Designed to acknowledge the most original and important accomplishments in Neuroscience research at WashU by a predoctoral or postdoctoral fellow

2020 O'Leary Prize Winners

Alexander Cammack

PhD Candidate 
Timothy Miller lab

Zhikai Liu

PhD Candidate
Martha Bagnall and Timothy Holy labs

2020 Finalists

The finalists are listed in alphabetical order by last name with the lab in which the work was performed.

  • Fabia Filipello, Celeste Karch and Laura Piccio labs
  • Matthew Glasser, David Van Essen lab
  • Maud Gratuze, David Holtzman lab
  • Brian Lananna, Erik Musiek lab
  • Hailun (Helen) Li, Aaron DiAntonio lab
  • Dillan Newbold, Nico Dosenbach lab
  • Allison Soung, Robyn Klein lab

Note that each year, a past O’Leary Prize recipient is invited to be a guest judge and present the O’Leary Lecture.  This year’s guest judge is Robert Burgess (The Jackson Laboratory) who will deliver the O’Leary Lecture on Wednesday March 4.

More on the O’Leary Lecture


Dr. James L. O’Leary joined the faculty of the Department of Anatomy at Washington University in 1928.  In 1948 he joined the faculty of the Department of Neurology, becoming Head of the Department in 1946, remaining until 1971.  For many years, neuroscience research at Washington University was conducted by Dr. O’Leary and his colleagues.  They developed an interdisciplinary and interactive approach to the study of the nervous system that continues today.  Dr. O’Leary’s colleagues, admirers, and former students established a fund in 1975 to award a prize each year to a graduate student and/or postdoctoral fellow or resident for excellence in neuroscience research.

Instructions to apply

Spring 2020 application closed!

Current Washington University predoctoral students, postdoctoral fellows and residents are invited to submit a summary of their work to Erik Musiek ( and the Office of Neuroscience Research ( The submission must arrive no later than 5pm (CST), Friday February 7th, 2020.

The summary should include a title page indicating the applicant’s name, preceptor, campus box, telephone number, email address and status (e.g. graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, resident). The summary itself should begin with a 250 word abstract and be no longer than 5 double spaced pages, size 11 font, including figures but not references. A separate listing of no more than 10 references is allowed. In addition, a letter from the applicant’s preceptor attesting to the contents of the summary should accompany the submission. A letter of recommendation is not needed; just attestation to the work. If the work to be presented is published, in press, recently accepted for publication or currently in review, please note this information on the coversheet. If the work has been accepted for publication, please note the journal and estimated date of publication.

Application format:

  • Page 1: Coversheet & Details
  • Page 2: Attestation
  • Page 3: 250 Word Abstract
  • Page 4-8: Research Summary and an emphasis on the innovation and impact of the study
  • Page 9: References

Application should come in one file, pdf preferred.

All work to be considered for the prizes must have been carried out by the applicant while a student, resident, or fellow at Washington University. From the submitted summaries the Selection Committee will choose those to be presented at the O’Leary Prize program on Tuesday March 3rd, 2020 from 1:00-5:00pm, EPNEC Auditorium.