Richard S. Snell, MD, Ph.D, MRCS, LRCP, MB, BS, FRCS

Honored Member Award 2009

Textbooks authored by Richard Snell entitled Clinical Gross Anatomy, Clinical Histology, Clinical Neuroanatomy or Clinical Embryology have been read by generations of medical students, or consulted as references by generations of anatomists.  These texts have directly brought several aspects of clinical anatomy directly to the attention of both these students and faculty.  Richard Snell was born in Richmond, Surrey, just outside of London, England on May 3, 1925.  After early schooling in the London area, he received his MB BS (1949), FRCS (1950), PhD (1955) and MD (1961) from King’s College University of London.

Although initially exploring a career in the field of medical practice, Richard soon immersed himself in teaching anatomy in the 1950’s.  Positions as Lecturer in Gross Anatomy, and Histology at King’s College University of London, were followed by being a Lecturer in Gross Anatomy at the Medical School at the University of Durham.  Richard then moved to the United States, to be Assistant, and then Associate Professor at Yale University.  He was Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anatomy at the New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry (1967-1969), Professor of Anatomy at the University of Arizona College of Medicine (1970-1972), and the Professor and Chairman of Anatomy at George Washington University Medical Center (1972-1988).  He has been Emeritus Professor at George Washington (GWU) since 1988. The quality of his teaching is evidenced by his receipt of the  Golden Apple Teaching Awards in 1972 and 1975, and A Special Students Award for Contributions to Teaching at GWU in 1988.  Richard has been a participant in the governance process of every medical school he has been a faculty member for in the United States.

Richard’s research interests have focused primarily upon the structure of melanocytes, and the influence of hormones, external radiation and other agents on melanocyte structure and function.. He employed both light and electron microscopic techniques to this problem.  Other areas of research included the structure and function of unique epidermal cells, and the distribution of cholinesterase in the peripheral and central nervous systems.

Richard is a member of the Anatomical Society of Great Britain, and the American Association of Anatomy.  He has authored fifteen textbooks, several of which dealt with Clinical Gross Anatomy, Clinical Histology, Clinical Neuroanatomy , and Clinical Embryology as noted above.  Others concerned the clinical anatomy of radiology, anesthesiology,  ophthalmology, and emergency medicine.  Still others aided students in their dissections, and reviews of gross anatomy, and neuroanatomy.  For all of the above, and his unquestionable commitment to the concept of clinical anatomy, Richard Snell, M.D., Ph.D. was awarded the Honored Member of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists for 2009.