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Center for Functional Anatomy

and Evolution

Apply Here

Deadline January 10th

The Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution offers a five year PhD program in evolutionary and organismal biology, with a strong emphasis on function. The Center delivers the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Human Gross Anatomy curriculum.


The Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Our research focus is the exploration of relationships among functional anatomy, behavior and evolutionary biology of extant and extinct vertebrates. The Center provides an exceptional opportunity for graduate students to study and conduct original research in evolutionary organismal biology, both in laboratory settings and in the field.

Our teaching focus is primarily directed at human anatomy. The Center is responsible for delivering the School of Medicine Gross Anatomy curriculum, an essential part of the requirements for the MD degree. We also offer a Summer Institute in Anatomy, offered to students both in and outside of the Johns Hopkins community. Additionally, our faculty offer courses in organismal biology to Johns Hopkins undergraduates.

The department also houses a large collection of fossil vertebrates and various research facilities.

Master of Science in Anatomy Education

Please follow this link for information regarding our Master of Science in Anatomy Education Program.

Latest news from the Center

Dr. Sylvester Promoted to Associate Professor

Adam Sylvester was promoted to Associate Professor of Functional Anatomy and Evolution, effective October 1, 2020. A full time faculty member in the Center, Dr. Sylvester earned his BS in Zoology, then his MA and PhD in Anthropology, from the University of Tennessee. His positions prior to joining the faculty at Johns Hopkins included at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig and as a Lecturer at the University of Glasgow.

Dr. Sylvester is a nationally recognized authority on primate postcranial morphology, the evolution of hominin locomotion, bone functional adaptation, and morphometric modeling of the skeletal system. His research interests focus on the relationship between external and internal form of the hominin skeleton and mechanical loadings, especially those due to weight-bearing and locomotor behavior. He has played a key role in the development of novel advanced morphometric techniques for the analysis of bone surface morphology and trabecular bone microstructure and is acknowledged as one of the world’s experts in this growing field. He is supported by the National Science Foundation to study an issue of clinical and biomechanical significance: how does obesity affect mechanical loadings and trabecular bone structure in the human skeleton?

Dr. Sylvester teaches Geometric Morphometrics in the Center for FAE and Human Anatomy in the School of Medicine and in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences on the Homewood campus.

Dr. Sylvester is the director of the Graduate program in Functional Anatomy and Evolution.

Please join us in congratulating Adam on his promotion to Associate Professor!

Posted October 2020