Boosting T cells improves survival in mice with glioblastoma

Glioblastoma, an aggressive cancer in the brain or spinal cord, has proven stubbornly resistant to newer immunotherapies. And radiation and chemotherapy, the standard treatment for glioblastoma, result in fewer than 10% of patients surviving longer than five years after diagnosis. But a new study from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis […]

$11.5 million commitment supports new Alzheimer’s prevention clinical trial

Longtime St. Louis benefactor Joanne Knight has committed up to $11.5 million to Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis to support an innovative clinical trial aimed at preventing Alzheimer’s disease by treating people before the first signs of the illness appear in the brain. In recognition of this gift and the Knight family’s […]

New Alzheimer’s prevention trial in young people

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is launching an international clinical trial aimed at preventing Alzheimer’s disease in people genetically destined to develop the illness at a young age. Unlike most other Alzheimer’s prevention trials, this one will enroll people before the disease has taken hold – up to 25 years before the […]

Rustenhoven named finalist for neurobiological research award

Justin Rustenhoven, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been named a finalist for the Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology. This international prize is awarded annually in recognition of outstanding neurobiological research conducted within the past three years by a young scientist and described in a 1,000-word […]

NIH research funding to School of Medicine continues explosive expansion in 2021

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis were awarded $575.8 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in federal fiscal year 2021, according to the School of Medicine’s 2021 State of the School Report, an increase of nearly $88 million over FFY2020. This is an all-time high for the […]

Asthma may reduce risk of brain tumors — but how?

There’s not much good that can be said about asthma, a breathing disease in which the airways become narrowed and inflamed. But there’s this: People with asthma seem to be less likely to develop brain tumors than others. And now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis believe they have discovered why. […]

IpsiHand stroke-recovery device named product of year by science society

The IpsiHand, an innovative stroke-recovery device that helps stroke patients recover significant arm and hand function by retraining their brains, has received the 2021 Pantheon Product of the Year Award from California Life Sciences. The organization advocates for the state’s life sciences sector and its innovation pipeline by supporting companies of all sizes, from early-stage […]

School of Medicine receives grant aimed at retaining clinical scientists

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is one of 22 medical schools selected to receive funding aimed at helping medical schools retain clinical scientists. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, along with the American Heart Association, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the John Templeton Foundation, the Rita Allen Foundation and the Walder Foundation, announced Wednesday, […]

Prenatal, early-life influences on child brain development focus of new study

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are joining scientists at 24 other sites around the country to conduct a comprehensive study aimed at understanding how prenatal factors and early life experiences influence brain development and behavior in infants and young children. With more than $37 million in funding from several institutes […]

Antidepressant may prevent severe COVID-19, follow-up study indicates

In the largest study yet to evaluate a common, low-cost antidepressant as a treatment for COVID-19, researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and from Canada and Brazil have found that the drug fluvoxamine prevents some of the most serious complications of COVID-19, sharply reducing the risk of hospitalization and death. The […]

Kipnis named an editor of medical journal

Jonathan Kipnis, PhD, the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor of Pathology & Immunology and a BJC Investigator at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been named an academic editor of the Journal of Experimental Medicine, a high-impact journal that publishes papers on immunology, cancer biology, vascular biology, microbial pathogenesis, neuroscience and […]

International Alzheimer’s clinical trial to test two drugs in combination

Researchers leading a worldwide clinical trial aimed at finding treatments for Alzheimer’s disease are modifying an arm of the trial to evaluate a combination of drugs targeting two brain proteins: amyloid and tau. The trial – known as the Tau Next Generation Trial (Tau NexGen) – originally was announced with a focus on drugs that […]

Hookworms have potential to protect soldiers from chemical, biological weapons

Combat troops require special equipment to guard against chemical and biological agents that could be unleashed in a war zone. While such suits and respirators can protect against chemical and biological weapons, they are cumbersome and can limit mobility at the worst possible times. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis hope […]

Older people’s resilience during pandemic focus of $9 million grant

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have received a five-year, $9.1 million grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study resilience in older adults before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant also will fund research into the pandemic’s cognitive and emotional effects […]

$7.5 million to study elusive cell type important in aging, cancer, other diseases

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is joining the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) new research network focused on the study of senescent cells, a rare and important population of cells that is difficult to study but vital for understanding aging and the diseases of aging, including cancer and neurodegeneration. The goal is […]

Enhanced therapeutic foods improve cognition in malnourished children

A nutritional supplement popular in the U.S. and added to some types of yogurt, milk and infant formula can significantly improve cognition in severely malnourished children, according to a study led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The researchers found that when the omega-3 fatty acid known as docosahexaenoic acid […]

$15 million gift to strengthen life science education, research across university

A decades-long friendship and a shared passion for basic science has inspired a $15 million gift to the Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences (DBBS) at Washington University in St. Louis to fund undergraduate programs and graduate student fellowships in the life sciences. DBBS’ founding director, P. Roy Vagelos, MD, and his wife, Diana Vagelos, […]

Hit the sleep ‘sweet spot’ to keep brain sharp

Like so many other good things in life, sleep is best in moderation. A multiyear study of older adults found that both short and long sleepers experienced greater cognitive decline than people who slept a moderate amount, even when the effects of early Alzheimer’s disease were taken into account. The study was led by researchers […]

Achilefu, Luby elected to National Academy of Medicine

Medical imaging scientist Samuel Achilefu, PhD, and child psychiatrist Joan L. Luby, MD, both of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, a part of the National Academy of Sciences. Membership in the academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and […]

Drug helps sensory neurons regrow in the mouse central nervous system

A spinal cord injury damages the lines of communication between the body and brain, impeding the signals that drive movement and sensation. Injured motor and sensory neurons in the central nervous system — the brain and spinal cord — have limited ability to heal, so people who survive such injuries can be left with chronic […]

Park named Margery Campbell Fort Professor of Neurological Surgery

Pediatric neurosurgeon Tae Sung Park, MD, one of the top  neurosurgeons worldwide in his field, has been named the Margery Campbell Fort Professor of Neurological Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The professorship was established by St. Louis philanthropist and businessman Jeffrey Fort in memory of his mother, Margery Fort, who died […]

$12.2 million to fund new Conte Center to study neurosteroids

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has awarded Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis a five-year, $12.2 million grant to create a center aimed at advancing research into neurosteroids as treatments for depression and other psychiatric disorders. The new Silvio O. Conte Center for Basic Neuroscience Research will be one of only […]

$35 million to support study of sleep disorder linked to neurodegeneration

People with rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder act out their dreams. While sleeping safely in bed, for example, they might throw up their arms to catch an imaginary ball or try to run from an illusory assailant. Such actions are more than just a nuisance. People with the disorder have a 50% to […]

NIH awards 4 medical school scientists prestigious ‘high-risk, high-reward’ grants

Four scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have been awarded prestigious grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) aimed at supporting the researchers’ innovative and impactful biomedical and behavioral research. The grants are among a total of 106 such grants awarded to scientists recognized via the NIH Common Fund’s High-Risk, High-Reward […]

Construction of neuroscience building perseveres despite pandemic

COVID-19’s global wrath began to intensify in early 2020, just as Washington University in St. Louis was scheduled to break ground on one of the most significant neuroscience research buildings in the U.S. and one of the most critical facilities projects in the history of the School of Medicine. However, as the virus shut down the university […]

Time until dementia symptoms appear can be estimated via brain scan

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed an approach to estimating when a person who is likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, but has no cognitive symptoms, will start showing signs of Alzheimer’s dementia. The algorithm, available online in the journal Neurology, uses data from a kind of brain scan known […]

Gordon receives Balzan Prize

Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD, the Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is a recipient of this year’s Balzan Prize for his role in founding the field of human gut microbiome research and revolutionizing the understanding of gut microbes and their roles in human health and disease. Each […]

COVID-19 transmission at school rare for children with disabilities

Studies have determined that in-school transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 is rare when masking, social distancing and other safety protocols are followed. However, little has been known about COVID-19 risks at school for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These students often are unable to mask or maintain social distancing and may have underlying […]

$6.2 million grant to fund Center for Perioperative Mental Health

The average person will undergo nine surgical procedures in his or her lifetime, and the periods before, during and after surgery are considered high risk regarding mental health, particularly among older adults. Depression and anxiety are especially common in older surgery patients; past research has demonstrated that about 40% of older surgical patients have mental […]

Memory disorders after viral infections focus of $8.7 million grant

More than half of the survivors of West Nile virus brain infections are left with memory disorders that make everyday tasks such as remembering the route from home to work challenging. Similar issues can arise in the aftermath of other viral infections, such as the “brain fog” that plagues some people after a diagnosis of […]

Wang receives award to further develop pregnancy imaging system

Yong Wang, PhD, an associate professor of obstetrics & gynecology and of radiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received a 2021 Next Gen Pregnancy Research Grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to biomedical science through research and education. Wang, also an associate professor of electrical […]

Schmidt recognized for contributions to neuropathology

Robert Schmidt, MD, PhD, a professor of pathology & immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received the Meritorious Contributions to Neuropathology Award from the American Association of Neuropathologists. The award recognizes Schmidt’s contributions to the advancement of knowledge of diseases that affect the nervous system. For more than 30 years, […]

Lee named head of Department of Neurology

Jin-Moo Lee, MD, PhD, recognized internationally for his research on the cellular and molecular pathophysiology of brain injury, has been named head of the Department of Neurology and the Andrew B. and Gretchen P. Jones Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He will begin in his new role Sept. 1. Currently […]

Protein linked to heart health, disease a potential therapeutic target for dementia

Mice prone to developing Alzheimer’s-like brain damage have potentially damaging activated immune cells in their brains (above). Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that high levels of a normal protein associated with reduced heart disease also protect against Alzheimer’s-like damage in mice, opening up new approaches to slowing or stopping brain damage and cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s. (Image: Yang Shi)

By the time people with Alzheimer’s disease start exhibiting difficulty remembering and thinking, the disease has been developing in their brains for two decades or more, and their brain tissue already has sustained damage. As the disease progresses, the damage accumulates, and their symptoms worsen. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis […]

Investigational Alzheimer’s drug improves biomarkers of the disease

Randall Bateman, MD, director of the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network-Trials Unit (DIAN-TU), an ongoing international clinical trial to evaluate experimental Alzheimer’s drugs, speaks with DIAN-TU participant Taylor Hutton. One of the drugs tested in the DIAN-TU, gantenerumab, improved biomarkers of disease despite unclear cognitive effects, prompting study leaders to offer participants the option of continuing to receive the drug and participate in follow-up examinations as part of a so-called open label extension. (Photo: Matt Miller/WUSM)

An investigational Alzheimer’s drug reduced molecular markers of disease and curbed neurodegeneration in the brain, without demonstrating evidence of cognitive benefit, in a phase 2/3 clinical trial led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis through its Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network-Trials Unit (DIAN-TU). These results led the trial leaders to offer the drug, […]

Ravichandran named BJC investigator

Kodi S. Ravichandran, PhD, a world leader in understanding innate immunity, has been named a BJC Investigator as well as director of the Division of Immunobiology in the Department of Pathology & Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. His studies of how dead cells are cleared from the body have shed light on innate immunity […]

Immunologist joins Colonna lab as Pew Latin American Fellow

Brazilian immunologist José Luís Fachi, PhD, will join the laboratory of Marco Colonna, MD, the Robert Rock Belliveau, MD, Professor of Pathology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, as a Pew Latin American Fellow in Biomedical Sciences. The program is designed to promote exchange and collaboration between investigators in the United States and […]

4 physician-scientists named Dean’s Scholars

The Division of Physician-Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has named its second class of physicians for the Dean’s Scholars Program. The awardees will receive up to two years of financial support and mentorship, as well as dedicated lab time to conduct scientific research. The four physicians (from left) are: Mary “Maggie” Mullen, Erica Young, Matthew Shew, and Rong Mei Zhang.

The Division of Physician-Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has selected four physicians for its second class of Dean’s Scholars. The program provides up to two years of financial support and mentorship to aspiring, early-career physician-scientists, along with dedicated time for conducting laboratory research. The newly named class includes: Mary “Maggie” Mullen, MD; Matthew […]

Study finds brain areas involved in seeking information about bad possibilities

The term “doomscrolling” describes the act of endlessly scrolling through bad news on social media and reading every worrisome tidbit that pops up, a habit that unfortunately seems to have become common during the COVID-19 pandemic. The biology of our brains may play a role in that. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in […]

Laughing gas relieves symptoms in people with treatment-resistant depression

A single, one-hour treatment that involves breathing in a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide — otherwise known as laughing gas — significantly improved symptoms in people with treatment-resistant depression, according to new data from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of Chicago. In a phase 2 clinical […]

Studies reveal skull as unexpected source of brain immunity

The immune system is the brain’s best frenemy. It protects the brain from infection and helps injured tissues heal, but it also causes autoimmune diseases and creates inflammation that drives neurodegeneration. Two new studies in mice suggest that the double-edged nature of the relationship between the immune system and the brain may come down to […]

Tiny implant cures diabetes in mice without triggering immune response

A team of researchers led by diabetes specialists and biomedical engineers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Cornell University has demonstrated that, using a miniscule device, they can implant insulin-secreting cells into diabetic mice. Once implanted, the cells secrete insulin in response to blood sugar, reversing diabetes without requiring drugs to […]

Lang named to national child health advisory council

Catherine Lang, PhD, a professor of physical therapy and associate director of the Movement Science Program in the Program in Physical Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been appointed to serve on the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development Council for the Eunice Kennedy Schriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) […]

Brain tumors caused by normal neuron activity in mice predisposed to such tumors

Seeing, hearing, thinking, daydreaming — doing anything at all, in fact — activates neurons in the brain. But for people predisposed to developing brain tumors, the ordinary buzzing of their brains could be a problem. A study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Stanford University School of Medicine shows […]

For men, low testosterone means high risk of severe COVID-19

Throughout the pandemic, doctors have seen evidence that men with COVID-19 fare worse, on average, than women with the infection. One theory is that hormonal differences between men and women may make men more susceptible to severe disease. And since men have much more testosterone than women, some scientists have speculated that high levels of […]

Cheng honored for work to advance pain relief without adverse effects

Wayland Cheng, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of anesthesiology, has received the 2021 Frontiers in Anesthesia Research Award from the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS). The prestigious $750,000 award, which is given only once every three years to a single awardee, funds projects with an eye toward developing future leaders in the field of anesthesiology. Read more.

Among COVID-19 survivors, an increased risk of death, serious illness

As the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed, it has become clear that many survivors — even those who had mild cases — continue to manage a variety of health problems long after the initial infection should have resolved. In what is believed to be the largest comprehensive study of long COVID-19 to date, researchers at Washington […]

Podcast: Pandemic contributing to uptick of mental health problems in kids

Infections with the virus that causes COVID-19 are not the only cause of pandemic-related hospitalizations. Although children tend to be at lower risk of COVID-19, the number of kids with mental health and behavioral problems has exploded during the pandemic, driving an increase in pediatric hospital admissions nationwide. Stressors associated with remote schooling, fear of […]

Obituary: Michael E. Hughes, assistant professor of pulmonary medicine, 41

Michael Evan Hughes, PhD, a neuroscientist and chronobiologist highly respected for his research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, died Tuesday, May 4, 2021, at his home in St. Louis after a six-year battle with brain cancer. He was 41. An assistant professor in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, […]

Team developing tool to handle big data generated by advanced imaging tool

Light-sheet fluorescence microscopy, an imaging tool that can rapidly produce 3D images of complex cellular structures, gives scientists the power to visualize the myriad miniature dramas unfolding inside living cells and tissues. Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are using the technique to watch, in astonishing detail, tiny organelles rearrange themselves […]