Gut bacteria mine dietary fiber to release beneficial nutrients

A new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis demonstrates that certain human gut microbes can mine dietary fiber to extract nutrients that otherwise would remain inaccessible to the human body. The study, published June 27 in the journal Cell, illustrates how the fiber byproducts of food production — such as rinds, […]

Medical students, faculty honor body donors

One of a medical student’s most powerful teachers inspires compassion, forgives mistakes and leaves an indelible impression that forever guides that student’s clinical care and research, all without ever saying a word. That silent teacher is also a student’s first patient. At Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, they meet during first-year anatomy […]

Suicides less common in states that passed Medicaid expansion

Although there have been steady increases over the past 20 years in the number of people nationwide who die by suicide, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that such increases have slowed slightly in states that have implemented Medicaid expansion. “Suicide is a public health problem, and our findings […]

Lishko named BJC Investigator

Polina V. Lishko, PhD, a noted molecular biologist and entrepreneur, has been named a BJC Investigator at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Lishko, whose innovative investigations of molecular mechanisms of bioactive lipid signaling has advanced scientific understanding in fields as varied as reproductive biology, vision and neurodegeneration, joins the Department of Cell Biology […]

Gutmann elected to Association of American Physicians

David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD, the Donald O. Schnuck Family Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been elected to the Association of American Physicians. Election is an honor extended to physicians who have made outstanding contributions to basic or translational biomedical research and who represent the highest caliber […]

Abnormal development of brain’s visual system may contribute to autism

A research team, led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine, has identified abnormalities in the development of the brain’s visual system in infants that may predispose them to developing autism. The research, published May 26 in the American Journal of Psychiatry, suggests […]

Pagliarini named Hugo F. and Ina C. Urbauer Professor

David J. Pagliarini, PhD, a nationally recognized leader in mitochondrial biology and a BJC Investigator at the School of Medicine, has been named the inaugural Hugo F. and Ina C. Urbauer Professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Pagliarini was installed by Chancellor Andrew D. Martin and David H. Perlmutter, MD, executive vice chancellor […]

Epilepsy drug stops nervous system tumor growth in mice

People with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) develop tumors on nerves throughout their bodies. These tumors are usually benign — meaning they don’t spread to other parts of the body and are not considered life-threatening — but they can still cause serious medical problems such as blindness, especially when they form in the brain and nerves. […]

Podcast: Pandemic fuels use of alcohol, opioids

In this episode, we discuss issues that were problems long before anyone ever heard of COVID-19: alcohol use disorder and opioid overdose. Both seem to have gotten worse during the pandemic. Alcohol sales rose during the early days of lockdown, and they’ve remained high. Laura J. Bierut, MD, the Alumni Endowed Professor of Psychiatry, says another […]

Ruzycki receives career development award

Philip Ruzycki, PhD, an assistant professor in the John F. Hardesty, MD, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, has received a career development award from Research to Prevent Blindness. The award provides $350,000 to support Ruzycki’s laboratory over the next four years The award is given to support the independent pursuits of promising basic scientists and […]

Clinical and translational research receives $61 million grant support

Investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis conduct many clinical trials and translational research studies each year to develop and evaluate new ways of treating and diagnosing myriad types of diseases. Such research holds promise for improving the health of people living in St. Louis, across the state of Missouri and around […]

Lenze named head of Department of Psychiatry

Eric J. Lenze, MD, a leader in the treatment of psychiatric disorders in older adults and in devising innovative clinical trials to answer pressing public health problems, has been named the head of the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He will begin his new role Aug. 1. Lenze is the […]

Kass, Gordon receive Hellen Keller Prize for Vision Research

Michael A. Kass, MD, and Mae O. Gordon, PhD, are the recipients of the 2022 Helen Keller Prize for Vision Research. The annual prize, presented by the BrightFocus Foundation and the Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education, honors scientific discovery and excellence. Kass and Gordon, both professors in the John F. Hardesty, MD, Department of Ophthalmology […]

Neural pathway key to sensation of pleasant touch identified

Studying mice, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a neural circuit and a neuropeptide — a chemical messenger that carries signals between nerve cells — that transmit the sensation known as pleasant touch from the skin to the brain. Such touch — delivered by hugs, holding hands or caressing, […]

Calming overexcited neurons may protect brain after stroke

A new study has prompted scientists to reconsider a once-popular yet controversial idea in stroke research. Neuroscientists believed that, in the aftermath of a stroke, calming overexcited neurons might prevent them from releasing a toxic molecule that can kill neurons already damaged by lack of oxygen. This idea was supported by studies in cells and […]

Race of people given Alzheimer’s blood tests may affect interpretation of results

Three experimental blood tests used to identify people in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease perform differently in Black individuals compared to white individuals, according to a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The study showed that a fourth blood test — the PrecivityAD test, which is commercially available in the […]

Where’s Waldo?

After a busy morning of sitting crisscross applesauce during story time, of standing still like a statue in line, and of remembering to raise a hand before speaking (even when you’re ready to burst with excitement), the Curious Caterpillars skipped and ran outside to the playground, eager to participate in one of the highlights of […]

Risky driving behaviors increase as common sleep disorder worsens

People with sleep apnea wake up tired in the morning, no matter how many hours they actually sleep. The condition causes them to briefly stop and restart breathing dozens or even hundreds of times a night. Even though such breathing interruptions often don’t awaken those with apnea, they prevent them from sinking into deep, refreshing […]

Researchers honored as outstanding mentors

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs at Washington University in St. Louis presented outstanding mentor awards to James Stroud, PhD, Alexxai Kravitz, PhD, and John Russell, PhD, at the 17th annual Postdoc Symposium on March 21 at the Eric P. Newman Education Center on the Medical Campus. Stroud, a postdoctoral research associate in biology, received the Outstanding […]

Poverty, crime linked to differences in newborns’ brains

Poverty and crime can have devastating effects on a child’s health. But a new study from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that some environmental factors influence the structure and function of young brains even before babies make their entrances into the world. A study published online April 12 in […]

Podcast: Long COVID-19 can affect every organ system in the body

The death toll isn’t the only staggering statistic from the first two years of the pandemic. What’s become increasing clear is that some COVID-19 patients don’t get well right away. Since the earliest days of the pandemic, we’ve heard of survivors who continue to experience shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, lingering difficulty with taste and […]

Surgeon-scientist Olson named head of surgery

John A. Olson Jr., MD, PhD, noted for his clinical and scientific expertise in endocrine surgical diseases, has been named head of the Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He will take the helm July 1. The position is a homecoming of sorts for Olson, who also will become the William […]

New strategy reduces brain damage in Alzheimer’s and related disorders, in mice

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common and best known of the tauopathies, a set of neurodegenerative brain diseases caused by toxic tangles of the protein tau. A study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has shown that targeting astrocytes — an inflammatory cell in the brain — reduces tau-related brain […]

COVID-19 infection linked to higher risk of neuropathy

Adding to a growing body of evidence that, for many, problems related to COVID-19 linger longer than the initial infection, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that some people infected during the pandemic’s early months experienced peripheral neuropathy — pain, tingling and numbness in the hands and feet — […]

For accuracy, brain studies of complex behavior require thousands of people

As brain scans have become more detailed and informative in recent decades, neuroimaging has seemed to promise a way for doctors and scientists to “see” what’s going wrong inside the brains of people with mental illnesses or neurological conditions. Such imaging has revealed correlations between brain anatomy or function and illness, suggesting potential new ways […]

In U.S., alcohol use disorder linked to 232 million missed workdays annually

Heavy alcohol use is associated with missing work, but the scope of that relationship has not been well understood. Now, based on survey data from more than 110,000 U.S. adults with full-time jobs, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have quantified the extent of the problem. Among U.S. adults working full […]

Kim named inaugural Danforth WashU Physician-Scientist Scholar

Albert H. Kim, MD, PhD, a professor of neurological surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been named the inaugural William H. Danforth Washington University Physician Scholar. He is the first researcher named as part of the School of Medicine’s new Physician-Scientist Investigators Initiative, which aims to recruit and retain elite […]

Damage early in Alzheimer’s disease ID’d via novel MRI approach

Alzheimer’s disease usually is diagnosed based on symptoms, such as when a person shows signs of memory loss and difficulty thinking. Up until now, MRI brain scans haven’t proven useful for early diagnosis in clinical practice. Such scans can reveal signs of brain shrinkage due to Alzheimer’s, but the signs only become unmistakable late in […]

CDC director discusses COVID-19 pandemic during Medical Campus visit

Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), visited Washington University School of Medicine last week to discuss lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the Department of Medicine’s weekly Grand Rounds series, she sat down March 3 with William G. Powderly, MD, the J. William […]

Risk of schizophrenia assessed with new screening tool

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and colleagues in Nairobi, Kenya, have shown that a screening tool developed at Washington University can help predict in about 5 minutes whether young people are at high risk for schizophrenia and may go on to develop the illness. The findings are published in the […]

CDC director to speak about pandemic March 3 on Medical Campus

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, will participate in a conversation about the pandemic Thursday, March 3, from 8 to 9 a.m. at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The virtual event, available via livestream, will be geared toward faculty, staff, students and trainees on the […]

Risk, resiliency in aging brain focus of $33 million grant

A large study that investigates just what keeps our brains sharp as we age and what contributes to cognitive decline has been launched by researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Harvard University/Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Minnesota Medical School and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Known as the […]

Blood test for Alzheimer’s highly accurate in large, international study

A blood test developed at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has proven highly accurate in detecting early signs of Alzheimer’s disease in a study involving nearly 500 patients from across three continents, providing further evidence that the test should be considered for routine screening and diagnosis. The study is available in the […]

Gift to help SLCH, WashU develop care model to improve kids’ behavioral health

St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are tackling the issue of behavioral health support that has emerged as a leading health concern in our country — for people of all ages. The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have revealed the number of children suffering and how few resources are […]

Podcast: Fighting burnout in health care

This episode of ‘Show Me the Science’ focuses on the pandemic’s role in anxiety, depression and other issues for health-care workers, as well as how to train future workers to get help before burnout begins. With U.S. hospitals crowded with COVID-19 patients for almost two years, the pandemic’s relentlessness has pushed many doctors, nurses and […]

COVID-19 survivors face increased mental health risks up to a year later

As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches into its third year, countless people have experienced varying degrees of uncertainty, isolation and mental health challenges. However, those who have had COVID-19 have a significantly higher chance of experiencing mental health problems, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs St. […]

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 […]