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Shiby Stephens

Dr Shiby Stephens

Senior Lecturer in Anatomy

School of Biosciences

+44 29208 75041
Sir Martin Evans Building, Room Cardiff School of Biosciences, The Sir Martin Evans Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX


I am a clinical anatomist with MPhil that studied the tendon variations in the hand of musicians. I am currently enrolled to study a part time PhD on medical pedagogy. As part of this research, I am focussing on the linguistic skills of medical students and correlate in what manner this influences other skills such as verbal and spatial intelligence and examination performance.















Doctorate of Philosophy

Since becoming a lecturer of anatomy, I have enrolled into a part time PhD programme. This pedagogic research project aims to understand whether being multilingual confers advantages in learning anatomy and other aspects of medicine. Medical students from around the globe will be investigated. The hypothesis tested is that, regardless of ethnicity, cultural characteristics, socio-economic considerations and educational backgrounds, and spatial reasoning capabilities, a medical student with high linguistic skills (including multilingualism) is better able to succeed in learning anatomy and allied medical disciplines.

The impact of the findings of this project relates to how the medical curriculum might be developed according to the understanding of the importance of linguistic skills. Conceivably, if my hypothesis is supported by the results of my studies, medical schools should provide ways of encouraging their students to develop linguistic skills, including studying foreign languages and classical languages such as Greek and Latin that feature so predominantly in medical terminologies.

Master of Philosophy

I completed MPhil in 2013. My research was on ‘Tendon variations in the hand of musicians’. My study mainly involved:

  • identifying any tendinous and tenosynovial interconnections in hands of  human cadavers and live subjects
  • evaluation of hand deformity in medical student volunteers and appropriately matched controls
  • analysing appropriate radiological imaging techniques and compare the sensitivity of MRI and ultrasound scans to identify these interconnections.


After graduating in medicine from India, I started my work as an anatomy demonstrator at Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences in 2004. I became a lecturer of anatomy in 2013. I obtained my MPhil (anatomy) in 2013, which studied the tendinous variations and interconnections in the hand of musicians. This study focused on identifying tendinous and tenosynovial interconnections in hands of human cadavers and live subjects and analysed appropriate radiological imaging techniques and compared the sensitivity of MRI and ultrasound scans to identify these interconnections.

I am currently enrolled into a part time PhD programme that aims to understand ‘if being multilingual has an advantage in learning Anatomy?'. The study group includes medical students from around the globe. The data collected from this study will be analysed and used in the development of medical curriculum around the globe and the advantages of being multilingual will be passed on to the schools to encourage students to learn more languages (including the classical ones such as Greek and Latin).

In 2010, I was part of the first cohort to complete the postgraduate 'Anatomy Training Program' co-ordinated by the Anatomical Society and the American Association of Anatomists. I am also currently a member of the Anatomical Society, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).