Anatomy News

Anatomy News

Teaching Excellence Awards 2023

Anatomy staff members have won two Teaching Excellence Awards this year. Congratulations to Dr Prem Ballal (Funniest Lecturer 2023) and Dr Flora Gröning (Principal’s Teaching Excellence Commendation Prize 2023)!


Congratulations to Our Graduates!

Congratulations to all our Biomedical Sciences (Anatomy) 2022 graduates! This is a big achievement, especially after the challenging two pandemic years. Special congratulations to Amelie Rosenlof for winning the Anatomy Prize 2022! The photo shows Amelie receiving the prize certificate from Professor Gordon McEwan.


Anatomy Exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland

This full-sized model of the human body was created by the workshop of Dr Louis Auxouz in the middle of the 19th century in France. It was made 'dissectable' to aid medical/ anatomical teaching at a time when cadaveric experience was minimal. It was almost 100 induvidual parts, made of a proprietary papier mache mix. It is believed to be the only such model in Scotland and one of only a handful remaining worldwide. We are very pleased to loan this piece to the National Museum of Scotland and to see it as one of the centerpieces of the 'A Matter of Death and Life' exhibition. 

Staff Excellence Awards (2022)

A record number of Anatomy staff members have received Excellence Awards from the University this year.


From left to right in the photos, congratulations to Flora Gröning (Best Undergraduate Lecturer 2022), Agnieszka Kruk-Omenzetter (Excellence in Customer Service 2022) and  Asha Venkatesh (Best Undergraduate Supervisor 2022). Asha is thus also setting a record by winning an Excellence Award in three consecutive years!



Promotion Dinner

Dr Shahida Shahana has been promoted to Lecturer and has been invited to the celebration dinner with other successful colleagues on 17th May 2022 by Professor George Boyne, Principal.

Visiting Professor and Guest at Nanyang Technological University

Professor Parson was appointed visiting professor at the Lee King Chian School of Medicine at Nanyang Technological University in March 2022 where he then went on to be a distinguished guest at the Anatomy Challenge at the Lee King Chian School of Medicine at Nanyang Technological University in May 2022, where he also lectured on on 'Non neuronal pathologies in Spinal Muscular Atrophy'.


Speaker at NHS Research Scotland Meeting

Professor Parson spoke at the NHS Research Scotland meeting in Dundee on 27th May 2022 on, 'Therapies for Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Future Development'.


Welcome to Abedallah Hamida

A warm welcome to a new PhD student Abedallah Hamida who started on 1st April 2021 in Professor Parson laboratory on a project entitled, "Does TDP43 manifest out with neurons and the nervous system in mouse models of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). He is funded by a prize scholarship from the University of Jordan.


The Anatomical Bequest System in Scotland

Professor Simon Parsons spoke at the Scottish Trust and Estates Practitioners, Solicitors annual meeting on 26th April 2021 on, "The Anatomical Bequest System in Scotland", to advise them on how best to support their clients who expressed a wish to donate their bodies to medical science.


Anatomy Prize 2021

Congratulations to Peter Watson for winning the Anatomy Prize 2021. The prize is awarded to the best performing graduate of the Anatomy degree programme. Peter completed the final year of this degree programme as an intercalculating medical student. 


'Developments in Anatomical Teaching Talk'

Professor Parson spoke to a group of local GP's at Douneside House in Tarland on 'Developments in Anatomical Teaching in Aberdeen', on 29th October 2021.


'Non Neuronal Pathologies in Spinal Muscular Atrophy Meeting'

Professor Parson was invited to be a workshop participant at the European Neuromuscular Consortium meeting on, 'Non neurological patholigies in Spinal Muscular Atrophy', in Amsterdam from 19th-21st November 2021. 


Congratulations on Completion of Viva

Congratulations to Rachel Falconer, PhD student with Professor Parson, who passed her Viva on 19th December 2021 titled Vascular.


Congratulations to Professor Parson

Congratulations to Professor Parson who became president of the Anatomical Society in January 2020. This is the second oldest and one of the largest such societies in the world. He is the 3rd Regius Professor from Aberdeen to hold this position.



Congratulations to all our Biomedical Sciences (Anatomy) students on the successful completion of their degree despite the unprecedented challenges this year! And additional congratulations to our two winners of the Anatomy Prize 2020: Anna Elin Abrahamsson (left photo) and Rebekah Loy (right photo). The Prize is awarded to the best performing graduate(s) of the Anatomy degree programme. Well done, all of you!


Anatomy Prize 2019

Congratulations to all our Biomedical Sciences (Anatomy) students who graduated last week! Well done, all of you! We are also congratulating Jeremie Juan for winning the Anatomy Prize 2019. The Prize is awarded to the best performing graduate of the Anatomy degree programme. Please see below a photo of (a very happy) Jeremie receiving the award from Dr Derryck Shewan.

Video on Dissection Safety

We want our students to stay safe during their dissection work. Dr Flora Gröning and the Toolkit team have therefore produced a video with important safety rules. The rules apply not only to Human Anatomy dissections but also dissections of animal specimens. Look out for the cartoon version of Dr Gröning appearing in the video!

Top Tips for Effective Anatomy Revision

Dr Flora Gröning and the Toolkit team of the University of Aberdeen have produced a new video that will help students to revise for Anatomy more effectively. The tips in this video will be not only be useful for students at the University of Aberdeen, but any student of Anatomy. To watch the video please click below.


** New for 2018 **

CPD course for Health Professionals - Applied Anatomy: Upper Limb

‘Applied Anatomy: Upper limb’ is a new and exciting short course for clinicians, allied healthcare professionals, science graduates and anatomists looking to refresh or enhance their knowledge of functional and applied anatomy of the upper limb.  The course is run and accredited by the University of Aberdeen, and it will be held at the Foresterhill Campus.

The course is available as credit or non-credit bearing option.  It consists of a five-week on-line refresher and two day intensive face-to-face cadaveric workshop, and it will take your understanding of the upper limb to a new level.

Those taking the credit-bearing option will have the future opportunity to take planned courses (e.g Lower limb/Abdomen/Thorax/head and neck/Brain and spinal cord/The Back/Pelvis etc.) to build towards the award of postgraduate qualifications including Certificate, Diploma and Masters.

Online learning begins on the 15th January 2018 with the two-day face-to-face workshop taking place at our Foresterhill campus on the 26th and 27th February 2018.

The CPD course is open for admission in January and September 2018 and full details, including how to apply, is at this link:


Welcome to Hazel Allardyce

New PhD student Hazel Allardyce started her PhD on 1st October 2018 in Professor Parson's lab. Her project is entitled, 'Do vascular defects contribute to the development of Spinal Muscular Atrophy in patients?' . She is funded by an Anatomical Society Prize Studentship.


How to Make the Most of Anatomy Practical Classes

A new video will help our students to prepare for their first Anatomy practical classes. It provides useful advice on what they can do to get the most out of the practicals. This video has been produced by the Toolkit team of the University of Aberdeen under direction of Dr Flora Gröning. To watch the video (featuring a cartoon version of Dr Gröning!) please click below.


7th Regius Professor of Anatomy

In December 2018 Professor Parson was appointed 7th Regius Professor of Anatomy. This position is awarded by HRH Queen Elizabeth the 2nd, and is currently the only such position in the world.


Body Matters

Venue: The Old Anatomy Dissection Hall and Museum, Marischal College, Aberdeen (access from Shoe Lane off Queen Street, near the Lemon Tree

This fascinating exhibition of art works produced by staff, students, and established artists was inspired by the study of anatomy and was brought together by Jo Macdonald (Masters student at Grays School of Art, and Artist in Residence in Anatomy).  The exhibition showcases Jo’s work, and includes work produced by Aberdeen University students as part of their projects, either in Anatomy or as part of their fine art coursework. In this exhibition, art is shown to be a key means of explaining and exploring anatomy through mixed media, installations, paintings and 3D imagery.

The exhibition runs until 13 September 2017, and is open from 1000-1500 daily.

Admission is free and suitable for all.  No human material is on display

Jo MacDonald (Artist) with Simon Parson (Head of anatomy)

The Exhibition

Student Prizewinners

Congratulations to Martyna Petrulyte, winner of the Biomedical Sciences Prize, and Kristjan Holt, winner of the Anatomy Prize.  these prizes are awarded to the best student in Biomedical Sciences and Anatomy respectively.  Martyna and Kristjan have now graduated and we wish them well for their future careers.

Anatomy a Winner in the Guardian League Table

Anatomy at Aberdeen University has received a third place rating in Anatomy & Physiology – only  just being beaten by Liverpool and Edinburgh Universities.  Sports Science and Dentistry were also top performers, and both feature anatomy teaching, which is very encouraging indeed for Anatomy.

Here is the link to the league table:

Travel Award for Student

Congratulations to Kenna Robertson who has received a Barclay-Smith Travelling Fund Award from the Anatomical Society to support her presentation at the Society’s Summer meeting in Galway, Ireland from 27-29 June 2017. Her presentation is entitled ‘Three-dimensional arrangement of collagen fibres in the human zygomaticotemporal suture’. This project was supervised by Drs Flora Gröning and Jenny Gregory.

Student Prizewinners

Congratulations to Sean Morrison, winner of the Cardno Prize in Anatomy, to Katy Murray, winner of the Durno Prize in Anatomy, and to Hannah Martin, who was awarded the Struther Medal and Prize.

The Cardno Prize is awarded to the student with the highest mark in the Anatomy component of the Year 3 MBChB degree examinations, and the Durno Prize is given to  the student with the highest standard overall in the Anatomy component of the first, second & third year MBChB degree examinations. The Struthers Medal and Prize is award to the = best overall student in Anatomy for Medical Humanities.

Congratulations are also due to Anatomy’s MSc student Samantha Muir who received a King's Award for her commitment to volunteering from the Aberdeen University Students' Association (AUSA). The award recognises students for their extracurricular work, e.g. in student societies and for charities. Samantha is currently doing an MSc by Research supervised by Dr Flora Gröning.

Last, but certainly not least, we congratulate Thomas Griffin-Walker on the award of the Jamieson Medal in Anatomy.  The Jamieson Medal is awarded to the first year medical student with the highest mark in the Anatomy components of the first year MBChB degree examinations.

3D Anatomy tools applied to a cat mummy

The same techniques that we use to develop 3D learning tools for Anatomy teaching have now allowed us look to inside an ancient Egyptian cat mummy from the University Museum's collection. Following a press release, this project has received wide media coverage, including a feature on STV and articles in The Scotman and on the Science website. This was a joint project by Dr Flora Gröning, Laura Pérez-Pachón, Neil Curtis (Head of Museums at the University of Aberdeen) and Kevin MacKenzie (Facility Manager of the University's Histology and Microscopy Facilities).


Anatomy Teaching in the 21st Century (Cafe MED Event) - 28/02/2017

Dr Flora Gröning, Prof. Alan Denison and Laura Pérez-Pachón gave an insight into "Anatomy teaching in the 21st Century" in the latest Café MED event, including a demo of our new glassless 3D screen and a discussion of how to make best use of 3D visualisation in Anatomy teaching for the maximum benefit of students. Café MED is a series of informal public talks by invited researchers and clinicians. Find out more about this event under:


3D Anatomy at EXPLORATHON 2016 - 30/09/2016

Dr Flora Gröning, Laura Pérez-Pachón and their volunteers brought our latest developments in digital Anatomy teaching to the city centre of Aberdeen as part of this year’s EXPLORATHON, the European Researchers’ Night on 30 September 2016. Our stand in the Bon Accord Shopping Centre attracted over 100 visitors. Adults and children put on 3D glasses, explored our digital models of body regions and organs and were keen to find out more about our work and at the same time gain some fascinating insides into the human body.


Two awards for BSc student - 03/10/2016

Congratulations to Stacey Smillie who received two prizes for her BSc thesis, the Moira Waterston Prize for Musculoskeletal Research for the best project in the areas of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology or Hand Surgery and the George McKenzie Bequest Medal for the best project in Pathology. Stacey’s thesis was entitled ‘The expression of periostin in the human Achilles tendon enthesis’, and the project was supervised by Dr Flora Gröning.

3D Anatomy Project - 21/06/2016

Dr Gröning and Mrs Pérez-Pachón appeared in The Scotsman and The Evening Express after the University of Aberdeen published a press release about their current 3D Anatomy project. To watch the video interview with Mrs Pérez-Pachón please click below.


Digital 3D Models for Anatomy Teaching - 08/03/2016

This anatomical model from 1882 is one of many historic models housed in the Anatomy Museum of the University of Aberdeen. Models such as these were used for teaching Anatomy to students of Medicine. This model is made of plaster, but other historic models in our collection are made of wax or ceramics. These models are very detailed and accurate and some of them are still used in our teaching today.

To create this animation, photos were taken of the model while it was rotated on a turn-table. We then used a technique called photogrammetry to create a 3D model based on the individual photos. In a current project funded by the Roland Sutton Academic Trust we are using the same technique to build high-resolution 3D models of dissected human body parts and develop new virtual learning tools for Anatomy teaching.

If you would like to find out more about this project, please contact Flora Gröning, Lecturer in Anatomy and coordinator of this project at the University of Aberdeen. The project team includes Laura Pérez Pachón (Medical 3D Designer), Alan Denison (Professor in Medical Education and Consultant Radiologist, NHS Grampian) and Robin Sloan (Lecturer in Game Art and Design, University of Abertay).

The Mystery of the Human Chin - 05/02/2016

Dr Flora Gröning was interviewed by BBC Earth for an article on the evolution of the human chin ( Humans are the only primates that have chins, but why this unique feature evolved in humans remains unclear. Dr Gröning used computer modelling to investigate whether the chin could be a mechanical adaptation. She found that the presence of a chin helps the human lower jaw to better resist some (but not all) of the forces that are generated during biting and chewing. This finding ruled out a simple mechanical explanation for the human chin.

Doors Open Day - 05/02/2016

Following the success of the Anatomy Doors Open Day in September 2015, we hope to open Anatomy for Doors Open Day 2016.  We hope to include activities such as anatomical face painting, history of body donation, anatomy and art, history of anatomical models and state-of-the-art 3D imaging.  Doors Open Days listings will be here with full details to be added nearer the time.

Exploring and interpreting - 05/02/2016

New for the September term’s teaching and research are four Zeiss microscopes giving excellent visualisation while requiring very little adjustment, also a new audiovisual system including a 3D TV.

Prizes and Congratulations! - 05/02/2016

BSc student Kenna Robertson received two prizes for her BSc thesis, the Roland Sutton Academic Radiology Prize for the best BSc Medical Science project in radiology and the Moira Waterston Prize for Musculoskeletal Research for the best project in the areas of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology or Hand Surgery.  Kenna’s thesis was entitled ‘Three-Dimensional Morphology and Synostosis of the Human Zygomaticotemporal Suture’, and the project was supervised by Drs Flora Gröning and Jenny Gregory.

Congratulations also to: Andrew Hopper, who won the The Cardno Prize in Anatomy, and the Struthers Medal and Prize in Anatomy for the best overall student in Anatomy for Medical Humanities; Ellen Bradshaw, who won the The Durno Prize in Anatomy; Rory Bonner, who received the Struthers Medal and Prize in Anatomy for the best overall student in Anatomy for Medical Humanities; Sadman Chowdhury and Jenna Shepherd, who both won the Chanock Medal, and Bin-Lun Chow who was awarded the Jamieson Medal in Anatomy. 

Auzoux model moves - 05/02/2016

Our very rare, life size, and accurate, Auzoux papier-mache model of a man has moved from Anatomy to a new display cabinet in the ground floor lecture theatre in the Suttie Centre.  ‘Auzoux man’ has a fascinating history, having been constructed from papier-mâché mixture in France to make a robust and cheap anatomical model for teaching purposes in the 1800s. The whole model can be taken apart piece by piece, but he is rather fragile now, and students learn their anatomy by other means.