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American Association of Anatomists Gets Refresh as American Association for Anatomy

August 9, 2019

ROCKVILLE, MD—The professional home for educators, researchers, and allied health professionals working in the anatomical sciences has a new name and fresh look.

Founded as the Association of American Anatomists 131 years ago and known as the American Association of Anatomists for more than a century, the newly-named American Association for Anatomy (AAA) is a diverse, inclusive, integrated, and international community. The new name and identity showcase the holistic nature of the organization, a vibrant new brand, and messaging focused on connecting science, knowledge, careers, research, and those working in anatomy.

“We connect the science of anatomy across disciplines.” said AAA President D. Rick Sumner, Ph.D., Chair of Cell & Molecular Medicine at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center. “For example, I’m a bone researcher, but our members perform all kinds of foundational and innovative research, from discoveries about the functional anatomy of marine mammals to physical therapy treatment for Parkinson’s disease. It is truly an exciting time to be working in anatomy.”

The new name and brand identity are the by-products of an ambitious strategic plan adopted two years ago to focus more externally, to address diversity and inclusion in membership, and to lead in science communication. Members approved the name change in January. AAA leveraged member surveys, research, consultants, and designers to develop the new brand identity.

The new logo showcases the holistic nature of AAA through the use of three separate parts coming together to form an abstract ‘A’ in the negative space. Those three parts symbolize the three pillars outlined in the organization’s mission statement: research, education, and professional development. The triangle in the center can be interpreted as a delta symbol, representing the constant change occurring in the field of anatomy.

“Our vision is to inspire scientific curiosity and discovery in anatomy,” said AAA Executive Director Shawn E. Boynes, FASAE, CAE. “With this new identity, we’re embracing the opportunity to be the voice of all professionals who study, teach, and research anatomy.”

Along with AAA officers and members, Sumner and Boynes will unveil the new brand at the 19th Congress of the International Federation of Associations of Anatomists in London, August 9-11. A new look for the organization’s website,, is coming this fall.

About AAA: The American Association for Anatomy is an international membership organization of biomedical researchers and educators specializing in the structural foundation of health and disease. AAA connects gross anatomists, neuroscientists, developmental biologists, physical anthropologists, cell biologists, physical therapists, and others to advance the anatomical sciences through research, education, and professional development. To join, visit