Associate Member Awards

The Ralph Ger Platform Presentation Award and the Sandy C. Marks, Jr. Poster Presentation Awards honor two of the founding members of AACA. Each awardee will receive a check for $600 U.S. to offset travel to the meeting and a certificate suitable for framing.

Ralph Ger Associate Member Platform Presentation Award


The AACA Student Platform Presentation Award was named in honor of Ralph Ger, a clinical anatomist and surgeon who initiated the founding of the AACA in 1983. Dr. Ger was a strong proponent of clinical anatomy education and had particular involvements in the study and use of muscle and myocutaneous flaps in general surgery, the broad field of treatment of hernias, colonic surgery, and early clinical work with lasers.

Ralph Ger was born in South Africa in 1921, and enrolled in the University of Cape Town Medical School where, during his studies, he was appointed student demonstrator and tutor in the Department of Anatomy at the age of 17. Dr. Ger was graduated M.B.Ch.B. in 1942 and served in the South African Medical Corps in World War II. After the war, Dr. Ger studied and received surgical training in Great Britain, where he earned Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, (FRCS, England) and FRCS (Scotland). He returned to South Africa for additional training at the University of Witwatersrand and then became a faculty member at the University of Cape Town Medical School and attending surgeon at several of its hospitals. In addition, he was an examiner in Basic Sciences for the South African College of Surgeons, Physicians and Gynaecologists and rose to “Director of programmes in anatomy” for that organization.

As a result of abhorrent apartheid policies in South Africa, Dr. Ger and his family emigrated to the United States in 1966, when he accepted a faculty position in Surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. By 1968, Dr. Ger began to reshape Einstein’s anatomy course to make it more clinically relevant, and was appointed Professor of Surgery in 1973.  He became Professor of Surgery at SUNY Stony Brook and Chair of the Department of Surgery at Winthrop University Hospital on Long Island in 1986, but continued his long-lasting relationship with anatomy at Einstein as a visiting professor for another 20 years.

In 1983 Dr. Ger initiated a meeting among a group of surgeons and anatomists who were concerned that the reduction in time for the study of anatomy in the crowded medical curriculum might have a negative effect on training for clinical practice. The AACA was thus created and modeled after the British Association of Clinical Anatomists, which had formed a few years earlier. Dr. Ger was instrumental in driving the success of the AACA in its early years through his service as President-elect from 1983 – 1985 and then President from 1985 – 1987.  He then exercised his leadership and diplomatic skills in helping to create Clinical Anatomy, the official journal of AACA, and served as co-editor from 1988 – 1991. Ralph Ger was recognized for his exceptional contributions to AACA by being named its Honored Member in 1991 and then was presented with the R. Benton Adkins Distinguished Service Award in 2007 for his lifetime contributions to AACA and his tireless efforts to promote student-involvement in the Annual Meeting.  Dr. Ger continued to support AACA and attend its annual meeting until shortly before his death in 2012 at the age of 91.


2020 AACA Ralph Ger Student Platform Presentation Award
Evaluation of Nerve Capture Using Classical Landmarks for Knee Radiofrequency Denervation.
John Tran (University of Toronto).


2019 AACA Ralph Ger Associate Member Platform Presentation Award Winner
Augmented Reality for Regional Anesthesia (AR4RA): A 3D Education Tool for Image-Guided Procedures.


2018 AACA Ralph Ger Associate Member Platform Presentation Award Winner
A Cadaveric Study of the Nerve Supply of the Posterior Knee Joint Capsule
John Tran (University of Toronto)


2017 AACA Ralph Ger Associate Member Platform Presentation Award Winner
Ultrasound-Guided Injection of Psoas Major Muscle for Clinical Management of Hip Flexor Spasticity  

Sandy C. Marks, Jr. Associate Member Poster Presentation Awards


The AACA Student Poster Presentation Award was named in honor of Sandy C. Marks, Jr.

Sandy C. Marks was born in Wilmington NC, but spent most of his youth in the former Belgian Congo in Central Africa, where his father was a dentist in a mission hospital. He returned to the U.S. after high school and earned his B.S. from Washington and Lee university, Summa Cum Laude in 1960; his D.D.S. from the University of North Carolina in 1964; his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins with highest honors in 1968; and later a Master’s degree in Periodontics from Tufts Dental School.

Dr. Marks joined the faculty of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester at its inception in 1970 where he founded the Anatomy Department and eventually became a professor of Cell Biology, Radiology, and Surgery. He was a dedicated and beloved teacher of medical and graduate students in a wide variety of subjects including human gross anatomy, surgical anatomy, embryology, death and dying, and ethics.

He established and directed the Anatomical Gifts Program at UMass and held a joint appointment as Coordinator of Anatomical Gifts with Boston University, Harvard Medical School, Tufts Medical School, and the University of Massachusetts from 1976-1986. As part of this role, he initiated the annual Memorial Service at UMass put on by the medical students for the families of body donors.

Dr. Marks was a prolific researcher and writer. He authored over 275 scientific publications, research articles, and textbooks on subjects as diverse as anatomy and medical education, bone cell biology, reconstructive oral and facial surgery for leprosy patients, tooth eruption, the radiologic diagnosis of child abuse, and death and dying with dignity.

Dr. Marks mentored many graduate students, medical students, and post-doctoral scientists, and with his wife Julia, hosted a constant stream of visiting scientists from the world over. His research collaborations included scientists from more than 25 countries over five continents. He was a Visiting Professor at the Mayo Clinic, the Karolinska Institutet Center for Oral Biology in Huddinge, Sweden and the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur. Over 35 years he was the principal investigator on 16 research grants.

In addition to his teaching and research, Dr. Marks maintained a part-time clinical practice as a periodontal surgeon and volunteered as an oral surgeon at a free dental clinic in Worcester, MA.

He was in frequent demand as an invited lecturer in medical and dental schools across the United States and in Europe, Japan, Southeast Asia, and Australia, and received many awards for his contributions as a teacher, scientist, and practitioner.

He was a member of 30 different professional organizations and served on the Editorial Boards of Bone, The American Surgeon, and The American Journal of Anatomy. He was a member of the Steering Committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on dental and craniofacial issues.

Dr. Marks was a founding member of the AACA and was elected AACA Vice-President from 1987-1989 and President from 1991-1993. He served as American Editor for its journal Clinical Anatomy for 10 years and became an Honored Member in 2000. Dr. Marks passed away in November 2002.

2020 AACA Sandy C. Marks Jr. Poster Presentation Award Winners

Basic Science
Characterization of HILPDA Dependent Lipid Droplet Abundance in a Mouse Model of Pancreatic Cancer


Clinical Science
Course of the Greater Palatine Nerve and Artery: Implications for Palatal Tissue Graft Harvesting.

Abnormal Branching of the Celiac Trunk with Atypical Origin of the Middle Colic Artery.


Previous AACA Sandy C. Marks Jr. Poster Presentation Award Winners


2019: Basic Science
Are Soft-Embalmed Cadavers Better for Histopathological Study?


2019: Clinical Science
Intramuscular Aponeuroses and Fibre Bundle Morphology of Flexor Digitorum Superficialis: A 3D Study.


2019: Education/History
Etiology of Pseudoconclusion: Phenomenon of Pseudoreplication in Anatomical Research.


2018: Medical Education
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Thiel-Embalmed Cadavers for Identifying a Positive Lachman Test


2018: Clinical Science
Biomechanics Behind the Age-related Changes in the Anatomy of the Achilles Tendon Insertion


2018: Basic Education
Parsing Out the Relationship between Contractile and Connective Elements in the Human Trapezius


2017: Basic Science
Innervation of the External Urethral Sphincter: An Immunohistochemical Elucidation


2017: Clinical Science
Investigating the Effects of Rigid Cervical Collars on the Internal Jugular Vein Dimensions


2017: Education/History
1. @AACAnatomy Twitter Account Goes Live: A Sustainable Model for Outreach of Professional Societies
2. 3D Printed Models and a Digital Case Study Improve Student Learning of Pelvic and Perineum Anatomy
Laura Solis (The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio)


Tapan K. Banerji Doctoral Award in Clinical Anatomy

Mrs. Sutapa Banerji has established the Tapan K. Banerji Doctoral Award in Clinical Anatomy in memory of Dr. Tapan K. Banerji (1940-2005). He was Professor of Neuroscience and Cell Biology at University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston.  Dr. Banerji was a passionate clinical anatomist who taught medical anatomy for 28 years.  He was greatly admired and respected as an excellent teacher, mentor and advisor to students, residents and post-doctoral fellows.  Dr. Banerji took the time to encourage his students and had unwavering faith in his students' potential for success.  He received numerous honors and awards for his excellence in teaching.  Dr. Banerji was a man of principle, he lived his life with purpose, integrity and passion.

Tapan K. Banerji Doctoral Award in Clinical Anatomy will be awarded annually for the best basic science/clinical platform presentation at the AACA Annual Meeting with clear demonstration of clinical relevance.  The presenter must be the primary investigator of the study and principle author of the abstract. The awardee will receive $1500 and a certificate suitable for framing.

Residents, Research and Clinical Fellows, young Investigator's (within five years of first research/teaching appointment) in the field of Clinical Anatomy are eligible for this award.  

The Tapan K. Banerji Doctoral Award in Clinical Anatomy will be awarded to defray travel costs for the next AACA meeting or for another clinical meeting selected by the winner.  The winner must submit an abstract and present at the meeting.  The abstract, if not presented at the AACA meeting, must included a statement that it is "Sponsored by the Tapan K. Banerji Doctoral Award in Clinical Anatomy of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists".  If the work is submitted for publication it must recognize in the acknowledgements that the dissemination of the work was supported by Tapan K. Banerji Doctoral Award in Clinical Anatomy of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists.

Selection Committee: President of AACA, Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Anatomy, Chair of Career Development Committee, One clinician appointed by the President and approved by Council of AACA.

2015 Tapan K. Banerji Doctoral Award Winner:
Creation of an Online Medical Imaging Solution for Teaching and Research (MISTR)
Yasmin Carter