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  February 2013 Edition
@ Washington University in St. Louis



University News

Siteman Cancer Center opens south St. Louis County location


Barbara Schaal to become next dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences


Embedding with startups to study entrepreneurship



Global plant diversity still hinges on local battles against invasives, study suggests


Cheating — and getting away with it​

Super-TIGER stalks cosmic rays in Antarctica



Explaining the boom


Pitch Perfect

Three years after catastrophic earthquake, Haiti remains stricken with poverty, disease




The Record


Alumni & Development Programs




WUSTL Newsroom





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“If we are serious about the need for the use of the rule of law at the international level, and if we understand that there has to be a functioning criminal justice system at this level, then the conclusion is obvious: states, and in particular the major players, have to join hands with those who have already ratified the Rome Statute.


~ His Excellency Hans Corell, former Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and the Legal Counsel of the United Nations, during his address, “Reflections on International Criminal Justice: Past, Present, and Future,” at the International Criminal Court

at Ten symposium, held November 12 in the

School of Law





Andrew Yoo,


PhD, assistant professor of biology, has received a $2.3 million National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Award. Yoo's research suggests that it may be possible to regrow healthy brain neurons.

Michael R. Bruchas,


PhD, assistant professor of anesthesiology, and
Robert W. Gereau IV
PhD, professor of anesthesiology, will share a $3.9 million National Institutes of Health Director's Transformative Research Project Award with a University of Illinois professor. Bruchas and Gereau are studying neural circuits to develop treatments for nerve injuries.

Jason Q. Purnell,


PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School, has been selected as one of 20 Young Leaders for 2013 by the St. Louis American Foundation. Purnell’s work focuses on how household financial status and cultural factors influence health behaviors in underserved populations.

Rajendra S. Apte,


MD, PhD, associate professor of ophthalmology and visual science and of developmental biology, will receive the 2013 Young Investigator Award from the Macula Society at the end of February. The society is a forum for new research in retinal vascular and macular diseases. Apte's research focuses on the growth of damaging blood vessels that is a marker for blinding eye diseases.

Elaine Khoong,


a third-year medical student, has received a prestigious Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarship from the Association of American Medical Colleges. She is one of six U.S. medical students awarded the $5,000 scholarship, which recognizes leadership in efforts to eliminate inequities in medical education and health care.

Steven J. Malter,


PhD, has been named associate dean and director of the undergraduate program in the Olin Business School. Malter has been a member of the Olin undergraduate administration since 2004.

Washington University


is ranked as the world’s 11th greenest campus in the 2012 annual report of UI GreenMetric, a worldwide university ranking system that lists 215 of the world’s most sustainable and eco-friendly campuses. Schools were ranked in several categories including: setting and infrastructure, energy and climate change, waste, water, transportation, and education.

William H. Danforth,


chancellor emeritus and chairman of the board of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, has received the prestigious 2012 St. Louis Award for outstanding leadership and commitment to the St. Louis region, particularly for his role in establishing the center.

Bradley L. Schlaggar,


MD, PhD, the A. Ernest and Jane G. Stein Professor of Neurology at the School of Medicine, has been awarded the E. Mead Johnson Award for Pediatric Research. Schlagger was chosen for his contributions to basic and translational research using brain imaging to understand the development of human cognition.

Steven Cheng,


MD, assistant professor of medicine and director of the Nephrology Fellowship Training Program, and
Will Ross,

M.D., associate professor of medicine in the nephrology division and associate dean for diversity, have received the 2012 Samuel R. Goldstein Leadership Awards in Medical Student Education. The annual awards, which recognize outstanding teaching and commitment to medical education, are among the highest teaching honors the School of Medicine awards.



University News


Siteman Cancer Center opens south St. Louis County location


The Siteman Cancer Center’s newest location, in south St. Louis County, opened Jan. 7.


PHOTO: Tim Parker



The Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine began seeing patients Jan. 7 at Siteman’s newest outpatient location, in south St. Louis County. Located at Interstate 55 and Butler Hill Road, Siteman Cancer Center-South County offers access to the same advanced treatments, including more than 240 clinical trials, and technology available at Siteman’s main location at Washington University Medical Center. ... more


Barbara Schaal to become next dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences


Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Edward S. Macias, PhD, has announced that Barbara A. Schaal, PhD, the Mary-Dell Chilton Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biology in Arts & Sciences and director of the Tyson Research Center at Washington University, will become the university’s next dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, effective Jan. 1, 2013. Schaal is a world-renowned evolutionary plant biologist who is widely recognized for her pioneering research. ... more


Embedding with startups to study entrepreneurship


Washington University’s business, engineering and law schools are collaborating on a new course in 2013 that will embed students in the center of the thriving entrepreneur community in downtown St. Louis. Students will trade their campus classroom for working space at T-REx, a new St. Louis tech incubator that offers startup companies affordable offices in the historic Railway Exchange Building. ... more



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Global plant diversity still hinges on local battles against invasives, study suggests


Kristin Powell measuring out a study plot of invasive flax lilies in Highlands Hammock State Park in Florida. In an oft-repeated tale, the lily now invading the park escaped from a botanical garden once on park grounds.


PHOTO: Jessica Powell

In Missouri forests, dense thickets of invasive honeysuckle decrease the light available to other plants, hog the attention of pollinators, and offer nutrient-stingy berries to migrating birds. They even release toxins to make it less likely native plants will germinate near them. Why, then, are recent popular science articles recommending a recalibration of the traditional no-tolerance attitude toward non-native species, suggesting that we’ve been “unfair” to invasives and should stop “persecuting” them? ... more


Cheating — and getting away with it ​


We would all like to believe that there is a kind of karma in life that guarantees those who cheat eventually pay for their bad behavior, if not immediately, then somewhere down the line. But a study of a new gene in the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum suggests that, at least for amoebae, it is possible to cheat and get away with it. ... more


Super-TIGER stalks cosmic rays in Antarctica


Grade-school science teachers sometimes hand out “mystery boxes” containing ramps, barriers and a loose marble. By rotating the boxes and feeling the marble hang up or drop, the students try to deduce what’s inside the box. Physicists trying to understand why tiny particles rain incessantly down from space face a similar dilemma, but their box is a hundred thousand light years across and their only clues are the particles themselves. ... more



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Explaining the boom


Senior Melissa Freilich (left) and junior Claire Stark lead a workshop on stage combat in The Gargoyle.


PHOTO: Sid Hastings


“The first thing we’re going to do is teach you how to throw a punch,” says senior Melissa Freilich. No, it’s not Boxing 101. Earlier this fall, the Edison Ovations Series welcomed approximately 500 eighth-graders from across St. Louis for a special matinee performance by nationally acclaimed Aquila Theatre. “Roughly one-third of our professional touring companies offer school shows,” says Ann Rothery, program coordinator for Edison. Costs are underwritten by Edison and K-12 Connections, a partnership of WUSTL’s Community Service Office, Institute for School Partnership and Department of Government and Community Relations. In addition, Edison recently established a subsidy program to help defray transportation expenses. ... more


Pitch Perfect


No notes, no props, no polished PowerPoint presentation. Just two minutes — 120 seconds — of passion and persuasion. That’s the idea behind IdeaBounce, a campus-wide initiative founded in 2003 to support student, faculty and community interest in commercial, social, global, technological, legal, artistic and intellectual entrepreneurship. IdeaBounce is the brainchild of Washington University’s Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. This past October, for the first time, an IdeaBounce was held at the School of Medicine. ... more


Three years after catastrophic earthquake, Haiti remains stricken with poverty, disease


Three years ago this month, Lora Iannotti, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University, was working in the seaside town of Leogane, Haiti — 18 miles west of the capital Port-au-Prince — helping teach local officials how to improve the health of Haitian children. Iannotti was in Port-au-Prince on Jan. 12, 2010. On that day, Leogane, the very town she had been active in, became the epicenter of a catastrophic earthquake. She survived, but Haiti was devastated; an estimated 3 million were affected by the earthquake in a country already known as the poorest in the Western hemisphere. ... more



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