Profiles: Anatomical Society Council 2023/24


Professor Tracey Wilkinson, President 

As President of the Anatomical Society, I work with our excellent Council to promote, develop and advance research and education in the anatomical sciences in the broadest sense. This involves, for example, running scientific meetings, publishing our two prestigious journals (Journal of Anatomy and Aging Cell), giving out awards and prizes, including PhD projects for young scientists, and supporting our members.  

I have just started as the Sands Cox Chair of Anatomy at the University of Birmingham and look forward to working with a new team there, who are involved in the teaching of several programmes, including medicine, dentistry, physician associate, biomedical sciences, pharmacy and nursing. I have worked in several universities both abroad and in the UK and have completed at least five years in a university in each of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales! My research interests are broad and include biomechanics, functional anatomy and medical education. I have previously been the Honorary Treasurer of the Anatomical Society and ran the Anatomy Training Programme (Anatomical Society and American Association for Anatomy) for several years, until taking over the Presidency in 2023.




Professor Joanna Matthan, Honorary Secretary

My role within the Society covers a variety of remits, primarily running the Society’s day-today governance business. I also chair 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 Sciences, Newcastle University. As a clinical anatomist, I work across the Faculty, predominantly with dental and medical students. Prior to studying Medicine, and with an MA in English, I had a career in the corporate world (as Technical Editor for a multinational Telecommunications Company). 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 a deep interest as improved patient care and patient safety through a grounding in anatomical knowledge is close to my heart. I continue to work closely with the clinical and surgical fields, as well as in clinical dentistry. 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. 




Professor Cecilia Brassett, Deputy Secretary

As the Deputy Secretary, I assist the Honorary Secretary in managing the governance activities of our Society.

As the Teaching Professor of Human Anatomy in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, I work with the University Clinical Anatomist to 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.



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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 School of Medicine 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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Dr Jeremy Mortimer, Deputy Treasurer 

As Deputy Treasurer and member of the finance committee, I work with the Honorary Treasurer to facilitate all the financial affairs in the running and charitable delivery 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 Anatomists’ bank accounts and monitoring of the Society’s investment portfolio.

I am a lecturer in Anatomy at the University of Bristol and teach across a variety of professional and science programmes, including medicine, functional and clinical anatomy and applied anatomy. I also develop continuing professional development courses at the Vesalius Clinical Training Centre and teach on post-graduate anatomy courses locally and throughout the UK. I have a clinical background, with a focus on plastic and hand surgery, and my research interests focus on musculoskeletal tissue interfaces and post-graduate anatomical education.




Dr Hannah Shaw, Education Officer

I am responsible for managing the strategic direction of The Society’s educational objectives and contributions. This includes developing a community of practice for everyone involved in anatomy education.  These activities are achieved through our highly experienced committee, who have national and international reputations for delivering high impact teaching and pedagogical research.

During my time on the committee, I have lead the digital curation project (Scoop-it) and supported members with online activities and guidance during COVID-19. Educationally, my research interests involve student-centred, active learning and curriculum design.




Professor Katherine Linehan, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer

I’m the Pro-Vice Chancellor for EDI and People at Nottingham University.  In this role I have responsibility for strategically leading the People and Culture work for all staff and students at our campuses in the UK, China and Malaysia.  This includes responsibility for the university’s work for the Athena Swan and Race Equality Charter marks.

I am also a Professor of Anatomical Education and have spent the majority of my career developing pedagogical approaches to create a sense of belonging for students in Anatomy classes.  This has included developing expertise in designing inclusive curricula and authentic assessments.  I was the creator of FHEA accredited the MSc Human Anatomy with Education degree at Sheffield which was designed to train the next generation of Anatomy Teachers.  




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Dr Lyndsay Murray, Meetings Officer (covering until May 2025)

I am the meetings officer for the anatomical society. I am a senior lecturer in anatomy at the University of Edinburgh, where I am the program director for our honours in anatomy and development, and also teach  human gross anatomy to a range of undergraduate and postgraduate medical and biomedical students.  I also have a research group focusing on degenerative and regenerative mechanisms in motor neuron diseases.




Dr Asha Venkatesh, Membership Officer

I am the Membership Officer and work with the Deputy to ensure matters related to membership are dealt with effectively. I also lead the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group of the Anatomical Society seeking to ensure that the Anatomical Society promotes equity of opportunity, and an inclusive culture in all of its work and avoid discrimination at all times.

I am a Senior Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen and Lead for Year 2 of our MBChB programme. I have helped implement change to the way we teach and assess Anatomy and the wider MBChB curriculum including developing a blended learning approach when the pandemic struck. I love teaching students especially embryology, histology and head and neck anatomy. I am passionate about supporting medical students in their curriculum and ensuring they gain a strong grasp of clinical anatomy. Externally, I have been the lead organiser of the Scottish Anatomists group (2016-2021) and am also a Committee member in the Education Development Committee of the Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME). Through my role in ASME, I try to raise the profile of Anatomy and other fundamental sciences in medical education.

My other passion is Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Various personal experiences spurred me to be involved in the Athena SWAN initiative and I successfully led our Institute (2016-2020) to its first Bronze award in 2017. I now lead our schools MBChB EDI Task Force and represent our medical school at the Medical School Council’s EDI Alliance.




Professor Nathan Jeffery, Research Officer

I am the Research Officer for the Anatomical Society responsible for the oversight and development of the research activities of the Anatomical Society which involves an exciting programme of Society funded PhD studentships and undergraduate summer placements together with chairing a Research Advisory Committee. Recently the Society has entered into jointly funded PhD partnerships which is proving successful. The Research Committee also contributes to the development of the research elements of the Society’s two prestigious annual scientific meetings.


I work in the field of functional and evolutionary anatomy, using novel imaging, computational methods, and experimental models to investigate phenotypic plasticity and integration of the mammalian skull, ranging from structural mechanics to the competing spatial requirements and functional demands of various soft-tissue modules (e.g. sense organs, brain, and masticatory musculature). The primary objective is to refine taxonomic, behavioural, biomechanical and ecological interpretations of extinct species with applications within the preclinical and clinical veterinary and human sciences.




Dr Kate Dulohery - Website Media and Communications Officer (05.01.24 to 28.11.24)

I am a Senior Lecturer in Anatomy at the University of Sunderland. I teach gross anatomy, embryology, and histology to undergraduate medical students and across the faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing.

Additionally, I have a keen interest in widening participation and public engagement activities in anatomy.  I am also deputy assessment lead for the School of Medicine. My current research interests include the evaluation of 3D technologies within anatomical education as well as the integration of ultrasound into the medical curriculum.



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Danya Stone, Early Career/Postgraduate-Councillor

As the student / early career representative I work with multiple committees on issues that impact student and early career members of the society. For example, I work closely with the meetings committee to ensure that there are activities in place that are aimed at student and early career members at the anatomical society meetings. 


I am a lecturer in anatomy at Brighton and Sussex Medical School where I teach anatomy at undergraduate and postgraduate level on medical and allied health courses. I am also a part-time PhD student. My research explores the impact of learning anatomy through cadaveric dissection on medical students. 




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Dr Denis Barry, Ordinary Councillor

As GDPR lead with the Anatomical Society I work to ensure the Society's privacy and data processing activities are compliant with legal frameworks for its members and trustees. 


I am the Head of the Discipline of Anatomy, at Trinity College Dublin. I teach whole body anatomy to undergraduate medical, dental, and allied health science students. I strive to advance our understanding of the human form and to highlight the professional significance of anatomy across the health sciences. The key directions of my research are in pedagogy, and the impact of metabolic influences on brain development and function.



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Dr Marise Heyns, Ordinary Councillor

As ordinary councillor, I am happy to support the society in any way I can to reach its aims of promoting, developing and advancing research and education in all aspects of anatomical science. Currently I am engaged with expanding the use of Ultrasound across medical education, and specifically in the teaching and learning of Anatomy in pre-clinical years.

I am the senior lecturer in Anatomy at Ulster University, and I have a special interest in teaching with technology, incorporating medical imaging, digital cadavers and ultrasound in Anatomy education. I am also the year 1 lead, and offer mentoring support to staff. I maintain my interest in Forensic Medicine, and is currently investigating the use of ultrasound in post mortem investigations.




Dr Neil Thomas, Ordinary Councillor

I joined the Anatomical Society in 2012 at the very beginning of my career, whilst working as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Glasgow. I did so because I was inspired by the mentorship I received from society members and wanted to be part of a thriving community of intellectual exploration within the discipline. I now work as a Lecturer at University of Liverpool, where I’m lucky to be part of a fantastic anatomy team. I split my time between educational and scholarly leadership roles and research in musculoskeletal biology, functional anatomy and pedagogy. I particularly enjoy mentoring colleagues, supporting professional development and creating opportunities for early career scientists interested in anatomy. As an Ordinary Councillor, I help the society in its aims to promote, develop and advance research and education in all aspects of anatomical science. I was elected in January 2024.




Dr Rebecca Shepherd, Ordinary Councillor

I joined the Anatomical Society in 2018 as an early career member. As an Ordinary Councillor since January 2022, my role is to support to support the aims of the Anatomical Society and to support members in gaining the most from their membership. I am a Lecturer in Anatomy at Lancaster Medical School, where I am responsible for delivering anatomy and histology teaching to undergraduate medical students. I initially studied Biomedical Science at Lancaster University, before working as a Health and Care Professions Council registered Biomedical Scientist in the NHS. I returned to university to complete my PhD, funded by an Anatomical Society Studentship. My research interests centre around the role of bone marrow adipocytes in bone health. I enjoy science communication and public engagement, and I have performed ‘academic’ stand-up comedy on a number of occasions!



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Sheona Shankland, Ordinary Councillor

As the Deputy Membership Officer, I work alongside the Membership Officer and the Committee to manage the memberships and promote the society to encourage new applications. As an Ordinary Council Member, I contribute towards our societal goal of supporting the Anatomical Sciences in all forms, promoting engagement with both research and teaching.

I am currently a PhD researcher at Lancaster University where I am using Raman spectroscopy to investigate the chemistry of ageing in the human skeleton. Specifically, exploring the chemistry of mineralisation related bone diseases in childhood, where it is often difficult to distinguish between development and pathology.  I love all things anatomy, and have previously worked as a Prosector and Anatomy Teacher at The University of Glasgow where I taught students from medicine, dentistry, nursing, and was heavily involved in the MSc Medical Visualisation and Human Anatomy course. I then took up a maternity cover post as Prosector and Demonstrator at The University of Liverpool before coming to Lancaster. I am also very involved in bioarchaeology and supervise excavations pertaining to human remains at a dig site in Cheshire.




Dr Eilidh Ferguson, Meetings Officer (maternity leave 02.05.24 to May 2025)

As Meetings officer, 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 officer makes sure that meetings are academically stimulating, well-attended, run efficiently and to budget. I am involved in forging links with other professional, biomedical and anatomical societies, encouraging joint meetings, and spreading best practice.

As a lecturer in Anatomy at the University of Glasgow, I teach students across Life Sciences, Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing. I am the anatomy subject lead for Medicine and anatomy lead for the Glasgow Access to Medicine Programme, which is 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.





Dr Catherine Hennessy, Website, Media and Communication Committee Officer (maternity leave 05.01.24 to 28.11.24)

As WMCC 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. The WMCC committee includes several members, each with their own responsibilities for managing and editing particular sections of the website, editing the Society's e-newsletter Anastomosis, and for publishing specific social media and communication activities. The committee help to ensure that all relevant news is shared with the society’s members and that the Society is continually promoted to potential new members. The committee is also responsible for judging the biannual Anatomical Society Best Image Prize.

 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 Associate students.