1141) Alessandra Giliani

Courtesy of Clinical Anatomy Associates Inc

1141: Alessandra Giliani

The First Known Female Practitioner of Anatomy and Pathology

Born: c. 1307, Persiceto, Italy

Died: c.1326, Bologna, Italy

Alessandra was a surgical assistant who was said to have excelled in dissections.

She may have invented a technique of injecting dye to see blood vessels throughout the human body.

Alessandra’s story first appears in a history of the Bolognese School of Anatomy written in 1857, which is slightly suspicious to say the least, so take this story with a grain of salt—especially if you believe the dates attributed to her life and death. If they are true, Alessandra was only around nineteen years old when she died.