Dr. Neil Anderson, Dr. Carey-Ann Burnham, Dr. Ali Ellebedy and Dr. Bijal Parikh receive Dean’s Impact Awards

Four faculty in the Department of Pathology & Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine have received Dean’s Impact Awards in 2023 including:

Dean’s Impact Awards recognize faculty whose response to the COVID-19 pandemic has had a lasting impact, who demonstrate the highest level of professionalism and who deliver exceptional results across the missions of the School of Medicine. “Recipients of the Dean’s Impact Awards represent the determination and adaptability, compassion and innovation required to lead us through unprecedented times,” the School of Medicine’s Office of Faculty Promotions & Career Development said on its website.

Dr. Anderson, Dr. Burnham and Dr. Parikh received a Dean’s Impact Award for their leadership in clinical virology testing during the pandemic. Dr. Anderson, medical director of the Molecular Infectious Disease Laboratory; Dr. Burnham, medical director of the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Microbiology Laboratory; and Dr. Parikh, medical director of the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, developed the first clinical diagnostic COVID-19 test to be used at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. They subsequently implemented seven different COVID-19 tests, multiple testing workflows, and processes for pooling samples to increase throughput, ultimately allowing the institution to deliver on the COVID-19 testing demands throughout the pandemic.

Dr. Ellebedy received a Dean’s Impact Award for his outstanding contributions to COVID-19 research. During the pandemic, Dr. Ellebedy and his team quickly assessed how immune responses, specifically B cell responses, occur in COVID-19 patients and those who have contracted the virus. Second, Dr. Ellebedy and other researchers at Washington University School of Medicine were instrumental in detailing responses in people who took the experimental COVID-19 vaccines developed by Moderna (and Pfizer), which helped improve the vaccinations. Dr. Ellebedy also initiated groundbreaking studies that examined novel mRNA vaccinations for COVID-19 from the perspective of how immune responses are initiated in vaccinated individuals, how long it lasts, the type(s) of responses and maturation of antibody responses post-vaccination. Finally, Dr. Ellebedy secured multiple grants via federal and industry sources, which allowed many new individuals to be trained in COVID-19 research.

Award recipients will be honored at a ceremony May 17. Learn more about Dean’s Impact Awards on the Office of Faculty Promotions & Career Development website.