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Human Bequest Program

The Discipline of Anatomy and Pathology in the College of Medicine and Dentistry runs a donor bequest program for the purposes of teaching, examination, study and investigation of human anatomy and pathology. JCU also accepts donations of human tissue and skeletons/bones from previous historic medical training and research.

Most of the bodies donated to the program are used in the education of anatomical sciences to North Queensland's future doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, pharmacists, sports and exercise scientists, biomedical scientists, medical laboratory scientists, anthropologists, psychologists, and research scientists. Some bodies are used for the advanced training of surgeons and other specialists in short and extended courses of professional development, and some contribute to the investigation of human anatomy and pathology.

The use of human bodies for teaching and research is strictly governed by legislation, in particular, the Transplantation and Anatomy Act (1979) and the Transplantation and Anatomy Regulation 2017. Because of this legislation, donated bodies are treated with great care and respect, and stored/used in a secure facility.

“Giving your body to science is such a treasured and wonderful gift, which helps future generations of healthcare professionals, and strengthens rural and remote healthcare.”

Rod Cook, Human Bequest Coordinator and Anatomy Facility Manager

Information and Consent Forms for Prospective Donors

Download Information for Donors and their Next of Kin (PDF, 168 KB)

Download Donor Consent Form (PDF, 162 KB)

Download Donor Consent Electronic Form (PDF, 211 KB)

IMPORTANT – Please read the Information for Donors and their Next of Kin prior to completing the Donor Consent Form.

For more information, contact:

The Human Bequest Coordinator
Discipline of Anatomy
College of Medicine and Dentistry
James Cook University
Townsville QLD 4811

Phone: (07) 4781 5022

Email: humanbequest.coordinator@jcu.edu.au

Our Facilities and Booking Opportunities

The Anatomy and Pathology facilities and the Human Bequest Program are a major cornerstone of JCU’s Medical and Dental training facilities. Overseeing these operations, staffing and compliance is the Anatomy Facility Manager and the Human Bequest Program Coordinator. The Anatomy Facility Manager leads a team of highly trained specialist technicians, who bring their unique skills and attention to detail to ensure the facility is maintained to the highest standards.

The Anatomy and Pathology facilities and their associated laboratories are situated in the Townsville campus in building 46, and the Cairns campus in building D1, authorised under the Transplantation and Anatomy Act 1979 and the Transplantation and Anatomy Regulation 2017.

The operations of the facilities are underpinned by the JCU Human Bequest Program with Queensland Health legislation mandating that all donors received through the program are treated with the utmost dignity and respect at all times in secure facilities.

The facilities comprise:

  • Three large and one smaller temperature and humidity controlled anatomy laboratories
  • North Queensland’s largest and only anatomical cadaver, prosection, pathology and skeletal teaching collection
  • High end Audio Visual systems fully supported by JCU MedTech
  • Mortuary and embalming suite
  • Prosectory
  • Skeletisation facility
  • Plastination facility
  • Three refrigerated cadaver storage areas
  • Body Donor Program office
  • Large histopathology teaching and learning facility
  • Dedicated technical preparation and dissecting/prosecting areas
  • Student bag racks and hand washing bays
  • One large state of the art histopathology teaching space with VR capabilities
  • State of the art security system including controlled swipe card access and CCTV

Contact us today to discuss how we can meet your surgical training, professional development or research needs, or complete this form in as much detail as possible and email to anatomy.workshops@jcu.edu.au so we can assess your need and requirements.

JCU’s Anatomy and Pathology is a modern scientific teaching, training and research school catering to around 1200 enrolled anatomy students per week across two faculties. Our key facilities teach both undergraduate and postgraduate students studying Medicine and Dentistry, Biomedical Sciences, Allied Health and Pharmacy, Sports and Exercise Sciences, and Surgical Anatomy. We also regularly host external organisations for courses and professional development for anatomical, pathological and generalist and specialist medical training, such as the Queensland Ambulance Service, Mater Private Hospital Townsville and Medigroup EBI.

We have a range of regular surgical postgrad and CPD courses scheduled, however you can contact us today to discuss how we can meet your specific surgical training, professional development or research needs.

To either book or enquire about the use of our facilities, please use the Anatomy Pathology Room Booking form (PDF, 286 KB).

JCU hire out rooms and facilities to both internal and external groups, and may have a solution for your next conference, seminar, workshop or professional development series. The following are a few of the rooms available for hire:

Townsville: Room 46-113A (wet lab)

Capacity: 100

Equipment/Facilities:

  • Full AV
    • PC connectivity (Zoom, Collaborate, Panopto)
    • Digital Camera with zoom and rotate
    • Microphones (room and lapel)
    • Multi-room interconnectivity
  • Whiteboards

Townsville: Room 46-113B (wet lab)

Capacity: 100

Equipment/Facilities:

  • Whiteboards

Townsville: Room 46-103 (histopathology teaching lab)

Capacity: 50

Equipment/Facilities:

  • Full AV
    • PC connectivity (Zoom, Collaborate, Panopto)
    • Digital Camera with zoom and rotate
    • Microphones (room and lapel)
    • Multi-room interconnectivity
    • Whiteboards
  • Binocular microscopes (50)
  • Teaching microscope (projectable to 50 PCs, TVs and Projectors)
  • 50 PCs internet enabled

Townsville: Room 46-104 (teaching space)

Capacity: 120

Equipment/Facilities:

  • Full AV
    • PC connectivity (Zoom, Collaborate, Panopto)
    • Digital Camera with zoom and rotate
    • Microphones (room and lapel)
    • Multi-room interconnectivity
    • Whiteboards

Cairns: Room D1-118A (wet lab)

Capacity: 80

Equipment/Facilities:

  • Wet laboratory
  • Full AV
    • PC connectivity (Zoom, Collaborate, Panopto)
    • Digital Camera with zoom and rotate
    • Microphones (room and lapel)
    • Multi-room interconnectivity
    • Whiteboards

Cairns: Room D1-118B (wet lab/small group teaching space)

Capacity: 16

Equipment/Facilities:

  • Full AV
    • PC connectivity (Zoom, Collaborate, Panopto)
    • Whiteboards

Contact us today to discuss how we can meet your surgical training, professional development or research needs, or complete this form in as much detail as possible and email to anatomy.workshops@jcu.edu.au so we can assess your need and requirements.

As our population ages, families and organisations are being left with real skeletons and skeletal remains left over from past medical and health professional training. At JCU, we can rehome those skeletons and skeletal remains, by accepting them as a donation to our university. We use them for teaching and educational purposes, to around 1000 students each week.

To donate, please gather any and all documentation that comes with the skeleton (if any), and provide a Stat Dec stating the following:

  • The origin of the skeletal remains (if possible)
  • How you or your organisation came into possession of the skeletal remains
  • The history of the skeletal remains (if possible)

A Stat Dec form can be found here:

Stat Dec Form

If you have any questions on the above, please email or call the Human Bequest Coordinator at humanbequest.coordinator@jcu.edu.au or call on (07) 4781 5022.

Surgical training, professional development or research needs, contact:

Rod Cook
Anatomy Facility Manager & Human Bequest Coordinator 
T: +61 7 4781 5956
M: +61 (0) 488 092 112
E: rod.cook@jcu.edu.au