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Glenn C. Conroy, PhD, and Jane E. Phillips-Conroy, PhD

Glenn C. Conroy, PhD, and Jane E. Phillips-Conroy, PhD, are revered by medical students at Washington University not only as accomplished anthropologists, but for their skill and dedication in teaching the Human Anatomy and Development course, a cornerstone of the medical school experience.

The Conroys have taught anatomy to every single medical student at Washington University for the past 32 years, since joining the faculty in 1983. They are celebrated as a dynamic, smart team skilled in conveying the intricacies of the human body and dedicated to laying a solid foundation of knowledge for every student.

As anthropologists, Conroy and Phillips-Conroy impart an extra layer of context to their teaching, say colleagues and students, by animating contemporary anatomy with their brief excursions into human prehistory, and pointing out that the anatomy we see today is the consequence of several million years of human evolution. Both are professors in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the School of Medicine and in the Department of Anthropology on the Danforth campus, and have been honored repeatedly for their teaching by Washington University medical students.

Conroy is known for his work on nearly every epoch of primate and human fossil history and has conducted paleoanthropological field research around the world. His expedition to Namibia in the 1990s found the only fossil evidence of a pre-human apelike ancestor ever found south of the equator on the African continent. He also has authored two leading textbooks on Primate and Human Evolution. He has been recognized with the Fulbright Senior Research Fellow Award and by the Czechoslovakian Academy of Science and the Austrian government, among other honors such as the Goldstein Leadership Award in Medical Education and the Washington University Founder’s Day Distinguished Faculty Award.

Phillips-Conroy is a primate biologist focusing on the biology of wild baboons across Africa, centering on the study of hybrid zones where interbreeding occurs between species with very different behavioral and biological programs.   Her many field seasons studying the baboons of Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia, have resulted in the capture, tranquilization, biological sampling, and release of nearly 2000 animals. Her research embraces diverse fields and explores the connections between behavior, ecology, morphology, neurotransmitters, and hormones.    She is a recipient of the Goldstein Leadership Award in Medical Education, a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Washington University Founder’s Day Distinguished Faculty Award, and Second Century Award recipient.

Conroy received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1970 and his doctoral degree from Yale University in 1974. Phillips-Conroy earned her bachelor’s degree in 1969 from Brandeis University and her doctoral degree in 1978 from New York University.

The Washington University Medical Center Alumni Association is pleased to present its Distinguished Service Award to Dr. Conroy and Dr. Phillips-Conroy.

Published: 04/12/2015