Dr. Harold Cummins
Matas Library Photograph Collection, no. 1604
Chairman, Department of Anatomy, 1933-1960
Chairman, Department of Microscopic Anatomy, 1933 - 1945
Dr. Cummins achieved world recognition as the "Father of Dermatoglyphics" or the scientific study of skin ridge patterns found on the palms of human hands. The findings of his lifetime studies and the techniques he developed, known as the Cummins Methodology, are accepted as important tools in tracing genetic and evolutionary relationships. The methodology has gained common usage in diagnosis of some types of mental retardation, schizophrenia, cleft palate and even heart disease.
In other fields, dermatoglyphics is used to aid ethnologic and population studies and to make positive identifications by police.