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Lawrence Rizzolo, PhD, FARVO

Professor Emeritus of Surgery (Gross Anatomy)


Dr. Rizzolo received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Duke University in 1977. He received postdoctoral training in biochemistry at Harvard Medical School and in cell biology at the New York University School of Medicine. He received further training in pedagogy and curriculum development at the Harvard-Macy Institute and is a Gallup-Certified strengths coach. Rizzolo joined the Yale faculty in 1993 where he has served as the Director of Medical Sciences for the Section of Anatomy, and Course Director of Human Anatomy and Development. He developed “Anatomy Clinic”, an online guide for training clinical students that is used worldwide. Rizzolo holds joint appointments in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science and the Yale Stem Cell Center. His current research focuses on stem cell approaches to studying retinal degenerations, such as age-related macular degeneration. He is a Fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and serves on the editorial boards of Anatomical Sciences Education and Molecular Vision. Rizzolo was the liaison between the American Association of Anatomists and the Anatomical Society of Ireland and Great Britain. He currently advises the Peking Union Medical College on curricular development.

Education & Training

  • Research Associate
    New York University, Cell Biology (1985)
  • Research Fellow
    Harvard University, Biochemistry (1981)
  • PhD
    Duke University (1977)


  • Retinal Research
    Harbin, Heilongjiang, China 2017
    Honorary Director of the Harbin Aier Eye Hospital
  • Honorary Professor
    Changsha, Hunan, China 2017
    Aier School of Ophthalmology, China South Central University
  • Anatomy Exchange Program with Peking Union Medical College
    Beijing, Beijing, China (2011-2014)
    The purpose of this project is to disseminate novel teaching methods developed at Yale for teaching anatomy. Yale faculty mentor faculty at PUMC and PUMC faculty come to Yale for training.
  • Medical Education
    Liaison between the American Association of Anatomists and the Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
Charles W. Bohmfalk Teaching PrizeYale School of Medicine2012
Excellence in TeachingPhysician Assistant Program, Emory University1993

Professional Service

National Institutes of HealthSpecial emphasis review panel2011
National Science FoundationSTEM Review Panel2010
Williams Wilkins/American Association of AnatomistsEducation Research Scholarship Committee2007 - 2011
Yale School of MedicineCurriculum Committee2007 - 2013
American Association of AnatomistsConsultant2007 - 2012
American Association of Anatomists; Anatomical Society of Great Britain and IrelandLiason2007 - 2012
Yale School of MedicinePreclinical Course and Module Directors’ committee2006 - 2017
National Institutes of HealthSpecial emphasis review panel2005 - 2006
American Association of AnatomistsEducation Committee2003 - 2006
Yale School of MedicinePreclinical Course Directors Committee2002 - 2013
Yale School of MedicineAssessment of Clinical Clerkships curriculum working group2002 - 2004
Yale School of MedicineCurriculum Design Subcommittee2002 - 2004
Yale School of MedicineAttitudes curriculum working group2002 - 2004
National Institutes of Health, Visual Sciences CPanel member1999 - 2003
Department of SurgeryDirector of Medical Sciences (Anatomy)1998 - 2017
Yale School of MedicineCongress Avenue Building Project1998 - 2000
Yale School of MedicineEnd-of-Life-Curriculum Implementation Group1997 - 2002
Yale School of MedicineBasic Sciences Curriculum Subcommittee1995 - 2002

Departments & Organizations