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The Body Donation Program 

The Body Donation Program at the University of California San Diego is committed to excellence in research and education. While the primary focus of the program is to obtain the human cadaver for educational and scientific study, we strive to administer the program in a way consistent with the spirit of the good physician. In our contact with donors registering with the program or with the families of the donor, we provide service that is compassionate, as well as competent. 

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Becoming a Body Donor

The decision to become a whole body donor is a generous gift. We are honored that you are considering entrusting us. We are here to assist you with the process and will answer any questions you may have about the donation process.

Donor Information

The Importance of Body Donation

Anatomy, the study of the structure of the human body, is one of the most important courses in the education of physicians, dentists, and other health professionals such as nurses and physical therapists. In most of these fields, the study of anatomy comes first in the curriculum and serves as the foundation for other courses. Further, physicians in residency training and those in practice often pursue special courses in anatomy. In addition to being used for teaching medical and other health profession students, bodies that are donated to medical schools are also used by research physicians in the development of new surgical procedures, such as for developing new arthroscopic surgeries, knee, ankle and shoulder joint research, plastic surgery procedures including flap reconstruction for burn victims, surgical approaches to various internal organs, and many other surgical and medical procedures. At the rate at which medical science is advancing, it is increasingly necessary for physicians and other biomedical scientists to conduct special anatomical studies and research.

Anatomical bequests are greatly appreciated as each contributes directly to new understandings. As you consider the option of donating your body to science, know that the need is great, and that your gift will be valued and honored. Your donation will play a critical role in helping medical students to master the complex anatomy of the human body and will provide researchers with the essential tools to help our patients of tomorrow.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Body Donation Program supports a variety of educational opportunities for students in varying health fields. Learn more about the program by reading some frequently asked questions.


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Contact Us

Body Donation Program
UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0627
San Diego, CA 92093-0627

(858) 534-4536 (24-hour)
(866) 362-5592 (24-hour)
(858) 534-4546 (Office)

Program Staff