The Department of Anatomy & History of Medicine came into existence in 1956, as one of the first departments at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India. It occupies parts of the ground and first floors of the pre-clinical block, and ground floor and basement-1 of the Convergence Block of the AIIMS. Major activities of the department are centred around teaching and research. In addition, some of the laboratories also provide diagnostic services. Further, as a service to the public, embalming for transportation of dead bodies is also undertaken.
Students of M.B.,B.S., M.Sc.(Anatomy), B.Sc.(Honours) Nursing and Post-Certificate Nursing courses are trained in the Department. Postgraduate students in M.D. (Anatomy) and Ph.D. are admitted twice a year. A large number of short- and long-term training courses are conducted in various techniques and specialties in the department. This Department is the first in India to start one-year course in Anatomy for MBBS students and has contributed to the development of curriculum for other Medical Colleges in India, which is now recommended by Medical Council of India. A state-of-the-art eLearning Facility (AIIMSeLF) and teaching/learning technologies are adopted in all the sub- specialities of Anatomy. A state of the art e-learning facility has been established as a tool for teaching, learning and evaluation.
The department is also a WHO recognized centre for training in Human Genetics.
Various laboratories of the Department conduct both basic and applied research using experimental as well as clinical material. Genetics and Experimental Immunology laboratories work with clinical material for research. Parallel studies are done on tissue and cell cultures too. Developmental Neurobiology Research is conducted in experimental animals and aborted fetuses obtained from AIIMS and other Government hospitals. Rodent models are also used to study developmental mechanisms.
Other major ongoing studies are Neurotoxicology and pathology related research of the pancreas, the effects of enriched sound on development of the auditory pathway in the chick, effects of experimental manipulation on the enteric nervous system of the rat, sex hormone receptors in the brain in a rat model, mechanism of pain perception and effects of various drugs on relieving pain etc.
The department is also an active collaborator and organiser for various cadaveric workshops for post-graduate training and skills training in surgical and allied disciplines.