Robert J. Terry Lecture

Robert J. Terry photo with image of Washington University shield on blue background

The Robert J. Terry lecture acknowledges the contributions of Dr. Terry to the teaching of human anatomy.

The Robert J. Terry Lecture was established in 1938 by alumni and friends of the Washington University School of Medicine to honor Dr. Terry and to foster greater appreciation of the study of human anatomy in relation to the teaching and practice of medicine.

Dr. Terry became head of the Department of Anatomy at Washington University School of Medicine in 1900. When the school was reorganized in 1910 after the recommendations made by the Flexner Report, Dr. Terry was the only department chairman to be reappointed.

During his tenure at Washington University, Dr. Terry initiated and assembled one of the largest skeletal research collections in the United States. The collection is an important resource for anthropological research because of the extensive documentation that accompanies each skeleton. The Robert J. Terry Anatomical Skeletal Collection is a collection of some 1,728 human skeletons. In 1964, the collection was indefinitely loaned to the National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, where it still resides today.

Dr. Terry was well known among scientists in his field for the reforms he introduced in the teaching of human anatomy. He finished his pre-medical education at Cornell University in New York in 1892 and received his medical degree in 1895 from the Missouri Medical College, forerunner of Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Terry continued active work in the Department of Anatomy until 1959, when he moved to Weston, MA, to be near his daughter. At the time of his retirement in 1941, he received the title of professor emeritus, and in 1956 he was awarded an honorary LLD degree.

Dr. Terry passed away in 1966 at the age of 95.

Download the program (PDF) for the 61st Robert J. Terry Lecture, to be held November 12, 2021.

Robert J. Terry Lecture speakers

Dr. György Buzsáki
Biggs Professor of Neural Sciences
New York University, Langone Medical Center
Preconfigured Network Dynamics: Brain in the Body
2021
Dr. Larry Abbott
William Bloor Professor of Theoretical Neuroscience
Columbia University Medical Center
Circuit Models of Fly Navigation
2020
Dr. Pietro De Camilli
John Klingenstein Professor of Neuroscience and Professor of Cell Biology, Chair, Department of Neuroscience, Director, Kavli Institute for Neuroscience
Yale University School of Medicine
Intracellular Membrane Contact Sites, Lipid Dynamics and Neurodegeneration
2020
Dr. Wolfram Schultz
Professor of Neuroscience, Department of Physiology, Development & Neuroscience
University of Cambridge
Getting the Best Reward: Neuronal Mechanisms for Utility Maximisation
2018
Dr. Lee Berger
Research Professor in Human Evolution & the Public Understanding of Science, Evolutionary Studies Institute
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Almost Human – Homo Naledi
2017
Dr. David J. Anderson
Seymour Benzer Professor of Biology, Division of Biology & Biological Engineering
California Institute of Technology
The Neural Circuitry of Sex and Violence
2015
Dr. David W. Tank
Henry L. Hillman Professor of Neuroscience and Molecular Biology
Princeton University
Neural Circuit Dynamics During Virtual Navigation
2014
Dr. Charles Zuker
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and of Neuroscience
Columbia University, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
From the Tongue to the Brain: The Biology of Mammalian Taste
2012
Dr. David McCormick
Dorys McConnel Duberg Professor of Neurobiology and Co-Director, Kavli Institute for Neuroscience
Yale University
The Cortex Operates Through Dynamic Functional Connectivity
2011
Dr. Kevan A.C. Martin
Professor of Systems Neurophysiology, Director, Institute of Neuroinformatics
University of Zurich and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Opening the Grey Box: From Synapses to Circuits in the Neocortex
2010
Dr. Gilles Laurent
Lawrence A. Hanson Jr. Professor of Biology and Computation and Neural Systems
California Institute of Technology
Circuits and Dynamics in Early Olfaction
2009
Dr. Allison Doupe
Professor of Psychiatry and Physiology, Co-Director, Sloan-Swartz Center for Theoretical Neurobiology
University of California, San Francisco
Lessons from Songbirds About Circuits and Signals
2008
Dr. Michael Greenberg
Director, Neurobiology Program, Children’s Hospital Boston, Professor of Neurology & Neurobiology
Harvard Medical School
Signalling Networks that Regulate Synapse Development and Cognitive Function
2007
Dr. Amiram Grinvald
Professor and Director, The Grodetsky Center for Research of Higher Brain Functions
The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
It Is All in the Eye of the Beholder
2006
Dr. Bert Sakmann
Professor and Director, Cell Physiology Department
Max-Planck-Institut medizinische Forschung, Heidelberg, Germany
Structure and Function of Microcircuits in the Barrel Cortex
2004
Dr. Rüdiger Wehner
Professor and Department Head, Department of Zoology
University of Zurich
Desert Ant Navigation: Mini Brains – Mega Tasks – Smart Solutions
2003
Dr. Eric Lander
Director,  Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research, Professor of Biology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Human Genome and Beyond
2002
Dr. Roger Tsien
Professor of Pharmacology and Chemistry
University of California, San Diego
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Genetically Encoded Indicators of Signal Transduction and Protein Interaction
2000
Dr. Robert Sapolsky
Professor of Biological Sciences
Stanford University
Stress, Neurodegeneration, and Strategies for Saving the Endangered Neuron
1999
Dr. Harvey Karten
Professor of Neurosciences and of Psychiatry
University of California, San Diego
Evolution of Visual Cortical Pathways
1998
Dr. Richard Axel
Higgins Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, College of Physicians and Surgeons
Columbia University
The Molecular Biology of Smell
1996
Dr. Simon LeVay
Chair, Board of Directors
Institute of Gay and Lesbian Education, West Hollywood, CA
The Biology of Sexual Orientation
1994
Dr. Eric Shooter
Professor, Department of Neurobiology
Stanford University School of Medicine
The Molecular Basis of the Peripheral Neuropathies of Mouse and Human
1993
Dr. Roger A. Nicoll
Professor, Departments of Pharmacology and Physiology
University of California, San Francisco
Pre‑ and Postsynaptic Mechanisms in Long‑Term Potentiation
1992
Dr. Mark Konishi
Bing Professor of Behavioral Biology
California Institute of Technology
Similar Neural Algorithm in Different Sensory Systems and Animal Species
1990
Dr. Mortimer Mishkin
Chief, Laboratory of Neuropsychology
National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland
From Perception into Memory
1989
Dr. Pasko Rakic
Professor of Neuroscience, Chairman, Section of Neuroanatomy
Yale University School of Medicine
Evolution of Neocortical Parcellation
1988
Dr. Vincent Matthew Sarich
Professor of Anthropology and Biochemistry
University of California, Berkeley
Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Human Evolution
1988
Dr. Alan Walker
Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
New Fossil Finds Relating to Evolution from Lake Turkana in Kenya
1986
Dr. Morris J. Karnovsky
Shattuck Professor of Pathological Anatomy, Chairman, Program in Cell & Developmental Biology
Harvard Medical School
Heparin and Growth Regulation in the Vascular Wall and Other Systems: A New Biological Role for Heparin?
1985
Dr. David Pilbeam
Professor of Anthropology
Harvard University
Human Origins Research: Then and Now
1984
Dr. Nicole Le Douarin
Director, Embryology Institute of the French National Scientific Research Center and College of France and Director of Research at the CNRS
Migration and Differentiation of Neural Crest Cells Studied in Interspecific Chimaeras
1983
Dr. Phillip V. Tobias
Professor & Head, Department of Anatomy, Dean, Faculty of Medicine
University of Witwatersrand Medical School, Johannesburg, South Africa
The Anatomy of Hominization
1981
Dr. C. Owen Lovejoy
Professor of Anthropology, Department of Sociology & Anthropology
Kent State University
The Origin of Man: New Developments During the Last Decade
1981
Dr. S.J. Singer
Professor of Biology
University of California, San Diego
Molecular Interactions Between the Membrane and Cytoskeleton
1980
Dr. Ray W. Guillery
Professor, Department of Pharmacological and Physiological Sciences
University of Chicago
The Arrangement of Visual Field Maps Within the Layers of the Dorsal Lateral Geniculate Nucleus
1979
Dr. David D. Sabatini
Frederick L. Ehrman Professor and Chairman, Department of Cell Biology
New York University School of Medicine
Functions of Membrane‑Bound Ribosomes in the Endoplasmic Reticulum
1978
Dr. Rupert E. Billingham
Professor and Head, Department of Cell Biology
University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
Transplantation Biology and the Maternal‑Fetal Relationship
1976
Dr. Richard C. Lewontin
Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology
Harvard University
Variation in Men and Other Animals
1975
Dr. Norman K. Wessells
Professor and Chairman, Department of Biology
Stanford University
Cell Locomotion and Nerve Axon Elongation
1974
Dr. Marilyn G. Farquhar
Professor of Cell Biology and Experimental Pathology
The Rockefeller University
A New Look at the Structure and Function of the Golgi Apparatus
1973
Dr. John E. Dowling
Professor of Biology
Harvard University
Functional Organization of the Vertebrate Retina
1972
Dr. Raymond A. Dart
Emeritus Professor of Anatomy
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Finding the Missing Link
1971
Dr. Don Wayne Fawcett
Hersey Professor of Anatomy and Head of the Department
Harvard Medical School
Some Contributions of Morphology to Reproductive Biology
1970
Dr. George Gaylord Simpson
Alexander Agassiz Professor of Paleontology
Harvard University
The Evolution of Marsupials
1969
Dr. L.S.B. Leakey
Honorary Director
National Centre of Prehistory and Paleontology, Nairobi, Kenya
The Present State of our Knowledge of Human Evolution
1968
Dr. J.V. Basmajian
Professor and Head of the Department of Anatomy
Queen’s University Faculty of Medicine
Muscles Alive – Electronic Exploration of Inner Space
1967
Dr. Alfred Romer
Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology Emeritus
Harvard University
The Vertebrate as a Dual Organism – Somatic and Visceral
1966
Dr. Ronald Singer
Professor of Anthropology and Anatomy
University of Chicago
Steatopygia: A Fat Tail
1965
Dr. Harry Eagle
Chairman, Department of Cell Biology
Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University
Metabolic Controls in Cultured Human Cells
1964
Dr. A.S. Parkes
Mary Marshall Professor of the Physiology of Reproduction
University of Cambridge
Olfactory Effects in Mammalian Reproduction
1963
Dr. Emmanuel C. Amoroso
Professor of Physiology
The Royal Veterinary College, University of London
 Patterns of Reproductive Behavior from Fish to Man
1961
Dr. J. Dixon Boyd
Professor of Anatomy
University of Cambridge
The Human Placenta
1958
Dr. Viktor Hamburger
Professor of Zoology and Head of the Department
Washington University
Cell Differentiation and Organogenesis In Vitro
1957
Dr. Sam L. Clark
Professor and Head of the Department of Anatomy
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Some Studies of Cerebellar Function in the Intact Animal
1956
Dr. Charles H. Danforth
Professor Emeritus of Anatomy
Stanford University School of Medicine
The Scope of Anatomy
1955
Dr. Louis B. Flexner
Professor of Anatomy
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Studies on the Biology of Fetal Development
1953
Dr. Keith R. Porter
Associate Member
Rockefeller Institute
Electron Microscopy Applied to the Study of Tissue Cell Structure
1952
Dr. James L. Gamble
Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics
Harvard Medical School
Early History of Fluid Replacement Therapy
1952
Dr. Edward W. Dempsey
Professor & Chairman, Department of Anatomy
Washington University School of Medicine
Chemical Histology and Its Relationship to Biological Problems
1950
Dr. Paul Weiss
Professor of Zoology
University of Chicago
Mechanisms of Nerve Growth
1949