Dawn is Director of Museums and Archives at the Royal College of Surgeons of England and is currently working on the development of the new Hunterian Museum, due to open in autumn 2020.
She was previously Curator/Manager of the National Museums of Scotland’s National Museum of Flight and, for seven years, the Director of Heritage of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, which holds Scotland’s largest medical collection. She was Director of the Old Operating Museum and Herb Garrett, 2014-16, and Acting Director of the Freud Museum London, 2013/14, where she curated the exhibition and public events season: Mad, Bad and Sad: Women and the Mind Doctors and curated the re-display of the Anna Freud Room.
She has curated over 15 major exhibitions including: Anatomy Acts (co-curated with Prof Andrew Patrizio), which was nominated for the Gulbenkian Prize, the UK’s largest museums and galleries award.
She is the author and editor of several books related to the history of medical collections including: Anatomy Acts: How We Come to Know Ourselves (Winner of the Society of Authors and Royal Society of Medicine’s Medical Book of the Year 2007); Conan Doyle and Joseph Bell; the Real Sherlock Holmes and Surgeons Hall: A Museum Anthology.
She was Chair of the Scotland & Medicine: Collections & Connections partnership from 2004 to 2009. She is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and is a member of the Hunterian Society.