Two WashU faculty awarded Sloan Research Fellowships

Two Washington University in St. Louis faculty members have been awarded prestigious early-career fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Zachariah Reagh, PhD, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences, and Gaia Tavoni, PhD, an assistant professor of neuroscience at the School of Medicine, were among 126 scientists selected for […]

Willroth receives SAGE award

Emily Willroth, PhD, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has received the SAGE Early Career Trajectory Award from the Society for Social and Personality Psychology. The award recognizes outstanding achievements by early-career scholars in social and personality psychology, including contributions to teaching, research or service […]

Three faculty recognized by psychological association

Calvin Lai, PhD and Renee Thompson, PhD, both associate professors of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, were among the 2024 fellows named to the Association for Psychological Science (APS). Researchers qualify for fellow status for “exceptional contributions to the field through the development of research opportunities […]

WashU faculty named to psychologist society

Two Washington University in St. Louis faculty members have been named fellows of the Society of Experimental Psychologists (SEP). Julie Bugg, PhD and Leonard Green, PhD, both professors of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences, were among the eight fellows named by the SEP this year. This brings the total number of Washington […]

Zacks named president of brain sciences organization

Jeff Zacks, PhD, the Edgar James Swift Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has begun a two-year term as president of the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences (FABBS). Zacks is also chair of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences and a professor of radiology at […]

Looking for love? Try finding purpose as well

The world of online dating can be overwhelming with the dizzying array of options for attracting a partner, but new research from Washington University in St. Louis shows that those looking for love may have more success if they also seek a sense of purpose in life. Researcher Isabella D’Ottone, in the lab of Patrick […]

A surprising ingredient for improved visual focus? Distraction.

Trying to find a needle in a haystack? A new study by researchers in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences suggests a little distraction could be a good thing. Whether we’re looking for our favorite cereal at the grocery store or searching for our car in the parking lot, most people know the challenge […]

Washington University and Deerfield Management launch VeritaScience to drive drug discovery

Washington University in St. Louis and Deerfield Management, a health-care investment firm, today announced the launch of VeritaScience, a new private R&D collaboration designed to advance the discovery, clinical development and commercialization of promising therapeutic and diagnostic candidates with potential to benefit human health.  To support projects that originate from the collaboration, Deerfield has committed up to […]

Why do we sleep? Researchers propose an answer to this age-old question

Sleep is a fundamental need, just like food or water. “You’ll die without it,” said Keith Hengen, PhD, an assistant professor of biology at Washington University in St. Louis. But what does sleep actually accomplish? For years, the best researchers could say is that sleep reduces sleepiness — hardly a satisfying explanation for a basic requirement […]

Mental maps offer peek inside everyday decision-making

A team of psychological and brain sciences researchers has come up with a new way to study the brain’s ability to navigate life — no brain scans required. Researchers in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences have developed a question-and-answer experiment to study how people build cognitive maps, mental models of the world that […]

Applications sought for Neuroprep Scholars program

Recent graduates, and undergraduate students who are close to graduating, can apply to be part of a two-year post-baccalaureate neuroscience program at WashU, aimed at preparing people for graduate training in neuroscience. The program is geared toward those who had limited research opportunities at the undergraduate level. Scholars will get two years of research experience […]

St. Louis Confluence Collaborative search committee convenes

Deepening and strengthening Washington University’s partnerships and impact in the St. Louis region is a top institutional priority, as evidenced during Chancellor Andrew D. Martin’s inauguration in 2019 and in the “Here and Next” strategic plan. The new St. Louis Confluence Collaborative for Community-Engaged Research, Teaching and Practice is part of the plan in action. […]

Color-blind conversations: Listeners can look beyond race when processing speech

A study by researchers in the Linguistics Program and the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences finds that the race of a speaker doesn’t affect comprehension — challenging a prominent study on the topic. When we have a face-to-face conversation with someone, we’re taking in more than just the sound of their voice. “It’s generally […]

Eternal sunshine of the aging mind

Older adults spend less time worrying and more time staying on task, according to a new study by WashU’s psychological and brain sciences researchers. We’re all guilty of letting our minds wander when we’re supposed to be doing something else. A little distraction is likely inevitable. But a new study led by Matt Welhaf, PhD, […]

Obituary: Mark Rollins, professor emeritus of philosophy, 76

Mark Rollins, PhD, a professor emeritus of philosophy in Arts & Sciences and former dean of University College at Washington University in St. Louis, died Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, in Columbia, Mo., following a battle with cancer. He was 76. Rollins joined Washington University in 1987 as an assistant professor of philosophy, becoming chair of […]

A positive outcome to negative emotions

Arts & Sciences’ Emily Willroth finds those who accept unpleasant feelings, but not the underlying unpleasant situations, experience less anxiety and depression.

ICTS Precision Health Team Develops Genomic Return of Results Service

Returning genetic results to research participants requires thoughtful planning. ICTS Precision Health at Washington University in St. Louis, aims to catalyze genomic research by providing grant review and development services, guidance and resources for genomic researchers and genomics education in the community. Precision Health is a component of the Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences’ Clinical and Translational […]

WashU Expert: Some parasites turn hosts into ‘zombies’

From haunted houses to video games, movies and trick-or-treaters, zombies are everywhere this time of year. But zombies aren’t real — or are they? While the flesh-eating undead portrayed on television are just fiction, there are clear examples of parasites that have evolved to manipulate their hosts, often in ways that affect host behavior to favor […]

Engineers to build cyborg locusts, study odor-guided navigation

The inviting smell of a freshly baked cookie immediately triggers a motor response to search for the source of that smell. Often the cookie can be easily found. This everyday event that we perform without a thought is an amazing feat that combines our superior ability to smell the cookie and computational prowess to determine […]

Academy honors six university faculty

Six Washington University in St. Louis faculty members and one alumnus are being honored by the Academy of Science – St. Louis for their outstanding contributions to the field. They will be recognized at an awards dinner Sept. 20 at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Laura Jean Bierut, MD, is the Alumni Endowed Professor of Psychiatry […]

WashU leads new multi-omics production center for NIH research consortium

Multi-omics is a research approach that leverages the power of several different “omics” data types at once to build a detailed picture of factors that contribute to human health and disease. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is channeling $50.3 million over the next five years into a new consortium dedicated to advancing the generation […]

Mennerick named director of Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences

Neuroscientist Steven Mennerick, PhD, a dedicated mentor and the John P. Feighner Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been named director and associate dean of the university’s Roy and Diana Vagelos Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences (DBBS). Mennerick had been serving as the interim associate dean since December 2020 and […]

Center for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience welcomes inaugural fellow

The newly established Center for Theoretical & Computational Neuroscience at Washington University is pleased to announce the first recipient of a CTCN postdoctoral fellowship. Leandro Fosque comes to WashU from Indiana University, where he earned his PhD in physics. Emphasizing CTCN’s multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to research, the fellowship provides joint mentorship by two or […]

Race-based variations in gut bacteria emerge by 3 months of age

Early social and environmental exposures can have large and lasting effects on child development and adult health. One of the systems in the human body that is vulnerable to external influence is the gut microbiome: the community of bacteria that live in the gastrointestinal tract. Some variations in the human gut microbiome are important because […]

Hormone alters electric fish’s signal-canceling trick

During the rainy breeding season, the underwater “conversation” among electric fish changes. Fish revved up to make a match broadcast slightly different signals to advertise their presence and identify compatible mates. New research from Washington University in St. Louis shows that the hormone testosterone — which naturally triggers male electric fish to elongate the electric […]

A community of selves

In her nonprofit therapy practice, Rebecca Lester uses her anthropological findings to treat complicated mental disorders. Through her research on eating disorders, religious conversions, and polyamory, Rebecca Lester, PhD has gained an intimate understanding of the complex relationship between cultural practice and personal development.  For the chair and professor of sociocultural anthropology, however, it’s not enough to […]

People experiencing depression actively fight to manage their emotions

A new study involving more than 200 St. Louis-area adults sheds light on the goals, motivations, and strategies involved in managing emotions during depression. People who struggle with depression don’t simply give in to their negative emotions. A new study found that, compared to healthy adults, people with major depressive disorder are more likely to […]

Fighting loneliness by finding purpose

A new study co-authored by Patrick Hill, PhD, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences, offers an important message for our times: A sense of purpose in life — whether it’s a high-minded quest to make a difference or a simple hobby with personal meaning — can offer potent protection against loneliness.  “Loneliness is known to be one […]

Lowe appointed vice chancellor for research

Mark E. Lowe, MD, PhD, an academic leader and accomplished pediatric physician-scientist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been appointed the university’s vice chancellor for research. He also has been named senior associate dean of research at WashU Medicine. Chancellor Andrew D. Martin, Provost Beverly Wendland and David H. Perlmutter, MD, […]

A New Therapy for Multiple Personality Disorder Helps a Woman with 12 Selves

The author, Rebecca Lester, PhD, is Chair of WashU Anthropology. When Ella time traveled in my office for the first time, I did not realize what was happening right away. She was sitting comfortably in a chair, her hands folded, her back straight and her feet flat on the floor. There was no dramatic change, no […]

The evolution of Ephraim Oyetunji

Ephraim Oyetunji likes a good challenge. “Everything is a mystery to be solved,” he said. A senior biology major on the neuroscience track, Oyetunji quickly established himself as a standout researcher. He’s been named a WUSTL ENDURE scholar, a Hope Center Scholar, and a recipient of the prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship. Oyetunji discussed his path […]

Masters of perception

As part of the Incubator for Transdisciplinary Futures, faculty members across Arts & Sciences are working together to decode the relationship between technology and the mind. Can artificial intelligence help us better understand the mechanics of the human brain? How can educators deploy virtual and augmented reality in the classroom? What does modern mindfulness look […]

Quinn awarded grant to compare neurotropic markers in human and primate milk

A new Leakey Foundation award will support research to better understand how certain hormones in breast milk contribute to brain growth in humans and primates. E.A. Quinn, PhD, associate professor of biological anthropology, has received a grant from the Leakey Foundation to study how neurotropic hormones in human and primate milk affect brain growth. Humans have very […]

Fighting loneliness by finding purpose

A new study co-authored by Patrick Hill, PhD, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences, offers an important message for our times: A sense of purpose in life — whether it’s a high-minded quest to make a difference or a simple hobby with personal meaning — can offer potent protection against loneliness.  “Loneliness is known to be one […]

Children’s brain scans provide clues to processing of emotional cues

Children with specific psychiatric symptoms, such as anxiety, may struggle to understand emotional cues when people around them are happy, sad or angry, and that lack of understanding can make it difficult to respond appropriately in social situations. Studying brain scans from hundreds of children ages 5 to 15, researchers at Washington University School of […]

What your ‘likes,’ posts really say about you

The myriad ways in which we use social media can be grouped into four broad categories, each of which is associated with a cluster of specific personality and behavioral traits, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis. “Social media is here to stay, so clarifying how people use social media and raising awareness […]

The Institute for Public Health 2023 Summer Research Program kicks off with new research track, 34 trainees

The Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program launches this month with three tracks of study. This year, the program offers established tracks in Public and Global Health and in Aging and Neurological Diseases, and a new RADIANCE track in cardiovascular disease and blood disorders. Each summer, the program is open to students who seek challenge, research […]

Board grants faculty appointments, promotions

At the Washington University in St. Louis Board of Trustees meeting May 5, numerous faculty members were appointed with tenure, promoted with tenure or granted tenure. Their tenure will take effect July 1 unless otherwise indicated. Appointment with tenure M. Paz Galupo as professor at the Brown School; and Elaine A. Peña as professor of performing arts […]

Cancer cells rev up synthesis, compared with neighbors

Tumors are composed of rapidly multiplying cancer cells. Understanding which biochemical processes fuel their relentless growth can provide hints at therapeutic targets. Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis have developed a technology to study tumor growth in another dimension — literally. The scientists established a new method to watch what nutrients are used at […]

The psychological challenges of rural living

People who endure the daily hassles of big cities often romanticize life in the country. But rural living is not necessarily the carefree, idyllic experience that many people imagine, said Emily Willroth, PhD, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. Willroth co-authored a study in […]