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The University of Washington's Willed Body Program is a whole-body donation program for donors from Washington State. The gift of your body to the UW School of Medicine is an invaluable contribution to the education of future healthcare providers, enabling them to study and understand the complexity of the human body in a way that is not possible by any other means.

In addition to helping students in the health professions master complex anatomy, your donation will allow medical researchers to develop and maximize important tools to help patients. The University of Washington is one of the foremost medical research institutions in the world, conducting studies that will not only further develop the body of knowledge within the field of medicine, but eventually alleviate human suffering.

We are deeply grateful for your consideration of this extraordinary gift. Donating your body is a significant decision, and we understand there are complex questions that arise when considering it. We have prepared a letter that answers many of the questions potential donors have asked us over the years, and also includes legal and medical reasons that a donation may be declined. In order to fully benefit from the exceptional gift you are providing, it is important that you, your family and the University of Washington have a mutual understanding and agreement about the donor process. This letter is prepared in the spirit of promoting this understanding.

Donation resources

Program information

If you are calling after normal business hours to report a recent death that requires transport, please call our main number, 206.543.1860 and follow the voice message prompts.

If you are calling to report a recent death, please call our main number, 206.543.1860 any time (24/7) and follow the voice message prompts.


Catrin Pittack, Ph.D.
Willed Body Program Director

Shawn Kamke
Embalmer and Operations Manager


We have made the difficult decision to postpone the Fall 2021 Donor Ceremony due to the recent increase in COVID cases. We realize that families look forward to this ceremony as much as we do but our main goal is to keep everyone safe. Please check back in January 2022 for more information about a possible Spring ceremony. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

The Willed Body Program is a resource for the following Research Programs:

  • Genetic Anatomy: genome sequencing in modern human anatomy
  • Alzheimer's Disease Research Program
  • Prostate Cancer Research Program
  • Cardiovascular Research and Education
  • Neurological Surgery: catheter guidance system to improve patient safety during brain surgery
  • Structural Informatics: spatial and symbolic representations of human structure


1. A Kumar, M Dougherty, GM Findlay, M Geisheker, J Klein, J Lazar, H Machkovech, J Resnick, R Resnick, AI Salter, F Talebi-Liasi, C Arakawa, J Baudin, A Bogaard, R Salesky, Q Zhou, K Smith, JI Clark, J Shendure, MS Horwitz. (2014) Genome Sequencing of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis in Conjunction with Medical School Human Anatomy PLOS One 9(9): e106744; doi:10.1371/journal.pone.010674 

​ 2. CL Fligner, JI Clark, JM Clark, LW Larson & JE Poole (2018) Surgical Anatomy for the Implanting Physician. in Surgical Implantation of Cardiac Rhythm Devices, 1st Edition by JE Poole & LW Larson. Elsevier. Philadelphia PA.”

The impact of the Anatomy program at the U.W. was acknowledged recently with an excellent international ranking (please see letter from Dean Paul G. Ramsey, below). UW Anatomy was ranked tenth in the world, and fourth in the USA (behind Harvard, Vanderbilt and Utah) by the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR). CWUR reviewed academic programs in 26,000 educational institutions in sixty countries. The Willed Body Program is essential for the success of Anatomical research and education at University of Washington.

Regarding High Ranking for UW Medical Programs:

April 13, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

Last week, new rankings highlighted the prominent role of UW Medicine faculty in global research. For the first time, the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) evaluated leading universities in 227 subject categories based on the number of research articles in top-tier journals.

This report, along with our No. 2 world ranking for impact of our work on clinical medicine and pharmacy by the Shanghai Ranking Constituency, recognizes your contributions to our mission of improving the health of the public. It also shows that we are achieving one of our core goals, as articulated in our vision statement, by providing a research enterprise for scientists that enables them to advance medical knowledge and clinical innovations with groundbreaking discoveries.

The following list identifies the 31 subject categories that involve UW Medicine research. In all of these areas, we are among the top 10 world universities, and your work is ranked in the top five in 14 of the categories. For more information, see CWUR Rankings by Subject - 2017.

  • Anatomy & Morphology (10th)
  • Anesthesiology (6th)
  • Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology (2nd)
  • Biochemical Research Methods (3rd)
  • Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology (4th)
  • Critical Care Medicine (6th)
  • Emergency Medicine (4th)
  • Endocrinology & Metabolism (8th)
  • Genetics & Heredity (5th)
  • Geriatrics & Gerontology (5th)
  • Gerontology (8th)
  • Health Care Sciences & Services (8th)
  • Health Policy & Services (6th)
  • Hematology (7th)
  • Immunology (4th)
  • Infectious Diseases (4th)
  • Mathematical & Computational Biology (6th)
  • Medical Informatics (3rd, tied)
  • Medical Laboratory Technology (8th)
  • Medicine, General & Internal (5th)
  • Medicine, Research & Experimental (4th)
  • Microbiology (3rd)
  • Otorhinolaryngology (10th)
  • Parasitology (8th)
  • Pediatrics (7th)
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease (5th)
  • Psychology, Clinical (9th)
  • Rehabilitation (10th)
  • Toxicology (8th)
  • Urology & Nephrology (8th)
  • Virology (3rd, tied)

Congratulations on this exciting news and well deserved recognition of the impact of your research.


Paul G. Ramsey, M.D.
CEO, UW Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and
Dean of the School of Medicine,
University of Washington