Chairs of Anatomy

Allen Thomson -1839-1841 Allen Thomson was appointed to the first Chair of Anatomy at Marischal College in 1839 following several years as a lecturer in Anatomy and as a physician in Edinburgh. After his resignation in 1841 he resumed his Anatomy teaching in Edinburgh. In 1842 he became Professor of the Institutes of Medicine at Edinburgh. In 1848 he was appointed as Chair of Anatomy at Glasgow University where he spent the next 29 years. His career was especially distinguished in histology and embryology.

Alexander Jardine Lizars -1841-1863 Allan Jardine Lizars became the first Chair of Anatomy at the University of Aberdeen, formed in 1860 with the joining of Marischal and Kings Colleges. He was forced to retire from his post at the University due to his dipsomania.

1860 Marischal and Kings Colleges join to form the University of Aberdeen


Regius Chairs of Anatomy

Sir John Struthers 1863-1889 Sir John Struthers was a surgeon at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary before joining the University of Aberdeen in 1863 as Chair of Anatomy, a position he was to hold for the next 23 years. He built up a museum of anatomy and introduced the Struthers Medal and Prize. He taught anatomy using the comparative perspective and many of his preparations still exist, both within the Anatomy and Zoology Museums. He retired to Edinburgh in 1889.

Robert Reid 1889-1925 Robert Reid succeeded Struthers to the Regius Chair of Anatomy in 1889. During his career achieved prominence through the discovery of 'Reid's Base Line', and during his time in Aberdeen he made significant contributions to the development of Anatomy and Anthropology in the University and locally. He established an anthropometrical laboratory in the Anatomy Department in 1896, which formed the foundations of the Department's significant work on the growth of children. In 1907, he succeeded in bringing together the disparate collections of anatomical, archaeological and anthropological material that then existed within the University to form the University of Aberdeen Anthropological Museum for which he remained its Honorary Curator until 1937.

Alexander Low 1925-1938 Alexander Low began working for the University in 1894 as assistant and lecturer in the Department of Anatomy following his graduation. He rose to the position of Regius Professor of Anatomy in 1925. His early work on the development of the lower jaw earned him an international reputation, which was strengthened by on-going anthropological research, in particular his detailed and meticulous work on human growth. He laid the foundations for the highly regarded Aberdeen Growth Study of 1956.

Robert Lockhart 1938-1964 Robert Lockhart came to Aberdeen from the University of Birmingham to succeed Alexander Low in 1938 as Regius Professor of Anatomy. With his appointment he also gained the position as Honorary Curator of the Anthropological Museum. He published in the field and his book Anatomy of the Human Body (1959) became a standard text for the study of anatomy. Lockhart’s papers are also available to search.

David Sinclair 1964-1977 David Sinclair joined the University in 1964 as Regius Chair of Anatomy. He made important contributions to curricular development of the anatomical sciences in Aberdeen and he instituted the annual memorial service in 1965 for those who donated their bodies to medical research.

E.John Clegg 1977-1993 E. John Clegg was the University’s last Regius Professor of Anatomy. He was an acknowledged authority on the historical demography of isolated populations.

Unfilled 1993-Present