Study aims to understand genetics of Parkinson’s disease in Black people

Erin Foster, PhD, an associate professor of occupational therapy, and Scott Norris, MD, an associate professor of neurology, have established a site at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis for the Black and African American Connections to Parkinson’s Disease (BLAAC PD) study, an international study aimed at understanding the gene changes that may lead […]

Modifying homes for stroke survivors saves lives, extends independence

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States suffers a stroke, in which blood flow to the brain is blocked. For the survivors, the ensuing brain damage can lead to lifelong disabilities, making mundane tasks, such as using the toilet and taking a shower, risky ventures. One in eight of those who experience a stroke […]

ADHD meds may help pregnant patients control opioid use disorder

Opioid overdoses for pregnant people are at an all-time high in the United States, even as overall numbers are improving. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is highly correlated with substance use disorders, yet treatment protocols to help expecting parents manage opioid use disorders and ADHD together are essentially nonexistent. New research from Washington University School […]

Repurposed drug may help stabilize vision in rare disease

Roughly 50 families scattered across the world share ultra-rare variants in a particular gene. Silent for years, the inherited mutations make themselves known when patients reach the fourth decade of life. Changes in vision start a cascade of symptoms. Five to 20 years later, the illness is fatal. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine […]

The brain has a waste removal system and scientists are figuring out how it works

The brain needs to flush out waste products to stay healthy and fend off conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists are beginning to understand how the the brain’s waste removal system works. [Transcript] A MARTÍNEZ, HOST: Turns out the brain needs regular cleaning. Otherwise, it gets clogged up with waste products, including some associated with diseases […]

New technology allows researchers to precisely, flexibly modulate brain

Human brain diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, involve damage in more than one region of the brain, requiring technology that could precisely and flexibly address all affected regions simultaneously. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have developed a noninvasive technology combining a holographic acoustic device with genetic engineering that allows them to precisely target […]

Understanding role of T cells in Alzheimer’s disease is aim of new grant

There is increasing evidence that the immune system is involved in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Most research has focused on the innate immune system and its role in mediating neuroinflammation and degeneration. Naresha Saligrama, PhD, an assistant professor of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received a […]

Analysis reveals function of mitochondrial disease-related protein

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified the function of a mitochondrial protein that plays a role in human disease. The research, led by BJC Investigator Dave Pagliarini, PhD, the Hugo F. and Ina C. Urbauer Professor, could provide new ways to diagnose and develop treatments for some rare mitochondrial diseases. The […]

Multicenter clinical study supports safety of deep general anesthesia

General anesthesia makes it possible for millions of patients each year to undergo lifesaving surgeries while unconscious and free of pain. But the 176-year-old medical staple uses powerful drugs that have stoked fears of adverse effects on the brain — particularly if used in high doses. New findings published June 10 in the Journal of […]

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 […]

Holtzman, Chen recognized for exceptional Alzheimer’s research

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis faculty members David M. Holtzman, MD, the Barbara Burton and Reuben M. Morriss III Distinguished Professor of Neurology, and Xiaoying Chen, PhD, an instructor in neurology, were awarded the inaugural Jeffrey L. Morby Prize from Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the most promising research to prevent, slow […]

New machine learning method can better predict spine surgery outcomes

Researchers who had been using Fitbit data to help predict surgical outcomes have a new method to more accurately gauge how patients may recover from spine surgery. Using machine-learning techniques developed at the AI for Health Institute at Washington University in St. Louis,  Chenyang Lu, PhD, the Fullgraf Professor at the university’s McKelvey School of Engineering, collaborated with Jacob […]

Uncovering ‘the basis of humanity’ one puzzle at a time

In the world of word puzzles, Sid Sivakumar is a celebrity. A graduate student working toward a medical degree and a PhD in biomedical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, Sivakumar also authors crossword puzzle books and creates acclaimed crosswords for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and 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 […]

Risk of death from COVID-19 lessens, but infection still can cause issues 3 years later

New findings on long COVID — long-term effects on health experienced by many who have had COVID-19 — present a good-news, bad-news situation, according to a study at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care system. The bad news: COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized within the […]

Tau protein deposition patterns predict Alzheimer’s severity

esearchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have devised a method to gauge Alzheimer’s disease severity by analyzing the patterns of tau pathology in brain scans. The findings could lead to a way to determine how far the disease has progressed in individuals, which could help guide treatment decisions.  The accumulation and […]

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 […]

Lawrence, Seáñez win collaboration grants

Mark Lawrence, PhD and Ismael Seáñez, PhD, both assistant professors in the McKelvey School of Engineering, have been awarded $25,000 Collaboration Initiation Grants from the school.  The program awards one-year grants to projects that facilitate collaborative research within McKelvey Engineering departments and other university departments for tenure-track faculty. The grants are a pathway for faculty to apply for larger […]

Subtle cognitive decline precedes end to driving for older adults

One of the thorniest decisions facing older adults is when to give up their keys and stop driving. A new study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis could provide guidance in helping seniors plan ahead. The researchers found that impaired cognitive function foreshadows the decision for many seniors to stop […]

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 […]

Pfeifer wins Needleman Award

Congratulations to Charles Pfeifer on winning the 2024 Dr. Philip Needleman Pharmacology Award! Charles comes from the lab of Dr. Rajendra Apte, where he studied how eye diseases disrupt signaling pathways and alter microglia function and health. He was also able to introduce signaling proteins that restored communication lines to preserve visual function and reduce […]

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. […]

Gut bacteria boost immune response to fight tumors

Roughly one in five cancer patients benefits from immunotherapy – a treatment that harnesses the immune system to fight cancer. Such an approach to beating cancer has seen significant success in lung cancer and melanoma, among others. Optimistic about its potential, researchers are exploring strategies to improve immunotherapy for cancers that don’t respond well to […]

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)

Tau protein deposition patterns predict Alzheimer’s severity

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have devised a method to gauge Alzheimer’s disease severity by analyzing the patterns of tau pathology in brain scans. The findings could lead to a way to determine how far the disease has progressed in individuals, which could help guide treatment decisions.  The accumulation and […]

Medical school mentors, sponsors honored for their impact

It might seem odd, but a steaming cup of coconut chicken noodle soup can go a long way toward advancing patient care, research and education. Similarly, a medical school’s success can be enhanced with a simple reassurance when young scientists worry about research funding, lab experiments or their futures. Or an empathetic “I understand” to […]

Some brain tumors may be linked to head injury, mouse study suggests

A study in mice by researchers at the School of Medicine indicates that brain injury can lead to brain tumors in susceptible individuals. For this study, they used mice that model people with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a genetic disorder that causes brain tumors. The study showed that molecules released by injured neurons set off […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Nine School of Medicine researchers receive Longer Life grants

Nine researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have received funding from the Longer Life Foundation — a cooperative effort between the School of Medicine and the Reinsurance Group of America. The foundation supports research aimed at improving human health, wellness and longevity.  The researchers are:  Originally published on The Source.

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 […]

Atlas with annotated neuropathology images launched

Robert Schmidt, MD, PhD, a professor of pathology and immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has curated a collection of more than 33,000 individually annotated neuropathology images that are now available as a resource to the Washington University and international neuroscience community via a newly launched website.   Schmidt has been collecting the […]

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 […]

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 […]

International trials underway for childhood malnutrition therapy developed at WashU

A staggering 3 million children die from malnutrition across the globe each year, with many more left with long-lasting deficits in their growth and development. Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD – widely regarded as the father of the microbiome – has dedicated his life’s work to changing this paradigm. Gordon, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. […]

Thompson named director of pediatric neurosurgery

Eric Thompson, MD, a pediatric neurosurgeon noted for his expertise in caring for children with complex neurological conditions, particularly brain and spinal tumors, has been named director of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and neurosurgeon-in-chief at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. He begins his new role Aug. 5. Thompson is […]

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 […]

Ethic of Service Award honors investment in St. Louis

Founded in 2004 to celebrate Washington University’s 150th year, the Gerry and Bob Virgil Ethic of Service Award recognizes a select group of individuals from the WashU community who show exemplary commitment to service and engagement within the St. Louis area. This year’s honorees possess compassion, selflessness and a talent to inspire action in others — qualities […]

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 […]

Epilepsy drug prevents brain tumors in mice with NF1

A drug used to treat children with epilepsy prevents brain tumor formation and growth in two mouse models of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), according to a study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. NF1 is a genetic condition that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body, including the […]

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 […]

Holehouse receives NSF early-career award

Alex Holehouse, PhD, an assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The five-year, $1.3 million award will support Holehouse’s research into intrinsically disordered proteins. These proteins play important roles in […]

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 […]

Obituary: Philip Needleman, emeritus trustee, longtime benefactor, 85

Philip Needleman, a Washington University in St. Louis emeritus trustee, longtime benefactor and former department head at the School of Medicine, died in an accident Monday, March 25, 2024, in Creve Coeur, Mo. He was 85. “Phil was a pioneering pharmacologist, an esteemed faculty member and a generous benefactor whose impact on our university and the […]

Focused ultrasound technique gets quality assurance protocol

For the past several years, Washington University in St. Louis researchers have been using focused ultrasound combined with microbubbles to target an opening in the tough, protective blood-brain barrier to deliver drugs or retrieve biomarkers. To ensure that the fast-developing technology functions safely and consistently, Hong Chen, PhD, and her team, including first author and […]

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 […]

Understanding how anxious misery affects brain networks aim of new grant

Janine Bijsterbosch, PhD, an assistant professor of radiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is part of a team of five co-principal investigators studying how symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress — together known as anxious misery — affect functional brain networks. The team received a $3.6 million grant from the National […]