Paula Summerly, MSc, PhD
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pathology

Phone: (409) 772-2870
Email: pasummer@utmb.edu
Website: OldRedMedicalMuseum

Paula Summerly

  • Paula Summerly is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Her primary appointment is manager of the Old Red Medical Museum, McGovern Academy, Office of the President (UTMB). Prior to holding these positions, she completed scholarships and fellowships at the Institute for Health Humanities (UTMB) the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University and the Dittrick Medical History Center, Case Western Reserve University. She curated a permanent medical exhibition for the Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, Scotland (2005) and has served as a curatorial consultant both nationally and internationally including Visual Pathology, Galveston Arts Center (2018), the Wellcome Collection’s Forensics: Anatomy of Crime (2015), Dirt: The Filthy Reality of Everyday Life (2011), exhibited at the Wellcome Building, London, UK. Dr. Summerly is working as part of a team to establish a new medical museum in Old Red (the 1890 Ashbel Smith Building) at the heart of the UTMB Galveston campus.

    Paula is actively involved in researching UTMB’s historical anatomical, pathological and surgical collections. Primary research interests include studying the history of UTMB’s former museums. She is interested in contextual historical research techniques, legal and ethical debates over historical human remains, and sampling from historical wet specimens.

    Dr. Summerly earned her doctorate (funded through a Wellcome Trust Scholarship) in the history of clinical photography from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK in 2003. She is an active member of the Texas Association of Museums (TAM), Librarians, Archivists and Museum Professionals in the History of Health Sciences (LAMPHHS) and the European Association of Museums of the History of the Medical Sciences (EAMHMS).

    Paula has earned professional development certificates Museum Administration, Texas Association of Museums (2020), Specimen Conservation (University of Leeds, 2019), The Human Skeleton in Forensic Anthropology, John Burns Medical School, Honolulu (2017). In 2019, she was nominated for a Trailblazer award (Women’s Resource Group, UTMB). She has devised and taught a minimester focused on the historical specimen collections and serves as an Interprofessional Education mentor. She serves as Chair of the Old Red Medical Museum’s Operations Committee, and served as a co-applicant on the Collections Assessment for Preservation Program (CAP) award (2018), and the Texas State Historical Association Marker application (Galveston World War I Physicians) installed opposite Old Red (2019).

  • Dr. Summerly is actively involved in researching UTMB’s historical anatomical, pathological and surgical collections. Primary research interests include studying the history of UTMB’s former museums. She has been invited to present papers at the annual meetings of the American Association for the History of Medicine (AAHM), Librarians, Archivists and Museum Professionals in the History of Health Sciences (LAMPHHS) and the European Association of Museums of the History of the Medical Sciences (EAMHMS)

  • Doctor of Philosophy, History of Medicine University of Glasgow Scotland, UK 12/2003
    M.Phil. History of Medicine, University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK 12/1999
    B.A. Hons. Fine Art (Photography, Combined & Media), Sheffield Hallam University, UK 5/1997
    M.Sc. Osteology, Palaeopathology & Funerary Archaeology, University of Sheffield, UK 12/1994
    • Galveston Area Museums Network
    • Librarians, Archivists and Museum Professionals in the History of Health Sciences
    • Texas Association of Museums
    • European Association of Museums of the History of the Medical Sciences