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Professor Debs Patten

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Professor of Anatomy

As Professor of Anatomy, I am responsible for establishing our new anatomy facility and for developing and delivering the anatomy teaching strategy for MBChB Medicine, as well as other undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the University. With excellent resource provision and innovative teaching methods, our aim is to deliver the most successful outcomes for our students.

I am a graduate of the University of Sheffield (Anatomy and Cell Biology) and gained a PhD in Neuropharmacology from the University of Durham and a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice from the University of Southampton.

Anatomy is my passion and my career in higher education spans almost 20 years. I have previously worked in anatomy teaching departments at St. George’s University Hospital in London and the Universities of Southampton, Durham, and Newcastle. During this time I have led and delivered cadaveric anatomy teaching to undergraduate and postgraduate students in medicine, allied healthcare, and bioscience, as well as designing and delivering anatomy teaching in many CPD courses for healthcare professionals and in student engagement events.

I have extensive technical and operational experience of the cadaveric laboratory environment to ensure compliance with Human Tissue Authority legislation.

Teaching and supervision

I have 20 years experience of teaching anatomy at several UK universities. I teach anatomy on MBChB Medicine alongside other healthcare and bioscience courses.

Research interests for potential research students

I have supervised several masters students and co-supervised PhD students.

I am very keen to discuss PhD proposals with prospective students.


My academic research interests and publications are focused on medical education research, particularly related to innovations in anatomy teaching, learning, and assessments. More broadly, I am interested in curriculum development which includes the development of an undergraduate ultrasound curriculum to prime medical students for later encounters with Point of Care Ultrasound. I have led the introduction of ultrasound imaging into undergraduate anatomy teaching in medical curricula at two universities.

  • Anatomy pedagogy using cadaveric, living anatomy approaches, clinical imaging and ultrasound
  • Ultrasound for medical curricula

I am a member of several learned anatomical societies and medical education societies where I have presented my work.

Last updated 28 February 2024