Who was Andreas Vesalius?

   Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) was a Belgian physician who was the founder of modern anatomy. He was born in Brussels, and as a child spent many hours dissecting dead mice and other small animals. He studied medicine at the University of Louvain in Paris, where he recognized, even as a student, that much of the information concerning anatomy was in error.
   On his graduation at the age of 23 he was appointed Professor of Surgery and Anatomy at the University of Padua in Italy.
   Vesalius was a brilliant doctor and an inspiring teacher. At the insistence of his pupils, he published, at the age of 24, his Anatomic Tables. This was followed by Concerning the Fabric of the Human Body, the first complete and systematic description of the human body. The publication of these works increased his popularity as a teacher and man of medicine, arousing the jealousy of his former teachers at the University of Louvain, and other physicians who were already taking credit for some of his work. Deeply hurt by the hostility, Vesalius resigned from the University, burned his remaining published notes and ended his teaching career in 1544, at the age of thirty.
   During the following twenty years he served as court surgeon to Charles V and Phillip II of France. His fame as a surgeon spread throughout the world, but teaching was the love of his life.
   In 1564, while on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem Vesalius received word that he had been reappointed to his teaching post in Padua, but before he could return and accept the honor he died on the island of Tante.