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American Association of Anatomists honors Dalley

Sep. 4, 2014, 10:23 AM

Early in Arthur Dalley’s teaching career he wrote down his career aspirations — to be promoted to full professor, receive tenure, have his name associated with major anatomy publications and to be recognized by the academic societies in his field for his work.

Arthur Dalley, Ph.D., with his landmark textbook “Clinically-Oriented Anatomy.” (photo by Anne Rayner)

Check. Check. Check. Check.

Dalley, Ph.D., professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, is the former director of Medical Gross Anatomy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He has been an anatomy educator for 40 years and was recently named the Henry Gray/Elsevier Distinguished Educator Award Medalist for 2015.

The award, presented by the American Association of Anatomists (AAA), is the highest education award for human anatomy education in the anatomical sciences.

“For me, this is kind of like winning the trifecta of awards; I have received the top honors from all of the anatomy associations and the Association of American Medical Colleges. I am really honored and delighted,” he said.

In 2003 Dalley was named an Honored Member by the Executive Council of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists, followed by the Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award in 2004 by the AAMC.

“It is a pure joy to know that in addition to the 200 or so Vanderbilt students that I teach each year, that I play a part in the education of thousands of medical, dental and physical and occupational therapy students each day.

“This latest award is in recognition for my contributions as an author and editor. One of our textbooks, probably the most widely sold anatomy textbook in the world, has been translated into more than 10 languages. I am really honored by this award.”

Dalley, co-author of several anatomy textbooks, joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1998. He previously served on the faculty at Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska, for 24 years. He earned his Ph.D. and B.S. from the University of Utah.

His book, “Clinically-Oriented Anatomy,” was adopted for use at 90 percent of medical schools in its first edition. He also helped edit one of the world’s top-selling anatomical atlases, “Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy,” (named Illustrated Book of 2013 by the British Medical Association), co-authored several anatomical software programs, and spent a year revising and relocating the definitions of some 20,000 anatomical terms for the 26th edition of “Stedman’s Medical Dictionary.”

Dalley, who has been recognized at every institution where he’s instructed students, will be presented with his award during the 2015 AAA annual meeting in Boston.

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