Vesalius, Andreas (1514–1564), a Belgian physician. He is considered the founder of the modern science of anatomy. Anatomy in the 16th century was still largely based on the work of Galen, a second-century Greek physician, who performed dissections only on animals. Vesalius was the first to regularly use human cadavers for research and overthrew many longheld but erroneous anatomical beliefs. While a professor at the University of Padua, he compiled his major work, De Corporis Humani Fabrica (1543), which was noted for the fine quality of its illustrations.
Vesalius was born in Brussels. After teaching in Italy, he served as court physician to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, from 1543 to 1555, and his son Philip II of Spain, from 1559 to 1564.