Dr. Roscoe Lewin McKinney. 78, who taught zoology and anatomy at Howard University for more than 40 years, died Saturday at Providence Hospital following a heart attack.

During his years at Howard, Dr. McKinney was a professor of anatomy, chairman of the anatomy department from 1930 to 1947, and vice dean of the college of Medicine for seven years before retiring in 1968.

He returned to Howard as a professor emeritus of anatomy in 1971 and taught courses until retiring a second time in 1976.

Dr. McKinney taught at a number of institutions abroad. He served as a professor of microscopic anatomy at the Royal College of Medicine in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1955 and 1956 as part of the Fulbright program.

He spent two year at the Osmania Medical College in Hyderabad, India, during the early 1960s. There he worked as a medical educator in a program sponsored by the State Department.

In 1970 and 1971, he was a consultant in anatomy at the University of Saigon.

Dr. McKinney was a native of Washington and a 1917 graduate of Dunbar High School. He earned a bachelor's degree at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and a doctoral degree at teh University of Chicago.

He began his teaching career as a zoology instructor at Morehouse College in1921. After three years there be returned to Washington as an in structor at Howard University. He was made professor of anatomy at Howard in 1930.

His professional memberships included the American Association of Anatomists and the AMerican Association for the Advancement of Science.

He was a member of Phi Congregational Church.

Survivors include his wife, Ethel, and a daughter, Frances B., both of the home in Washington: two sons, Roscoe L. Jr., of Riverdale and Arthur S., of Hyattsville; a foster daughter, Jacqueline Dacus, of Annapolis; two brothers, Samuel C., of Coventry, R.I., and Thornton S., of Brentwood; a sister, Delphia McK. Brown, of Washington, and six grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Ernest E. Just Scholarship Fund. Department of Anatomy, Howard University.