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Bradford students investigate anatomy using cutting edge technology

Published: Wed 22 Jun 2016

Unique digital autopsy and dissection teaching facilities launched at the University of Bradford.

The University of Bradford is to unveil world-class interactive, high-tech teaching and learning facilities for students studying anatomy, physiology and anthropology as part of their degree.

The new Integrated Life Sciences Learning Centre is profoundly interdisciplinary and will be used by students studying degrees as diverse as clinical sciences, pharmacy, archaeology and forensic sciences.  The centre comprises a Simulation Suite, housing a 3D dissection table and human patient simulator; the Anatomy and Pathology Resource Centre, with a digital autopsy table and world-leading osteology laboratories dedicated to the analysis of archaeological human remains. 

The centre will be officially launched next Tuesday (June 28) by Editor in Chief of medical textbook Gray’s Anatomy, Professor Susan Standring.

Professor Standring said:  “The University of Bradford’s vision in developing an Integrated Life Sciences Learning Centre has produced a learning environment enriched with state-of-the-art resources. I am greatly looking forward to opening the Centre on June 28th.”

As a result of collaborating with medical visualisation company iGene, the digital autopsy table provides access to an archive of anonymised, 3D whole body data set reconstructed. This new generation technology means it is now possible to digitise the body of the deceased, providing students with access to data which can be used to demonstrate particular diseases and pathological processes. This provides an alternative technique to traditional post-mortem examination and can be used alongside anatomical models and specimens to aid student learning.

Bradford is one of only six universities in the UK to have an Anatomage Table which allows its students to take apart the human body in three dimensions and in an extremely interactive way.  It means students can do human dissection, study anatomy and physiology without having to use a dissection room and human cadavers.  It supports the development of integrated Physiology, Anatomy, Archaeology and Pathology learning resources for students, employing state-of-the-art digital technology to promote inter-professional learning and research.

The Biological Anthropology Research Centre comprises new osteoarchaeology laboratories and a collection of over 4,000 human skeletal remains dating from the Neolithic to the 19th century.   This is the largest teaching collection of human skeletal remains in the UK and allows our students to study normal human variation and to examine pathological conditions at different stages of development. These archaeological remains also allow anthropologists and clinicians to study evidence of disease without modern treatment and intervention, including pre-antibiotic era infectious disease.  Over 1600 pathological specimens, most from the Bradford Collection, are available as 3D models both in the centre and online, in the Digitised Diseases resource.

Dr Josie Fraser, Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences said: “We're thrilled that Professor Standring is visiting to open these state-of-the-art facilities, which put the University of Bradford at the forefront of innovative, engaging teaching of human anatomy and physiology.  Many students will enjoy opportunities to get hands-on in the Centre, whether their interest is ancient human remains or modern medical sciences.”

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