|Dr Mark Hill and Prof Rosa Mirapeix Lucas stand in front of the Domenech-Mateu Collection.|
|DEC OMERO Server|
Josep Maria Domènech Mateu - in memoriam
January 2, 2019
Professor José Ramón Sañudo (Professor of Anatomy and Embryology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
I arrived in 1980 with a suitcase full of enthusiasm and a scholarship from the Basque Government to start my career as an anatomist with the teacher Josep Maria Domènech Mateu. With him he has died all the time. We were 24 years together, the circumstances separated us. And now I want to dedicate, from the department that saw him be born as an anatomist and embryologist, this modest memory to my teacher.
Josep Maria Domènech i Mateu, natural of Valls, son of a medical father, studied medicine at the University of Barcelona, where he met the professor of Human Anatomy and Embryology Domingo Ruano Gil, disciple of Orts Llorca, eminent embryologist of the University Complutense of Madrid.
As a student, his career was exceptional, with qualifications counted on honor placements in each and every one of the subjects he attended. He served military service as a lieutenant of the Navy in Madrid, where he had the opportunity to go to the department that was the vanguard in research, led by Orts Llorca, who from the beginning welcomed him as a son and, in a short time, he became the brightest of his disciples.
He finished the doctoral thesis on the thoracic duct in a record time and after three years he was already an adjunct professor by opposition; In two more years he gained the aggregate in chair and with 30 years he took possession of the place at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), where he developed all his professional, teaching and research activity as Anatomy professor and Embryology until he retired.
He made the textbook of his teacher Orts Llorca the head book of all his students at the UAB. A modern anatomy, inspired by the treatise of German Herman Braus, in which anatomy, morphology, was explained from its root cause (ontogeny and phylogeny) to its function, without forgetting the excellent ones descriptions from the French anatomy school and the clinical interest.
Many of their students will remember their extraordinary classes. I witnessed his teaching by accompanying him daily. His contagious enthusiasm, the easy word, didactic simplicity, scientific rigor and prodigious memory were often worthy of the applause of his students when the class was over. An unusual thing.
Thus he taught us the description of the ureterovesical sphincter of Salvador Gil Vernet, a scientist and anatomist of his beloved Tarragona; the theory of the organization of the myocardium of Torrent Guash, modest cardiologist of Dénia that revolutionized the interpretation of cardiac function on a global scale, or that of other illustrious scientists who invited to lecture those eager students.
His investigations in the field of the descriptive and experimental embryology of the heart earned him multiple national and international recognitions: the National Prize of the Spanish Society of Cardiology in 1981, the Narcís Monturiol medal of the Generalitat de Catalunya in 1986 and finally , the honor of being a permanent member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Catalonia, in continuity with the great anatomist of the 18th century, and also of Tarragona, Antoni Gimbernat.
His research is associated with the direction of important doctoral theses, nowadays embodied in great figures of Catalan medicine, in the fields of urology, otolaryngology, general surgery, ophthalmology, teratogenesis, plastic surgery, radiology and traumatology.
And yet, the most valuable legacy that leaves us is the collection of human embryos and fetuses, which, until today, is called Bellaterra, deserves to have the name of Josep Maria Domènech i Mateu Collection, as it was He, with the help of generous donors, was able to create it throughout his 40 years of dedication to the UAB.
With him he dies all the time. We were 24 years together, the circumstances separated us. And now I want to dedicate, from the Department that saw him be born as an anatomist and embryologist, this modest memory to my Master. Rest In Peace.
José Ramón Sañudo
- Professor of Anatomy and Embryology. Universidad Complutense de Madrid
- President of the European Society of Clinical Anatomy
- Editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Anatomy Magazine