Skip to main content
MenuSearch & Directory

History of CASE

The Center for Anatomical Science and Education (CASE) at Saint Louis University was established to ensure the continued excellence in educating students and physicians in the anatomical disciplines.

Early Beginnings

CASE traces its roots to the founding of the American Association of Anatomists. The opening paper at the Association's first annual meeting in 1888 was presented by Dr. August Bernays, who was a member of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the Marion-Sims-Beaumont College of Medicine. In 1903, Marion-Sims-Beaumont College of Medicine merged with the Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Under the direction of Dr. Albert C. Eycleshymer, the department at that time offered 14 different courses, in addition to special anatomy courses.

From these earliest days, we have consistently assisted SLU's medical school departments as well as the University’s dental school, nursing and allied health professions colleges and other graduate programs in their needs for courses in the anatomical sciences. 

Key Dates in CASE History


  • In 1911, Dr. Eycleshymer and Dr. Daniel Shoemaker, who joined the department in 1907, published an atlas entitled "A Cross-Sectional Anatomy." Some 60 years later, the atlas reached its greatest popularity when computer transaxial-tomography was introduced. All the illustrations were made by Tom Jones, who joined the department in 1906 as an 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 a professor of anatomy and dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Illinois.


  • When Dr. Pohlman left to become a 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, a 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 11 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 continuing medical education at the School of Medicine.


  • Upon Dr. Tolbert's retirement in 2014, Dr. John R. Martin III was appointed the interim director of CASE and became director July 2015.

Continuing a Tradition of Academic Distinction 

Throughout a 100-plus year history, CASE and the department that preceded it have been renowned for  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 honor.

In addition, for over two decades all Saint Louis University medical students have scored above the national median on National Board and Licensure examinations.