Dr Leo Donnelly

Leo Donnelly stood outside main reception at St John's campus, University of Worcester

Principal Lecturer in Anatomy


Contact Details

email: leo.donnelly@worc.ac.uk

Leo has enjoyed teaching and demonstrating Anatomy, principally to medical students, for over thirty years at a number of UK and Irish medical schools, often alongside research investigating aspects of the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Nowadays Leo focuses on the pedagogy of Anatomy learning.





BSc (Hons)

Teaching Interests

Leo is a Principal Lecturer and Lead in Anatomy and as such has interests in optimising the learning of the structure of all regions and systems of the human body. He has particular interests in how this might be achieved with Computer-Aided Learning (CAL), but also with haptic modelling. He also has interests in the history of Anatomy, its depiction in Art and the etymology of Anatomical terminology.

Research Interests

Leo has research interests in medical education, especially aspects involving the teaching and learning of Anatomy and in particular the use of imaging modalities such as ultrasound.

He also has extensive research expertise in the use of electron and light microscopy to investigate microvascular permeability and nerve regeneration, and also has interests in the establishment of surgical ‘safe zones’ to minimise iatrogenic damage. He is also interested in the abilities of students of healthcare professions to discriminate left and right and possible interventions to improve patient safety.

Leo is also interested in interdisciplinary research into the history of Anatomy teaching with cadavers, and the use of drawing, painting and sculpture to improve learning of the subject.

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • Anatomical Society
  • Advance HE (Higher Education Academy)

Recent Publications


  • Donnelly, L., Evans, L.A., Agbeja, I., Ononeme, O. and Moyes, S.M. (in preparation) A Novel, Clinically-applied Visual Pathway Teaching Resource.
  • Donnelly, L. (2020) The Brain: Functional Divisions. Anaesth. & Int. Care Med., 21(6), 322-327
  • Donnelly, L. and Campling, G. (2016) Functions of the Placenta. Anaesth. & Int. Care Med., 17(7), 349-353
  • Patten, D., Donnelly, L. and Richards, S. (2010) Studying living anatomy: the use of portable ultrasound in the undergraduate medical curriculum. Int. J. Clin. Skills, 4(2), 72-77
  • McLachlan, J.C., White, P., Donnelly, L. and Patten, D. (2010) Student attitudes to peer physical examination: a qualitative study of changes in expressed willingness to participate. Medical Teacher 32(2): e101-e105
  • McLachlan, J.C., White, P., Donnelly, L. and Patten, D. (2009) PPE: Focus Group Interviews of Student Views, Medical Teacher, 32(2), e101-105
  • Donnelly, L., Patten, D., White, P. and Finn, G. (2009) Virtual Human Dissector as a Learning Tool for Studying Cross-sectional Anatomy. Medical Teacher, 31(6), 553-555
  • Gamie, Z., Donnelly, L. and Tsiridis, E. (2009) The “Safe Zone” in Medial Percutaneous Calcaneal Pin Placement, Clin. Anat., 22(4), 523-529
  • Siththanandan, V.B., Donnelly, J.L. and Ferenczi, M.A. (2006) Effect of Strain on Actomyosin Kinetics in Isometric Muscle Fibers. Biophys. J., 90, 3653-3665
  • Kingsbury, M.P., Huang, W., Donnelly J.L., Jackson, E., Needham, E., Turner, M.A. & Sheridan, D.J. (2003) Structural remodelling of lungs in chronic heart failure. Basic Res. Cardiol., 98(5), 295-303
  • Dye, J.F., Jablenska, R., Donnelly, J.L., Lawrence, L., Leach, L., Clark, P. and Firth, J.A. (2001) Phenotype of the endothelium in the human term placenta. Placenta, 22, 32-43
  • Huang, W., Kingsbury, M.P., Turner, M.A., Donnelly, J.L., Flores, N.A. and Sheridan, D.J. (2001) Capillary filtration is reduced in lungs adapted to chronic heart failure: morphological and haemodynamic correlates. Cardiovasc. Res., 49, 207-217
  • Ward, B.J. and Donnelly, J.L. (1994a) The endothelial vesicular system in cardiac capillaries subjected to hypoxia. Microvasc. Res., 48, 143-150
  • Ward, B.J. and Donnelly, J.L. (1993) Hypoxia-induced disruption of the cardiac endothelial glycocalyx: Implications for capillary permeability. Cardiovasc. Res., 27, 384-389

Book Chapters

  • Donnelly, L. (in press) Visual Field Defects in The Essential Guide to the UKMLA (Cambridge University Press)
  • Donnelly, L. (in prep.) Organomegaly in The Essential Guide to the UKMLA (Cambridge University Press)

External Roles

  • Former External Examiner at University of Manchester (3 years) and St George’s Medical School (4 years)
  • Former Person Designate on Human Tissue Authority License