O’Leary Lecture

Each year, a former recipient of the James L. O’Leary Prize for Research in Neuroscience competition is invited to present the annual O’Leary Lecture, and also be a guest judge at the prize competition.

2024 O’Leary Lecture

March 13, 2024
Fort Neuroscience Research Building Auditorium | Medical Campus

Joseph Castellano, PhD

Icahn School of Medicine
Mount Sinai

“Insights into Brain Aging and Alzheimer’s Pathology from the Systemic Environment”

The O’Leary Competition will be held on March 12, 2024 .


Dr. James L. O’Leary joined the faculty of the Department of Anatomy at Washington University in 1928 and, in 1941, was jointly appointed as Assistant Professor of Neurology. He served in the United States Medical Corps  at Mason General Hospital in New York where he taught neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and electroencephalography, then was honorably discharged in 1946 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He returned to Washington University and became head of Neurology in 1946, remaining until 1971. For many years, Dr. O’Leary and colleagues extensively studied nerve physiology, pain mechanisms, and the clinical and electroencephalographic aspects of epilepsy. He and his Washington University colleagues developed an interdisciplinary and interactive approach to the study of the nervous system that continues today.  

Source: Becker Archives Database

View the list of past O’Leary Competition winners.

A history of past O’Leary lecturers

2023Terrance Kummer, MD, PhD 2003 winner (Graduate student, Josh Sanes lab (Anatomy & Neurobiology))
2022Jeff Mumm, PhD2000 winner (Graduate student, Raphael Kopan lab (WashU Molecular Biology & Pharmacology))
2021Paul Kotzbauer, MD,PhD1996 winner (Graduate student, Jeffrey Milbrandt lab (WashU Pathology) and Eugene Johnson lab (WashU Neurology))
2020Robert Burgess, PhD2001 winner (Postdoc, Joshua Sanes lab (WashU Anatomy & Neurobiology))
2019Eric Leuthardt, MD2004 winner (Postdoc, Dan Moran lab (WashU Biomedical Engineering))
2018Catherine Collins, PhD2006 winner (Postdoc, Aaron DiAntonio lab (WashU Molecular Biology & Pharmacology))
2017John Fryer, PhD2005 winner (Graduate student, David Holtzman lab (WashU Neurology))
2016Malu Tansey, PhD2000 winner (Postdoc, Eugene Johnson lab (WashU Neurology))
2015Jeffrey Neil, MD, PhD1984 winner (Graduate student, Arthur Loewy lab (WashU Anatomy & Neurobiology))
2014Steve Mennerick, PhD1994 winner (Graduate student, Charles Zorumski lab (WashU Psychiatry))
2013Andrew Hershey, MD, PhD1991 winner (Graduate student, James Krause lab (WashU Anatomy & Neurobiology))
2012Maria Donoghue, PhD1992 winner (Graduate student, John Merlie lab (WashU Molecular Biology & Pharmacology) and Joshua Sanes (WashU Anatomy & Neurobiology))
2011Randy Buckner, PhD1995 winner (Graduate student, Steve Petersen lab (WashU Neurology))
2010Jonathan Mink, MD, PhD1987 winner (Graduate student, Tom Thach lab (WashU Anatomy & Neurobiology))
2009Tom Carmichael, MD, PhD1993 winner (Graduate student, Joel Price lab (WashU Anatomy & Neurobiology))
2008Alison Strack, PhD1990 winner (Graduate student, Arthur Loewy lab (WashU Anatomy & Neurobiology))
2007Jeff Lichtman, MD, PhD1978 winner (Graduate student, Dale Purves lab (WashU Physiology & Biophysics))