Here is a nice story about the ancient Barts Pathology lab helping advance modern medical science a teensy bit over the tragic Kawasaki disease:
“Gee’s post-mortem examination findings, preserved in a single paragraph written in 1871, recorded signs of damage called aneurysms in the coronary arteries running across the surface of the boy’s heart.”
For me, this museum story began in 2006. Professor Will Ayliffe and I were aghast at the state of deliberate neglect when we made an ‘illegal’ tour of the then abandoned facility. I was on a board with the Clinical Pathology Association (CPA) as a subsidiary, UKAS. The CPA had a Trust to which we applied for cataloging, and the CPA Trust funding came through in 2009/2010 with Dr Ken Scott’s support (the CEO of CPA). Professor Adrian Newland also lent his support, thus drawing in Barts Trust support. The publication of this article by Carla Connolly on her work – http://www.ibms.org/includes/act_download.php?download=pdf/2012-March-St-Barts.pdf – and this Gresham lecture – http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/anatomy-museums-past-present-and-future – (supported by Gresham Professors Tim Connell and Frank Cox) and City of London support through Wendy Mead kept up the visibility, leading to the permanent museum arrangements. And it turned out the historic collection was useful, perhaps invaluable, as long suspected.
Sadly (individual), yet hopefully (medically and scientifically), perhaps more to come. I think it is a great story, or backstory, for all of us in the City, Gresham College, and the scientific profession.