Neurons help flush waste out of brain during sleep

There lies a paradox in sleep. Its apparent tranquility juxtaposes with the brain’s bustling activity. The night is still, but the brain is far from dormant. During sleep, brain cells produce bursts of electrical pulses that cumulate into rhythmic waves — a sign of heightened brain cell function. But why is the brain active when we […]

Bypassing the blood-brain barrier to improve brain tumor diagnosis

First-in-human trial demonstrates safety of sonobiopsy in patients with glioma Getting a biopsy is often an important first step for cancer diagnosis and treatment. But brain tumors present unique challenges: to perform a biopsy, a neurosurgeon will likely need to drill into the skull, and removing brain tissue can cause complications, including bleeding, brain swelling, […]

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 […]

Alzheimer’s blood test performs as well as FDA-approved spinal fluid tests

A simple blood test to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease soon may replace more invasive and expensive screening methods such as spinal taps and brain scans. A study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Lund University in Sweden shows that a blood test can be as good at detecting molecular signs […]

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 […]

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 – […]

Apte receives Catalyst Award for innovative approaches to research 

Rajendra Apte, MD, PhD, the Paul A. Cibis Distinguished Professor and vice chair for innovation and translation in the John F. Hardesty, MD, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received a $300,000 Research to Prevent Blindness /American Macular Degeneration Foundation Catalyst Award for innovative research approaches in studying age-related […]

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. […]

WashU awarded up to $20M to create portable device to scan for eye diseases

In the United States, more than one-fourth of adults over age 40 have an eye disease, including glaucoma, cataracts or age-related macular degeneration, or a chronic health condition that affects the eyes, such as diabetic retinopathy. These conditions are a strain on an individual’s health as well as on the health-care system, yet early diagnosis […]

Gordon receives Nemmers Prize

Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received the 2024 Mechthild Esser Nemmers Prize in Medical Science from Northwestern University. Gordon was selected for the prize by a jury of distinguished U.S. scientists for transforming the understanding of human health and how it is shaped by the gut […]

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 […]

Study reveals clues to how Eastern equine encephalitis virus invades brain cells

An atomic-level investigation of how Eastern equine encephalitis virus binds to a key receptor and gets inside of cells also has enabled the discovery of a decoy molecule that protects against the potentially deadly brain infection, in mice. The study, from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is published Jan. 3 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Change the World Through Neuroscience

Understanding the brain is key to addressing devastating neurological and psychiatric diseases that affect mankind. To accelerate progress in this area, WashU Medicine — already one of the world’s premier institutions in neuroscience research — is deepening its investment. A new era of progress Navigate the neurosciences Nurturing neuroscience Read more.

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 […]

Gut bacteria of malnourished children benefit from key elements in therapeutic food

A clinical trial reported in 2021 and conducted by a team of researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Dhaka, Bangladesh, showed that a newly designed therapeutic food aimed at repairing malnourished children’s underdeveloped gut microbiomes was superior to a widely used standard […]

Neurosciences on the rise

University launches new era of progress in neuroscience Understanding the brain and nervous system is one of the most pressing challenges in medicine. To meet this challenge, WashU Medicine has built and is opening the Neuroscience Research Building, a 609,000-square-foot facility expected to be among the nation’s premier neuroscience research hubs. Read more.

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. […]

Long-standing hormone treatment for donated hearts found to be ineffective

Doctors managing deceased organ donors routinely treat the donors’ bodies with thyroid hormones in a bid to preserve heart function and increase the quantity and quality of hearts and other organs available for transplantation. However, according to a recent clinical trial led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Mid-America […]

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 […]

Long-COVID clinic expanding reach to vulnerable metro, rural communities

In 2020, overwhelmed hospitals and excessive fatalities defined a world grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. Simultaneously, a new challenge emerged: A growing population struggled to recover fully from COVID-19. Patients coined the term “long COVID” to describe their prolonged health challenges that can linger months after initial coronavirus infection. Eventually, long-COVID clinics, programs focused on […]

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 […]

Scientists are beginning to understand how long COVID symptoms affect the brain

Many symptoms of long COVID are related to the brain. Now scientists are beginning to understand why brain fog, fatigue, and pain can linger for years after a person was infected. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Months or even years after getting COVID-19, some people still have neurological symptoms like pain, fatigue and brain fog. MICHELLE WILSON: […]

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 […]

Three named 2023 Young Investigator grantees

 Sarah D. Ackerman, PhD, Gabor Egervari, MD, PhD and Tao Xie, PhD, all of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, have been named 2023 Young Investigator grantees by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. This year’s funding will support 150 promising early-career scientists across the field of neuropsychiatry with innovative ideas in mental health research. The two-year grant […]

Dickson installed as the Centennial Professor of Pediatrics

Patricia Dickson, MD, a professor of pediatrics, has been installed as the Centennial Professor of Pediatrics . A celebration to mark the event took place Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023 in the Eric P. Newman Education Center. Dickson earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago in 1995 in Classics and her medical degree in 1999 […]

Moron-Concepcion named Mallinckrodt Professor of Anesthesiology

Jose Moron-Concepcion, PhD, a professor of anesthesiology, of neuroscience and of psychiatry, was installed Sept. 28 as the Henry Elliot Mallinckrodt Professor of Anesthesiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Moron-Concepcion’s research has yielded significant contributions to the fields of addiction and pain neuroscience. Earlier in his career, he concentrated on investigating […]

Key Medicare payment model fails to improve mental health

A nationwide Medicare program that aims to improve health care and reduce costs by linking health-care reimbursements to health quality and cost outcomes resulted in no improvements in mental health care, according to a study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Yale School of Public Health. The study, […]

Cavalli, Klyachko receive grant to investigate hypersensitivity in Fragile X syndrome

Valeria Cavalli, PhD, the Robert E. and Louise F. Dunn Professor of Biomedical Research in the Department of Neuroscience at Washington University, has received a grant of more than $400,000 to understand the origins of hypersensitivity in Fragile X syndrome (FXS). This genetic disorder, which accounts for the most cases of autism by a known […]

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. […]

Graduate student wins prestigious fellowship

The National Institute on Aging has awarded Lizzie Tilden, a graduate student in the Department of Neuroscience, an F30 fellowship that supports physician-scientists in training. Tilden is in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Washington University School of Medicine conducting her PhD research in the lab of Assistant Professor Yao Chen, PhD. Tilden’s research project is […]

Holehouse recognized by NIH for innovative research

Alex Holehouse, PhD, an assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, will receive the New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Holehouse is being recognized by the NIH for his work on intrinsically disordered protein regions — protein domains that play key roles […]

$8 million awarded to study root causes of brain cell death in fatal pediatric diseases

A large team of researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has received nearly $8 million from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help determine the root causes of brain cell death in fatal pediatric neurodegenerative diseases. The grant is part of […]

Noninvasive, ultrasound-based brain biopsy is feasible, safe in people

The blood-brain barrier, the body’s way of shielding sensitive brain tissue from viruses, toxins and other harmful substances in the blood, can pose a problem for physicians caring for patients with suspected brain diseases such as cancer. Molecular and genetic information would be invaluable for confirming a diagnosis and guiding treatment decisions, but such molecules […]

Yi and Gabel receive grants to study autism-related disorders

Jason Yi, PhD, an assistant professor of neuroscience, and Harrison Gabel, PhD, an associate professor of neuroscience, both at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, each have received two-year $300,000 pilot grants from the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative. The researchers will use the funds to investigate genetic diseases that result in autism. […]

How do toxic proteins accumulate in Alzheimer’s and other diseases?

Under normal circumstances, tau protein is part of the brain’s infrastructure, important for stabilizing neurons into their proper shapes. But sometimes tau gets knotted up into tangles and turns toxic, injuring brain tissue and causing tauopathies, a group of brain diseases characterized by problems with learning, memory and movement. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common […]

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 […]

Braver awarded MURI grant for attention control strategies research

A multi-institutional research project led by Todd Braver, PhD, a professor of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, received a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) award from the U.S. Department of Defense to study attention control and strategies to improve it. The project — “A computational cognitive neuroscience framework […]