The Institute of Anatomy was founded alongside the Faculty of Medicine in 1919 and initially sited at the previous faculty building at Zaloška 4, the original location of the city morgue and coroner’s office. Since its establishment, the Institute has been led by Prof. Dr. Janez Plečnik, Prof. Dr. Valentina Kobe, Prof. Dr. Milan Cunder, Prof. Dr. Anton Širca, Prof. Dr. Alenka Dekleva, Prof. Dr. Dean Ravnik, and currently, by Prof. Dr. Erika Cvetko.
From the Institute’s founding until its relocation to the new Faculty of Medicine building on Korytkova ulica 2, the conditions for teaching and research were poor. For many years, the Institute also faced a shortage of personnel. Despite the challenges, teachers made great efforts to ensure that classes were held without interruption. After numerous partial adaptations and ad hoc solutions to spatial constraints, the Institute of Anatomy moved to the basement and ground floor of the new Faculty of Medicine building in the fall of 1987. It was equipped with state-of-the-art chambers for storing anatomical preparations. For teaching purposes, the Institute was provided with six smaller classrooms, each with 32 seats.
The teaching work at the Institute of Anatomy includes lectures and practical exercises for undergraduate programs, primarily for students of general medicine and dental medicine, but also for students of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Faculty of Education, and Faculty of Health Sciences. Anatomy instruction for undergraduate students is divided into four subjects: Anatomy, Anatomy for Dental Medicine, Structure and Function of the Nervous System, and Functional and Clinically Applied Histology and Anatomy, which are adapted in structure and content to meet the varied needs of the different categories of students. The knowledge and skills gained from the topographic and functional anatomy lectures and practical exercises will subsequently enable students to recognize pathologically altered structures and form the basis for understanding how the human body functions. Postgraduate education also takes place at the Institute in collaboration with professional domestic and international associations.
The Institute currently employs ten pedagogical staff members: Prof. Dr. Erika Cvetko, Prof. Dr. Marija Hribernik, Asst. Prof. Dr. Marija Meznarič, Asst. Prof. Dr. Viktorija Smerdu, Asst. Prof. Dr. Vita Čebašek, Asst. Prof. Dr. Nejc Umek, Asst. Prof. Dr. Janez Dolenšek, Asst. Dr. Anja Boc, Asst. Dr. Larisa Stojanovič, and Asst. Žiga Šink.
Besides a remarkable tradition of excellence in anatomy education, the Institute also boasts a long and productive history in skeletal muscle research spanning several decades. Current research commitments in the last few years have expanded to include a wide spectrum of investigations on skeletal muscle, fascia, and neuromuscular diseases, regional anaesthesia, neurotoxicity of new forms of local anaesthetics, neurodegeneration and biomechanics for creating a numerical model of the human body. Besides pedagogical staff members researchers Prof. Dr. Tatjana Stopar Pintarič, Prof. Dr. Igor Serša, Chiedozie Kenneth Ugwoke, Efua Gyakye Ewusi-Brown also participate in reserch at the institute. In addition, the Institute actively collaborates with several research institutions in Slovenia (University Clinical Centre Ljubljana, Institute of Chemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Biotechnical Faculty, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Jožef Stefan Institute, Valdoltra Orthopaedic Hospital) and abroad (the University of Padua, Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi of Milan, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, NewYork School of Regional Anesthesia, CEU San Pablo University School of Medicine, Madrid, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Ruđer Bošković Institute and University Hospital Center, Zagreb).
The Institute is also involved in the project for biopsy diagnostics of neuromuscular diseases. The Tissue Bank of Muscle Biopsies of Neuromuscular Diseases of the University of Ljubljana, which is located at the Institute, is included in the international EuroBioBank.