Obituary: Stan H. Braude, professor of practice in Arts & Sciences, 62

Stan Braude, a professor of practice in biology and in environmental studies in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, died at home Saturday, June 1, 2024, after a short illness. He was 62. Braude earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in biology at the University of Michigan, spending summers at the […]

Drake appointed inaugural St. Louis Confluence Collaborative faculty director

Bettina Drake, PhD, professor of surgery in public health sciences at the School of Medicine, will be the inaugural faculty director of the St. Louis Confluence Collaborative for Community-Engaged Research, Teaching and Practice, Washington University in St. Louis Provost Beverly Wendland announced May 31. The new role takes effect July 1. The collaborative, identified as […]

NeuroAI Symposium explores the intersections between digital and biological brains

What happens when biological and artificial intelligence meet?  Since its launch in 2022 as a multiyear project funded by the Incubator for Transdisciplinary Futures, Toward a Synergy Between Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience has explored the intersections between the human brain and the novel AI networks that seek to emulate its functions. On May 15, that work culminated in […]

Chemo for glioblastoma enhanced by tapping into cell’s daily rhythms

The woman making frame round the sun with her hands in sunrise,Future planning idea concept.

Glioblastoma is an aggressive brain cancer that has no cure. A recent chart study of patients with glioblastoma found that taking chemotherapy in the morning was associated with a three- to six-month increase in median survival. Now a study from Washington University in St. Louis reports that glioblastoma cells have built-in circadian rhythms that create better […]

Congratulations to the 2024 W. M. Keck Postdoctoral Fellowship Awardees

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is pleased to announce the awardees of the 2024 W. M. Keck Postdoctoral Fellowship: The W. M. Keck Postdoctoral Fellowship provides one year of funding to Washington University postdocs within their first two years of postdoctoral training in biomedical sciences and molecular medicine. The Fellowship recognizes outstanding scientists in the early […]

Saraswathy, Choi and Xu receive 2024 Hope Center Awards

Each year, the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders recognizes trainees (students and postdocs) who present their work at the Hope Center Retreat. Hope Center award winners are selected based on scientific merit, presentation, and projects that address the Hope Center mission. Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Hope Center Awards! Winner from the talks: Vishnu Muraleedharan Saraswathy, […]

Grad students Spatz and Wang receive Jakschik Award

On behalf of the Jakschik Decision Committee and the Roy and Diana Vagelos Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences, we are excited to announce that the 2024 Jakschik Award has been given to two students within DBBS this year! Congratulations to Lily Spatz & Ciyang Wang! The Barbara Jakschik Award was established in honor of Dr. […]

WashU Neuroprep Program welcomes its newest cohort

The Washington University R25-supported Neuroprep Program, a two-year Post-Bacc program readying recent college grads for graduate training in Neuroscience, will enter its second year this summer. The inaugural five students are now pursuing their individual research projects in different laboratories across the university. Incoming trainees will arrive in August, 2024. Current trainees (2023-2025) Incoming trainees (2024-2026)

Pan wins 2024 Spector Prize

Each year, the Department of Biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis awards a prize to a graduating senior in memory of Marion Smith Spector, a 1938 graduate who studied zoology under the late Viktor Hamburger. The Spector Prize, first awarded in 1974, recognizes academic excellence and outstanding undergraduate achievement in […]

Faculty named to American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Four Washington University in St. Louis faculty are among 250 newly elected members of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies. They are John P. Atkinson, MD, Pauline Kim, Adia Harvey Wingfield, PhD and Jeffrey Zacks, PhD. Founded in 1780, the academy honors exceptional scholars, leaders, artists and innovators and engages them […]

Unlocking the secrets of the human brain

Researchers in The Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences are using cutting-edge techniques to help us weather the challenges of everyday life. Human behaviors and emotions can be as complex as any force of nature. From our biggest life choices to the subtle thoughts we barely notice, our minds are always at work.  Inspired by […]

Leath to receive early career award

Seanna Leath, PhD, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has been selected to receive the Society for Research on Adolescence’s Early Career Award. The award is given for outstanding contributions to the study of adolescent development. Leath studies identity development and well-being processes among […]

Nine WashU faculty elected to AAAS

Nine faculty members at Washington University in St. Louis are among the 502 new fellows selected by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), one of the most distinct honors in the scientific community. The 2023 class includes: Deanna Barch, Laura Bierut, Kendall Blumer, Andreas Burkhalter, Jennifer Heemstra, Kathleen McDermott, Jeffrey Miner, Camillo Padoa-Schioppa and David Perlmutter. It is also the 150th year […]

Board grants faculty promotions, tenure

At the Washington University in St. Louis Board of Trustees meeting March 1, numerous faculty members were appointed with tenure, promoted with tenure or granted tenure. Their new roles and titles take effect July 1, unless otherwise indicated. Appointment with tenure Steven Miles as a professor of history in Arts & Sciences. Granting of tenure Paul […]

Award of up to $31 million supports development of osteoarthritis treatment

Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, limits the mobility of 32 million people nationwide, many to the point of significant disability. Affected individuals face limited options, as there are no drugs to cure or substantially lessen the disease, and invasive joint replacement is often the only option when it reaches its later stages. With the goal […]

WashU Expert: Happiness may protect against dementia

Higher levels of well-being have been robustly associated with a lower risk for future dementia, researchers have found. Happiness is potentially protective against cognitive decline. Emily Willroth, PhD, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis further elaborates in chapter four of this year’s World Happiness […]

Five factors to ensure an infant thrives

There are basic resources every baby needs for the best possible chance to develop as a healthy well-functioning human. Start with good nutrition, breast milk if possible. That baby is going to need stimulation, lots of looking, reciprocal interactions, exposure to language and interesting stimuli. If at all possible, you should live in a place […]

Pandemic made its mark on personality traits

Major life changes can affect personality, and the COVID-19 pandemic was the rare big life event that all humans shared together. “This was a really unique opportunity to see how a life event that’s happening at the global stage to the entire population at the same time is changing personality,” said Emily Willroth, PhD, an […]

Brain Bee gives St. Louis students a chance to explore neuroscience

More than 60 high school students representing 32 schools conducted experiments, explored careers in neuroscience and tested their knowledge of the human brain and the nervous system at the 14th annual St. Louis Area Brain Bee March 2 at Washington University in St. Louis. “Neuroscience isn’t part of the standard high school curriculum, but every year we […]

Why do we blame the victim?

In an age of GoFundMe campaigns, it’s easier than ever to help family, friends, and even strangers in times of need. It’s also easy to look the other way. “Most people see themselves as cooperative and generous, but there’s a cost to helping people who can’t reciprocate,” said Pascal Boyer, PhD, the Henry Luce Professor of […]

Preschoolers with depression at greater risk of suicide during adolescence

Preschoolers with clinical depression are more likely than their peers to have attempted suicide or to have had thoughts of killing themselves by age 12, according to a new study from researchers at Washington University in St. Louis. The findings, published recently in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, suggest […]

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 […]