This browser queries a version of the FMA that is updated weekly by the Structural Informatics Group at the University of Washington.

Viewing requirements

This site requires a modern web browser with JavaScript enabled. It has been tested in Firefox 36.0, Chrome 42.0, and Safari 7.1. It is intended for devices with a minimum screen size of 800 × 600 pixels.


For questions and comments on the design and implementation of this browser, contact Melissa Clarkson at .

For questions and comments about the content of the FMA, contact Onard Mejino at .

For technical issues that are not resolved by refreshing your web browser, contact Melissa Clarkson. (Occasionally the server hosting the Query Integrator is temperamental. If this is the problem, and Melissa will ask Todd Detwiler to perform the magic incantations necessary to appease it.)

About this browser

This browser was designed and developed by Melissa Clarkson as a part of her dissertation research on browsing large biomedical knowledge networks. The design work is described in the 2012 Proceedings of the ACM Conference on the Design of Communication. The goal of the design is to communicate the basic structure of the FMA and to enable non-experts to explore the FMA. The anatomy graphics used in this browser were developed by Melissa as part of this work.

Development was done in JavaScript using the Prototype and script.aculo.us libraries. All graphics are rendered as SVGs using the Raphaël JavaScript library.

The queries over the FMA are performed using the Query Integrator (described in this 2012 paper) developed by Todd Detwiler of the Structural Informatics Group at the University of Washington. If you like writing queries for XML documents in SPARQL or XQuery, Todd has made an interface for the Query Integrator in which you can compose and store queries for resources on the web.

About Melissa Clarkson

Melissa is a researcher working at the intersection of informatics, design, and life sciences. She has a PhD in Biomedical and Health Informatics from the Unviersity of Washington, a Masters degree in Information Design from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as experience performing research in molecular and cellular biology.

Her portfolio is located at melissaclarkson.com. Contact Melissa at .

About the Foundational Model of Anatomy (FMA)

The purpose of the FMA is to explicitly represent knowledge of human anatomy in a way that:

Development of the FMA began in the mid-1990s in the Structural Informatics Group under the leadership of Cornelius Rosse. The conceptual foundation for the FMA is explained in this 2008 book chapter by Cornelius Rosse and José (Onard) Mejino. With the retirement of Dr. Rosse in 2005, Jim Brinkley assumed leadership of the project. Onard Mejino remains the primary author and curator of the FMA.

Development of the FMA is driven by collaborations with researchers who need deep anatomical knowledge to develop domain-specific applications. The FMA provided the organizing ontological framework for knowledge of anatomy in major projects such as The Virtual Soldier Project (DARPA), The Virtual Physiological Human (European Commons), and the Radiology Lexicon (RadLex, in collaboration with the Radiological Society of North America). Recent work is focused on craniofacial anatomy and development as part of the FaceBase consortium (sponsored by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research within the NIH).

The FMA has been adopted as the anatomy standard for CEN (European Committee for Standardization) and aligned with major terminological projects, such as SNOMED-CT and Galen.

For information on how to collaborate with the Structural Informatics Group, contact Onard Mejino at .