Dr Maniccam Thavarajah is a Senior Anatomist and a key facilitator of anatomy education in the Human Anatomy Unit, Department of Surgery, Imperial College London since 2009. He is also a co-lead for the Clinical Skills Domain in the MBBS curriculum. He has been teaching anatomy to undergraduate (and graduate entry- till 2015) medical students, and leading the clinical skills sessions in Phase 1a & 1b medical curriculum.
Thavarajah has been teaching human anatomy for more than 37 years in several universities (Imperial College London, University of Southampton, University of Sheffield, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman, and University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka). He has wide experience in teaching all branches of human anatomy (including histology and embryology) across case based, system based, and regional anatomy courses to medical, dental, allied health sciences, and postgraduate surgery students. He has been a postgraduate tutor in anatomy for Core Surgical Trainees at the Royal College of Surgeons (England) until 2017.
Thavarajah has major interests in teaching clinical skills, clinical anatomy, imaging anatomy, living and surface anatomy and medical education. In addition, with his dentistry background, he has special interest and excellent expertise in teaching Head & Neck anatomy, dental histology, and dental embryology to dental undergraduates and postgraduates. He believes that anatomy should be taught in self-directed small groups with hands-on approach and it should be contextualised, functionally relevant, and clinically important.
Thavarajah has been an external examiner in anatomy at four UK universities concurrently between 2014-20 (Keele University-MBBS, University-MBBS, and King’s College London-MBBS, University of Manchester-BDS, and University of Sheffield – BMS & MSc).
Before joining Imperial, Thavarajah was a Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of the Centre for Learning Anatomical Sciences (CLAS), University of Southampton. Here, he has developed and implemented an entire anatomy curriculum for the new Graduate Entry Medicine (BM4) course that started in 2004. For this work at Southampton, he received the Vice Chancellor’s Teaching Award in 2007.
Thavarajah graduated in Dentistry from University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka in 1974. He has practised clinical dentistry until 1980. In 1975, he has also taken up an anatomy lectureship in the same university. In 1980, He went on to complete his MMedSc and PhD degrees in University of Sheffield, UK. He wrote his master’s thesis on ‘the Role of Cytoskeleton in the Secretion in the Rabbit Parotid Gland’ and his PhD thesis on ‘Studies of the Functional and Phenotypic Characterization of Human Bone Cells in vitro and in vivo’. The postgraduate degrees were supported by WHO Oral Health Fellowship and Yorkshire Cancer Research Council Scholarship.
Thavarajah has received a Monash Research Scholarship in 1982 and worked for two years as a pre-implantation mammalian embryologist in the human in-vitro fertilization (IVF) team, led by Professor Carl Wood, at Monash University, Australia. Here, he evaluated in vitro culture systems for early embryos, assisted in the routine operation of embryo culture laboratory, and undertook light and electron microscopic study of early embryos. He was also in-charge of operation of a Siemens Electron Microscope in the IVF laboratory.
Back in the UK, Thavarajah worked as postdoctoral research associate on an MRC programme grant for six years in the Human Bone Research group (currently - The Mellanby Centre for Bone Research) led by Professors RGG Russell and JA Kanis at the University of Sheffield. His main focus of the research was on the differentiation, characterization, and function of human osteoblasts and osteoclasts by using a variety of techniques involving cell and organ cultures, enzyme histochemistry, immunocytochemistry, light and electron microscopy.
Currently, Thavarajah is a member of the British Association of Clinical Anatomists (BACA), Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland (ASGBI), Institute of Anatomical Sciences (IAS), and Association of Science Educators in Dentistry (ASEiD).
et al., 1994, Studies on type II collagen and aggrecan production in human articular chondrocytes in vitro and effects of transforming growth factor-beta and interleukin-1beta., Osteoarthritis Cartilage, Vol:2, ISSN:1063-4584, Pages:235-245
THAVARAJAH M, EVANS DB, KANIS JA, 1993, DIFFERENTIATION OF HETEROGENEOUS PHENOTYPES IN HUMAN OSTEOBLAST CULTURES IN RESPONSE TO 1,25-DIHYDROXYVITAMIN-D3, Bone, Vol:14, ISSN:8756-3282, Pages:763-767
et al., 1991, ACTIONS OF CALCIPOTRIOL (MC-903), A NOVEL VITAMIN-D3 ANALOG, ON HUMAN BONE-DERIVED CELLS - COMPARISON WITH 1,25-DIHYDROXYVITAMIN-D3, Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, Vol:6, ISSN:0884-0431, Pages:1307-1315
THAVARAJAH M, EVANS DB, KANIS JA, 1991, 1,25(OH)2D3 INDUCES DIFFERENTIATION OF OSTEOCLAST-LIKE CELLS FROM HUMAN BONE-MARROW CULTURES, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol:176, ISSN:0006-291X, Pages:1189-1195
EVANS DB, THAVARAJAH M, KANIS JA, 1991, IMMUNOREACTIVITY AND PROLIFERATIVE ACTIONS OF BETA-2 MICROGLOBULIN ON HUMAN BONE-DERIVED CELLS-INVITRO, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol:175, ISSN:0006-291X, Pages:795-803