May 25, 2022
Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Siences


History and Evolution of Anatomical Sciences

          The field of anatomical sciences is the oldest branch of basic medical sciences and is the basis for most branches of medical sciences, especially clinical medicine. In the history of the establishment of medical schools, the first department to be established is the Department of Anatomy. In other words, anatomy is the main basis of medicine in the medical school.

In the development of medical sciences, especially basic medical sciences, various fields have been added; yet, the role of anatomical sciences remains prominent. This is because the fields of anatomical sciences have also developed with the development of new technologies. The study of anatomy dates back to 1600 BC in ancient Egypt.

The works of Galen and Hippocrates give us the first descriptions of anatomy. They identified the principles of anatomy as a branch of medicine and theology for future physicians, and it seems that for many years all their beliefs were accepted by physicians that followed them. With the development of other sciences, the science of anatomy also evolved and in the sixteenth century, it became a completely independent and separate science.

Herophilus (325 BC) was a Greek physician who was named the first forensic pathologist or anatomist in history. Every day at the University of Alexandria, he performed his experiments on the bodies of humans and animals, and then wrote the first treatise on the dissection of the human body.

He invented many of the scientific terms in dissection and autopsy that are still used today, and was the first to discover the difference between the artery and the vein, as well as the existence and differences between motor and sensory (afferent and efferent) nerves.

Galen (129-200) was one of the greatest anatomists of ancient Greece and studied the function of organs based on body secretions. But because not many bodies were available at the time, his study focused more on dogs.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, anatomist, and the first to revolutionize the science of anatomy through the use of painting.

Andrew Vesalius (1514-1564) was the founder of the modern science of anatomy, which accurately described bodies to identify the human body.

Henry Gray (1827-1861) was a British surgeon and anatomist. He is the author of the famous and enduring work Gray’s Anatomy. At the age of 25, Gray was selected as a fellow member of the Royal Society.

Nonetheless, in Iran, Jundishapur Medical Center was built in Khuzestan, Iran (during the time of the first Sassanid Shapour in 250 AD), and was active until the middle of the fourth century AH. During the time of Anoushiravan, this center flourished again and the medical school and hospital were established by his order.

Muhammad ibn Zakaria al-Razi (854-925) was the greatest physician of Iran and the Islamic world in the Middle Ages who followed the views of Hippocrates and Galen and the general knowledge of Jundishapur. He worked in anatomy on monkeys and studied veins, arteries and hearts.

The fifth day of Shahrivar (August 27), is registered as the day of his commemoration and the day of pharmacy. Ali ibn Abbas Majousi of Ahwaz (930-994) was the most prominent physician after Razi who wrote about the description of the article and his fame is due to the writing of the book "Al-Maliki" which explained the anatomy and physiology of nerves and mental illnesses. It has been referred to in European books of medical history.

Avicenna (980-1037) is one of the most famous and influential philosophers and scientists of Iran and the world at the same time as the Middle Ages (11th century AD), who is especially outstanding because of his works in the field of philosophy and medicine.

His main works are two comprehensive scientific and philosophical encyclopedias, the Book of Healing (Shefa) and the Encyclopedia of Ala'i, as well as the Canon (Law in Medicine) as one of the most famous works in the history of medicine, which included anatomical information of his time. There is also a book called Summary of Anatomy in which anatomy is taught. August 23 is his day in Iran, Doctor's Day.

Mansoura Ibn Elias (1322-1480) was famous in the common sciences of his time, especially in medicine, and was a contemporary of Khajeh Hafez Shirazi. He wrote the illustrated anatomy book entitled: “Al-Mansouri's Anatomy” before Da Vinci and Vesalius.

The history of modern anatomy in Iran coincides with the establishment of the Academy of Arts in 1850. After returning from Europe, Haji Mirza Afshar Hakimbashi wrote a book in Arabic entitled: “Anatomy” and taught anatomy at the Academy of Arts.

Dr. Jamaluddin Mostaqimi (1915-2005), the father of Iranian anatomy, has dissected more than 800 human corpses as well as the bodies of countless animals. He corrected world-renowned anatomy books, including Sobotta and Gray’s Anatomy, and he produced bioplastic models for the first time in Germany in 1960.

In recent decades, anatomical sciences have undergone significant changes. On the one hand, based on the principles of medical education, it has been transformed from of a purely anatomical and descriptive state and has changed in terms of application, clinical and functional aspects. On the other hand, sub-disciplines such as anthropology, cell biology, stem cells, tissue engineering, and reproductive biology have been added.

Department of Anatomical Sciences, Yazd Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences

In 1983, with the help of the third martyr of the altar, Ayatollah Sadoughi, the first medical school after the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran was launched with the admission of 33 medical students. The Morphoanatomy Department was established simultaneously and the first dissection hall was set up at the School of Medicine, located at km 5 of Bafq road.

The first dissection of the cadaver, the inauguration of the dissection hall, and the entry of the faculty members into the Morphoanatomy Department located in different schools with the field of teaching are as follows:

Ali Mohammad Ali Heidari (Biology and Histology of 1983), Sadegh Yadegari (Anatomy of 1986), Mohammad Razavi and Nasser Soflaei (Anatomy and Histology of 1988), Hossein Nahangi (Anatomy and Embryology of 1990), Fatemeh Haji Maghsoudi, Mohammad Hosseini and Morteza Anvari (Anatomy and Embryology of 1993), Abolqasem Abbasi Sarcheshmeh and Mohammad Ali Khalili (anatomy and embryology of 1995), Alireza Talebi (Histology of 1996), Maryam Yadegari (Histology of 2012) Abbas Shahedi (anatomy of 2014), Majid Pourantazari (Anatomy 2017) and Azam Hassanpour (Anatomy 2019).

The Histology and Pathology Laboratory was also set up and equipped by Dr. Mansour Jamali, Ali Mohammad Ali Heidari and Nasser Soflaei. Today, the Anatomical models salon and histology laboratory have been further developed by other professors as one of the valuable collections of the department. They are used by many professors and students.

It should be noted that professors Seyed Mohammad Razavi, Alim Mohammad Ali Heidari, Nasser Soflaei, Sadegh Yadegari, Fatemeh Haji Maghsoudi and Dr. Hossein Nahangi have retired in honor and currently the Department of Anatomical Sciences has 9 faculty members who fulfill their educational and research activities in different parts of this department.

تاریخ بروزرسانی: 1401/03/03

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