HOD's Message

A/Prof S Thameen Dheen

Head's Message

“If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed;
 if in terms of ten years, plant trees;
if in terms of hundred years , teach the people”
- Confucius


Welcome to the Department of Anatomy, National University of Singapore. Department of Anatomy at NUS ranks among the leading departments in Asia finding its strength in its holistic human anatomy teaching. Our faculty members are internationally acclaimed  experts in gross and clinical anatomy teaching, while achieving significant strides in neuroscience and  cancer biology research. The Department of Anatomy is committed to be an active partner in the NUS Medicine’s vision of spearheading medical education and biomedical research. Succinctly, the Department’s vision is to be:

A leading anatomy department, spearheading medical education and biomedical research in Asia’


Our mission is to nurture competent and compassionate future medical doctors, dental surgeons, nurses and other health care professionals for Singapore by providing high quality education, and to train competent biomedical scientists who can spearhead Singapore’s efforts to strengthen Health and Biomedical Sciences strategic research domain.

Historically, this department has been recognized for its excellence in teaching clinical anatomy and innovative teaching methodologies, as well as for its outstanding and well-respected teachers. Apart from these strengths, the department has excellent resources for teaching anatomy and a good infrastructure for performing biomedical research. The department is proud to have the ‘state of art’ Human Anatomy Museum which displays human specimens and provides digital media and is heavily used for medical education. While we follow traditional teaching method using prosected cadavers, ‘living anatomy” and Clinical Application of Medical Sciences (CAMS) (including physical examination, ultrasound scanning on human volunteers), have been implemented with greater emphasis in the new curriculum. In addition to undergraduate medical education, the department offers elective whole body dissection course to those medical students who have an interest in surgery and conducts revision classes for those who appear for MRCS and FRCS examinations and workshops on ‘Clinical and Surgical Anatomy for Residents’ for the benefit of local and regional young clinicians.

Unlike a typical anatomy course, which emphasizes more on the imparting of knowledge and skills, this Department emphasizes on value-based education by integrating humane values and practices with academic instruction.

Our ultimate goal is to train competent health care professionals by teaching the basic structure of the human body and clinical applications which will aid them in future for careful diagnosis and proper treatment for patients as stated by Tamil Poet and Philosopher Thiruvalluvar in Tamil “Make a careful diagnosis, understand its cause and its method of cure, and treat it faithfully” (Noi nadi noi muthal nadi athu thanikkum vai nadi vaippa cheyal – Kural 948)



The Department continuously strengthens its Health and Biomedical Sciences research program, particularly in the key thrust areas of of neurological disorders, cancer research and regenerative medicine. The department has a unique combination of anatomists and molecular biologists, who have a comprehensive understanding of the functioning of the various systems in the human body, in addition to an in-depth knowledge about the cellular and molecular underpinnings for these systemic functions. Furthermore, the department is well equipped to study animal models of various neurological disorders, and well-versed in microscopy and molecular biology techniques.

The research is now reinforced by young scientists interested in molecular neuroscience, cancer biology and stem cell biology. The team is conversant in in vitro experimentation and in vivo models, including handling human specimens. Over the years, our faculty members have made outstanding contributions both in research and teaching and they have been honoured at the School and the University level with awards for excellence in teaching and research. The Department has also won several awards for its compliance with occupational health and safety regulations at the University and National levels.

Our faculty members contribute to international scientific community by actively participating in scientific societies (IBRO, ISN, Singapore Neuroscience Assocaition, American Anatomist Association, Microscipy society, Singapore etc.) and organizing scientific conferences (7th APICA, Neutraceutical conference, IBRO associate School, Brain Bee Challenge etc.).

As you explore this website,I hope you will learn more about our department’s accomplishments in teaching and research. If you would like to know more, please feel free to contact us.


With best wishes,
ST Dheen