The Department of Anatomy & History of Medicine came into existence in 1956, as one of the first departments, in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. It occupies parts of first and ground floors of the pre-clinical block of the Institute. Major activities are centred around teaching and research. In addition some of the laboratories provide hospital service. As a service to the public embalming for transportation of dead bodies is also undertaken by the Department.
Students for MBBS course, MSc Anatomy, BSc Honours Nursing and Post certificate Nursing are admitted once a year. Postgraduate students in MD Anatomy, PhD are admitted twice a year. In addition a large number of training courses and short-term training in various techniques and specialties are provided. AIIMS is the first institution to start one-year course in Anatomy and has contributed to developing the syllabus for other Medical Colleges in India recommend by Medical Council of India. State of art teaching technology is adopted in teaching and learning of all the subspecialties of Anatomy.
Both basic and applied researches on experimental and clinical materials are done in various laboratories. Genetics and Experimental Immunology laboratories use mainly clinical materials for research, though parallel studies are done on tissue culture too. Developmental Neurobiology Research is on abortuses obtained from AIIMS and other Government hospitals and experimental animals. Rodent models are also used to developmental mechanisms. Experimental animals are used for Neurotoxicology research. Effects of enriched sound on development of the auditory pathway of the chick are studied. Effects of experimental manipulation on rat enteric nervous has been studied. Sex hormone receptors in hippocampus is being studied on rat model. Mechanism of pain perception and effects of various drugs on pain relieving is also studied. The department is WHO recognized centre for training in Genetics.