The Center for Anatomical Science and Education at Saint Louis University traces its roots through the former Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology to the founding of the American Association of Anatomists. The opening paper at the first annual meeting of the Association in 1888 was presented by Dr. August Bernays, who was a member of the Department at that time. Actually, the School was called the Marion-Sims-Beaumont College of Medicine until 1903 when it became the Saint Louis University School of Medicine. The Department of Anatomy was the first of the five original departments organized at the time Saint Louis University took over.
In the very earliest announcement of the department in 1903, when Dr. Albert C. Eycleshymer became its first director under the University, 14 different courses were listed as actually being given by the department, in addition to special anatomy courses. From these earliest traditions the Department has consistently assisted the other medical school departments as well as the Dental, Graduate, Nursing, and Allied Health Professions schools in their needs for courses in the anatomical sciences.
In 1911, Dr. Eycleshymer and Dr. Daniel Shoemaker, who joined the department in 1907, published an atlas entitled: "A Cross-Sectional Anatomy" which, some 60 years later, reached its greatest popularity when computer transaxial tomography was introduced. All the illustrations were made by Mr. Tom Jones who joined the Department in 1906 as Instructor in Drawing.
In 1913, Dr. Augustus G. Pohlman, Professor and Director of the Department of Anatomy at Creighton University, succeeded Dr. Eycleshymer who became Professor of Anatomy and Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Illinois.
When Dr. Pohlman left to become Professor of Anatomy and Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota in 1930, Dr. Shoemaker became the Chairman of Anatomy, while Dr. Albert Kuntz, who joined the Department in 1913, became Chairman of Microanatomy. Upon the retirement of Dr. Schoemaker in 1946, Anatomy and Microanatomy were combined under the direction of Dr. Kuntz. Following the sudden death of Dr. Kuntz in January, 1957, Dr. Kermit Christensen, who had joined the Department in 1929, became the Acting Chairman. In 1962, Dr. Ronan O'Rahilly was recruited by the President of the University, Fr. Paul Reinert, to become Chairman of Anatomy, the position that he held until 1969 when he became Director of the Carnegie Laboratories of Embryology in Baltimore, Maryland. He was succeeded by Dr. Paul A. Young, who joined the Department in 1957.
Research during the Albert Kuntz era dealt almost exclusively with the autonomic nervous system. Since then there has been a wider variety of topics, but during the past two decades neurobiology has been the central theme. For this reason, in 1987 "Neurobiology" was added to the Department name.
The Center for Anatomical Science and Education (CASE) was formed in 2004 and constituted with eight of the eleven primary faculty in the former Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology. From 2004 to 2014, Dr. Daniel L. Tolbert, served as the Director of CASE, which also oversees the operations of Practical Anatomy and Surgical Education (PASE) and the School of Medicine Continuing Medical Education. Upon Dr. Tolbert's retirement in 2014, Dr. John R. Martin, III was appointed the Director of CASE.
Throughout its 100-plus year history, the department is renowned for its teaching excellence. Since the inception in 1970 of the Golden Apple Award for Outstanding Preclinical Teacher, 19 graduating medical classes have chosen members of the Department for this coveted award. In addition, for over two decades the anatomy scores of the medical students have been more above the National median on National Board and Licensure examinations than any other medical school department. The Center for Anatomical Science and Education was established to ensure the continued excellence in educating students and physicians in the anatomical disciplines.