University of Leicester eBulletin

International Accolade for University Website

June 2002
No 121

virtual autopsy site home page

A prestigious American science journal has ranked a University of Leicester website as being among the top in the world.

Scientific American magazine has named 'The Virtual Autopsy', a website run by the University's Pathology Department, in its annual Sci/Tch Web Awards 2002.

The magazine is recognised for chronicling major innovations and scientific discoveries, and its awards name the fifty best Web resources for those seeking science and technology information. The University website has been recognised for being informative, interesting and fun as well as being an extremely valuable science and technology resource.

Jon Naylor, Computer Manager in the Department of Pathology, said: "The website was set up five years ago as a teaching aid for our medical undergraduates but it is now used by at least 175 academic institutions all over the world.

"Even people who train mortuary technicians in the States use our website. I also put down its popularity due to the fact that autopsy and the reasons as to why people die are still perhaps semi-taboo subjects. It is not morbid web surfers that visit the site but groups of people whose vocations utilise the information we provide."

'The Virtual Autopsy' takes the form of a quiz. It provides a list of the causes of death, a description of the body and the findings of the autopsy. Users are asked to establish cause of death based on the information they are provided with. If the wrong answer is given then the user learns from his or her errors. The website contains accessible language and is not burdened with technical terms.

Mr Naylor added: "We did not go looking for this award but they found us.  Everyone involved in the website is delighted to receive such high recognition but we do not claim to provide a world service. Our real purpose is to serve our medical undergraduates, although it never ceases to amaze me just how much the website is relied upon by institutions around the world."

Visit 'The Virtual Autopsy':

Details of the awards can be found at:

NOTE TO NEWSDESK: For more information please contact Jon Naylor Computer Manager, Department of Pathology, University of Leicester Tel +44(0)116 252 3226.

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Information supplied by: Barbara Whiteman
Last updated: June 2002
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