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Leading the Renaissance - Alumni Association Vice President Jeffrey Laitman, Ph.D.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Stephen DeSalvo
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Leading the Renaissance
(from: inside Mount Sinai)

New ways to chart molecular biology and creative ways to visualize gross human structure have led to a renaissance in anatomical science. Jeffrey T. Laitman, PhD, who became president-elect of the American Association of Anatomists (AAA) this year, will be at the forefront of this renaissance.

Founded in 1888 in Washington, DC, AAA is one of the oldest scientific societies in the United States. More than a century later, scientific research and discovery continue to move forward, allowing science to flourish beyond the traditional confines of medical school, explains Dr. Laitman, who is the Distinguished Professor of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Professor and Director of Anatomy and Functional Morphology, Professor of Medical Education, and Professor of Orolaryngology.
"Students from grade school through college are becoming fascinated by the wonders of anatomy," says Dr. Laitman. "The kids looking at feathers under a microscope, collecting bones from the backyard, and wondering what is inside a cell are the ones we want to cultivate and bring into our Association. Even while we are experiencing this exiting rebirth in anatomical science, we are also looking into the future."
In fact, adds Dr. Laitman, AAA already has hundreds of student members from around the world, including students from undergraduate colleges and outreach programs.
Fostering their participation is just one of Dr. Laitman's goals this year as president-elect, a position that extends until 2011, when Dr. Laitman assumes the role of president from 2011-2013.
During his tenure, Dr. Laitman wants to open up the wonder of science to people around the world through grants and AAA public-outreach opportunities within the United States and abroad. While membership spans multiple countries, Dr. Laitman is focused on strengthening ties with Africa, the Middle East, and China. "AAA has such a tradition and legacy to it," he says. "I am very excited to lead such a prestigious group that has such a rich history."
Dr. Laitman notes that Mount Sinai prepared him well for this new mission with AAA.
"From my first week here in 1977, Mount Sinai has always allowed me to pursue the possible," Dr. Laitman says. "It was always, 'Try, let's reach for something new.' I think that may be why my AAA colleagues tapped me for this job. I have Mount Sinai to thank for that."


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