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Andreas Vesalius (born Andries van Wesel) was a 16th-century physician from Flanders who gained worldwide fame as one of the founders of modern human anatomy. He is the author of what is commonly known the most influential book on human anatomy.

Andreas Vesalius

International academic path

Vesalius attended the medical school of the University of Paris, where he learned how to dissect animals and human cadavers. He completed his studies at the Katholieke Universiteit van Leuven (KU Leuven) and was offered the chair of surgery and anatomy at the University of Padua, Italy on the day of his graduation. He also guest lectured at the University of Bologna and the University of Pisa. Vesalius later became imperial physician at the court of Emperor Charles V after publishing his great work.  

Instant classic

In 1543, Vesalius wrote the first complete textbook on human anatomy, ‘De humani corporis fabrica libri septem’. This revolutionary seven-volume work features detailed depictions of the human skeleton, muscles, veins and arteries, nervous system, major organs, heart and lungs and the brain. The ‘Fabrica’ is considered a masterpiece.

His legacy

The work of Vesalius refuted some of the prevailing ideas about anatomy, giving anatomy a new language. Thanks to his work, practitioners gained more detailed knowledge of the human body. By introducing human dissections into medical training, Vesalius helped transform medicine into a scientific discipline. His work became the foundation of a growing European anatomical literature base.

Team Vesalius visionairies

Flanders’ life sciences industry: the perfect combo of biotech, medtech, pharma and healthcare

Defining Flanders’ life sciences industry as diverse is an understatement. From young start-ups to established local firms and multinationals: the entire value chain – from research and discovery to development and commercialization – is represented in Belgium’s northern region. Thanks to fertile cross-pollination between biotech, medtech, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, Flanders offers a unique life sciences ecosystem that is underpinned by a robust financing landscape and a supportive government. Will your company claim its place in this dynamic hub?