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Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award

Carmine D. Clemente, Ph.D.
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

The Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Awards were established by the AOA medical honor society in 1988 to provide national recognition to faculty members who have distinguished themselves in medical student education. The award is named for long-time AOA executive secretary Robert J. Glaser, M.D.

Every medical student since 1975 knows that anatomy texts come in both gray [Gray's Anatomy] and carmine, as in Carmine Clemente, Ph.D., author of Clemente's Anatomy: A Regional Atlas of the Human Body (aka "The Clemente Atlas"). And every medical student attending the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA since 1952 knows that teachers like Dr. Clemente come along once in a lifetime. In the words of Gerald S. Levey, M.D., vice chancellor for medical science and dean of the school of medicine, Dr. Clemente is "the consummate teacher, a great thinker, and a trendsetter. His focus on medical education is the thread that weaves all his endeavors and accomplishments together."

It is a thread that dates back to 1952 when Dr. Clemente joined the UCLA medical school faculty as an instructor in anatomy, and continues even today. A former chairman of the school's anatomy department, Dr. Clemente has been teaching basic anatomy to first-year medical students for more than 50 years. Though Dr. Clemente "retired" in 1994 and is emeritus professor of anatomy and neurobiology, he has been recalled annually to continue preparing future generations of doctors.

"Medical students are among the brightest students in the university. Over the years I think I have learned more from their questions than I have taught."

- Dr. Carmine Clemente

In addition to his longstanding impact at UCLA, Dr. Clemente has "virtually revolutionized the teaching of anatomy." In addition to the "The Clemente Atlas," Dr. Clemente produced a series of 42 dissection films which today are used in 170 medical schools throughout the world, including 120 of the nation's 125 medical schools. Additionally, Dr. Clemente is widely recognized for the yeoman's task of having edited the 30th American edition of Gray's Anatomy.

Dr. Clemente has also played a vital role reshaping medical school curricula, both at UCLA and on the national level. In addition to serving for 10 years on the National Board of Medical Examiners, he was a member of 14 Liaison Committee on Medical Education accreditation site visit teams. Following his work on a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative, "Preparing Physicians for the Future," he instigated major curricular reform and wrote about his views in the paper "Changes in Medical Education in the United States," published in A Major's Report.

Dr. Clemente earned his A.B., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in anatomy from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in anatomy at University College, University of London, and his early research focused on regeneration and transplantation of neural tissue in the central nervous system of mammals. His work has contributed enormously to further understanding of forebrain mechanisms related to internal inhibition and sleep, and led to his being named director of UCLA's Brain Research Institute.

Additionally, Dr. Clemente has served as president of three major science organizations: American Association of Anatomists, Association of Anatomy Chairmen (now the Association of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Neurobiology Chairpersons), and Pavlovian Society of North America. Additionally, Dr. Clemente chaired the Council of Academic Societies of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and was a member of AAMC's Executive Council from 1978-1981.

Among Dr. Clemente's many awards and recognitions are the Henry Gray Award of the American Association of Anatomists, and the UCLA Award for Excellence in Education. In addition to the "Clemente Atlas," he is the author of Clemente's Dissector: A Brief Text and Guide to Individual Dissections in Human Anatomy, as well as more than 200 articles. He is also former editor-in-chief of Experimental Neurology.

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