As a child Stephen was fascinated with science and conducting experiments.

Now he uses his scientific expertise to preserve and look after donated bodies before they’re used to teach medical and dental students about human anatomy.

Stephen is responsible for the smooth operation of the Human Anatomy laboratories in the Medical School at the University of Manchester. He talks to potential body donors and their families and makes sure the lab sticks to laws and regulation, like the Human Tissues Act (2004), while managing a team of laboratory technicians and preparing solutions that will preserve bodies for up to three years.

With a team of technicians whose backgrounds vary from cleaning to holding an MSc in Anatomical Science, Stephen is the first to admit “it’s the kind of occupation you tend to fall into by accident!”. He himself began his career as a Funeral Director.

What holds the team together is a shared fascination with science and human anatomy, as well as strong people skills that help them deal sensitively with people’s loved ones and facilitate their final wishes.

“It is always essential that we treat our body donors and their relatives and friends as we would wish for ourselves and our loved ones, do this and we won’t go far wrong.”

Click here, to read more about Stephen’s story.

To find out more about technician careers with Manchester University click here. 

Stephen - Career Pathway

  • 1992
    Graduated with a BSc in Geology from the University of Manchester
  • 1992
    Began a placement at the Co-Operative Funeral Home
  • 1993
    Began training as a Funeral Director
  • 1997
    Became a qualified Funeral Director at the Co-Operative Funeral Service
  • 2000
    Became a qualified embalmer after completing The British Institute of Embalmers Diploma of Embalming at the North West School of Embalming. At the time, this was the only embalming qualification available in the UK and is internationally renowned.
  • 2001
    Became a Trainee Mortuary Technician at the University of Manchester.
  • 2007
    Became the Technical Manager for Human Anatomy and Surgical Skills at the University of Manchester.


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