Profiles: Anatomical Society Council 2020



Regius Professor Simon H. Parson, President 

As President of the Anatomical Society, I am responsible for ensuring that we fulfil our charitable purpose to champion the Anatomical Sciences in the broadest sense. We do this chiefly through the support of our 600 members, organisation of meetings, research and outreach activities in laboratory, clinical and education fields. I also chair the Journals Committee, to oversee the Society’s prestigious publications Journal of Anatomy and Ageing Cell.

I am Lead for Anatomy at the University of Aberdeen, and involved in all aspects of our teaching to 900 Medical, Dental, Physician Associate and Science students each year. I also lead our burgeoning range of local, national and international trauma and surgical training courses.

My research is focussed on gaining a complete understanding of the range of pathologies present in Spinal Muscular Atrophy (a childhood form of motor neurone disease), toward development of adjunct therapies for the disease. I am also involved in the development of novel anatomical solutions and approaches to training and operative procedures.


Adam Taylor


Professor Adam Taylor, Honorary Secretary

As Deputy Secretary, my role within the Society covers a variety of functions; assisting the Secretary with various pieces of Society business. I also sit on the Prizes and Awards committee, serving as Secretary to this committee. Within the committee, I am involved in promoting, reviewing and administering the variety of prizes and awards that the Society makes available to its members.  

I am Director of the Clinical Anatomy Learning Centre and Senior Lecturer in Anatomy at Lancaster Medical School, Faculty of Health and Medicine, at Lancaster University, UK. I teach all aspects of anatomy including embryology, microscopic and gross anatomy to first, second- and third-year medical and biomedical students. My research interests include bone and cartilage biology, microscopic anatomy, gross anatomy, medical education, and medical history. I also undertake a vast amount of outreach activities and am involved in various types of communication of research and anatomical education through mainstream media at a local, UK and international level.




Professor Kieran McDermott, Honorary Treasurer

As the Honorary Treasurer, I assist in all matters relating the financial control of the Society according to the rules and regulations laid down by the Charity Commission. This includes oversight of all income and expenditure, maintenance of the Society’s and the Company of Anatomist’s bank accounts and monitoring of the Society’s investment portfolio. I am also a member of the Finance and Investment Committee and the Research Advisory Committee.

I am Professor of Anatomy and Head of Teaching and Research in Anatomy at the Graduate Entry Medical School at the University of Limerick. My research interests focus on the developmental origins and lineage determinants of neural cell types, the vulnerability of nervous system development to intrinsic and extrinsic perturbation and the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.



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Professor Abigail Tucker, Meetings Officer 

As meetings councillor I am in charge of making sure that the Anatomical Society organises and participates in a range of meetings that appeal to our members. Along with the local meeting organisers, the meetings councillor makes sure that meetings are academically stimulating, well-attended, run efficiently and to budget. As meetings councillor I am involved in forging links with other professional, biomedical and anatomical societies, encouraging joint meetings and spreading best practice.

As a Developmental Biologist with an interest in how shape is generated during embryology to create our anatomy I have a research lab at the Department of Craniofacial Development and Stem Cell Biology at King's College London. My research focuses on development of the face and head, looking at both clinical questions concerning birth defects and evolutionary questions concerning why we look like we do.



Iain Keenan

Dr Iain Keenan, Website, Media and Communications Officer

As WMC officer, I am responsible for leading the management and editing of the Anatomical Society website and social media platforms and for chairing the WMC committee. As of January 2020, I am also the Editor of the Anatomical Society Newsletter Anastomosis.

The WMC committee includes several members, each with their own responsibilities for managing and editing particular sections of the website and for specific social media and communication activities. The committee is also responsible for judging the biannual Anatomical Society Best Image Prize.

As a Senior Lecturer in Anatomy at the Anatomy and Clinical Skills Centre within the School of Medical Education (SME) at Newcastle University, I am responsible for delivery and management of the Essentials of Medical Practice (EOMP) MBBS curriculum. I also deliver gross anatomy, embryology and histology teaching to undergraduate and postgraduate medical sciences and medical education degrees as well as postgraduate clinical training programmes. I supervise a PhD student and multiple undergraduate project students in a student-partnership programme of anatomy education research. Our research interests concern the development, evaluation and curricular integration of innovative digital and art-based 3D visualisation learning approaches in anatomy education. As EOMP Lead for Educational Research and Scholarship, I mentor and showcase the pedagogic activities of academic colleagues. 



Gavin Clowry

Dr Gavin Clowry, Research Officer

As Research Officer, I chair the Research Advisory Committee and our role is to raise awareness of research involving the anatomical sciences principally through the Society studentship schemes, which provide post-graduate research studentships and undergraduate summer vacation research scholarships. We also promote research supported by the Society or otherwise conducted by its membership, the research symposia that form part of the Society meetings, and the Society journals. 

As a Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, I conduct research into molecular neuroanatomy and brain development. I am particularly interested in the development of the sensorimotor system in relation to cerebral palsy, the development of the human cerebral cortex in relation to autism spectrum disorders, and finding ways to map gene expression in the early human fetal forebrain. I also currently teach anatomy to medical undergraduates and neuroanatomy to biomedical science undergraduates and masters students studying neuroscience and behaviour. 


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Dr Scott Border

I am responsible for managing the strategic direction of The Society’s educational objectives and contributions. This includes leading and championing educational policy, curriculum developments and innovations. All of these activities are achieved through our highly experienced committee, who have national and international reputations for delivering high impact teaching and pedagogical research.

As a Principal Teaching Fellow in Anatomy at the University of Southampton I have developed a thriving and renowned centre of excellence for clinical neuroanatomy education. My work is centred around partnering with students in all aspects of innovation and academic engagement. I also have several curriculum leadership roles spanning from subject to programme level.

My educational research interests involve the efficacy of near-peer teaching in medical education and as a founder member of the prestigious undergraduate neuroanatomy competition I also have a deep-seated interest in approaches to the teaching and assessment of neuroanatomy. One significant strand of my pedagogical research is focused on multimedia learning in anatomy, using mixed method approaches.

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Professor Fabio Quondamatteo, Membership Officer

Fabio Quondamatteo is responsible for the membership actvities of the Anatomical Society and chairs the membership committee.

He currently holds the post of Associate Professor of Anatomy in the Department of Anatomy and Regenerative Medicine at RCSI, Dublin. He has a long-standing experience in teaching all aspects of Anatomy, and, to a wide variety of audiences. He has been External Examiner at King’s College London, University of Edinburgh, and RCSI, and, currently is at the University of Liverpool and University of Lancaster.

After the medical qualification in 1992 at the University of Bari in Italy, he started his anatomical career in Göttingen. There he has mainly been at the Department of Histology of the University of Göttingen where he spent 14 years and where he obtained the Dr. med, the recognition of Clinical Specialist in Anatomy (Facharzt für Anatomie), and the Habilitation in Anatomy.

In January 2007 he took a Senior Lecturer position in Anatomy at NUI Galway, and in January 2016 he joined the University of Glasgow as Chair in Anatomy. Following the wish to continue to live and work in the European Union, he took the opportunity to work at the Royal College of Surgeon in Ireland, that he joined in September 2020.

His research interests include ECM biology and structure and Skin structure, especially at TEM level, as well as clinical aspects of Anatomy. He supports a modern vision of Anatomy which includes the entire spectrum of the subject from macro- to nanoscale and integrates it into a wide functional, biological, and clinical context.


Gerard O'Keeffe

Dr Gerard O'Keeffe, Deputy Treasurer 

As the Deputy Treasurer, I work with the Treasurer on all matters relating the financial control of the Society according to the rules and regulations laid down by the Charity Commission. This includes oversight of all income and expenditure, maintenance of the Society’s and the Company of Anatomist’s bank accounts and monitoring of the Society’s investment portfolio. I also work on GPDR management within the society.

I am a Senior Lecturer in Anatomy and Neuroscience and a Fellow at the Centre for the Integration of Research Teaching and Learning at University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. My biological research interests focus on the using chemical, biochemical and genetic techniques to discover and characterize new mechanisms that control the development, degeneration and regeneration of neurons in health and disease states. My pedagogical research interests focus on universal design for learning approaches to anatomy education.


Adam Taylor

Catherine Hennessy, Deputy Website, Media and Communication Committee Officer

As deputy WMCC officer, I contribute to the management of the society’s website and social media platforms. I help to ensure that all relevant news is shared with the society’s members and I help promote the Society to potential new members.

As a Lecturer of Anatomy at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, I teach all areas of human anatomy at undergraduate and postgraduate level to medical and healthcare students and professionals. My research investigates how social media fits into the field of anatomy and medicine, and the implications for professionalism. I am particularly interested in exploring how medical students and doctors develop social media professionalism or e-professionalism. I am also involved in research which creates core anatomy syllabi for Pharmacy and Physician Assoicate students.   


Jeremy Mortimer

Dr Jeremy Mortimer, Early Career Councillor

My primary role is to represent the student members of the society at council and meetings. I also aim to engage with current and potential new student members through our website, social media and by organising student events. My society membership prior to taking up a council position encouraged me towards a more academic career, and I would like to inspire and support other students in gaining the benefits of the society. 

I am currently a PhD student in musculoskeletal tissue engineering at Edinburgh University in the Paxton lab. I am studying the bone-tendon enthesis of the deep flexor of the human finger, using interfacial co-culture of fibroblasts and osteoblasts to investigate repair of a problematic injury zone. I have a clinical background, with a focus on plastic and hand surgery. I am also involved with undergraduate and postgraduate anatomy teaching locally and regionally.





Dr Cecilia Brassett, Deputy Membership Officer

As the Deputy Membership Officer, I assist the Membership Office in managing the membership activities of our Society.

As the University Clinical Anatomist in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, I organise the dissection-based anatomy teaching course for preclinical medical students, supervise clinically applied anatomical research, manage our team of senior and junior demonstrators, and run revision sessions for clinical students. I work with a number of clinicians on a range of projects, especially involving the gastrointestinal tract and musculoskeletal disorders, and participate as a faculty member on external courses for health professionals.


Dr Joanna Matthan, Deputy Secretary

My role within the Society covers a variety of remits, primarily assisting the Honorary Secretary with Society business. I sit on the Prizes and Awards committee and am involved in promoting, reviewing and administering the range of prizes and awards that the Society makes available to its members.  

I am Director of Academic Studies and Senior Lecturer at the School of Dental Sciences, Faculty of Medical Science, Newcastle University. As a clinical anatomist I working across the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Newcastle University, predominantly with dental and medical students, with an MA in English and a previous career in the corporate world (as Technical Editor for a multinational Telecommunications Company) prior to studying Medicine. I side-stepped into academia and anatomy education from a clinical job after discovering the versatility of anatomy and a passion for teaching it, and wishing to have a positive impact on future healthcare professionals through grounding their clinical acumen in sound anatomical knowledge.

I also run postgraduate level surgical and dental anatomy sessions with Health Education North East (HENE), an area in which I have deep interest as improved patient care and patient safety through a grounding in anatomical knowledge is close to my heart, and continue to work closely with the clinical and surgical fields, as well as in dental anatomy. I have utilised anatomy extensively in Widening Participation events to encourage medical and dental students to enter the professions, and have an interest in engaging the general public with grassroots anatomical knowledge more widely. 


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Dr Eilidh Ferguson

As a Council member, my role is to support the society’s charitable aims of promoting and encouraging engagement with all aspects of anatomical science, from both a research and education perspective.

I am a lecturer in Anatomy at the University of Glasgow. I teach students across Life Sciences, Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing and I am the anatomy lead for the Glasgow Access to Medicine Programme, a Scottish Government funded widening participation initiative. My background is in Forensic Anthropology and I have experience of forensic casework both in the UK and Internationally. My research interests include craniofacial growth and development, human identification, and the use of 3D digitisation and interactive learning tools in anatomy education.  


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Professor Michelle Spear

I joined the Anatomical Society in 2001 and became a Fellow in 2015. As an Ordinary Councillor, I am pleased to be able to support to support the Society’s aims in all aspects of anatomical science.

I am a Professor of Anatomy and Head of the Centre for Applied Anatomy at the University of Bristol. The Centre provides an anatomical education for 1400 medical, dental, veterinary and science students, and provides CPD for around 300 Allied Health Professionals. We also work with several industrial partners in training and research.

My educational interests are curriculum development, employability for anatomy students, pedagogy of dissection-based teaching and student wellbeing. My main research interest is in MSK anatomy, specifically synovial joint architecture. I also maintain interests in anatomical pathology, imaging, and history of anatomy.