The Vesalius Trust for Visual Communication in the Health Sciences was incorporated as a non-profit public foundation in 1988. Established under the direction of the Board of Governors of the Association of Medical Illustrators, a professional organization of medically-trained visual communicators, the Trust strives to develop and support education and research programs in the field of health science communications.

The Vesalius Trust is named after the pioneering Renaissance anatomist and physician, Andreas Vesalius. This remarkable individual possessed a zeal for scientific observation and a great desire to share his knowledge with others. In perhaps the greatest single contribution to medical science, his masterpiece De Humani Corporis Fabrica (On the Structure of the Human Body), published in 1543 marks with unusual clarity the beginning of modern observational science and research. Fabrica is an unsurpassed melding of illustration, text, and typography into a unified and integrated whole. It is the quintessential paradigm of health science education. In this spirit, the Vesalius Trust works to promote innovation in visual communication for the health sciences. Just as Vesalius took advantage of the technology and enlightenment of his time, so does the Vesalius Trust support use of developing information and technology to advance understanding of health science information.

History of the Trust

The Association of Medical Illustrators sought to establish a public educational foundation for the purpose of raising and maintaining funds to be used for developing and supporting education and research within the field of medical illustration and related visual communication professions, and for advancing education and communication in medicine and the health sciences.

Since its founding in 1988, the Trust has endeavored to identify and secure funding for educational and research activities in visual communications in the health sciences, and to act as a conduit for these resources. Currently, the Trust supports: scholarships, research grants, continuing professional education, and an international recognition program for exceptional contributions to medical education.

Mission, Vision and Values of the Vesalius Trust

Additional Activities

The Vesalius Trust works with the Lloyd library to preserve The Vesalius Trust Collection of Art Serving Science and Medicine.

The Vesalius Trust also organizes Art and Anatomy tours run by Marie Dauenheimer.