Elizabeth C. Crosby (October 25, 1888 – July 28, 1983) was an American neuroanatomist. Elizabeth C. Crosby was born to Lewis Frederick and Francis Kreps Crosby in Petersburg, Michigan in 1888. Crosby received the National Medal of Science from President Jimmy Carter in 1979 "for outstanding contributions to comparative and human neuroanatomy and for the synthesis and transmission of knowledge of the entire nervous system of the vertebrate phylum." Her "careful descriptions" of vertebrate brains - especially reptiles - helped "outline evolutionary history" and her work as a clinical diagnostic assistant to neurosurgeons resulted in "the correlation of anatomy and surgery."
Elizabeth Caroline Crosby
|Born||October 25, 1888|
|Died||July 28, 1983(aged 94)|
|Other names||Elizabeth C. Crosby|
|Alma mater||University of Chicago|
|Awards||National Medal of Science, Achievement Award of the American Association of University Women, Henry Gray Award of the American Association of Anatomists|
|Fields||Neuroanatomy, neuroscience, neurosurgery|
|Institutions||University of Alabama Birmingham, University of Michigan Medical School|
|Thesis||The Forebrain of Alligator Mississippiensis (1915)|
|Doctoral advisor||Charles Judson Herrick|
Crosby graduated from Adrian College with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics in 1910. Influenced by professor of physics and chemistry Elmer Jones, she attended the University of Chicago under C. Judson Herrick and received her Masters of Science in biology in 1912 and then her Ph.D. in anatomy in 1915 via a fellowship. In 1920, Crosby accepted a teaching position in the University of Michigan's department of anatomy under G. Carl Huber; her classes included histology and neuroanatomy. In 1923, Crosby took a sabbatical to work with the renowned scientist C. U. Ariëns Kappers at the Central Institute for Brain Research in Amsterdam. While there, she contributed significantly to The Comparative Anatomy of the Nervous System of Vertebrates (1936). Although Crosby did not have a medical background, she became the first woman to receive full professorship at the University of Michigan Medical School, in 1936 and the first to receive the university's Faculty Achievement Award, given in 1956.
In 1939 she took a sabbatical to work with Prof Robert Douglas Lockhart at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Due to introduction of war-time trans-Atlantic travel restrictions in the Second World War she unintentionally remained there until 1941.
She eventually became Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Consultant of Neurosurgery before leaving the University of Michigan for University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1963, where she again became Professor Emeritus of Anatomy. She was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 1987. Crosby's excellence in teaching was officially recognized in 1957 when the Galens Society of the University of Michigan Medical School established the Elizabeth C. Crosby annual award for the best preclinical teaching in the school.
Other distinctions and awards include: