UCL Cancer Institute

Anatomical Pathology

Group Leader: Dr Alan W Bates

Brief CV

  • PhD Queen Mary College 1992
  • Lecturer in Pathology, Queen Mary College 1994
  • MD Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine at UCL 2002
  • Honorary Senior Lecturer in Pathology, UCL 2003


My research is principally focussed on the ways in which anatomy and embryology have been presented to medical and non-medical audiences in printed works and through the use of models and preserved specimens. In particular, early modern representations of monstrous births are considered as signs, emblems, and descriptions of real-life cases through which the transformation from pre-scientific recording of wonders to the scientific case report can be explored.

Current projects include a book on the work of nineteenth-century anatomist Robert Knox, which will examine his influential theories of transcendental anatomy.


Lectures on pathology to years 2 and 3 MB, BS.


Selected Publications

  • “Indecent and demoralising representations”: public anatomy museums in mid-Victorian England. Medical History, 2008; 52: 1-22.

  • Emblematic Monsters: Unnatural Conceptions and Deformed Births in Early Modern Europe. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2005.

  • Good, common, regular, and orderly: early modern classifications of monstrous births. Social History of Medicine, 2005; 18: 141-58.



fig 1

1. Monstre engendre sur les confins d'Angleterre & de Normandie. From Elizabeth I’s copy of Pierre Boaistuau’s ‘Histoires prodigieuses’, 1580.