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Rebecca Quinn

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Senior Lecturer in Anatomy

I am a Senior Lecturer in anatomy on MBChB Medicine.

I am a graduate of Cardiff University where I studied Biomedical Science (Anatomy) with a professional placement year – where I researched the arrangement of collagen fibres in the human periodontal ligaments, and human temporal fascia at the University of Aberdeen. During my undergraduate degree, I accepted a summer studentship in anatomical education and technology-enhanced learning (TEL), to create an e-learning platform for anatomy and medical students to practice spotter-style questions as a revision tool. This piqued my interest in anatomical education, and led me to a subsequent PhD in Human Sciences at Hull York Medical School (HYMS) investigating the presence of threshold concepts in human anatomical education.

Before joining Sunderland School of Medicine, I taught human anatomy and anatomy pedagogy at three UK universities, using a wide range of teaching methods and tools. I spent one year demonstrating anatomy at the University of Aberdeen, and a further three years at HYMS teaching human anatomy to gateway and undergraduate medical students, and clinical anatomy and anatomy pedagogy to MSc students across both campuses.

Anatomy has been my passion for over eight years, and I always aim to pass on this love to my students!

Teaching and supervision

I teach human anatomy using cadaveric and non-cadaveric materials to students in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing – these are primarily medical students in Years 1-3.

Furthermore, I am a PBL tutor to Year 1 students and Unit 11 lead for Year 2 students in semester one.


My interest in anatomical education has stemmed from my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. I am currently investigating the presence of threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge/areas of difficulty in human anatomy, and how we as educators understand and teach them to our students to promote deep learning.

I am also interested in anatomy pedagogy, which is concerned with teaching modalities aimed to improve the learning experience and knowledge acquisition of students – alongside educational learning theories such as cognitive load theory, and self-directed learning theory.

  • Anatomy of the head and neck
  • Anatomy of the thorax
  • Anatomical education and anatomy pedagogy
  • Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge
  • Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)

Societal membership

  • Anatomical Society
  • Anatomical Society – Education Committee Member
  • The Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME)
  • Royal Society of Biology (RSB) Outreach and Engagement

Last updated 28 October 2022