Anna Narissa Dhody

Adjunct Professor, Forensic Science

About Me

Anna N. Dhody, MFS
Director, Mütter Institute & Curator, Mütter Museum
The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

As curator of the Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Anna Dhody, an experienced physical and forensic anthropologist, oversees the Mütter Museum’s “disturbingly informative” collection, and works to provide a unique, informative experience for its 150,000-plus annual visitors. 

Before joining the Mütter, she served as an osteologist at Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.  In 2003, Ms. Dhody traveled to Peru to work with the United Nations Development Programme and the Public Ministry of Peru, identifying some of the estimated 69,000 Desaparecidos, “the disappeared,” victims of state terrorism.  While in Peru, Ms. Dhody taught Human Osteology and Forensic Anthropology to employees of the Public Ministry and performed analysis on many of the found remains.

During her tenure at the Mütter museum, Ms. Dhody has curated many exhibits; including Grimms’ Anatomy: Magic and Medicine 1812 – 2012, The Evolution of Birth, Reading the Dead: How Forensic Anthropologists Study Skeletons to Solve Mysteries and The Mütter Ossuary. She has also collaborated with scholars from around the world to conduct research on the Mütter’s collection. She is currently working with teams from Quinnipiac University, Yale University, McGill and McMaster Universities, The University of Pennsylvania, and NMS Labs. One of her main goals is to show that a 19th century collection can have 21st century relevance, academically, medically and artistically.  
Ms. Dhody has lectured extensively in the United States and abroad.  She is the author of “The Underground Crime Scene: The Use of Archaeological Excavation Techniques in the Recovery of Buried Crime Scene Evidence,” a manual currently used by law enforcement agencies in several countries. She has been invited to advise other institutions on the creation of medical museums in Barbados and Texas. 

In 2009 she became a consultant for the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office, conducting forensic anthropological analysis. 

In 2011 she was appointed as a Consulting Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and elected to the Vidocq Society. 

In 2013 she was invited by the Free Library of Philadelphia to interview author Mary Roach and author and noted neurologist, Oliver Sacks. 

In 2014 she became the Director of the Mütter Institute, the research arm of the Mütter Museum, while retaining the title of Mütter Curator. 

Oreland, PA