Tag Archives: anatomy

Antonio Valsalva of the maneuver (1666-1723)

Antonio Valsalva qualified in medicine at the University of Bologna in 1687 after studying under Marcello Malpighi, one of the first people to use microscopy in medicine. Valsalva succeeded him in 1697 as professor of anatomy and later of surgery and was also surgeon to the hospital for incurables and mentally ill in Bologna. He […]

George Stubbs – “horse painter” and anatomist

Nothing exemplifies more the French saying “on revient toujour a son premier amour” (one always returns to one’s first love) than the life of George Stubbs. Already at the age of eight he was sketching animal bones in his father’s tannery in Liverpool. Later, as a teenager, he was dissecting dogs and horses, then decided […]

Galen, macaques, and the growth of the discipline of human anatomy

Goran Štrkalj Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia   Introduction Figure 1. Galen of Pergamon (from the 1820 lithograph by PR Vignéron). The year 2018 marks the eightieth anniversary of the Cayo Santiago rhesus monkey colony. This exemplary research unit epitomizes scientific excellence in experimenting on non-human primates and in using them as models to understand the […]

The ligament of Vaclav Treitz

Vaclav Treitz (1819-1872) was born in Bohemia, studied humanities at the Charles University in Prague, and obtained his medical degree there in 1846. He then furthered his education at the New or Second Vienna School under the great luminaries of the time, Karl Rokitansky, Joseph Skoda, and Ferdinand von Hebra. He specifically worked in anatomy […]

Anatomy plates: more shocking than useful

Jacques Fabien Gautier D’Agoty (1716–1785) was born in Marseilles and learned color printing in Frankfurt while working for Jacob Christoph Le Blond, the man who had invented this process. Perhaps anticipating his later conduct, D’Agoty claimed after Le Blond’s death to have made this invention himself. Moving to Paris in 1736, he had the idea […]

Against anatomy lab

Harriet Squier Haslett, Michigan, United States   Jocular students posing over mangled corpse Make no mistake, dissecting a human cadaver is revolting. When we medical students opened the cadaver bag, we were instructed to keep the head covered to prevent it from drying out. It is difficult to dissect tissues that are completely dry. We […]

Hieronymus Fabricius of Acquapendente (1537-1619)

  The Bursa of Fabricius is a sac-like organ responsible for producing immunogenic B-lymphocytes and present only in the cloaca of birds. But the man who described it, far from being an obscure ornithologist, was a reputed professor of anatomy and surgery. Born in 1537 near Orvieto in central Italy, he had as a youngster […]

Juan Valdeverde de Amusco (1525-1588)

      In the days before intellectual property laws (and when plagiarism was sometimes viewed as a compliment to the author) Juan Valverde of Spain wrote a book on anatomy so successful that it went through sixteen editions in four languages and its illustrations remain popular to this day. It was composed in 1556 […]

Marcello Malpighi (1628-1694)

  Marcello Malpighi was fortunate to live at a time when microscopes of sufficient power became available for scientific studies, culminating centuries of attempts to use the optic properties of glass to magnify the image of objects. Such efforts go back at least to the Romans, who for this purpose ground glass into the shape […]

Giovanni Batista Morgagni (1602-1771)

  Father of fifteen and teacher of thousands, Batista Morgagni became immortally famous by going one step further than his illustrious predecessors at Padua, describing not the normal anatomy of hanged criminals but the damaged organs of patients dying from disease. For this he is remembered as the father of pathological anatomy. At the University […]