Frances Osis

address: Room 210, 10 University Gardens, G12 8QH

Research title: Syphilis: An Enlightenment Controversy analysed through Documents and Anatomical Specimens

Research Summary

My research is focusing on the paleopathology of venereal disease. I am using 18th century anatomical specimens from The Hunterian’s collection to examine pathogenic DNA, and the library’s special collections to determine how physicians and surgeons classified syphilis and gonorrhoea during the Enlightenment.

I am funded by the Leverhulme Trust Collection project, which includes a range of interdisciplinary researchers using the university collections.


  • The Leverhulme Trust, 2016-2019, Doctoral Scholarship.


  • "Collections as a Catalyst for Cross Disciplinary Research", presented at Beyond the Lecture Theatre conference, University of Aberdeen, January 2016.
  • "The Venereal Poison: Collecting Disease", presented at PCA/ACA conference, Indianapolis, March 2018.



  • GTA: Anatomy Demonstrator
  • Guest speaker: Speaking Arts and Humanities LANGCTR3009


  • GTA: Anatomy Demonstrator
  • Guest speaker: SSC Topics in the History of Medicine

Additional Information

Public engagement

  • Hunterian Associate Programme 2018
  • Strathearn Science Festival 2017
  • PubHD 2017
  • European Researcher's Night 2016/2017
  • Hunterian Insight Talk 2016
  • Hunterian MUSE 2015-2017
  • Glasgow Science Centre: Science Communicator 2015-2016


  • MUSE of the year 2016
  • Malcolm Kerr prize 2016
  • William Hunter medal 2016
  • Lorimer bursary 2016
  • Paul Skett prize 2015
  • John Hunter medal 2015