Former College of Medicine anatomy department chairman dies

Michael Ross, Ph.D.

Michael Ross, Ph.D.

Michael Ross, Ph.D., former chairman of the University of Florida College of Medicine’s department of anatomy and cell biology, died Tuesday, June 9. He was 78.

“The College of Medicine family has lost a great colleague, a dedicated leader and an outstanding educator,” said Michael Good, M.D., interim dean of the college and the Folke H. Peterson dean’s distinguished professoDr. Ross graduated with a bachelor of science degree from Franklin and Marshall College in 1951. After serving in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1954, he went on to receive a master’s in biology in 1959 and a Ph.D. in biology in 1960 from New York University. After launching his academic career at New York University, he joined the faculty at the University of Florida in 1971 as a professor and director of the division of anatomical sciences in the department of pathology. In 1976, the department of anatomy was formed and Dr. Ross was named chairman. It is now the department of anatomy and cell biology. He served as chairman until his retirement in 1996, but continued to provide guidance and support to the department as emeritus professor.

Throughout his career, Dr. Ross’ research interest was in the male reproductive system, where he pioneered studies on the blood-testicular barrier and the role of the Sertoli cell in maintaining the barrier. He was also well-known for his contributions to the teaching community through his textbooks. The first edition of the Atlas of Descriptive Histology, by Edward J. Reith and Michael H. Ross, was published in 1965 with two subsequent editions in 1970 and 1977. This atlas became the nucleus for the development of a textbook titled Histology: A Text and Atlas, which is used in medical schools around the world in numerous languages and will publish its sixth edition this fall. One of Dr. Ross’ proudest accomplishments was the revival of his Atlas of Descriptive Histology, due to be released this summer.

Arrangements are not known at this time. For more information, contact the department of anatomy and cell biology at 352-273-8471.