Prof. Olson has been the director of Einstein's anatomy and embryology course since 1989 and has taught over 3,500 its students. He received B.A. and M.A. degrees in paleontology from the University of California at Berkeley and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1970. He completed his Ph.D. in human anatomy and morphology at St. Thomas's Hospital Medical School in London. Prior to 1989, Prof. Olson taught anatomy at University College London and the School of Biomedical Education at the CCNY. He is the President-Elect of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists, the Chair from 1994-2008 of the statewide Anatomical Committee of the Associated Medical Schools of New York, and a founder and the first Treasurer of the International Association of Medical Science Educators.
His textbook the A.D.A.M. Student Atlas of Anatomy, first published in 1996, is now in its 2nd edition and has been translated into five foreign languages. He is coauthor of the second edition of Dr. Ralph Ger's textbook: Essentials of Clinical Anatomy. Prof. Olson is an internationally recognized authority on the usage of human remains in medical education and research and has been a featured participant on National Public Radio, ABC's Primetime and 20/20 shows, BBC TV's Horizon series, and CNN's American Morning. Prof. Olson was elected to the Leo M. Davidoff Society in 1991 and is one of only six Einstein faculty to have received both the student's Samuel M. Rosen Outstanding Teacher Award (1994) and the faculty's Harry Eagle Award for Outstanding Basic Science Teaching (1999). In 2009, Prof. Olson received the Honorary Alumnus Award from the College of Medicine.