Centre for Education and Public Engagement in Anatomy

Published on 30 July 2018

To meet the increasing need for public engagement in anatomy education and the growing demand from students and external agencies for anatomical and forensic training, we are investing in additional high quality teaching and public engagement space

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The University Cox Chair of Anatomy was endowed in 1888 by the Lochee jute baron, Thomas Hunter Cox of Maulesden and Duncarse, with a donation of £12,000. This gift was to recognise and celebrate the golden jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Victoria and gave the momentum to secure a School of Medicine in Dundee. This year sees the 130th year of uninterrupted occupation of the Cox Chair and we are planning a full year of celebration of Anatomy at Dundee with an extensive programme of high profile public engagement events.

We plan to establish a Centre for Education and Public Engagement in Anatomy. With a fresh and welcoming public engagement entrance, the new facility will be a fitting tribute to the work done over the last 130 years and will be a beacon for the work that still lies ahead. It is well known that we are recognised as the UK leader in Thiel soft-fix embalming with all the advantages that these cadavers bring. But for us to maintain our leading role in anatomical and forensic anthropology instruction, we require additional high quality teaching space. 

Multi-purpose Teaching Facility

The new teaching space will be a full suite of nine teaching bays equipped with bespoke adjustable teaching trolleys/tables and overhead adjustable surgical lights. Space will be maximised through the use of innovative flexibility. We propose to build in storage space vital for relocating our coffins, trolleys and other equipment so that space is freed up for our teaching.

For our students and visiting practitioners, it is important that there is dedicated space for them to change into scrubs, to store personal belongings safely, and to shower at the end of their course. The new changing rooms will have additional lockers and a disabled WC/shower cubicle to allow for private changing.

Public Engagement Suite

We are passionate about public engagement. We want to explain and share our science and its social and ethical implications with all sectors of society. We have a strong history of rich and varied engagement with wider society – but most of this work takes place off campus. Thiel cadavers are not appropriate for public engagement, so we will be investing a full suite of augmented and mixed reality teaching aids, allowing people of all ages to engage with and learn about human anatomy without compromising the licensing laws that govern much of our teaching space.

A critical element of the refurbishment plans is the creation of a modern, multi-use public engagement suite, with a break-out/display space which can also be used for external training purposes. This new facility will ensure that access to world class education and training in anatomy is carried forward for future generations and accessible to all.


Press Office, University of Dundee