Gut bacterium supports growth in infants with severe acute malnutrition (Links to an external site)

About 18 million children under age 5 suffer from severe acute malnutrition, and over 3 million children die from it each year. Treatment with high-calorie supplemental foods and antibiotics can prevent deaths, but these interventions often have limited impact on the long-term effects of severe acute malnutrition, such as persistent stunted growth, disrupted immune function […]

2022 Ellis Benson Award Announced

Dr. Melanie Yarbrough is the recipient of the 2022 Ellis Benson Award, given by the Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists (ACLPS) in recognition of her work in advancing diagnostic methods for infectious diseases such as bloodstream and urinary tract infections. The Ellis Benson Award is the premier award of ACLPS to a young faculty member in […]

CDC director to speak about pandemic March 3 on Medical Campus (Links to an external site)

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, will participate in a conversation about the pandemic Thursday, March 3, from 8 to 9 a.m. at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The virtual event, available via livestream, will be geared toward faculty, staff, students and trainees on the […]

Vice Chair of Faculty Development Named

Following departmental strategic planning, the Pathology & Immunology Office of Faculty Development (OFD) was founded in 2020. OFD supports our departmental core values (excellence, respect, inclusion, and diversity), and the mission of the OFD is to support a thriving and diverse department with professionally happy and healthy faculty who are productive, well recognized, and respected […]

Researchers unravel omicron’s secrets to better understand COVID-19 (Links to an external site)

When South African scientists announced in November that they had identified a new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19, they also reported two worrying details: one, that this new variant’s genome was strikingly different from that of any previous variant, containing dozens of mutations compared with the original virus that emerged in 2019; and […]

ASCI Names 2022 Young Scientist Awardees

The American Society for Clinical Investigation recently announced their list of 2022 Young Scientist Awardees, and Jonathan Brestoff, MD, PhD is among those being recognized.  The ASCI Council Young Physician-Scientist Awards recognize physician-scientists who are early in their first faculty appointment and have made notable achievements in their research. With these awards, the ASCI seeks to encourage and inspire […]

Podcast: Why the omicron wave is different (Links to an external site)

A new episode of the School of Medicine podcast, “Show Me the Science,” has been posted. This episode of ‘Show Me the Science’ features, Ali Ellebedy, PhD and looks at how vaccines and prior infections provide some immunity as omicron continues to spread.

What makes an mRNA vaccine so effective against severe COVID-19? (Links to an external site)

The first two vaccines created with mRNA vaccine technology — the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines — are arguably two of the most effective COVID vaccines developed to date. In clinical trials, both were more than 90% effective at preventing symptomatic infection, easily surpassing the 50% threshold the Food and Drug Administration had set for […]

CDC initiative to combat antimicrobial resistance, infectious diseases (Links to an external site)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded $22 million to nearly 30 organizations in 50 countries for efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance and other infection-related threats to health. Part of that funding will support 11 short-term research projects aimed at identifying new solutions to help prevent antimicrobial-resistant infections and their spread, including two such […]

Kipnis named an editor of medical journal (Links to an external site)

Jonathan Kipnis, PhD, the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor of Pathology & Immunology and a BJC Investigator at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been named an academic editor of the Journal of Experimental Medicine, a high-impact journal that publishes papers on immunology, cancer biology, vascular biology, microbial pathogenesis, neuroscience and […]

COVID-19 vaccine elicits weak antibody response in people taking immunosuppressant (Links to an external site)

People who received two doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine while on TNF inhibitors — a class of immunosuppressants used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions — generated less powerful and shorter-lived antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19 than healthy people and those on other kinds of immunosuppressants, according to a study […]

LGM Interim Clinical Co-Chief Named

Ann M. Gronowski, PhD, has agreed to serve as the interim Clinical Co-Chief of the Division of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine (LGM) in the Department of Pathology and Immunology (P&I), and CLIA Medical Director of Barnes-Jewish Hospital Clinical Laboratories, starting January 1, 2022. Ann is currently Vice Chair of Faculty Affairs & Development and Medical […]

New technique may lead to safer stem cell transplants (Links to an external site)

For hard-to-treat leukemias, lymphomas and other blood cancers, stem cell transplantation is the gold standard of care. The procedure involves replacing a patient’s own blood-forming stem cells with a donor’s stem cells and, in the process, eradicating cancer cells in the blood, lymph nodes and bone marrow.

Congratulations to the 2021 Faculty and Staff Award Recipients


Last week the department recognized and celebrated the recipients of the 2021 Faculty and Staff Awards. These awards recognized the hard work and dedication that members of the department do daily to continue to move the department forward toward success. Congratulations to all awardees! To see a list of recipients and photos from the event […]

Paper Focused on Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus Published in Nature

Michael Diamond, MD, PhD and Daved Fremont, PhD recently had a paper published in the journal Nature. The paper describes how Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) interacts with its receptor, LDLRAD3. This is important because VEEV is an emerging mosquito-borne virus that causes fast-spreading outbreaks. There are no good therapies or preventives for VEEV encephalitis, […]

Deadly virus’s pathway to infect cells identified (Links to an external site)

Rift Valley fever virus causes economically devastating outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever in livestock such as sheep, goats and cattle. These mosquito-borne outbreaks lead to infection in people working with dead or dying animals, sometimes causing hundreds of human cases and dozens of deaths.

LGM Grand Rounds Trainee Talk Awardees

Congratulations to Dr. Robert Potter, Microbiology Fellow, co-recipient of the @WUSTLmed Laboratory and Genomic Medicine (LGM) award for delivering the outstanding trainee talk of the year for LGM Grand Rounds! Congratulations to Dr. Saravanan Raju, Clinical Pathology Resident, co-recipient of the @WUSTLmed Laboratory and Genomic Medicine (LGM) award for delivering the outstanding trainee talk of […]

Gordon receives Balzan Prize (Links to an external site)

Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD, the Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is a recipient of this year’s Balzan Prize for his role in founding the field of human gut microbiome research and revolutionizing the understanding of gut microbes and their roles in human health and disease.

Gronowski Recognized by AACC

Recently, the History of Clinical Chemistry Division of the AACC recognized Ann Gronowski, PhD for her efforts to promote the heritage of clinical chemistry by presenting her with the Caraway-Meites Award. This award recognizes individuals whose efforts have documented and described the origins, development, and impact of clinical chemistry on the practice of medicine. In the February […]

Antibody protects against broad range of COVID-19 virus variants (Links to an external site)

The virus that causes COVID-19 today is not the same as the one that first sickened people way back in December 2019. Many of the variants circulating now are partially resistant to some of the antibody-based therapeutics that were developed based on the original virus. As the pandemic continues, more variants inevitably will arise, and […]

Antibodies block specific viruses that cause arthritis, brain infections (Links to an external site)

Alphaviruses — mosquito-borne viruses that can trigger brain infections and arthritis — may have met their match. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified two antibodies that protect animals from disease caused by alphaviruses. The antibodies worked for every alphavirus tested, meaning they potentially could form the basis of treatments […]

‘Good cholesterol’ may protect liver (Links to an external site)

The body’s so-called good cholesterol maybe even better than we realize. New research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that one type of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) has a previously unknown role in protecting the liver from injury. This HDL protects the liver by blocking inflammatory signals produced by common gut bacteria.

New snack foods nurture healthy gut microbiome (Links to an external site)

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified ingredients for snack food prototypes that have been formulated to deliberately change the gut microbiome in ways that can be linked to health. Translating results from animal models, the scientists have shown in two pilot human studies of overweight participants that snacks containing […]

Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus Awards Announced

The University of Texas Medical Branch recently announced the recipients of the annual Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus (ASDA) Awards. Dr. Elizabeth Brunt was among those receiving this distinguished honor. The Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus (ASDA) Award is the highest alumni honor bestowed by the University of Texas School of Medicine Alumni Association. The award recognizes outstanding service to […]

Ravichandran named BJC investigator (Links to an external site)

Kodi S. Ravichandran, PhD, a world leader in understanding innate immunity, has been named a BJC Investigator as well as director of the Division of Immunobiology in the Department of Pathology & Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Division Chief Receives Award from American Association of Neuropathologists

Robert Schmidt, MD, PhD, Division Chief of Neuropathology recently received the Meritorious Contributions to Neuropathology Award. This award recognizes a member who has made significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge in neuropathology and provided service to the American Association of Neuropathologists. Dr. Schmidt’s achievements are plentiful and include mentoring graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, […]

Good news: Mild COVID-19 induces lasting antibody protection (Links to an external site)

Months after recovering from mild cases of COVID-19, people still have immune cells in their body pumping out antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a study from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Such cells could persist for a lifetime, churning out antibodies all the while.

Trainee Research Day Award Winners 2021

On Monday, May 10, the culmination of weeks of work for this year’s Trainee Research Day (TRD) was presented via Zoom. Continuing on this year with virtual presentations the department had 16 excellent studies presented. As per tradition, the TRD committee had a scoring process to select the best presentations. Talks were scored based on […]

SARS-CoV-2 Mutations Can Reduce Diagnostic Test Accuracy

David Wang, PhD and Bijal Parikh, MD, PhD have identified a mutation that reduces the ability of reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) to identify SARS-CoV-2. The research was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. The efficacy and reliability of these assays are of paramount importance in both tracking and controlling the spread of the […]

Welcome New Residents & Fellows

The Department of Pathology & Immunology is excited to welcome our newest residents and fellows. For every graduating medical student, Match Day is the next step in their career to working as a doctor and we are thrilled that these residents and fellows have chosen our department to continue their training. Click here to meet […]

COVID-19 can kill heart muscle cells, interfere with contraction (Links to an external site)

Since early in the pandemic, COVID-19 has been associated with heart problems, including reduced ability to pump blood and abnormal heart rhythms. But it’s been an open question whether these problems are caused by the virus infecting the heart, or an inflammatory response to viral infection elsewhere in the body. Such details have implications for […]

The Body Is Far From Helpless Against Coronavirus Variants (Links to an external site)

To locate some of the world’s most superpowered cells, look no further than the human immune system. The mission of these hometown heroes is threefold: Memorize the features of dangerous microbes that breach the body’s barriers. Launch an attack to bring them to heel. Then squirrel away intel to quash future assaults.

How does the immune system keep tabs on the brain? (Links to an external site)

Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, autism, schizophrenia and many other neurological and psychiatric conditions have been linked to inflammation in the brain. There’s growing evidence that immune cells and molecules play a key role in normal brain development and function as well. But at the core of the burgeoning field of neuroimmunology lies a mystery: How […]