by John McLachlan, PhD, Peter Ward, PhD

Embryology is the branch of biology that focuses on the study of embryos and their development. In the medical field, this branch narrows to the study of the development of human embryos, with the objective of finding the root causes of congenital abnormalities.

For optimal understanding, the student needs to be familiar with the components of the cell, the cell cycle, cell division, gene expression, genome replication, the differences between diploid and haploid cells, and the process of fertilization. Basic knowledge of human anatomy is also required.

Throughout the development process, a multiplicity of genes and structures interact in a harmonious manner in order to develop a human fetus. This process progresses by stages and requires the expression of the right genes at the right place and the right time.

During development, these processes may be hindered, resulting in structural or functional abnormalities in the fully developed child. There are many examples of abnormalities, such as atrial septal defects (ASD), a communication between the atria caused by nonclosure of the foramen ovale, and syndactyly, the joining of two fingers due to inadequate apoptosis of cells in between the digits when these were differentiating.

In order to make an adequate diagnosis, the competent physician must be aware of the most prevalent genetic abnormalities in his or her area of work, and be familiar with the typical clinical presentation of the most common genetic syndromes.

Course Details

  • Videos 175
  • Duration 15:26 h
  • Quiz questions 337
  • Concept Pages 48


Your Educators of course Embryology

 John McLachlan, PhD

John McLachlan, PhD

Dr. John McLachlan is the Professor of Medical Education at Durham University in England, UK.
He obtained his PhD in Developmental Biology at the University of London. Previously, he was Director of Undergraduate Medicine and Associate Dean of Medicine at Durham University from 2005 to 2016, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Medical Education journal.
Due to his experience, his work on anatomy pedagogy has influenced anatomy teaching in the five new medical schools that have opened in the UK since Medical Education was first published in 2004.
Within Lecturio, Dr. McLachlan teaches courses on Embryology.

 Peter Ward, PhD

Peter Ward, PhD

Dr. Peter J. Ward is a Professor of Gross Anatomy at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in West Virginia, USA.
He obtained his PhD in Medical Anatomy Education from Purdue University in 2005. Currently, he is a respected teacher and researcher in the fields of anatomy, histology, embryology, neuroscience and approaches to learning and teaching.
Within Lecturio, Dr. Ward teaches courses on Embryology.

User reviews

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Great lecture!
By Dante A. on 29. March 2023 for Early Gastrointestinal Development

Great lecture, concise and brief, just make sure you are good understanding english.

Ich finde die Videos sehr didaktisch. Das Material ist auf einem hervorragenden Niveau.
By Daniel G. on 16. February 2023 for Development of the Nervous System, Head, and Neck

Ich finde die Videos sehr didaktisch. Das Material ist auf einem hervorragenden Niveau.

Add illustrations for diseases
By NET P. on 07. February 2023 for Development of the Nervous System, Head, and Neck

I appreciate the fact they try to explain the processes in very engaging way, but i think it would be even better to use customized stock video of the development of the nervous system. I had to go watch one on youtube

Super Content & Delivery
By Reg H. on 08. December 2022 for Embryology: Early Stages with John McLachlan

Super useful material and very well put together and delivered with excellent questions and well explained solutions!