Daniël Johannes van Tonder
Mr. daniël johannes van tonder Lecturer Anatomy And Cellular Biology

Contact Information
daniel.tonder@ku.ac.ae +97123124721


Mr. Daniël Johannes van Tonder is a Lecturer at Khalifa University, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, in the Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology. He is currently completing his PhD in Anatomy at the University of Pretoria, focusing on vascular access in a paediatric population. He previously worked as a part-time junior lecturer at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University while tutoring and lecturing first-year physiotherapy, nursing, occupational, and therapist students at the University of Pretoria in South Africa concurrently.

Ever since he moved to the United Arab Emirates to work at Khalifa University, he has gained vast experience in module creation and laboratory-based practical classes and presented supportive teaching materials as well as improved the delivery of anatomy practical classes and dissections. He has a passion for developing computer-assisted content while incorporating cadaveric, and plastinated material as much as possible. 

He played a critical role in the establishment of Khalifa University's Body Museum and thoroughly enjoys increasing his knowledge of the future advancement in virtual and augmented reality in the field of anatomy and medical education.

  • M.Sc. Anatomy - University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • B.Sc. (Hons) Neuroanatomy - University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • B.Sc. Medical Sciences - University of Pretoria, South Africa

  • Cardiovascular&Respiratory Sys (MDBS701)
  • Elective 4 (MDCM907)
  • Gastrointestinal System (MDBS705)
  • MoleculesGenes and Cells (MDBS601)
  • Musculoskeletal Systems (MDBS704)
  • Nervous System (MDBS709)
  • Reproductive System (MDBS707)
  • Structural Organization of the Human Body (MDBS 602)

Research Interests
  • Pediatric Anatomy
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Medical Education

Research Projects

Anatomical investigation of the anterolateral abdominal wall in a paediatric sample: a cadaveric vascular risk assessment and computer tomographic surface anatomy study.

Being a competent healthcare worker pivots around fundamental understanding of anatomy, irrespective of speciality. Since the early 1960’s the curricula time allocated to anatomy teaching has been significantly reduced and the effects and concerns of this change has been voiced by multiple authors in that residents (registrars), are demonstrating a lack of understanding in the fundamentals of anatomy. While the quality of gross anatomy being taught has been considered critically deficient, which can often lead to increased surgical errors, the speculation that preventable deaths are attributed to anatomical incompetence may be sound.

Minimally invasive surgery, such as laparoscopic procedures, have been increasingly accepted as a treatment modality for neonatal surgeries. Contraindications for any laparoscopic procedure are few. However, these procedures can be hindered by previous surgical interventions and/or uncontrolled bleeding. In addition, it is well documented that numerous infants have died or developed significant neurological impairment following CO2 insufflation of the abdominal cavity. The anterior abdominal wall of infants is very thin and can therefore be easily pierced. When the abdominal wall is pierced the surgeon cannot always visualize vascular structures through the abdominal wall, that can lead to injury when pierced, which requires a laparotomy for vascular control.

We therefore aim to provide a detailed topographical description of vascular structures and the position of major abdominal organs related to important landmarks on the anterolateral abdominal wall to describe areas of safe port placement during laparoscopic procedures.

There is a need to provide paediatric surgeons additional anatomical information to enable them to safely pierce the anterior abdominal for a variety of laparoscopic surgeries, without damaging superficial and deep vascular structures. In additional, providing critical insight into the surface anatomy of major abdominal organs.