Helen Anscomb is a clinical anatomist and the Academic Lead (Head) for Anatomy and Pathology in the College of Medicine and Dentistry. Her leadership roles include being the Anatomical Licensee for the College of Medicine and Dentistry and Coordinator of the Human Bequest Program, which is part of a registered School of Anatomy (SOA, overseen by Queensland Health). She holds responsibility for strategic leadership and oversight of the anatomical teaching facilities, the anatomical resources and the management of teaching activities for Anatomy and Pathology at both Townsville and Cairns campuses. She is also Year 1 Coordinator for the MBBS program at JCU (2010-present) and continues to teach undergraduate human anatomy to Medical and Allied Health professional students throughout the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine. In 2015, she developed the RACS (Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) accredited Graduate Diploma of Surgical Anatomy at JCU for which she is Course Coordinator. She is involved in teaching into postgraduate medical programmes at JCU, as well as a number of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses run by the College (Surgical training) and for the JCU GP Registrars’ training programs (Generalist Medical Training).

Helen has presented her academic work in more than 40 research publications through peer-reviewed scientific journals, peer-reviewed conference proceedings, presentations and abstracts. During her career she has supervised and mentored more than 10 research and Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students (including 5 PhD, and 3 Honours) from a number of disciplinary backgrounds and has been the primary supervisor of 2 PhD completions within the College of Medicine and Dentistry within the last 5 years (conferred in 2014 and 2017). She was Project Co-Lead on the National Health and Medical Research Council project grant (NHMRC: APP1003788) that was awarded $522,970 from 2011-2013 to investigate the Development of anti-TNF treatment strategies for cognitive decline in association with collaborators at the University of Adelaide, SA. In all, her contributions to scholarly research have generated more than $550,000 in high profile and Category-1 and 3 grants through strategically aligned, interdisciplinary collaborative projects ($522,970 – NHMRC in 2011; $35,000 – AITHM (Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine) in 2014). She has also won a number of internal University research grants to the sum of $53,000.

Helen’s outstanding and sustained contributions to teaching and teaching leadership are evidenced by numerous funding awards for Learning and Teaching projects ($2,000 – Cat A (Quick Start Grant) in 2015; $10,000 – Cat C (Curriculum Design Grant) in 2016); Personal Teaching and Development awards ($4,000 – JCU Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning Citation in 2008; $10,000 – Faculty Scholar Development Award in 2010) and award nominations from peers, students and colleagues (Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) citation nominations, 2008 and 2009; JCU Top 10 lecturer – Unijobs, 2010; JCU Medical Student Association (JCUMSA) outstanding contribution to teaching award, 2011). In terms of her contribution to engagement, administrative and community services, Helen is a active Member of numerous internal committees including Postgraduate Studies (Medicine), Foundation Studies (Medicine), Board of Studies (Medicine), Assessment Committee (Medicine), Member of College Council (College of Medicine and Dentistry), a Subject Coordinator and Course Coordinator. Externally, Helen holds a key position on the Queensland Health Schools of Anatomy Managers Network (SOAMN), assisting in the re-development of legislative guidelines, audit tools and processes and contributing to procedural reform and policy review. She has also peer-reviewed for national grant funding bodies (i.e. NHMRC) and internationally recognised journals.

  • AT8301: Surgical Anatomy of the Upper Body Regions and Central Nervous System (Level 8; TSV)
  • BM1052: Anatomy and Physiology for Speech Pathology 2 (Level 1; TSV)
  • MD1010: Introduction to Integrated Medical Studies Part 1 of 2 (Level 1; CNS & TSV)
  • MD1020: Introduction to Integrated Medical Studies Part 2 of 2 (Level 1; TSV)
  • MD3011: Introduction to Clinical Healthcare Part 1 of 2 (Level 3; TSV)
  • MD6010: Advanced Clinical Medicine Part 1 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • MD6020: Advanced Clinical Medicine Part 2 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • MD6030: Advanced Clinical Medicine Part 3 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • PS2004: Neuroscience in Physiotherapy (Level 2; TSV)
  • Electrophysiological investigation of oscillatory network activity patterns in the brain relevant to cognition.
  • Pathological models of oscillatory network activity patterns in the hippocampus and neocortex of rodents in vitro.
  • Stress response and cytokines and their regulators in the development of psychological illness (anxiety and depression) and the impact on cognitive functioning.
  • Neuroimaging and neurobiology of cognitive functions and neurodegenerative processes.
  • First year university experience and student engagement (pedagogical enhancement of student engagement in foundation biological sciences).
  • Blended learning and the development of digital anatomy teaching resources.
  • Postgraduate and clinical education, training and currency in foundation sciences.
  • Vertically integrated assessment practices to shape approaches to learning in clinically oriented anatomy.
  • 2019 to present - Associate Professor, James Cook University (Australia)
  • 2012 to present - Academic Lead (Head), Anatomy & Pathology, James Cook University (Australia)
  • 2012 to present - Anatomical Licencee, James Cook University (Australia)
  • 2011 to 2018 - Senior Lecturer, James Cook University (Australia)
  • 2016 - External Reviewer / Casual Tutor, Royal College of Surgeons (Ed) (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK)
  • 2005 to 2010 - Lecturer, James Cook University (Australia)
  • 2008 - Visting Research Scholar, Newcastle University: Institute of Neuroscience (IoN) (United Kingdom)
  • 2004 to 2005 - Post Doctoral Researcher, University of Leeds (United Kingdom)
  • 2000 to 2003 - PhD, University of Leeds (United Kingdom)
  • 2016 - Deans Subject Excellence Award - highest student satisfaction in Physiotherapy (subject PS2004) - CHS, James Cook University.
  • 2011 - JCU Medical Student Association (JCUMSA) outstanding contribution to teaching award (voted by students).
  • 2011 - JCU Top 10 Lecturer (Unijobs, as voted for by students in 2010)
  • 2009 - Australian Learning and Teaching Citation (outstanding contribution to student learning) Nomination.
  • 2008 - Australian Learning and Teaching Citation (outstanding contribution to student learning) Nomination.
  • 2008 - JCU Citation for outstanding contributions to student learning
  • 2017 to 2018 - JCU Academic Leaders Development Program - nominated by College Dean.
  • 2009 to 2011 - Faculty Teaching Leadership Scholar for Medicine, Health & Molecular Sciences (funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, ALTC)
  • 2016 to 2017 - JCU Learning and Teaching Project Grant (Category C - Curriculum Design Grant).
  • 2015 to 2016 - JCU Learning and Teaching Project Grant (Category A - Quick Start).
  • 2015 to 2016 - CIA on Faculty of Health, Medicine & Molecular Sciences development grant ($10,000) entitled: Indigenous MIND: a pilot biomarker study for Indigenous mental health
  • 2014 - CIE on Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine (AITHM) development grant ($35,000) entitled HART-BEAT: diabetes research from BENCH TO REAL-WORLD PRACTICE
  • 2013 - CIA on School of Medicine & Dentistry Grant Scheme ($8,000) entitled: Role of corticotrophin releasing factor in anxiety in Type 1 diabetes.
  • 2011 to 2013 - CIC on NHMRC project grant APP1003788 ($522,970) entitled: Development of anti-TNF treatment strategies for cognitive decline
  • 2009 - JCU Research Infrastructure Block grant ($16,000)
  • 2008 - Australian Course in Advanced Neuroscience (funded fellowship by JCU and the Australian Neuroscience Society)
  • 2008 - Visiting Research Scholar in Neuroimaging. Hosted by the Institute of Neuroscience (IoN) at Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
  • 2008 - CIA on Faculty of Health, Medicine & Molecular Sciences development grant ($9,000) entitled: Cytokines in brain structure and function
  • Australasian Society for Neuroscience
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Anatomical Society (AS)
  • Australasian Society for Human Biology (ASHB)
  • Australain and New Zealand Association of Health Professional Educators (ANZAPHE)
  • Australian and New Zealand Association of Clinical Anatomists (ANZACA)
  • 2016 - Clinical Anatomy Tutor, Wade Program of Surgical Anatomy - Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh).
  • 2006 to 2008 - Graduate Certificate in Education (Teriary Teaching)
  • 2000 to 2003 - PhD Neuroscience. Thesis entitled: A model of theta frequency rhythmic activity in the rat medial septum/diagonal band complex in vitro
  • 1997 to 2000 - BSc (Hons) in Medical Sciences with Anatomical Sciences (Honours)

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Other research outputs

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 31+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Helen Anscomb from 2002 onwards.


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These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • An Anatomical Approach to the Study of Osteoporosis and Bone Health in Past and Present Human Remains (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Examination of the Biomechanical, Physiological, Performance and Symptom Responses of Impact/Collision (PhD , Primary Advisor)

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