Modern Department

Growing up

Dr. D.G. Gwyn

In 1974, Dr. D. Graham Gwyn (1974-1990) was appointed the new D.G.J. Campbell Professor of Anatomy. As head, he led the department through a great deal of expansion as it began teaching the discipline of anatomy to students in five faculties: medicine, dentistry, health professions, science and graduate studies.

There were many other changes during this time: faculty members started becoming more involved in their own research programs, we added many large pieces of research equipment and, in 1969, our first graduate student received his MSc degree. In 1976, the department instituted its PhD program, and by 1988 we had nine master’s students and two doctoral students.

An era of technology

The department thrived under the direction of Dr. D. Graham Gwyn. During this period, social and technological advances brought about many changes. Our first computer terminal, which was established by Dr. Howard Dickson, introduced department members to the possibilities of employing computers to help with research, teaching and administrative tasks. Dr. Gwyn retired in 1990, after 16 dedicated years.

Dr. D.A. Hopkins

From 1991 to 2002, Dr. David Hopkins took over the reins, first as acting head, then as the next Campbell Professor. It was during his tenure that the department was officially named the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology.

During the 1990s, the grant capture of the faculty members in the department increased substantially. In 1998, the total income for research activities in the department was approximately $1.6 million—an increase of almost three-fold in ten years. That same decade, we also established the Maritime Brain Tissue Bank, the Cellular Microscopy and Digital Imaging Unit, a new Retinal Research Laboratory and a new Laboratory for Molecular Neurobiology.

Dr. Hopkins' term as head of the department was completed in 2002, when Dr. John Rutherford was appointed acting head. In January of 2003, Dr. Ron Leslie was appointed the D.G.J. Campbell Professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology.

Upgrading physical facilities

Dr. R.A. Leslie

During his tenure as head, Dr. Leslie oversaw the revitalization of the department's physical facilities, with major renovations taking place in most of the teaching areas and research laboratories. The old Anatomy Museum was relocated to newly renovated space creating the Anatomy Learning Resource Centre.

In collaboration with the Department of Pathology, the department developed a virtual histology facility, and, in collaboration with Dr. George Kovacs of the Department of Emergency Medicine, estabilished the Clinical Grade Cadaver Program.

Under Dr. Leslie's leadership, the department played an integral role establishing Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick, in particular, creating an anatomy teaching laboratory within the St. John Regional Hospital and hiring the program's first faculty member, an anatomist.

Dr. Leslie completed his term as head in 2012 and was succeeded by Dr. William Baldridge.