Orthopaedic researcher Ralph Marcucio, PhD, receives prestigious award for contributions to and achievements in anatomical sciences.


SAN FRANCISCO (January 26, 2024) – The UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is pleased to announce that Ralph Marcucio, PhD, a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, has been named the recipient of the Henry Gray Scientific Achievement Award by the American Association for Anatomy.
The American Association for Anatomy's highest scientific honor recognizes unique and meritorious contributions to and achievements in anatomical sciences by a distinguished American Association for Anatomy member.
“I have been an active member of AAA for almost 3 decades, and to be recognized by my colleagues in this organization is a huge honor,” Dr. Marcucio said.   “The award reflects the contributions of the many outstanding researchers--mentors, mentees, and collaborators--that I have had the honor and joy to work with throughout my career, as well as the incredible support provided to me by the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Orthopaedic Trauma Institute.”
“This is such a deserving award for Dr Marcucio in recognition of his dedication in understanding how our skeleton develops its form and heals after injury,” said C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Chair, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.   “His work has contributed immensely to our field and has led to novel treatment directions for fracture care.”

About Ralph Marcucio, PhD
Ralph Marcucio was born in and grew up in Amsterdam, N.Y. Dr. Marcucio began his research career as an intern at The Boyce Thompson Institute while he was an undergraduate at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in 1990, Dr. Marcucio was accepted into Cornell University's School of Agriculture PhD program. He completed his PhD in 1995. For his exemplary performance and dedication as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, Dr. Marcucio was recognized by the Dean of Cornell University's School of Agriculture for his outstanding contribution to undergraduate education. After receiving his PhD, Ralph was awarded a prestigious NIH training grant to study tissue interactions that control development of the musculoskeletal system. Dr. Marcucio spent 5 years in the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine studying the origins of the musculature responsible for moving the head and jaw skeleton.
In 2000, Dr. Marcucio joined the Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco, (UCSF). In this position, he began studying how the skeleton of the face attains its shape and form. This work has resulted in the preparation of numerous manuscripts for publication in world-renowned research journals and has formed the basis for his independent research career.
In 2003, Dr. Marcucio was appointed to the faculty at UCSF as an Assistant Professor in Residence in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. His research program focuses on two basic science areas. First, he studies bone fracture healing focusing on the transformation of chondrocytes to osteoblasts and other cell types, as well as the inflammatory process during healing. Second, Dr. Marcucio is examining the role that the brain plays during normal development of the facial skeleton. Many facial birth defects have an underlying brain malformation, and the goal of the research is to generate novel therapeutic approaches that will allow correcting facial malformations prior to birth.