanese University (Beirut, Lebanon) with honors. After which he was recruited by the Lebanese American University (LAU), School of Medicine to join a founding team as the Lab Technician in Anatomy & Microbiology where he developed his interest in Anatomical Sciences. After securing a faculty development grant from LAU, Dr. Balta completed an MSc in Human Anatomy from the University of Dundee (Scotland, United Kingdom). He then returned to LAU as an Instructor of Anatomical Sciences.

While completing his MSc, Dr. Balta developed expertise in soft preservation techniques. He was then recruited by Victory Healthcare, Institute for Bioresearch (Houston, Texas) as a Consultant in Surgical Education. In 2013, he joined the Department of Anatomy & Neuroscience at University College Cork, Ireland as a faculty member to teach anatomy to different cohorts of students in the School of Medicine, Clinical therapies and Dentistry. During this period, Dr. Balta conducted research on the utility of embalming fluids for anatomical education and research which lead to his award of a PhD in Anatomical Sciences.

In 2016, Dr. Balta was appointed as the Program Development Coordinator for the first taught MSc in Human Anatomy in the Republic of Ireland. After the successful development of this program, Dr. Balta was appointed as the Program Coordinator at the time of admitting the first class in 2017. He taught all Gross Anatomy courses on the program along with the Anatomy Pedagogy course.

Throughout his teaching career, Dr. Balta developed an interest in the scholarship of teaching and learning that led him to complete a Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (TLHE) and he is currently finishing an MA in TLHE. In April 2018, Dr. Balta was recruited as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University and on the 1st of December 2018 he joined the department as a full-time faculty.

Balta Research Lab

Dr. Balta is interested in researching the best possible ways to benefit from the generous gift of human body donors. In order to achieve that, he has been investigating several embalming techniques to preserve the human body in a realistic fashion. He has developed national and international collaborations to achieve this purpose and he is currently the coordinator of the alternative preservation techniques group of the American Association of Anatomists. His current active research collaborations in this area are with:

  1. Professor John P. Cassella, Department of Forensic and Crime Science, Staffordshire University, England-United Kingdom. Project title: The use of biogenic amines to measure the decomposition of embalmed human cadavers.
  2. Professor Noel T. Boaz, School of Health Sciences, Emory & Henry College, Virginia, USA. Project title: Developing alternative preservation techniques for education and research.

Dr. Balta is also interested in promoting excellence in higher education. For this reason, he is interested in researching different methods to enhance the student’s learning experience. He is focused on incorporating the principles of the scholarship of teaching and learning in his anatomy teaching. Moreover, he is also interested in investigating the retention of knowledge among his students, and how different curricula could play a role in that. His current active research collaborations in this area are with:

  1. Dr. Rosalyn A. Jurjus, Department of Anatomy and Regenerative Biology, The George Washington University, Washington, DC- USA. Project title: Assessing the knowledge retention of anatomical knowledge in the medical curriculum: an international collaboration.
  2. Dr. Briony Supple, Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning, University College Cork, Ireland. Project title: Promoting the integration of the scholarship of teaching and learning in the teaching of anatomical sciences.

Current Students

  • Tyler Hall- OSU, USA
  • Lauren Riley- OSU, USA
  • Nic Shul- OSU, USA
  • Mason Marek- OSU, USA
  • Taylor Wyatt- OSU, USA
  • Michael Leake- OSU, USA
  • Jarrod Fair- OSU, USA
  • Jazmin Arce- OSU, USA
  • Amanda Gentile- Queen’s, Canada
  • Niamh O’Leary- UCC, Ireland

Past Students

  • Dr. Elias Abdullah- UCC, Ireland
  • Breffni Freyne- UCC, Ireland

Education and Training

MA, Teaching & Learning in Higher Education, University College, Cork, Ireland

PhD, Anatomical Sciences, University College, Cork, Ireland

MSc, Human Anatomy, University of Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom

BSc, Zoology, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon


Mosley C, Lee W, Gilani R, Terry G, Reeves R, Balta JY. 2021 Building Bridges with Anatomy: Can Continuing Education in Mortuary Sciences Transform the Profession? European Journal of Anatomy. 25(special Issue 1): 11-60.

Abdullah E, Lone M, Balta JY. 2020. Student-Centered Learning in the Anatomy Laboratory: Medical Students’ Perspective. Medical Science Educator. (Published Online)

Balta JY, Supple B, O’Keeffe GW. 2020. The Universal Design for Learning Framework in Anatomical Sciences Education. Anatomical Sciences Education (Published online). 

Vagg T, Balta JY, Bolger A, Lone M. 2020. Multimedia in Education: What do the Students Think? Health Professions Education (Published online). 

Balta JY, Blom G, Davidson A, Perrault K, Cryan JF, O'Mahony SM, and Cassella JP. 2020. Developing a Quantitative Method to Assess the Decomposition of Embalmed Human Cadavers. Forensic Chemistry 18. 100235. 

Salameh F, O’Reilly BA, Balta JY. 2020. The cadaver is not dead. Anatomical Science International 95, 571–572.

Balta JY, O’Keeffe GW, Supple B. 2019. Utilizing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning to Design an Anatomy Pedagogy Course. European Journal of Anatomy. 23 (3): 233-240

Balta JY, Cryan JF, O'Mahony SM. 2019. The Antimicrobial Capacity of Embalming Solutions: A Comparative Study. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 126(3):764-770.

Balta JY, Twomey M, Moloney F, Duggan O, Murphy KP, O'Connor OJ, Cronin M, Cryan JF, Maher MM, O’mahony SM. 2019. A comparison of embalming fluids on the structures and properties of tissue in human cadavers. Anatomia, Histologia, Embryologia, 48(1):64-73.

Moloney F, Twomey M, Fama D, Balta JY, James K, Kavanagh RG, Moore N, Murphy MJ, O'Mahony SM, Maher MM, Cryan JF, and O'Connor OJ. Determination of a suitable low-dose abdominopelvic CT protocol using model-based iterative reconstruction through cadaveric study. 2018. Journal of medical imaging and radiation oncology 62(5):625-633. 

Balta JY, Twomey M, Moloney F, O’Connor OJ, Murphy KP, Cronin M, Cryan JF, Maher MM, and O’Mahony SM. Assessing Radiological Images of Human Cadavers: Is There an Effect of Different Embalming Solutions? 2017. Journal of Forensic Radiology and Imaging, 11:40-46.

Balta JY, Cronin M, Cryan JF, and O'Mahony SM. The utility of cadaver-based approaches for the teaching of human anatomy: A survey of British and Irish anatomy teachers. 2017. Anatomical Science Education, 10(2): 137-143.

Lone M, McKenna JP, Balta JY, O'Mahony SM, Cryan JF, Downer EJ and Toulouse A. Assessment of Thiel-Embalmed Cadavers as a Teaching Tool for Oral Anatomy and Local Anesthesia. 2017. Journal of Dental Education, 81(4): 420-426.

Balta JY, Cronin M, Cryan JF, O'Mahony SM. 2015. Human preservation techniques in anatomy: A 21st-century medical education perspective. Clinical Anatomy, 28(6): 725-734.

Balta JY, Lamb C, Soames RW. 2015. A pilot study comparing the use of Thiel- and formalin-embalmed cadavers in the teaching of human anatomy. Anatomical Science Education, 8(1): 86-91.