School of Medicine

Michael Nelson to be Interim Head, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to let you know that D. Michael Nelson, MD, PhD, the Virginia S. Lang Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, has graciously agreed to serve as Interim Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and he will start in the role on Monday June 3, 2019. George Macones, MD, MSCE, the Mitchell and Elaine Yanow Professor, has informed me that he will be leaving Washington University to take a leadership position at the Dell School of Medicine at the University of Texas at Austin.

I want to thank George, who has led the department since 2005 for his service to the Department and the University. With the opening in the last year of the new Women & Infant Center at Barnes Jewish Hospital and the related program expansion, as well as the accompanying relocation of the department’s offices and clinics to the Center for Outpatient Health, he leaves a department made significantly stronger across all elements of our missions during his tenure. With Vice Chair for Research Sarah England, PhD, the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Professor of Medicine, George has seen the department rise to be the #2 department in NIH funding.

We are extremely fortunate that Mike Nelson has agreed to assume interim leadership of the department. No one is more deeply woven into the fabric of the Department and the School of Medicine. Mike received his MD and PhD from Washington University in 1977, completed obstetrical and gynecological residency at Barnes Hospital in 1981, and Maternal-Fetal Medicine at The Ohio State University in 1983. Since returning to Washington University in the same year, his basic research has targeted the molecular and cellular function of the human placenta, funded by the National Institutes of Health, the March of Dimes, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization over his tenure. That research has contributed significantly to our understanding of how to support a healthy pregnancy.

He has received the President’s Distinguished Senior Scientist Award from the Society for Reproductive Investigation, was honored with the Washington University Alumni Distinguished Service Award, the outstanding Clinician Award from the Missouri Maternal, Child and Family Health Coalition, and the Dr. Neville Grant Outstanding Clinician Award from the Barnes Jewish Hospital Foundation. He has been named CREOG Faculty Teacher of the Year four times, received the Resident Teacher of the Year Award four times, and awarded the coveted Samuel R. Goldstein Leadership Award in Medical Student Education at the School of Medicine.

Mike has fostered the careers of more than 350 obstetricians and gynecologists. As a sub-specialist in Maternal-Fetal Medicine, concentrating his clinical activities on the care of underserved and medically high-risk women from the St. Louis region, he has been the attending physician for about 18,000 deliveries.

On behalf of the Executive Faculty of our school, I want to express my thanks to Mike for taking on this role. The senior leadership of the school: Paul Scheel, CEO of Washington University Physicians, Eva Aagaard, Senior Associate Dean for Education, and Jenny Lodge, Vice Chancellor and Associate Dean for Research, will all be available to assist Mike in the weeks and months ahead.

I am looking forward to working closely with Mike and the faculty in the Department to maintain momentum as we initiate a search for a new Department Head. We have started to assemble the search committee and expect the committee will begin its work in the next few weeks.

Please join me in thanking Mike and wishing George the best in his new role at the University of Texas.

David H. Perlmutter, MD
Executive Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs
Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor
George and Carol Bauer Dean, School of Medicine