The Bosch Chair of Histology and Embryology

Function

The Bosch Professor has oversight of and a general supervisory role of all the Discipline's courses in Histology and Embryology. It is the particular responsibility of this Professor to promote and develop the Discipline of Histology.

History

The Bosch Chair of Histology and Embryology was established by the Senate of The University of Sydney in 1928. The Chair was established following the donation in 1927 by George Henry Bosch, a Sydney merchant, of 25,000 pounds to establish a Chair specifically in Histology and Embryology. Until that time histology had a been part of the Department of Anatomy. Legend has it that the Associate Professor in histology, Claude Witherington Stump, did not get along well with the then Challis Professor of Anatomy, Neville Arthur Burkitt, and Stump who was also a fierce advocate for the independence of histology, encouraged Bosch to give the money to establish the Chair. Following his appointment, Stump served as Foundation Bosch Professor of Histology and Embryology until his retirement in 1956. In 1957, Kenneth Wollaston Cleland, a protege of Stump’s, was appointed Bosch Professor of Histology and Embryology and served as Bosch Professor and Head of the then separate Department of Histology and Embryology until his retirement in 1987. The Bosch Chair of Histology lay vacant for fifteen years until 2002 when the present incumbent, Christopher Raymond Murphy, was appointed Bosch Professor of Histology and Embryology.

With the establishment of the Bosch Chair of Histology and Embryology in 1928, histology was effectively split from anatomy with separate Departments being formally established in 1957. The separation continued until 1993 when the Departments joined to form the new Department of Anatomy and Histology which in turn is now the Discipline of Anatomy and Histology in the School of Medical Sciences. The office used by Stump and Cleland at the western end of the main ground level corridor of Anderson Stuart Building now serves as the Office and meeting room for the Head of the School of Medical Sciences and a large portrait of George Henry Bosch remains in the corridor opposite this office.

It is of note, that while Bosch did not request his name be associated with the Chair, in keeping with its practice for honouring other major benefactors, the University of Sydney elected to attach the Bosch name to the Chair. It is also of note that while all Universities with Medical Schools (and even some without Medical Schools), will have a Chair of Anatomy, the Bosch Chair of Histology and Embryology at the University of Sydney is the only Chair of histology in Australia.

Christopher R Murphy
October 2009