Public Release: 

Jonathan Wisco honored by Anatomy Society for excellence in teaching, research and scholarship

American Association of Anatomists

Bethesda, Maryland-- The American Association of Anatomists' 2013 Basmajian Award will be presented on April 23 to Jonathan Wisco, associate professor in the Department of Physiology and Developmental Biology, and the Neuroscience Center at Brigham Young University (BYU); and adjunct associate professor at the Division of Integrative Anatomy, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The awards ceremony will take place at the AAA Annual Meeting at EB 2013 (Tuesday, April 23, Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, Boston, MA).

This award recognizes health science faculty who are in the formative stages of their career, teach human or veterinary gross anatomy, can document excellence in their contribution to the teaching of gross anatomy, and have outstanding accomplishments in biomedical research or scholarship in education.

According to Dr. Dixon J. Woodbury, professor and chair of physiology and developmental biology at Brigham Young University, Wisco is "a motivated scientist with a strong commitment to teaching and research."

In addition to Dr. Woodbury's praise of Wisco's character, Dr. Carmine Clemente distinguished professor of anatomy, neurobiology and pathology at UCLA, explained that Wisco's students have such a high opinion of his teaching that they saw fit to award him both the Tutor of Excellence Award and the Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence multiple times during his six years at UCLA.

While at UCLA, Wisco continually increased his teaching responsibilities, including adding a board review embryology lecture session, leading a summer dissection course, and participating in clinical anatomy selectives and electives for the medical school clerkships. At BYU, Wisco teaches several sections of the human anatomy course to 800 of the nearly 2000 students that take the course annually.

Beyond his contributions in teaching, Wisco's research activities at UCLA, and now BYU, are also noteworthy, including research in clinical anatomy, anatomical variations and the development of innovative 3-D models and materials for anatomy instruction. He also established the Laboratory for Translational Anatomy of Degenerative Diseases and Developmental Disorders (TAD4) to support and conduct research that establishes anatomically validated MR imaging biomarkers for age-related diseases and disorders of the nervous system and musculoskeletal system.

Expressing just how impressed he is with Wisco's overall accomplishments, Dr. Clemente asserts "in my 60 years as a Professor of Anatomy here at UCLA, I can think of no other young to mid career anatomist more deserving of the Basmajian Award than Dr. Wisco, and I endorse his nomination in the highest possible terms."

Wisco received his B.S. in biology from the University of Washington and his Ph.D. in anatomy and neurobiology from Boston University School of Medicine. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in radiology from the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard/MIT.

Wisco is an active member of multiple professional societies including the American Association of Anatomists (AAA), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA), the International Association of Medical Sciences Educators (IAMSE), and the Society for Neuroscience (SfN).

This year's Basmajian Award committee was chaired by Judith Anderson; other members were Bob Hutchins and Norton Barry Berg.


The American Association of Anatomists, based in Bethesda, MD, was founded in 1888 for the "advancement of anatomical science." Today, AAA is the professional home for biomedical researchers and educators focusing on anatomical form and function. In addition to being the primary educators of medical students in their first year of medical school, AAA members worldwide work in imaging, cell biology, genetics, molecular development, endocrinology, histology, neuroscience, forensics, microscopy, physical anthropology, and numerous other exciting and developing areas. AAA publishes three journals--Anatomical Sciences Education, The Anatomical Record and Developmental Dynamics--plus a quarterly newsletter. Among its other programs and services, the organization sponsors an Annual Meeting (part of Experimental Biology) and maintains a Web site that offers members and others a variety of tools to enhance their teaching and research.

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