The UQ Integrated Pathology Learning Centre (IPLC) is a 21st century facility incorporating an outstanding collection of over 2500 pathology specimens in a dynamic teaching and learning environment. Displays incorporating objects from the Marks Hirschfeld Museum of Medical History collection along with the most recent information on health related topics highlight the progression in understanding of human disease from past to present.

The IPLC is located in the heart of the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) campus on the north side of Brisbane.

A satellite centre at the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) is a teaching facility that provides access to the collection for UQ medical and nursing students and clinicians on the south side of Brisbane.

At the IPLC the latest technologies are used to create interactive learning resources and displays that explore important human diseases and intriguing patient cases.

Visitors including students from a range of health programs, educators and health professionals from all clinical disciplines are invited to take advantage of the new and innovative resources and exhibition programs that the IPLC has to offer.

Night Art at the Museum

Are you a med student who is interested in art, or think you might be? The Integrated Pathology Learning Centre (IPLC) at Herston is providing an opportunity to bring out your creative side! Come along to the evening sessions during Semester 1. Meet a new mentor each week who has made the connection between art and science!

First session on Wed 21 February 2018, 6:00pm - 8:00pm at IPLC Level 6 Health Sciences Building, Herston. Details below in Learning section.

Visiting the IPLC

IPLC visitor information

  • The IPLC is open to all health professionals and health students. Photo ID may be requested.
  • UQ students enrolled in the MD program who are based at Royal Brisbane Clinical Unit will have swipe card access.
  • The IPLC is not open to the general public other than at pre-booked events.
  • Photography or filming are not permitted.
  • Food and drink, apart from water, cannot be taken into the IPLC.


Level 6 Health Sciences Building
Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH)

View the map


Monday to Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm
Closed on public holidays

Getting here


RBWH Bus Station is a 2-minute walk from the Health Sciences Building.

Bus route 66 connects RBWH station with the PA Hospital Station, Mater Hill Station and UQ St Lucia campus.

For further information about this route and other journey options use the journey planner at or call 13 12 30.


The closest train station is Bowen Hills Station. It is a 15-minute walk to the Health Sciences Building. For further information visit

Bus drop off zone

School buses can use the drop off zone in Herston Road. This zone is subject to time restrictions. It is a 3-minute walk to the Health Science Building.

Car parking

The closest multi-storey carpark is Cornerstone Parking located at the junction of Herston Road and Gilchrist Avenue. 

Brisbane City Council parking restrictions apply in all streets surrounding the hospital.

Bus parking

The closest parking suitable for buses outside the 2 hour Brisbane City Council zone is adjacent to Ballymore Stadium, Clyde Road, Herston.

Our history

The Integrated Pathology Learning Centre opened in 2010 in the recently refurbished Health Sciences Building, formerly the Clinical Sciences Building, in the centre of the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital campus. The idea that underpinned the establishment of the IPLC was the need to integrate the understanding of clinical medicine and pathology in the medical program. The University of Queensland’s pathology specimen collection was of world standard. The vision was to create a 21st century facility where the latest technologies could be used along with the pathology collection to enhance student’s understanding of the mechanisms of disease.

The University of Queensland established the School of Medicine in 1936 and James Vincent Duhig was appointed as Honorary Professor of Pathology (1937-1947). The first pathology class commenced for third year medical students in 1938. Dr Harry Wilson, a student in that cohort, recalled that the first practical pathology session, which was microscopic slide interpretation, was held in the nurses’ cooking room at the Brisbane General Hospital. Pathology teaching transferred to more appropriate accommodation at the Medical School at Herston when construction was completed in 1938. Professor Duhig collected specimens and models that formed the nucleus of the pathology museum at the Medical School. In 1950 it was named the J.V. Duhig Museum of Pathology.

Professor A.J. Canny, the first full-time Professor of Pathology (1947 - 1963), was reputed by students to set excruciatingly difficult pathology examinations. He and his colleagues, Dr T.H. Vickers and Dr J.A. Inglis, were passionate about pathology and laid firm foundations for understanding disease processes. They were instrumental in continuing the development of an outstanding pathology museum collection.

Dr Vickers, who was recruited from Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, had a long standing interest in congenital malformations of the nervous system. His work on the pathogenesis of thalidomide-induced defects was of world standard. Many of his dissections remain in the collection today.

In 1964 a new pathology museum was added to the eastern end of the Medical School.

Professor J.F.R. Kerr was Professor of Pathology from 1974 until his retirement in 1995. John Kerr completed the MBBS course at the University of Queensland in 1957 having interrupted the course for one year to do a BSc in the Pathology Department. He joined the University of Queensland Pathology Department in 1965 as a Senior Lecturer having completed a PhD under the supervision of Professor Sir Roy Cameron in London. This important work led to an active research program focusing on the revolutionary concept of cell death that he called “apoptosis”. In July 1996 the title of Emeritus Professor of Pathology was conferred by the University of Queensland. He has been the recipient of numerous international awards in acknowledgment of his work.  

While to the world John Kerr is known for his ground-breaking research on apoptosis, in Queensland he is also renowned for his contribution to medical education, having inspired a generation of medical students whom he provided with a solid foundation in the pathological basis of disease. He made enormous contributions to the Pathology Museum aiming to create a world class collection illustrating as many manifestations of the common diseases as possible. He was a meticulous dissector and would reject any specimen that was offered to him that did not reach his very high standards.

He was assisted by Museum Technical Curator Mr Alexander (Sandy) Powell, another recruit from Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. Like John Kerr, he was a meticulous expert who mounted specimens for the general teaching collection. He also provided specimens for the Professorial Departments of Medicine and Surgery that were used to reinforce the importance of clinico-pathological correlations.

As surgical and autopsy practices changed, by the early 1990’s active specimen collection had declined. Soon after John Kerr’s retirement in 1994, the teaching of pathology in the medical program was greatly reduced along with the use of the collection for teaching. Museum space was reallocated for other purposes, a phenomenon which was occurring at other sites around the world. During the period when Professor Jeremy Jass was Head of Pathology at UQ (1996 – 2001) teaching methods began to change with the provision of digital resources, including digital images of the specimens.

When the collection seemed in danger of becoming obsolete, enormous efforts were made by pathologists, educators, clinicians and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia to ensure its survival. In 2006, shortly after Professor Sunil Lakhani’s appointment as Head of the School of Medicine’s Discipline of Molecular and Cellular Pathology, a proposal to develop a centre of excellence for pathology education was put forward.

The IPLC is the culmination of that effort. Since 2010 medical and other biological science students have benefited from the teaching programs and resources on offer, secondary school students have participated in a popular outreach program and visiting students and health professionals have visited exhibitions and undertaken curator led tours.

With the latest technologies being used along with the world class specimen collection the Integrated Pathology Learning Centre has become a an outstanding 21st century facility.


Pathology Specimen Collection

The foundation of a pathological museum in Queensland was first discussed as early as 1900 at the scientific meetings of the Queensland Branch of the British Medical Association. A curator was appointed in 1901. The specimens collected were handed over to Dr J.V. Duhig in 1920, when he was visiting pathologist at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, and later to the University of Queensland’s Department of Pathology.

The oldest specimen in the collection is of lung from a young man with tuberculosis who died in 1935, a year prior to the founding of the University of Queensland Medical School. The accompanying notes describe the clinical history as well as the pathologist’s macroscopic and microscopic findings, giving a complete picture of the way that this disease developed at a time when no drug treatment was available.

The collection now includes just over 5000 specimens, most of which are at the Integrated Pathology Learning Centre (IPLC) on the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Campus. This provides a wonderful resource for students enrolled in the UQ MD program. A satellite facility at the Princess Alexandra Hospital also houses an exemplary set of specimens for MD students based on Brisbane’s southside.

The collection at the IPLC is being used in a variety of ways for teaching. Through the IPLC’s Secondary Schools program, students from regional and metropolitan schools can learn about conditions relevant to themselves and the communities in which they live.   

Specimens from the collection are also being utilised by other UQ Schools and Departments to study disease in a variety of contexts. At the School of Social Science, pathology specimens are used to give students a better understanding of disease in programs like “Bioarchaeology: Human Remains and Ancient Disease” and “Forensic Archaeology”. School of Biomedical Science students visit the IPLC to undertake teaching tours of the facility in the “Integrative Physiology and Pathophysiology” course.

Informal curator led tours conducted for students studying in other health disciplines including nursing, medical imaging and dentistry offer a new perspective to their understanding of disease.

Marks-Hirschfeld Museum of Medical History

Some remarkable objects from the UQ’s Marks-Hirschfeld Museum of Medical History are displayed at the IPLC along with pathology specimens to highlight the progression in understanding of disease from past to present.

Museum Officer
+61 7 3365 5423 (Tues and Thurs am only)


Night Art at the Museum

Are you a med student who is interested in art, or think you might be? The Integrated Pathology Learning Centre (IPLC) at Herston is providing an opportunity to bring out your creative side! Come along to the evening sessions during Semester 1. Meet a new mentor each week who has made the connection between art and science!

First session on Wed 21 February 2018, 6:00pm - 8:00pm at IPLC Level 6 Health Sciences Building, Herston. 

Wednesdays 21 Feb, 28 Feb, 7 Mar, 14 Mar, 21 Mar, 11 Apr, 18 Apr at IPLC

Thursday 26 April 2018 (Wednesday is Anzac Day)

Exhibition: for student artists, their family and friends Wednesday 16 May 2018 at 6pm at the IPLC. 

These sessions are flexible so students are welcome to attend one, several or all of the sessions.

Mentors' Biographies

JAY DEE DEARNESS, Designer and artist

Jay Dee Dearness is a designer and artist with 18 years’ experience in the design and construction industry spanning architecture, interiors, landscape design and public art.

As an independent consultant, Jay Dee is committed to improving human health and wellness within the built environment using her professional training as an interior designer.  Her expertise includes community engagement and knowledge of best practice in industry through building standards such as WELL, Greenstar, the Living Building Challenge and holistic tools such as LENSES and the principles of Biophilia.

Jay Dee has worked across Brisbane and Melbourne, travelled extensively and recently completed her Master of Arts in Visual Arts - combining her practical experience with theoretical training.  It is this experience, along with her background in community engagement through the arts as a practicing professional artist, art teacher and curator that uniquely equips her to handle the varied challenges of her work.

KARIN SELLBERG, Literary scholar: gender studies, medical humanities and history of medicine

 Karin Sellberg is a lecturer in humanities at the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry, University of Queensland. She is primarily a literary scholar with research interests in feminist philosophy, gender studies, medical humanities and the history of medicine. In the past five years, she has worked extensively with medical students and practitioners, on means of rethinking the difference and similarities between scientific and aesthetic conceptions of the human body. She has particularly focused on questions of what defines 'life', what we consider a 'healthy' human body, and how to accommodate gender difference in medical practice. She has published two books on Corporality and Culture: Bodies in Movement (2015), and Gender and Time (2018), and she has a forthcoming book on transgender conceptions of the body, and the construction of transgender in medical discourse.

SALVATORE DI MAURO, Senior Lecturer (retired), Griffith University - Queensland College of Art, and artist

Salvatore Di Mauro is a retired Senior Lecturer from the Design Department of the Queensland College of Art Griffith University.

His approach to art and design is one of investigating, discovering, analysing and materialising those cultural values, which are built on a strong sense of history and shaped to support a contemporary lifestyle.

His art and design practice has been informed by the relationship between vernacular culture, object and environment. Since 1997, he has focused less on the exhibition of his artwork in a gallery context and more in working with local communities to develop public art and design work which responds to the history and culture of place. He finds the opportunity to work with communities and creative thinkers/artists/crafts persons/designers and local industry, both challenging and rewarding. One of his significant projects was the Childers Backpacker Memorial.

MADELEINE KERSTING FLYNN, Medical and scientific illustrator, QIMR Berghofer

Madeleine Kersting Flynn has been a medical and scientific illustrator for QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute for the past 12 years. Before coming to Australia, she was the Director of Art and Photography at the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry. She creates illustrations and animations for scientists and medical professionals to visually communicate complex biomedical subjects in both 2D and 3D.

Madeleine will explain how and why she came into this unusual field of work, and guide participants in a casual hands-on drawing workshop. (Beginners through to experienced welcome!)

GAEL PHILLIPS, Anatomical pathologist and artist

Dr Gael Philips graduated MBBS (University of Adelaide) in 1968 and after a period in Research and General Practice trained as a Specialist Anatomical Pathologist, gaining an FRCPA in 1984.  Her father, ES Phillips, was an art teacher/artist in Western Australia and while Dr Phillips was growing up the arts played a major role in family life.  She participated in artistic activities, competitions and exhibitions from an early age.  During her years of training in medicine, Dr Phillips found drawing to be a very useful skill in areas such as botany, zoology and anatomy, especially neuroanatomy.  During her practice as an Anatomical Pathologist, the drawing of diagrams of specimens was essential in the preparation of many pathology reports.  Dr Phillips is very interested in the relationship between science and art, in particular in the relationship between mathematics and art.  During the last 17 years, she has learnt etching and her etchings include medical subjects, mathematical and abstract motifs.  Dr Phillips believes that drawing is an essential life skill and that everyone undertaking medical training can to be taught to draw.  In addition to being useful in the practice of medicine, drawing in all forms also provides useful recreation.

ELIZABETH STEPHENS, ARC Future Fellow  and author

Elizabeth Stephens is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland, and author of three monographs: A Critical Genealogy of Normality (University of Chicago Press, 2017), Anatomy as Spectacle: Public Exhibitions of the Body from 1700 to the Present (Liverpool University Press, 2011), and Queer Writing: Homoeroticism in Jean Genet's Fiction (Palgrave 2009). She is currently researching the cultural history of the experiment and practices of experimentation, from early modern science to contemporary experimental art, focusing on collaborations between the arts and sciences in this history.

SUSAN BYTH, General Practitioner and artist

Dr Susan Byth studied medicine at UQ graduating with honours in 1977. While working as a general practitioner she also studied a Diploma of Fine Arts at the Queensland College of Arts at Seven Hills. Susan established her own general practice in Highgate Hill in 1987. After having four children, she began painting in 1995 and over the next 10 years had 10 large solo exhibitions and several smaller ones. The exhibitions included “Recreations” about sport in the Australian landscape, “Modern Madonnas” depicting motherhood, “Up Front on View” focussing on female sexuality, “Jillaroos” about multi-tasking modern women and “Holidays”. She stopped painting in 2005. Throughout the period when she painted, and since, she has worked in general practice.

CLAIRE EDWARDS, Art therapist and social worker

Claire Edwards is an art therapist and art therapy educator with over 30 years of clinical experience. Claire has worked in adult mental health, trauma and alcohol and drug rehabilitation in London and Brisbane. She has worked with traumatised children, young people and families for the last 15 years, in a range of different services, where she became interested in attachment and brain-based approaches to psychotherapy, as an extension of her training in art therapy. 

In 2013, she completed a Masters of Social Work at QUT, and is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker. Claire now works in private practice at Kooky Clinic and is an art therapy lecturer at University of Queensland, on the Masters of Mental Health - Art Therapy program.

LAUREN SQUIRES, Medical student and artist

Lauren Squires is a fourth year medical student, and self-taught watercolour artist. With an undergrad in molecular biology and a Masters of Public Health, Lauren entered medicine with a rudimentary understanding of the human body.  In an effort to survive the learning curve of first year, she began illustrating her notes (and utilizing Harry Potter themed mnemonics) to improve her comprehension.

 A side effect of the dire need to improve her anatomy knowledge, Lauren's work is a whimsical take on human anatomy. She has been lucky enough to create works for the anatomically-enthused worldwide, and runs a successful Etsy store. When not studying or painting, you'll find her curled up with a book and a mug of earl grey, or defending Robbins as the greatest textbook of all time.

Schools Program

The IPLC conducts a 2 hour program for Year 11 and 12 secondary students. The program is co-ordinated by the UQ School Liaison Team.

For information visit the UQ in Schools website

Contact us

Phone: +61 7 3346 5130

To contact a member of staff directly, see below:

Dr Julie Ayre
+61 7 3346 5130

Neville Zell
Museum Technician
+61 7 3346 5129