Three American Association for Anatomy Members Named AAAS Fellows

ROCKVILLE, Md. - Dec. 18, 2019 - PRLog -- Three distinguished members of the American Association for Anatomy (AAA) have been elected by their American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) peers to the 2019 Class of AAAS Fellows. They are:

• D. Rick Sumner, Ph.D., AAA President and Chair of Cell & Molecular Medicine at Rush Medical College (Section on Medical Sciences);
• Lynne Opperman, Ph.D., AAA President 2013-2015 and Regents Professor and Head of Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M College of Dentistry (Section on Dentistry and Oral Health Sciences); and
• David Ornitz, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Editor of Developmental Dynamics and Alumni Endowed Professor of Developmental Biology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (Section on Biological Sciences).

The rank of AAAS Fellow is a lifetime distinction that celebrates individual AAAS members for "extraordinary achievements across disciplines." The full list of 2019 AAAS Fellows is available at

"The broad influence of AAA is apparent in the fact that each of these scholars represents a different section of AAAS," said Valerie Burke DeLeon, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Florida and President-Elect of AAA. "It's further evidence that AAA members do great science."

For these new AAAS Fellows, great science is also about great leadership.

"One of the things that stands out to me about this particular group of scholars is their commitment to supporting the professional development of young anatomists," remarked DeLeon. "I know each of them to be generous with their attention, time, and resources, and I am grateful to them."

She elaborated, "Dr. Opperman's papers on cranial suture biology had a major impact on the development of my own research, and Dr. Ornitz generously shared a valuable mouse model when I was starting my own research lab. Drs. Sumner and Opperman are modeling the way for me and many others, not just in science and medicine, but also in their leadership of the AAA."

Drs. Sumner, Opperman, and Ornitz are well regarded for the quality and impact of their research in areas such as bone regeneration, craniofacial development, and tissue regeneration, among others. All three have previously been recognized as AAA Fellows for their contributions to advancing the anatomical sciences. The full list of AAA Fellows is available at


About AAA: The American Association for Anatomy is an international membership organization of biomedical researchers and educators specializing in the structural foundation of health and disease. AAA connects gross anatomists, neuroscientists, developmental biologists, physical anthropologists, cell biologists, physical therapists, and others to advance the anatomical sciences through research, education, and professional development.

Bill Rowan
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