Department of Anatomy

Ag.Head Of Deparment:     

Dr. Emeka A Osunwoke


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Contact Phone Number(s):     





The Department of Anatomy was created following the reorganization of the academic structure of the University of Port Harcourt. The first Anatomy lecture was delivered to our pioneer medical students in November 1980 by Dr. T. C. Awuzie (who was the only lecturer in Anatomy at that time) in a laboratory borrowed from the Faculty of Physical Sciences. This laboratory served for both lectures and practical. Some part-time lecturers, particularly Dr. E. Abara, offered some assistance in teaching and Laboratory demonstrations. Mr. K. M. Jack, Chief Medical Laboratory Technologist, was the only trained laboratory worker in the Department then.


In the 1981/82 academic session, two lecturers and a Senior Laboratory Technologist/Prosector joined the Anatomy Staff. The arrival of these lecturers (Drs. J. O. Ogunranti and B. C. Didia) and Mr. L. G. Baleera, (Graduate Assistant) helped tremendously as the Department was to receive students in the second semester for training towards the B. Med. Sc. honours degree in Anatomy.


In November 1981, Professor A. A. Obuoforibo joined the Anatomy Department but was immediately appointed Acting Provost of the College of Health Sciences. At the same time, Dr. T. C. Awuzie was appointed Acting Director of Studies in Anatomy.


Following departmentalization in the University, the Anatomy Department was created in October 1982. The SUCCESSIVE HEADSHIP OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ANATOMY IS AS FOLLOWS:

S/No Head of Department Period of Headship
1. Dr. T. C. Awuzie 1981 – 1983
2. Dr. J. O. Ogunranti 1984 – 1986 (Coordinator)
3. Dr. B. C. Didia 1987 – 1991 (Coordinator)
4. Dr. P. S. Igbigbi 1991 – 1995
5. Dr. B. C. Didia 1996 – 2004
6. Dr. H. B. Fawehinmi 2005 – 2007
7. Dr. G. S. Oladipo 2008 – 2010
8. Dr. C. W. Paul 2011 – 2014
9. Dr. (Mrs) E.J. Olotu 2014 – 2016
10. Dr. M. 0. Oyakhire 2016 -2018
11 Dr.(Mrs) C.N Orish 2018-date


At the beginning of the 1982/83 academic year, Professor E.W Powell, a Fullbright Professor joined the Anatomy Department. Professor Powell is an experienced Anatomist and Neuroscientist from the University of Arkansas, USA.


Review of Curriculum:

In line with the NUC guideline of increased societal relevance for courses offered in Nigerian Universities and the crunching need for graduates of Anatomy to find proper placement in society, and the current trend of career and professional development in Anatomy within Africa and the global village, the Department of Anatomy in its Departmental board held on 21st Nov, 2012 decided unanimously to look into, review and modify the curricula of the existing Anatomy programs (particularly the undergraduate program) to give the department a proper footing in the University and make Graduates of the Department ‘more Labor market friendly ’ and have global appeal.


The board constituted DEPARTMENTAL CURRICULUM REVIEW AND DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE with DR. J. Olotu as chairman, DR. E. I. Edibamode as secretary, Dr. I. F. Bob-Manuel as assistant secretay/curator, Dr. M. O. Oyahkire and Mr. J. S. Hart as members. Besides, Prof. B. C. Didia, Prof. H. B. Fawehenmi and Dr. G. S. Oladipo were appointed advisers to the committee. The committee received contributions and suggestions from members of the Department and examined the curriculum of several other departments and disciplines within and outside the University of Port Harcourt and recommended the following resolutions to the Departmental board.



After extensive deliberations based on contributions and submissions by members, the departmental board made the following resolutions as ways of making Anatomy more attractive as a career in its own right and a discipline with a problem solving capacity based on relevant specializations in the field of Anatomical Science.


  1.  The Department of Anatomy is reviewing and modifying her curriculum to capture the several research and professional areas of specializations in Anatomy. This would enable Anatomists develop career in the field according to the divisions available.


  1. The Department is to have divisions as areas of research specialization such as Radiologic Anatomy, Clinical Anatomy, Developmental, Reproductive and Molecular Biology, Cell and Tissue Science, Anthropologic and Forensic Anatomy (Biomedical Anthropology and Forensic Science), and Neuroscience where research focus and expertise should be skewed. This would encourage specialization and enhance competence and professionalism.


  1. The curriculum be modified and reviewed to reflect this change, to foster professionalism and create relevance to other sectors of society while retaining its full service capacity and potential to the MBBS, BDS, Nursing, Pharmacy and other Allied Professions.


  1. The program should remain as a 4 year program but ‘recycled’ courses should be replaced with new ones that will reflect relevance to society and practical classes should be designed in this light.


  1. There should be a course in the second semester of the first year on the ‘History, Ethics and Applications of Anatomy’ as a source of motivation and orientation to fresh students.


  1. The second semester of the third year should be dedicated to core Anatomical science courses designed to meet the desire for research development and professionalism.


  1.  The first semester of the fourth year should be dedicated to the Students Industrial Works Experience Scheme (SIWES) and research work. At the end of this period the undergraduate students are to: (A) submit his or her IT log book (9 credit unit), (B) submit written IT report (3 credit units) and (C) present oral IT report seminar (3 credit units). While on the training, they will be visited and assessed by a member of Faculty.
  2.  In the second semester of the fourth year, students will undergo Entrepreneurship project, aimed to afford the fourth year students of the department the opportunity to individually or in a group, select        a product(s) or service(s) in Anatomical sciences, conduct a feasibility study, design and develop the product, design its marketing strategies, and determine the modalities for establishing and operating an enterprise based on the product or service. This will be presented as a seminar to the department.


  1.  There should be continuous aggressive manpower training in the form of staff development and purchase of relevant equipment by the Department and University to meet the challenges of specialization and professionalism, and expected knowledge to be impacted.


Based on these resolutions, the curriculum Bachelor of Science programme of the department was reviewed and approved by the University senate.



The Department of Anatomy at present has 21 academic staff, two senior technical staff and a number of junior Staff. Nineteen courses are taught in the Department. Six of these courses are basic while the other thirteen are designed for the Bachelor’s degree programme in Anatomy. Each course has three (3) Credit Units and there are Prerequisite Courses.

Regulations governing the award of B.Sc Anatomy are defined in the College of Health Sciences prospectus, but without prejudice to any additional requirement, which may be prescribed by the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences for the Department of Anatomy. The Department of Anatomy believes in collective responsibility and as a result, each Lecturer is assigned one or two courses by the Head of Department. The lecturer draws up lecture, practical and tutorial schedule which must be approved by the Head of Department before implementation.


The Department was rated the Best Department of Anatomy in Academic Programme by NUC in 2002/2003 and “hosted the Conference of Genetic Society of Nigeria in 1988 and Anatomical Society of Eastern Nigeria (ASEN) in 2003.


Prof. B.C. Didia won the College of Health Sciences prize as The Scientist of the year 2003 at the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the College of Health Sciences and is currently the President of Anatomical Society of Nigeria (ASN) while Prof. H. B. Fawehinmi is the current President of the Society of Experimental and Clinical Anatomists of Nigeria (SECAN). The Department hosted the Annual General Conference of the ASN in November, 2012.


The Department commenced an M. Sc Degree programme in Anatomy in 2005 and a Ph. D Programme in 2007. A Doctor of Medicine (MD) Degree programme of the College of Health Sciences has been on course in the Department.



Future Plans

The department aims to, in the near future, review her M.Sc. and Ph.D programmes in line with the reviewed areas of research specialization as contained in the recent senate approved review of curriculum of the undergraduate programme; start her post graduate diploma programme, and commence professional certificate in specialized areas of Anatomical Science. The department avers to continue her aggressive manpower training in the form of staff development and purchase of relevant equipment by the Department and University to meet the challenges of specialization and professionalism, and expected knowledge to be impacted.



Our teaching facilities include a Histology Laboratory fully equipped for tissue processing with over 100 functional Olympia Binocular Microscopes, a large dissecting room that can accommodate over 20 dissecting tables, an installed mortuary that can accommodate 12 bodies and a Museum for processed Anatomical part and organs. There is a Research Laboratory and Departmental Library with e – library facilities.





Philosophy of the Department

Anatomy is a research in motion. The philosophy of the Department is to be a leading light and the pinnacle of the teaching and practice of the arts and principles of anatomical science and making her graduates entrepreneurial medical scientist.


Objectives of the Department

The overall objective of the department is to groom our graduates with sound and lucid understanding of the basic and applied knowledge of anatomical science as a discipline offering them high prospects of fulfilled careers in the relevant aspects our national economy and meeting areas of critical needs.

Specifically, the objectives of the department are:

  1. To advance knowledge in Anatomical Science in order to enhance the skills and expertise of required for self reliance and gainful employment;
  2. To  advance a conducive academic environment as a necessity in preparing the students/graduates for scholarship and service;
  3. To educate her students/graduates on the importance of “sustainable research and development” using principles and arts of the science of anatomy for the development of our nation and human race;
  4. To  give her graduates increased societal relevance, entrepreneurial skills and better opportunity for career and professional development in the Anatomical Sciences.
  5. To  inculcate in her students/graduates the knowledge through broad-based training in relation to Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) as provided by the National Universities Commission (NUC), thereby making her graduates competitive advantage in various ventures

The overall objectives of the courses in Anatomy which covers the areas of Gross Anatomy, Microscopic Anatomy/Histology, Developmental Anatomy / Embryology and Neuroanatomy are that on completion of the courses, the successful student should be able to:

  1. Correctly define and use scientific terms encountered in the various branches of anatomy;
  2. Correctly use these terms both for description of healthy human structures and communicate effectively with other specialists in the health profession;
  3. Apply selectively the information obtained from this course in the solution of either abstract or real problems involving human biology in his clinical years;
  4. Successfully complete appropriate examinations covering this content area.



The course leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in Anatomy is designed for students who are admitted through JAMB and Basic Programme, who show interest in pursuing intensive training in Human Anatomy.


A Pass in Anatomy core and compulsory courses is required in order to earn a B. Sc degree in Anatomy. The training will consist of Lectures, Tutorials, Seminars, Practical and a supervised Project presented in the form of a Dissertation. Students will be trained on research methods.




The programme aims to train Medical and Dental graduates, Physiotherapists and B.Sc (Anatomy) graduates with CGPA not less than 3.00 to teach Human Anatomy and to conduct research in areas relevant to Anatomical Sciences.

Degree Offered:

Master of Science (M.Sc) in Human Anatomy.


Duration of Study:

The period of training shall last for a minimum period of 18 months and maximum of 36 months. The course work shall last for 12 months after which the Research Project and Seminar shall occupy the remaining 6 months. The examination for the course work shall be taken at the end of each semester.


There will be seminar at the end of the Project Work after which those who succeed at the seminar presentation will be required to defend their projects. Those with CGPA of less than 2.70 shall be required to repeat the course work in courses they failed before proceeding with their project work.


Knowledge and Skill to be imparted:

The Graduands of this programme are expected to have acquired the Knowledge to:

  1.  Use scientific equipment to investigate and demonstrate Structure and Organization of cell, tissue and organ system sin normal growth and health.
  2. Be able to process tissues for Histological, Histochemical and Election Microscopic Studies.
  3. Be able to process and prepare bones for Osteological Studies
  4. Be conversant with photomicroscopy and be able to prepare Micrographs unaided.
  5. Be able to adopt current relevant methodologies to solve scientific problems and make reasonable deductions and adequate inferences from data and evidence available. Be able to relate injuries to Human Anatomy.


Ist Semester:


Course Title

Credit Unit

ANA 810.1

Biomedical Anthropology


ANA 811.1

Reproductive Biology


ANA 812.1



ANA 813.1



ANA 814.1

Anatomical Basis of Sports Injuries





2nd Semester:


Course Title

Credit Unit

ANA 810.2

Gross Anatomical Techniques


ANA 811.2

Histolological, Cytological and Ultra Sound Techniques


ANA 812.2

Biostatistics and Bioinformatics


ANA 813.2

Genetics and Teratology


ANA 814.2

Comparative Anatomy


ANA 815.2

Seminar / Project







Biomedical Anthropology ANA. 810*1

This course will dwell on comparative analysis in Anatomical, Physiological and genetic characteristics of pre- historic and modem human population as they have interacted throughout the entire time span of Human Evolution to influence health and disease.



Reproductive Biology ANA 811.1

This course exposes students to the hormonal control of Reproduction, Development of Urogenital system, In-vitro fertilization, Clinical Anatomy of Reproductive System and Embryological Mechanics.


Histochemistry ANA 812.1

This course will deal with Histochemical techniques for Lipids, Proteins Carbohydrate Enzymes and Phosphates. Macromolecules and metabolites in cells will be demonstrated. The morphology and chemistry of cells will be appreciated.


Neurobiology ANA 813.1

The gross and microscopic anatomy of nervous system will be taught. Clinical anatomy and evolution of the nervous system will be taught. Neuro transmitters in the brain and cell signaling will form a major part of the course.


Anatomical Basis of Sports Injuries ANA 814.1

The course will concentrate on the Anatomical basis of sports injuries. Muscular, skeletal and joint injuries will be taught. Differences between male and female injuries, in sports will be highlighted. Running injuries, thermal and cold injuries will be related to human anatomy.


2nd Semester:

Gross Anatomical Techniques ANA 810.2

Preparation of anatomical models, bones and preservation of human body will be taught. Students will be taught preparation of museum specimens.

Histological, Cytological and Ultrastructural Techniques ANA 811.2

This course will deal with tissue preparation and staining techniques. The general principles of Election Microscopy and interpretation of micrograph will be taught.


Biostatistics and Bioinformatics ANA812.2

This course will equip students with Biostatical methods necessary for the Analysis of experimental data.


Genetics and Teratology ANA813.2

This course will expose students to the mechanisms of hereditary, methods of study and practical application of genetics. The involvement of genetics and environmental Factors in Fontal malformations will also be taught.



The course will compare the Human Anatomy with that of other vertebrates and mammals. Evolutionary changes and adaptation will be discussed. The student will be made to become familiar with the Forms and Functions in the Animal Kingdom.


Project ANA815.1

The project work will be in one of the areas of Physical Anthropology, Histochemistry, Neuroanatomy, Histology, Reproductive Biology, and Gross Anatomy. Students will be expected to complete and submit master’s project for oral defense.




  1.  A candidate must pass in all courses including the project work before graduation.


  1.  A student shall be deemed to have withdrawn if he has not completed the programme at the end of 36 months. A Student who fails four or more course shall be asked to withdraw. Those who fail to repeat examinations shall also be asked to withdraw.


  1.  To graduate a candidate will also satisfy all the other conditions stipulated in the regulations of the Post-graduate school.






The Department of Anatomy in the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) Programme in Anatomy. The course provides intensive training in the following areas of specialization:

  1.  Cell and Tissue Science
  2.  Clinical Anatomy
  3.  Anthropologic and Forensic Anatomy
  4.  Radiological Anatomy
  5.  Developmental, Reproductive and Molecular Biology
  6.  Neuroscience



The Programme is sustained by existing Professors and Senior Lecturers in the Department as well as Visiting Senior Colleagues from Departments of Anatomy from sister Universities who have agreed to assist us in Teaching and in the Supervisor of Ph.D Research. For Multi- Disciplinary Approach in a Collegiate System, Professors from other Departments in the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences of the University of Port Harcourt are involved in this programme.



The programme is geared towards the development of scientifically oriented manpower needed in the field of Anatomy. This is to help teach and project the subject in the various medical schools across the Country and beyond.


  1. To train High Level Manpower in the Methodology of Research with a view to keeping them abreast with modem advances in Anatomy.
  2. To produce competent Basic and Clinical Anatomist for Teaching in our Medical Schools and Research Institutions.
  3. To encourage independent, logical and rational thinking with the view to contributing additional knowledge and new techniques of investigation.
  4. To produce highly trained Anatomists that can contribute appreciably to solving the medical problems in their environment using the knowledge and skills acquired from the proposed courses to be taught.



To be eligible for admission into the Ph. D programme in Anatomy, candidates must possess M. Sc Degree in Anatomy with a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.50. Interviews are conducted to assess candidates before admission and final selection is based on interview performance.



The duration of study for full time is a minimum of 2 years or 24 months and a maximum of 5years or 60 months while the minimum duration for part time is 3 years or 36 months and a maximum of 7 years or 84months.



The programme is by Course Work and Research culminating in a Dissertation. The candidate is required to register and pass 18 Credit Units of prescribed Course work.


To obtain a Ph.D in Anatomy, candidate is expected to present 3 (three) Research Seminars, one of which must be to the School of Graduate Studies.


The Ph. D is finally examined by Oral Defense of the Dissertation. The Departmental Graduate Studies Committee through the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee Board of the School of Graduate Studies appoints a Supervisor and conduct the required examinations and meet other conditions that may be specified for the Award of the degree.




lst Semester


Course Title

Credit Unit

ANA 911.1

Current Concepts in Advanced Anatomy


ANA 912.1

Research Methods


ANA 913.1

Physical and Forensic Anthropology


ANA 914.2

Radiological Anatomy


ANA 915.2

Clinical Anatomy


ANA 916.2



ANA 917.1








This course will involve literature Review on specific current topics in medical genetics, in-vitro fertilization, molecular biology, forensic sciences, medical anthropology and histochemistry.


ANA912.1: RESEARCH METHODS (3 Credit Units)

This course covers an introduction to basic scientific research, problem formulation and hypothesis testing, research designs; data collection methods and instrumentation, data analysis and uses of statistics in research, ethical considerations in research and report writing.



ANTHROPOLOGY (3 Credits Units)

This course will include biology of human variation and climatic adaptation, population genetics, adaptive physical features associated with bipedal locomotion, clinical anthropometry and essential concepts of forensic medicine and their applications.



(3 Credit Units)

This course covers imaging and radiological techniques for anatomical research, general and systemic radiology, contrast studies, scanning techniques-computerized tomography and ultrasound scanning, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging and radio- nuclide technique.


ANA915.2: CLINICAL AN ATOMY (3 Credit Units)

The course content shall in include anatomical basis of sports injuries, applied medical, surgical and dental anatomy, functional anatomy of the limbs, neck and trunk, clinical anatomy of the reproductive system.


ANA916.2: HISTOCHEMISTRY (3 Credit Units)

This course covers principles of histochemistry, and cytochemistry, histochemical techniques for lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, enzymes and phosphates, concept of the amine precursor uptake and decarboxylase system (APUD) clinical cytochemistry, electron micrography, electrocy to chemistry and diagnostic electron microcopy.


ANA917.2: DISSERTATION (6 Credit Units)

A candidate shall indicate his/her intended area of Specialization at the time of Registration for the programme. A specific Topic for the Dissertation shall be proposed and defended by the candidate at a Departmental Seminar within 6 months of Registration of the Title of the Dissertation with the School of Graduate Studies.



For a Candidate to meet the Requirement for the Award of a Ph.D Degree in Anatomy, the Candidate shall submit an acceptable Ph.D Dissertation, attain a minimum of 15 Credit Units at 900 Level Courses, present approved seminars at Departmental, Faculty and School of Graduate Studies Levels and satisfy all other Requirements as stipulated in the Graduate School Prospectus for Postgraduate Students.