History | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
students on campus
Texas Tech University Class of 72

History of TTUHSC Gross Anatomy

In 1973 a Gross Anatomy Lab, and other teaching labs, were converted from dormitory space at Drane and Thompson Halls on the Texas Tech University campus. The Medical School enrollment at that time was 20 students using 10 cadavers. The lab included 10 workstations, a Willed Body Program space that could accommodate up to 24 reserve cadavers, and a small preparation area. The number of Willed Body Donors increased rapidly requiring additional space to be renovated in the basement of Gaston Hall to house additional reserve cadavers. The teaching lab and Willed Body Program space included approximately 3000 square feet. 

In 1974, ground was broken for the current Texas Tech University Health Science Center facility. The Human Gross Anatomy Lab and Willed Body Program Space in the new facility was built specifically for the unique anatomical and Willed Body Program requirements. The footprint of the facility was approximately 7000 square feet, built with the intent of tripling the number of workstations for future growth of the Medical School and Willed Body Program. The cadaver storage space had a capacity for 115 reserve cadavers, and a larger preparation area as well as cold storage space for anatomical specimens. 

By 1980, the field of licensed healthcare professional education programs was erupting, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language pathology programs. The popularity of Willed Body Donation also grew. In 1994, the lab was renovated to include one additional row of tanks, adding about 500 square feet, increasing the total square footage to approximately 7,500 square feet. This was the last major revision of the original space. Despite this expansion, by 2000, the facility had figuratively begun to bulge at the seams. The lab and the Willed Body Program both experienced maximum capacity occupancy on a regular basis and there was an additional need for specialized group space. Occupancy became such an issue that classes had to divide their lab time to meet fire code requirements.

In 2017, ground was broken for the west expansion of the current Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. In this expansion, the entire first floor was dedicated for the new Institute of Anatomical Sciences and Willed Body Program facility. The footprint of this facility is 19,000 square feet complete with administrative spaces for Anatomical Sciences and Willed Body Program operations. Within the new facility there are six human gross anatomy laboratories, varying in purpose and square footage. These spaces include research, neuro anatomy, surgical skills, small group training and an expansive 7,000 square foot main academic teaching lab, incorporating 56 cadaver workstations and a 250+ person occupancy. All of the anatomical sciences laboratory spaces are equipped with state of the art lighting and technology that will be used by faculty and students alike to enhance the educational and dissection experience in the space. The Willed Body Program space is equipped with a private enclosed garage for donor loading and unloading, a cadaver holding facility for 250 bodies, a large multiple station receiving and preparation room, and a larger cold storage facility for anatomical specimens.

The Institute of Anatomical Sciences was established to provide institutional level, interdisciplinary organization to facilitate the anatomical education, research, and outreach missions of all schools of the TTUHSC.

Got Questions?

We're here to help. Contact us if you have questions.

Institute of Anatomical Sciences
3601 4th Street; Stop 6528
806-743-3555
anatomical.sciences@ttuhsc.edu