History of Medicine

History of Medicine

HEADQUARTERS Istituto di Igiene, via Loredan 18; Istituto di Anatomia Patologica, via Gabelli 61

CHIEF Prof. Fabio Zampieri


Reasearch activity

The Unit of History of Medicine is responsible for researches in history of medicine, bioethics, medical museology and paleopathology.

The history of medicine, realized through bibliographic and archive researches, is particularly focused on the history of Padua Medical School from Middle Age to our days. Specific research areas are the pre-Vesalian anatomical school of 15th century; the anatomical school of the Renaissance; the achievements in physiology during the 17th century; the anatomo-clinical revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries; the birth of medical specialties in the 19th and the 20th centuries. Other research areas are the history of cardiology and the Darwin’s impact on the medical sciences. Finally, the nature and development of scientific method in medicine is investigated both from a historical and an epistemological point of view.

Bioethics is focused on the current debates about the doctor-patient relationship and the application of technology in medicine. Moreover, the history of medical ethics and deontology is investigated from the Hippocratic Oath to the birth of Deontological Codes in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Medical Museology and Paleopathology are mainly focused on the study and preservation of the 1.300 specimens of the Morgagni Museum of Pathology. The former Institute of Pathology of the University of Padua preserves the original autopsy reports from its foundation in 1855, and in several cases is possible to correlate museum specimens and autopsy reports, for a better contextualization of the history and nature of the specimens. These latter are studied also with regard to the technique employed for their realization (i.e. dry or in formalin). The study of pathology represented by each specimen is carried out through a combination of historical and laboratory methods (histological, genetic and medical imaging analyses).


At the University of Padua, the Unit collaborates with the “Interdepartmental Centre for the History of Medicine” (CIMS), the “Centre for the History of the University of Padua” (CSUP) and the “University Museums Centre” (CAM).

At national and international levels, the Unit collaborates, in particular, with the “Centro Socio-Sanitario Prospero Alpini” of the City of Marostica (Vicenza, Italy), the “Interdepartmental Centre for the Ancient Medicine” (RIMA) of the University of Udine (Udine, Italy), and the “Centre for the Study of Medicine and the Body in the Renaissance”, Domus Comeliana (Pisa, Italy).



“Medical Humanities” for the Degree Course in Medicine & Surgery, Padova and Treviso

“The Approach to Patients” for the English Degree Course in Medicine & Surgery, Padova

“History of Medicine and Dentistry” for the Degree Course in Odontoiatria e Protesi Dentaria, Padova

“Bioethics” for the Degree Course in Scienze delle Professioni Sanitarie Tecniche Diagnostiche, Padova

“Deontology and Professional Development” for the Degree Course in Tecniche di Laboratorio Biomedico, Padova

“Bioethics” per Specialty School in Hygiene, Padova



DOCENTI: prof. Fabio Zampieri; prof. Maurizio Rippa Bonati


DOTTORANDI: dr. Andrea Cozza

ASSEGNISTI: dr. Giovanni Magno