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Research Department of Anatomy

Research Activities in the Department

The Department of Anatomy focuses on the biology of the human body in health and disease. It includes the traditional disciplines of Macroscopic Anatomy, Microscopic Anatomy and Developmental Anatomy alongside innovative research programmes that draw basic and clinical scientists together.  Our research comprises several integrated themes based on anthropometry, developmental biology, infertility, oncology and musculoskeletal biology.  Whilst these research themes are particular strengths of the Department, there is a great deal of crossover and collaboration between researchers from different groupings and it is partly this interaction that brings fresh ideas and insights and the ability to tackle novel research problems. We also have many collaborations across the University, including Biological Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Pathology, Pharmacology and Molecular Medicine.

Ultrasonography of the Human Endometrium in Fertile and Infertile Women

Research in this group focuses on the ultrasonography of the thickness and texture of the endometrium throughout the stages of the menstrual cycle to produce a data bank for the quick evaluation of the endometrium in infertile women.

Morphological Aspects of Human Implantation using a Human Trophoblastic Cell Line, Human Placental Cells and Human Endometrium

The human implantation studies is at the forefront of research on morphological interactions of human trophoblast and endometrium.  Such models provide powerful insights into the morphology of “BeWo cells” as a useful substitute for human trophoblast as well as providing a model for in vitro study of some of the early aspects of human implantation. 

Anthropometric assessment of Ghanaian skeletal remains, fingerprint patterns, palmprint, foot and handprint dimensions, height, finger length, blood group, dental record,  digit ratios, armspan measurements and facial morphology

We use osteometric indices for sex determination of Ghanaian skeletal remains. Skeletal elements that are used for these analyses include the humerus, clavicle, scapula, femur, tibia and the bony pelvis. Since variations exist between skeletal proportions from different geographical areas, there is the need to base sex identification on population specific standards and to provide baseline data for the metric sex determination of Ghanaian skeletal remains.

We have also been involved in a number of collaborative projects investigating fingerprint patterns, footprint and handprint dimensions and their relationship to blood groups and dental records in Ghanaians in order to establish baseline biometric data.  In addition, we are investigating the relationship between digit ratios and stature.  Facial anthropometric indices are determined to establish tribal differences.  This cephalometric model could be used by facial recognition systems for age determination and historical photographic analysis.

Morphological Studies on Human Female Infertility-Luteal Phase Defect, Anovulation, Uterine Fibroids, Correlation of Human Uterine Tube Scarring and Infertility

Knowledge about trends in infertility is crucial to efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of prevention campaigns, assess levels of infertility, implement new prevention interventions, and better understand and predict levels of fertility and population growth.  The understanding of such normal architectural designs and functional processes is required to appreciate the consequences when such processes are perturbed

Research in this area has established baseline data on “out of phase”/luteal phase defective endometrial morphology in Infertile Women.  Defective luteal phase development has been shown to affect fertility by rendering the uterine lining non-receptive around the peri-implantation period.

Morphological Variations in Human Umbilical Cords and placentae

To contribute to the sparse information on dimensional variations on the morphology of the placenta and  umbilical cord in Ghana and fetal wellbeing.

Morphometric and Qualitative Studies on Tumours of the Ovaries, Uterine Cervix, Testes and Colon

This research focuses on the use of quantitative and qualitative microscopic anatomy techniques for the classification of cancers.