State-of-the-art training centre for surgeons launched

The Clinical Anatomy Skills Centre (CASC) has been purpose built with high tech surgical instruments that will be used to train surgeons and other health professionals in techniques such as traditional open surgery and laparoscopic (key hole) surgery.

The Centre will use bodies (cadavers) bequeathed to the University of Glasgow’s body donation programme.  The University’s Laboratory of Human Anatomy is internationally renowned for its leadership in the care and preparation of cadaveric donors and is recognised as offering the best in cadaveric simulation.

The Centre, which is a joint initiative between two of the UK’s leading medical training institutes - the University of Glasgow and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow - will also be used for teaching anatomy and supporting the development of medical devices, such as heart valves and prosthetics.  Research and development at the Centre will help to provide valuable insight into major diseases, such as dementia and cancer.

Clinical Anatomy Skills Centre, Thomson BuildingThe Centre is one of only a handful in the UK that offers surgeons the chance to train with cadaveric material.  Most surgical training is done using computer and video simulation or animal tissue.  Cadaveric material offers a significant advantage for training – the real anatomy and tissue fidelity and individual differences in each human body make for more realistic training.  It also allows surgeons to practice new techniques and refine their skills in a safe environment before performing them live. 

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow is a leading international organisation in the provision of ongoing career support, training and examination for the medical, surgical, dental, travel medicine and podiatric medicine professions.  It is involved in setting the standards of care and ensuring the best levels of training are available to doctors and surgeons with the ultimate benefit to patients.  The College will use the Clinical Anatomy Skills Centre to train the next generation of high-skilled surgeon and facilitate the advancement of medical science to enhance the treatment and care of patients.

The Centre is equipped with high tech audio-visual equipment for live broadcasting and distance learning, ensuring that the highest quality of training can be delivered both locally and internationally.

Dr Frank Dunn, President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, said “I am delighted to see this facility of excellence come to fruition and for the Royal College to partner with the University of Glasgow in such a venture.  This will, I believe, be the foundation for a number of additional educational projects with the University.”

Mr John McGregor, Vice-President (Surgical) of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow said, “The Clinical Anatomy Skills Centre will offer the most sophisticated clinical and anatomical skills training in the UK.  Professionals across the medical spectrum from junior doctors to experienced consultants will benefit from the Centre.  We are delighted to be a part of this landmark partnership with the University of Glasgow.”

Professor Anna Dominiczak, Head of the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow, said: “The new Centre will provide unrivalled facilities and realism for surgical training, anatomy teaching and medical device development. Together with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow we will provide a world-leading centre of excellence for surgical skills training.”

The Centre is a lasting tribute to William and Elizabeth Davies who are benefactors of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, and whose charitable foundation has made a generous contribution to providing the Centre with state of the art equipment.

For more information contact Stuart Forsyth in the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 4831 or email

Notes to Editors

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow is a membership organisation for the healthcare professions.  It is the only multidisciplinary Royal College in the UK.  Its membership, which exceeds 10,000, includes physicians, surgeons, dental practitioners, travel medicine and podiatric medicine professionals.  The College provides career support to the membership through education, training, professional development, examinations and assessment whilst acting as a charity and leading voice on health issues in order to set the highest possible standards of health care.

The College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow is the largest of the University’s four Colleges with 1800 staff and an annual turnover of £200M, bringing together seven research institutes and three schools.  The broad span of the College enables multidisciplinary work across the medical spectrum. Clinical research of the College revolves around the themes represented by the research institutes – Cancer Sciences; Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences; Infection, Immunity and Inflammation; Neuroscience and Psychology; Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology, and; Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine. The College undertakes world-leading research in first-to-man and proof-of-concept clinical trials in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke and chronic degenerative diseases. The College’s life scientists are integrated with clinical academics, engineers, statisticians and computing scientists, and this structure allows the College’s researchers to explore medical, veterinary and life sciences from a unique vantage point, studying biological processes from molecules and cells, to organisms, individuals, populations, ecosystems and the environment. The College’s ethos nurtures and facilitates inter-disciplinary collaboration both within our College and with our partners in research, industry, government and our community.

Details of the University of Glasgow’s body donation programme are available by calling 0141 330 4296 or visiting:

First published: 4 March 2013

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