Department of Bio-Medical Sciences - Philadelphia
Associate Professor

Associate professor Philip Reno


Office: 215-871-6749

Dr. Philip Reno is a biological anthropologist who investigates the evolutionary and developmental bases for human anatomy. His current efforts are directed towards two main questions: What are the mechanisms that pattern growth plate development and differential growth and what are the developmental mechanisms that underlie the evolution of human-specific traits?

To address these questions his lab employs a novel integration of human, primate and mammalian comparative anatomy; skeletal development and histology; and developmental and comparative genomics. Dr. Reno teaches human anatomy and embryology to Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) students at PCOM. He also mentors students in the lab working on various projects related to skeletal development, cartilage biology, comparative genomics and skin development.

  • Education

    • Postdoctoral developmental biology, Stanford University
    • PhD biomedical sciences, Kent State University
    • BA anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Courses

    • Human anatomy
    • Embryology
  • Publications

    • 2017 Reno PL. Missing Links Scientific American. 316(May 1):42-47.
    • 2016 Reno PL, Kjosness KM, Hines JE. The role of Hox in pisiform and calcaneus growth plate formation and the nature of the zeugopod/autopod boundary. Journal of Experimental Zoology B (Mol Dev Evol). 326B:303-321.
    • 2016 Machnicki AL, Lovejoy CO, Reno PL. Developmental biology versus typology: Lucy has only four vertebral segments. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 160:729-39.
    • 2015 Reno PL, Lovejoy CO. From Lucy to Kadanuumuu: Balanced analyses of Australopithecus afarensis assemblages confirm only moderate skeletal dimorphism. PeerJ. 3:e925; DOI 10.7717/peerj.925.
    • 2014 Reno PL. Genetic and developmental basis for parallel evolution and its significance for hominoid evolution. Evolutionary Anthropology. 23:188-200.
    • 2014 Kjosness KM, Hines JE, Lovejoy CO, Reno PL. The pisiform growth plate is lost in humans and supports a role for Hox in growth plate formation. Journal of Anatomy. 225:527-38.
    • 2013 Reno PL, McLean CY, Hines JE, Capellini TD, Bejerano G, Kingsley DM. A penile spine/vibrissa enhancer sequence is missing in modern and extinct humans, but is retained in multiple primates with penile spines and sensory vibrissae. PLoS ONE. 8(12): e84258. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084258
    • 2013 Reno PL, Horton WE, Lovejoy CO. Metapodial or phalanx? An evolutionary and developmental perspective on the homology of the first ray’s proximal segment. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B. 320B:276-85.
    • 2011 McLean CY*, Reno PL*, Pollen AA*, Bassan AI, Capellini TD, Guenther C, Indjeian VB, Lim X, Menke DB, Schaar BT, Wenger AM, Bejerano G, Kingsley DM. Human-specific loss of regulatory DNA and the evolution of human-specific traits. Nature. 471:216-19.
      * Equal author contribution
    • 2008 Reno PL, McCollum MA, Cohn MJ, Meindl RS, Hamrick M, Lovejoy CO. Patterns of correlation and covariation of anthropoid distal forelimb segments correspond to Hoxd expression territories. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B. 310B:240-58.
    • 2003 Reno PL, Meindl RS, McCollum, Lovejoy CO. Sexual dimorphism of Australopithecus afarensis was similar to that of modern humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 1000:9404-9409.
    • 2003 Lovejoy CO, McCollum MA, Reno PL, Rosenman BA. Developmental biology and human evolution. Annual Review of Anthropology, 32:85-109.



  • Memberships

    • American Association of Anatomists
    • American Association of Physical Anthropologists
  • Grants

    • NSF: “Mechanisms of growth plate patterning revealed by natural variation in mammalian ossification.” Philip Reno PI, IOS-1656315, $800,000, 2017-2021.
    • NSF: “Evolution and development of the hominoid wrist.” Philip Reno PI, Douglas Menke Co-PI. BCS-1638812, $233,599, 2017-2020.
    • NSF: “Doctoral Dissertation Research: Evolution and development of the hominoid thoracolumbar transition.” Philip Reno PI, Allison Machnicki Co-PI, BCS-1650879 ($11,820), 2017.
    • Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant: “Evolution and Development of the Hominoid Thoracolumbar Transition.” Allison Machnicki Ph.D Student, Philip Reno supervisor. ($20,000), 2016.
    • NSF: “Doctoral Dissertation Research: Evolutionary and developmental influences on skeletal maturation and internal structure. Philip Reno PI, Kelsey Kjosness Co-PI. BCS-1540418 ($30,140), 2015-2017.
    • NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Post Doctoral Fellowship: “Regulatory architecture of the Androgen Receptor locus in development & evolution.” 2009-2010.