Karam named head of radiation oncology department

Sana D. Karam, MD, PhD, a renowned radiation oncologist widely known for cutting-edge cancer research that combines radiation therapy and immunotherapy to treat head and neck, and pancreatic tumors, has been named the James S. McDonnell Professor of Radiation Oncology and head of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. […]

Diwan named inaugural Shaeffer professor

Abhinav Diwan, MD, a highly regarded cardiologist with expertise in the molecular underpinnings of cardiovascular disease, has been named the inaugural Charlie W. Shaeffer, MD, Professor of Cardiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Diwan was installed by David H. Perlmutter, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs, the George and Carol […]

Dickson, Khabele, Longmore elected to Association of American Physicians

Three physician-scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have been newly elected to the Association of American Physicians. Membership in the organization is an honor bestowed on physicians who lead innovative scientific research to improve health care. They are Patricia I. Dickson, MD, Dineo Khabele, MD, and Gregory D. Longmore, MD. Dickson, the Centennial Professor […]

Alzheimer’s disease progresses faster in people with Down syndrome

Nearly all adults with Down syndrome will develop evidence of Alzheimer’s disease by late middle age. A new study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that the disease both starts earlier and moves faster in people with Down syndrome, a finding that may have important implications for the treatment […]

Immunotherapy for Alzheimer’s disease shows promise in mouse study

Alzheimer’s disease starts with a sticky protein called amyloid beta that builds up into plaques in the brain, setting off a chain of events that results in brain atrophy and cognitive decline. The new generation of Alzheimer’s drugs — the first proven to change the course of the disease — work by tagging amyloid for […]

Nerve stimulation for sleep apnea is less effective for people with higher BMIs

A nerve-stimulation treatment for obstructive sleep apnea that originally was approved only for people with body mass indexes (BMIs) in the healthy range recently was extended to patients with BMIs up to 40, a weight range generally described as severely obese. A healthy BMI ranges from 18.5 to 24.9. The expanded eligibility criteria for the […]

Shellhaas receives Child Neurology Society’s highest honor

Renée Shellhaas, MD, the David T. Blasingame Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been awarded the Child Neurology Society’s (CNS) 2024 Hower Award. The organization’s highest honor, the award is given annually to a pediatric neurologist recognized as an outstanding teacher and scholar, and for making significant contributions to […]

WashU Medicine rises to No. 2 in nation in NIH research funding

In the realm of biomedical research, securing funding is a testament to an institution’s record of scientific accomplishments and potential for further advances to improve human health. In 2023, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis received the second highest amount of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of all medical schools […]

Ju named Morriss Professor

Neurologist Yo-El Ju, MD, a physician-scientist whose discoveries have illuminated the complex relationship between sleep and neurodegenerative disease, has been named an inaugural Barbara Burton and Reuben M. Morriss III Professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Ju was installed by David H. Perlmutter, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs, the George […]

Key regulator of decision-making pinpointed in brain

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have new insight on what goes on inside people’s heads as they make decisions to obtain information about the future. The scientists identified a set of mental rules that governs decision-making about physical rewards — for example, food or money — and cognitive rewards – […]

University’s technology, innovation hub celebrates 100th faculty startup

The first-floor walls at 4240 Duncan Ave. — home to Washington University in St. Louis’ Office of Technology Management (OTM) — are running out of room. And that’s a good thing. The logos of Washington University startup companies launched to shepherd promising university-owned diagnostics, therapeutics or other technologies to the marketplace are prominently displayed on the walls. […]

How does waste leave the brain?

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found passageways that connect the brain to vessels that carry fluid waste out of and away from the brain. The newly discovered anatomical structures, found in mice and people, are like tiny gates, allowing waste to leave the brain and enter lymphatic vessels, where […]

Newly opened Jeffrey T. Fort Neuroscience Research Building dedicated

Dozens of noted scientists, philanthropists, and university, state and local leaders gathered Jan. 18 to celebrate the dedication of one of the world’s largest neuroscience research buildings, a gleaming state-of-the-art facility on the Washington University Medical Campus. They toured its sophisticated, newly christened labs; listened intently as Washington University scientists described the lifesaving work they […]

Zipfel receives Dacey award for cerebrovascular research

Gregory J. Zipfel, MD, head of the Department of Neurosurgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been awarded the Ralph G. Dacey Jr., MD, Medal for Outstanding Cerebrovascular Research. The honor, from the Joint Cerebrovascular Section of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, recognizes surgeons whose novel research […]

Life span increases in mice when specific brain cells are activated

In recent years, research has begun to reveal that the lines of communication between the body’s organs are key regulators of aging. When these lines are open, the body’s organs and systems work well together. But with age, communication lines deteriorate, and organs don’t get the molecular and electrical messages they need to function properly. […]

Smoking causes brain shrinkage

Smoking shrinks the brain, according to a study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The good news is that quitting smoking prevents further loss of brain tissue — but still, stopping smoking doesn’t restore the brain to its original size. Since people’s brains naturally lose volume with age, smoking effectively […]

Lowering a form of brain cholesterol reduces Alzheimer’s-like damage in mice

In Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, cognitive decline is driven by the overaccumulation of a normal brain protein known as tau. Wherever tau builds up, nearby brain tissue starts to degenerate and die. Now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found — in mice — that Alzheimer’s-like tau deposits in […]

Ashrafi receives Ben Barres Early Career Acceleration Award

Ghazaleh Ashrafi, PhD, an assistant professor of cell biology & physiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been awarded a four-year, $1.2 million Ben Barres Early Career Acceleration Award as part of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s (CZI) Neurodegeneration Challenge Network. The award will support her research on understanding how imbalances in […]

Device for noninvasive brain biopsies via blood draw moves closer to market approval

A device aimed at enabling neurosurgeons and other physicians to perform noninvasive blood-based biopsies in adults with brain tumors has received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “Breakthrough Device” designation. The device includes technology from Washington University in St. Louis and developed by Cordance Medical Inc., a medical device company in Mountain View, Calif. The designation […]

Baldridge receives Avenir Award for early-career scientists

Dustin Baldridge, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received a 2023 Avenir Award in Genetics and Epigenetics of Substance Use from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The award is given to early-career scientists proposing highly innovative studies and showing promise of being leaders in […]

Fagan receives lifetime achievement award from Alzheimer’s Association

Anne Fagan, PhD, an internationally recognized expert on fluid biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease and a professor of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been named the 2023 recipient of the Khalid Iqbal Lifetime Achievement Award by the Alzheimer’s Association. The award recognizes a senior investigator whose contributions have made a […]

Avidan, England, Miller elected to National Academy of Medicine

Anesthesiologist Michael S. Avidan, MBBCh, reproductive biologist Sarah K. England, PhD, and neurologist Timothy Miller, MD, PhD, all 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 organization is one of the highest honors in […]

Gordon receives Albany Prize

Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD, the Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor and director of the Edison Family Center for Genome Sciences & Systems Biology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been recognized with the 2023 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research. Gordon shares this year’s award — given Thursday, Oct. […]

Ackerman named a 2023 Klingenstein-Simons fellow

Sarah Ackerman, PhD, an assistant professor of pathology & immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received a 2023 Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship Award in Neuroscience. She is one of 13 new fellows – all early-career scientists in the U.S. – who will receive three-year $300,000 grants to pursue high-risk, cutting-edge research. Ackerman, who […]

Podcast: Newly approved drug may slow progression of Alzheimer’s

In this episode, Washington University researchers discuss the Food and Drug Administration’s recent full approval of the drug Leqembi (lecanemab) and what it could mean to the future of Alzheimer’s disease treatments. The drug is approved for use in people with mild dementia from Alzheimer’s disease, but researchers at Washington University’s Charles F. and Joanne Knight […]

Cognitive function in Down syndrome-associated Alzheimer’s focus of grant

Nearly every person with Down syndrome eventually develops Alzheimer’s disease, yet people with the syndrome routinely are excluded from Alzheimer’s clinical trials, as the cognitive assessment tools designed for the general population often are inappropriate for people with developmental disabilities. Consequently, nobody knows whether the new Alzheimer’s therapeutics hitting the market will work for people […]

Scientists develop breath test that rapidly detects COVID-19 virus

Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have developed a breath test that quickly identifies those who are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. The device requires only one or two breaths and provides results in less than a minute. The study is available online in the journal ACS Sensors. The same group of […]

Tau-based biomarker tracks Alzheimer’s progression

Two pathologies drive the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Early on, amyloid beta plaques lead the way, but around the time cognitive symptoms arise, tau tangles take over as the driving force and cognition steadily declines. Tracking the course of the disease in individual patients has been challenging because there’s been no easy way to measure […]

Byers named university’s IRB executive chair

Derek E. Byers, MD, PhD, has been named executive chair of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Washington University in St. Louis. He will begin in his new role Aug. 1. The IRB is the multidisciplinary group that reviews and approves protocols for research studies that involve human subjects. The group is responsible for protecting the rights […]

Payne installed as an inaugural Becker Professor

Philip R. O. Payne, a global leader in informatics and data science, has been named an inaugural Janet and Bernard Becker Professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Among his many leadership roles, Payne oversees the university’s Institute for Informatics, Data Science and Biostatistics as well as the Bernard Becker Medical Library. This professorship was […]

Improved orthopedic health doesn’t necessarily mean improved mental health

Pain from an injured back, shoulder or hip can make a person feel frustrated, anxious or even depressed. Many in health care may assume that when such injuries heal, mental health also improves. But a new study led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis indicates that over the long term, […]

Podcast: Can psychedelic drugs help treat mental illness?

In this episode, we discuss new research into psychedelic drugs as potential therapies for psychiatric illness. Several studies have suggested that drugs, such as psilocybin, may be useful in treating problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction and depression. Psychiatry researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have been using a brain-imaging […]

Poverty negatively impacts structural wiring in children’s brains, study indicates

A new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that growing up in poverty may influence the wiring of a child’s brain. The study, published June 27 in JAMA Network Open, indicates a link between both neighborhood and household poverty and the brain’s white matter tracts, which allow for communication between […]

5 physician-scientists named Dean’s Scholars

Physicians who engage in research play a vital role in developing novel, innovative approaches to diagnosing and treating disease. Nurturing the careers of doctors whose work takes them to both patients’ bedsides and the laboratory bench is a top priority of the Division of Physician-Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Such was the […]

Altered gut bacteria may be early sign of Alzheimer’s disease

­People in the earliest stage of Alzheimer’s disease — after brain changes have begun but before cognitive symptoms become apparent — harbor an assortment of bacteria in their intestines that differs from the gut bacteria of healthy people, according to a study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The findings, […]

Wang, nationally recognized geneticist, named head of genetics

Ting Wang, PhD, a national leader in genetics and genomics who has led groundbreaking studies in how the genome is regulated, has been named head of the Department of Genetics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. A computational biologist, he will begin his new role Aug. 1. Wang’s lab is focused on understanding how […]

Tsai named a 2023 Pew Scholar in Biomedical Sciences

Tony Tsai, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of developmental biology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been named a 2023 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences. He is one of 22 early-career researchers in the biomedical sciences to receive the honor. The four-year grant will fund Tsai’s investigation into how the cells […]

Gordon wins Spain’s Asturias Award

Microbiome pioneer Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has won the 2023 Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research. The Asturias awards, among the most prestigious honors in the Spanish-speaking world, are presented annually in eight categories. The awards are designed to recognize exceptional scientific, technical, cultural, […]

Moron-Concepcion appointed to NIH advisory board

Jose Moron-Concepcion, PhD, the Henry E. Mallinckrodt Professor of Anesthesiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been appointed to a four-year term on the National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council. The council is an extension of the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). […]

Findings may lead to improved insulin-secreting cells derived from stem cells

Diabetes researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have uncovered at least one reason insulin-secreting cells made from stem cells in the lab don’t work as well as natural cells. The discovery could help speed progress toward making insulin-secreting cells — called islet beta cells — more effective in the treatment of […]

Washington University receives NSF Engines Development Award

A team led by Washington University in St. Louis has been awarded $1 million over two years from the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Regional Innovation Engines, or NSF Engines, program. The team, called NEURO360, is among some 40 teams nationwide to receive NSF Engines Development Awards, which aim to spur collaborations to create economic, societal […]

Bateman to receive lifetime achievement award

Randall J. Bateman, MD, the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Distinguished Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, will receive the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award in Alzheimer’s Disease Therapeutic Research. Bateman has been chosen to receive the honor for his groundbreaking work in Alzheimer’s research, including the development of plasma […]

Drug for rare form of ALS, based in part on WashU research, approved by FDA

A new drug has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a rare, inherited form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a paralyzing neurological disease. Known as tofersen, the drug has been shown to slow progression of the deadly disease. International clinical trials of tofersen, developed by the global biotechnology company Biogen Inc., […]

Sleeping pill reduces levels of Alzheimer’s proteins

Sleep disturbances can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Many people eventually diagnosed with Alzheimer’s start experiencing difficulty falling and staying asleep years before cognitive problems such as memory loss and confusion emerge. It’s a vicious cycle: Alzheimer’s disease involves changes to the brain that disrupt sleep, and poor sleep accelerates harmful changes to […]

Moron-Concepcion appointed to NIH advisory board

Jose Moron-Concepcion, PhD, the Henry E. Mallinckrodt Professor of Anesthesiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been appointed to a four-year term on the National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council. The council is an extension of the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). […]

Bateman to receive lifetime achievement award

Randall J. Bateman, MD, the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Distinguished Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, will receive the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award in Alzheimer’s Disease Therapeutic Research. Bateman has been chosen to receive the honor for his groundbreaking work in Alzheimer’s research, including the development of plasma […]

Dahiya named to international brain tumor working committee

Neuropathologist Sonika Dahiya, MD, a professor of pathology and immunology and the chief of the neuro-oncology section at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been named to the Working Committee of the Consortium to Inform Molecular and Practical Approaches to CNS Tumor Taxonomy. The consortium was established under the sponsorship of the International […]

Multiple substance use disorders may share inherited genetic signature

A new study suggests that a common genetic signature may increase a person’s risk of developing substance use disorders, regardless of whether the addiction is to alcohol, tobacco, cannabis or opioids. The research, led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, eventually could lead to universal therapies to treat multiple substance use disorders […]