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

Congratulations to the 2018 Winners!

Mariah Hoye
Graduate Student
Biochemistry Program
Lab of Timothy Miller

Sarah Kaufman
MD/PhD student
Neuroscience Program
Lab of Marc Diamond

2018 Finalists
  • Yang Shi, Lab of David Holtzman
  • Chelsea Parker Harp, Lab of Gregory Wu
  • Tien-Phat (Phat) Huynh, Lab of David Holtzman
  • Jarod L Roland, Lab of Eric Leuthardt
  • Kristina Sakers, Lab of Joseph Dougherty
  • Michal Skowyra, Lab of Phyllis Hanson
  • Charise Garber, Lab of Robyn Klein
  • Antonietta Franco, Lab of Gerald W. Dorn II


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.  

View past recipients of the O’Leary Prize

Instructions to apply for the 41st Annual O’Leary Prize (Spring 2018)

The 2018 competition now is complete — stay tuned for details on 2019!

Current Washington University predoctoral students, postdoctoral fellows and residents are invited to submit a summary of their work to Chris Weihl, weihlc@wustl.eduThe submission must arrive no later than 5pm, February 16th, 2018.

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.

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 afternoon, March 6th, 2018 from 1:00-5:00pm, Erlanger Auditorium.  Two O’Leary Prize winners will be selected from presentations at the March 6 competition; each will receive an award of $1000. Note that Catherine Collins, PhD (University of Michigan), a former O’Leary Prize winner, will be the guest judge for this year’s O’Leary Competition.