Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy (CBNA)

Body Donation

*Important COVID-19 Information*

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking extra precautions to minimize the spread of the virus and to keep personnel safe. We are temporarily requiring health care providers of potential donors to furnish official test results to demonstrate a negative COVID-19 screening. We cannot accept donors without this documentation.

This decision was made in order to comply with the Medical College of Wisconsin’s recent reduced operations plan, which requires employees to work remotely when possible. This decision also allows the Body Donor Program to offer some inventory of personal protective equipment to healthcare providers caring for patients infected with the COVID-19 virus.

Some Body Donor Program personnel will still report to work as needed to ensure the respectful care of the body donors currently with us and to handle new donors that have a negative test for COVID-19. Other members of our team will be performing administrative functions and will be available to answer your questions.

For Families

We are aware of the impact this may have on the community, as we know that people who decide to become a whole-body donor often make the decision years in advance of their death. In the event that our program has to decline a donation, you will need to proceed with alternate arrangements that we encouraged during the registration process. Our staff will be available to advise impacted family members on how to make alternative funeral arrangements. If needed please contact us at (414) 955-8261.

Thank you for your understanding during this time, and we are eager to get back to normal operations. Our thoughts are with you, and we hope you will remain healthy and safe during these challenging times.

Welcome to the anatomical donation page. Anatomical donations are essential for training medical professionals and to support clinical research. The Anatomical Gift Registry at the Medical College of Wisconsin maintains and allocates body donations to support a broad spectrum of educational and clinical research endeavors. The program supports the education and training of medical students, residents, postgraduate physicians, and healthcare professionals by preparing bodies, organs and tissues for study, dissection, and discovery.

The Medical College of Wisconsin’s Anatomical Gift Registry can be traced back to 1913 when the medical school was formally affiliated with Marquette University. The Gift Registry was established to provide body donors needed to sustain medical education. Over 9,000 whole body donations have been made, and thousands of people are registered with the program currently. We are proud to do our part by treating every body donor with the utmost respect and by utilizing their most precious gift to make lasting contributions to healthcare and science.

The learning of anatomy in medical school is a unique, irreplaceable and privileged part of a physician’s training. This rite of passage is something many medical students look forward to with trepidation and reflect back upon with awe and thanks. A donor’s gift is to students and through students -- to all the patients they will encounter during their practice of medicine. The medical students organize an annual memorial service where family and friends are invited to MCW for a ceremony to give thanks for those who were our teachers, and to pay respect to the selfless donors.

Todd Hoagland, PhD
Professor of Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy
Director, Anatomical Gift Registry
Medical College of Wisconsin

Interview with Dr. Todd Hoagland, Professor and Director of the Anatomical Gift Registry, and special guest Mrs. Geraldine Fotsch about the program.


Contact Us

Anatomical Gift Registry
Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy
8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 955-8261
(414) 955-6517 (fax)
Email us
Medical College of Wisconsin Google map location