Embodying cognition

It was one of those meetings that changes your life. As a veteran dancer in New York, Elinor Harrison, PhD (AB ’01) took a professional interest in the effects of injury and movement impairment. “What if I couldn’t dance?” she remembers wondering. “What does this look like as I grow older?” While performing with celebrated choreographers such […]

Scientists alter fentanyl, aim to make it less lethal, less addictive

Fentanyl, a powerful opioid pain reliever, is the leading cause of overdose deaths in the United States. With the aim of improving the drug’s safety profile to make it less lethal and addictive without eliminating its ability to alleviate pain, a team of researchers, led by scientists at the Center for Clinical Pharmacology at Washington University School […]

Diagnostic marker found for deadly brain disease marked by dementia, movement problems

Zooming in on a single disease and studying it intensely is often the most productive route to finding treatments. But there’s no easy way to distinguish among people living with any of the primary tauopathies — a group of rare brain diseases marked by rapidly worsening problems with thinking and movement — because the symptoms […]

Rejuvenated immune cells can improve clearance of toxic waste from brain

Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and many other neurodegenerative diseases are marked by damaging clusters of proteins in the brain. Scientists have expended enormous effort searching for ways to treat such conditions by clearing these toxic clusters but have had limited success. Now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found an innovative way […]

Toward a Synergy Between Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience

The convergence of machine learning and artificial intelligence, and brain sciences is creating a unique opportunity for transformational research into the understanding of how intelligence works. Given recent breakthrough discoveries in all three areas, this is the right time to invest in this area. Within the Incubator for Transdisciplinary Futures, eight faculty from Arts & […]

Braver receives NIH award to study aging effects

Todd Braver, PhD, a professor of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, received a $442,135 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study aging effects on the neural coding of proactive and reactive cognitive control. Originally published on The Source.

Study yields clues to why Alzheimer’s disease damages certain parts of the brain

Memory loss is often the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease, followed by confusion and difficulty thinking. These symptoms reflect the typical pattern of worsening damage to brain tissues. Toxic clusters of proteins first concentrate in the temporal lobes of the brain — the memory area — before spreading to parts of the brain important for […]

Norwitz, Oyetunji were Rhodes Scholar finalists

Seniors Sam Norwitz and Ephraim Oyetunji at Washington University in St. Louis were finalists for the Rhodes Scholarship, one of the world’s most prestigious academic honors, to study at the University of Oxford in England. Norwitz and Oyetunji, both majoring in the neuroscience track of biology in Arts & Sciences, are striving to improve the […]

Announcing NeuroPREP at Washington University!

Scheduled for launch in summer 2023, WashU NeuroPREP is a new two-year Post-Baccalaureate program to prepare recent college grads for graduate training in Neuroscience. This program is geared toward individuals from backgrounds underrepresented in science who had limited opportunity for research experience. Applications open December 2022! Learn more at the WashU WashU NeuroPREP website.

COVID-19 widened health disparities in employment, food

Several studies on COVID-19 have revealed gaping disparities in the U.S. that negatively affect the health of people who aren’t white, especially nonwhite women. A deep dive from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the university’s Brown School shows that in St. Louis County, Black women suffered at disproportionately higher […]

Suicide prevention training teaches users to recognize, respond to suicidal behavior

QPR training, a nationally recognized suicide prevention program, is now available to all students, faculty and staff at Washington University in St. Louis. Kirk Dougher, associate vice chancellor for student support and wellness, and Arie Baker, director of health promotion and wellness at Habif Health and Wellness Center, liken QPR to CPR — an emergency […]

Repeat COVID-19 infections increase risk of organ failure, death

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began almost three years ago, scientists have learned that an initial infection can lead to short- and long-term health risks affecting nearly every organ system in the body. They’ve also determined that people can get COVID-19 a second or a third time, despite acquiring natural antibodies after the first infection and […]

Occupational therapy clinic breaks ground in Delmar Maker District

Can better design improve patient outcomes? Can energy-efficient architecture contribute to public health? Over the past year, a team of architects, medical professionals and engineers, including students, from Washington University in St. Louis and Chicago-based architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) have explored these questions and more through a series of interdisciplinary design studios […]

Board grants faculty appointments, tenure

At the Washington University in St. Louis Board of Trustees meeting Oct. 7, numerous faculty members were appointed with tenure or granted tenure. Their new roles took effect Oct. 7 unless otherwise indicated. Appointment with tenure Brad Larsen as associate professor of economics at Olin Business School (effective Dec. 1); and Michaela Pagel as associate professor of […]

Understanding, treating pain, reducing opioid use, aim of $11.7 million grant

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have received a five-year, $11.7 million grant to study human genes and nerve cells to better understand how cells transmit pain and to identify new ways to treat it. Washington University will be one of a handful of sites participating in the Precision Human Pain […]

What causes Alzheimer’s? Study puts leading theory to ‘ultimate test’

An idea that has propelled Alzheimer’s research for more than 30 years is approaching its day of reckoning. Scientists are launching a study designed to make or break the hypothesis that Alzheimer’s is caused by a sticky substance called beta-amyloid. The study will give an experimental anti-amyloid drug to people as young as 18 who […]

Cellular housekeeping process implicated in fatal disorder

Huntington’s disease, a fatal, inherited neurodegenerative condition, is caused by a genetic error present at birth, though its symptoms often don’t begin until middle adulthood. Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have been trying to understand how the aging process triggers the onset of symptoms, with the expectation that such knowledge […]

New strategy shows potential to block nerve loss in neurodegenerative diseases

Two new studies from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis support development of a broadly applicable treatment for neurodegenerative diseases that targets a molecule that serves as the central executioner in the death of axons, the wiring of the nervous system. Blocking this molecular executioner prevents axon loss, which has been implicated in […]

NIMH funds Eggebrecht research on brain function in children with autism

Adam T. Eggebrecht, PhD, an assistant professor of radiology at Washington University School of Medicine, received a two-year $452,702 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Eggebrecht will lead a study that investigates brain function underlying motor imitation in children with and without autism spectrum disorder. Deficits in motor […]

Multi-scale imaging technique may enable objective assessment of myofascial pain

About 50 million Americans experience chronic pain. For many, the pain involves the muscle and the fascia surrounding it, creating myofascial pain with trigger points. This chronic pain syndrome significantly affects patients’ daily functioning and quality of life. While there are treatments, including physical therapy, non-opioid and opioid medications and trigger point injections, adequately controlling […]

WU lab researches magic mushrooms for mental health

One of the biggest contemporary scientific renaissances is happening right now on the other side of Forest Park. And no, it’s not the cure for cancer. In fact, the research subject is illegal in the state of Missouri.  The Healthy Mind Lab at Washington University School of Medicine is conducting some of the most cutting-edge […]

A sound approach for effective gene therapy delivery to brain

Researchers have been experimenting with different ways to deliver genes to the brain to treat central nervous system diseases and tumors. One of the obstacles, however, is the ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier while having minimal effect on the other organs in the body. Hong Chen, PhD, associate professor of biomedical engineering at the […]

Biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease sought through imaging

More than 10 million people worldwide live with Parkinson’s disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement, balance and thinking. Severity of the disease is measured through external symptoms, as there are no effective biomarkers that indicate the phase of the illness. A team of engineers, physicians and researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, […]

How do tired animals stay awake?

New research provides clues to falling fast asleep – or lying wide awake. Studying fruit flies, the researchers found that brain neurons adapt to help the flies stay awake despite tiredness in dangerous situations and help them fall asleep after an intense day. The findings, from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and […]

Adeoye, Guilak, Gutmann, Kipnis elected to National Academy of Medicine

Four faculty members at 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. They are Opeolu M. Adeoye, MD; Farshid Guilak, PhD; David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD; and Jonathan Kipnis, PhD. Membership in the academy is considered one of the […]

Research offers clues for treating fatal neurological disorder in kids

At birth, the children appear healthy. But within a few years, toddlers and young children with infantile Batten disease, a rare but fatal brain disorder, succumb to blindness, seizures, dementia and become unable to walk. No cure exists, and most die in early childhood. But new research in animals by scientists at Washington University School […]

$9 million to fund study of ‘jumping genes’ in Alzheimer’s

Scientists have identified a handful of gene mutations that cause or contribute to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. But many scientists suspect that other DNA changes may help drive Alzheimer’s-related damage to brain cells and lead to symptoms of confusion and memory loss experienced by patients. In particular, the researchers want to understand how segments […]

Scientists ID pathway that triggers mice to scratch when they see others do the same

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a pathway in the brains of mice that is activated when the animals see other mice scratching. The researchers previously reported that the urge to scratch an itch after seeing other mice scratching is hardwired in the brain. Now they have found that […]

Cruchaga awarded Zenith Fellowship Award

Carlos Cruchaga, PhD, has received a 2022 Zenith Fellow Award from the Alzheimer’s Association. The annual award is given to scientists who have made significant contributions to the field of Alzheimer’s disease research and are likely to make additional, substantial contributions in the future. Funding attached to the fellowships also helps support high- risk, high-reward projects in […]

Risk of Alzheimer’s dementia may be predicted with help of new tool

Using demographic information, brain imaging test results and genetic biomarkers, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed an algorithm that can help provide people who volunteer for studies of aging with information about the risk each faces of developing dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. Published Sept. 30 in the Journal […]

COVID-19 infections increase risk of long-term brain problems

If you’ve had COVID-19, it may still be messing with your brain. Those who have been infected with the virus are at increased risk of developing a range of neurological conditions in the first year after the infection, new research shows. Such complications include strokes, cognitive and memory problems, depression, anxiety and migraine headaches, according […]

School of Medicine joins major NIH brain mapping effort

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are joining a national network to map the intricacies of the brain, with a goal of deepening knowledge of how the brain works and generating new insights into how the brain functions in healthy people — and how it malfunctions in Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, autism and […]

Investigational drug for genetic form of ALS improves disease’s molecular signs

An investigational drug developed to treat a rare, inherited form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) reduced molecular signs of the fatal, paralyzing disease and curbed neurodegeneration — but at the six-month mark, the drug did not improve motor control and muscle strength, according to results from a phase 3 clinical trial led by researchers at […]

Personalized prediction of depression treatment outcomes with wearables

Over the past several years, managing one’s mental health has become more of a priority with an increased emphasis on self-care. Depression alone affects more than 300 million people worldwide annually. Recognizing this, there is significant interest to leverage popular wearable devices to monitor an individual’s mental health by measuring markers such as activity levels, […]

School of Medicine joins NIH initiative to expand use of AI in biomedical research

Imagine if one day in the future, doctors could diagnose throat cancer, Alzheimer’s, depression or other diseases based on the sound of a patient’s voice. To help make that a reality, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is joining the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Bridge2AI program, an estimated $130 million initiative intended […]

Gordon honored by National Academy of Medicine

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, will be the inaugural recipient of the David and Beatrix Hamburg Award for Advances in Biomedical Research and Clinical Medicine, a newly established […]

Garcia to study neurological developmental disorder

Benjamin Garcia, PhD, the Raymond H. Wittcoff Distinguished Professor and head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, along with Elizabeth Bhoj, at the University of Pennsylvania, received a five-year $2.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for their research titled […]

Emenecker wins prize for innovation in biomedical science

Ryan Emenecker, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has won the 2022 Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation. The $50,000 prize recognizes excellence and creativity in young biomedical scientists who have potential to make scientific breakthroughs. Emenecker studies intrinsically disordered proteins — shape-shifting proteins with no defined structure ­— […]

New practical method of producing Airy beams could enhance ultrasound

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis recently invented a technique for generating ultrasound waves that can self-bend, like the rainbow. Airy beams are a class of acoustic waves that move on a curved, arch-like trajectory and can auto-focus around obstacles that are directly in the beam’s path, which makes them well suited for ultrasound […]

Restoring movement after spinal cord injury focus of new research

People with spinal cord injuries often experience lifelong movement impairment or paralysis, for which there is no cure. When coupled with rehabilitative exercise, electrical spinal cord stimulation can help restore some movement, though the mechanisms of how the nerves in the spinal cord recover are unknown. Ismael Seáñez, PhD, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at […]

Rogers selected as scholar in emerging leadership program

Cynthia E. Rogers, MD, the Blanche F. Ittleson Professor of Psychiatry and director of the William Greenleaf Eliot Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been named an Emerging Leader in Health and Medicine Scholar by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). As a crucial part of NAM’s Emerging […]