Volume 11, Issue 2, June 2017

Pediatrics names executive vice chair,
three vice chairs

The Department of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has named a distinguished pediatrician the department’s executive vice chair and three others as vice chairs. The positions are new.

The department’s head, Gary A. Silverman, MD, PhD, the Harriet B. Spoehrer Professor, promoted the faculty members as part of the department’s aim to improve efficiency and enhance delivery of services.

Promoted were:

  • F. Sessions Cole, MD, the Park J. White, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, to executive vice chair of pediatrics. The role entails executing the university’s overall academic, research and clinical missions as well as assuming Silverman’s responsibilities in the department head’s absence. Cole also is the assistant vice chancellor for children’s health, chief medical officer at St. Louis Children’s Hospital (SLCH) and director of the Division of Newborn Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics.
  • Alexis M. Elward, MD, to vice chair of quality improvement and safety. The position charges Elward with overseeing the department’s quality improvement programs in collaboration with SLCH and BJC HealthCare. Elward also is the medical director of infection control at SLCH.
  • Mark E. Lowe, MD, PhD, to vice chair of clinical affairs and strategic planning. In this capacity, Lowe will focus on expanding pediatric outpatient programs, restructuring ambulatory clinics and improving overall communications among pediatricians. Lowe came from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where he was a vice chair and held an endowed chair for pediatric research.
  • Andrew J. White, MD, the James P. Keating, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, to vice chair of medical education. The role includes coordinating the department’s medical education activities with leading clinical researchers, other divisions and fellowship coordinators to provide a more cohesive program for early trainees to postdoctoral fellows. White also directs the SLCH residency programs.

“The executive vice chair and three vice chairs have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills and the highest level of professional expertise,” Silverman said. “They will help to oversee the department’s operations and to advise me as to best practice. The Department of Pediatrics will benefit greatly from their contributions.”

New Director of Clinical Immunology

The Department of Pediatrics is pleased to announce that Megan A. Cooper, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, will become the Director of Clinical Immunology overseeing our multidisciplinary Immunodeficiency Clinics and Program.  She is an R01-funded, nationally recognized physician-scientist in the Primary Immunodeficiency community based on her scientific discoveries in the field.  She has demonstrated a commitment to building a robust and nationally visible Pediatric Immunodeficiency Program at Washington University.  Dr. Cooper initiated and co-organizes a monthly multidisciplinary Pediatric Translational Immunology conference.  She also started a monthly clinical immunology conference, to provide a forum for formal teaching of trainees and to discuss the clinical care of challenging patients.  She is the PI of three IRB protocols related to clinical immunology, including a protocol used to “bank” biologic specimens from patients with primary immunodeficiencies, a USIDNET protocol to enroll patients in a national registry, and a protocol to maintain a local REDCap database for pediatric immunodeficiency patients.


French named new Chief of Rheumatology

The Department of Pediatrics is pleased to announce that Anthony R. French, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics, will become the next Chief of the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology.  Tony is an outstanding physician-scientist who obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota and his M.D./Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Tony received his pediatric specialty training at the Mayo Clinic and his fellowship training, in Rheumatology, at our institution.  He is also the Fellowship Director of Pediatric Rheumatology.  Along with David Hunstad, M.D., he leads the Pediatric Physician-Scientist Training Program, which identifies outstanding M.D./Ph.D. resident applicants and brings them to Washington University.  Tony is an R01-funded investigator  and is currently focused on how NK cells combat recurrent viral infections.  Tony leads a highly innovative Division of clinicians and physician-scientists, including Kevin Baszis, M.D., Megan Cooper, M.D., Ph.D., Maleewan Kitcharoensakkul, M.D., and Andy White, M.D.  Tony takes over the Division leadership from Andy White, M.D., who is assuming a new role as Vice Chair of Medical Education for the Department of Pediatrics.



Writing/Designing Winning NIH Proposals Workshop
June 13, 2017
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
To be held at the:
Washington University in St. Louis

Sponsored by: The Grant Training Center

This one-day comprehensive workshop is geared towards those who wish to submit winning proposals to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Participants will learn how to:
* Find the appropriate program and grant mechanism for their idea(s)
* Read and interpret RFAs
* Identify and avoid common pitfalls of a grant
* Address the pieces of the application
* Package the proposal in the requested format
* Understand the scoring system and the review process
* Search for the appropriate study section for submissions
* Learn what actually happens in the study section
* Decipher pink sheets: The inevitable resubmission
* Build an airtight case for funding

Presenter: Dr. Maria Esformes has conducted NIH workshops for the past ten years. She has written and received major research and programmatic grants from Federal and private donors. Dr. Esformes holds a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado (Boulder), an M.A. from the University of Washington (Seattle, WA), and a B.A. from Portland State University (Portland, OR).

To register:
Please click here
Questions? Call us at (866) 704-7268
Workshop Fee: $395.00 (includes a comprehensive directory, workbook, certificate of completion, and continental breakfast)
*Space is limited and since this class fills-up quickly, it is on a first-come, first-serve basis.*
Can't make it? We also offer An Online NIH course

You may also be interested in the NSF counterpart to this workshop on June 12, 2017. Receive a discount of $50 by registering for both the NSF and NIH workshops.


AAMC Grant Writers Coaching Group for NIH Awards

September 7-8, 2017, Hyatt Regency Orlando, Orlando, FL

The AAMC is accepting applications for the 2017 Grant Writers Coaching Group for NIH Awards designed for faculty who are actively working on a K or R NIH grant proposal. The focus is to increase diversity in medicine and science with an emphasis on faculty who are underrepresented in medicine (URM).

This one-day intensive workshop offers hands-on guidance and cultivates development through peer review sessions created specifically to strengthen a proposal. The program provides individual coaching, 2-3 months bi-weekly virtual group meetings, and on-going support and discussion. Applications for the 2017 Grant Writers Coaching Group for NIH Awards are due by June 21, 2017 at 11:59 PM, EST. Additional information and guidelines, as well as the link to apply, are available here.

Audience: Priority consideration will be given to URM faculty, but all faculty regardless of racial ethnicity are encouraged to apply.

Registration Process: Once accepted to the program, a registration fee of $1,000 will automatically be processed on the credit card provided during application.

Program Information: Tai Conley
Conference Logistics: Shayna Kritz
Conference Registration: Debra K. Hollins




Save the Date

September 7, 2017
1:00-3:00 pm
EPNEC Seminar Room B
Register Here

WUSM female faculty members highlight their work in diverse fields of science as well as share the unique challenges they have faced in their careers in academic medicine. Open to entire WU community.


1:00-1:30 pm  Jacqueline Payton, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Pathology & Immunology

1:30-2:00 pm       Audrey John, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Pediatrics, Infectious Diseases

2:00-2:30 pm       Phyllis Hanson, MD, PhD, Gerty T. Cori Professor, Cell Biology and Physiology

2:30-3:00 pm       Panel Discussion with Victoria Fraser, MD Chair, Department of Medicine and Jennifer Lodge, PhD, Vice Chancellor for Research


New Faculty Orientation

Friday, August 25, 2017
Noon-3:30 pm; NWT10A

Lunch Provided



Develop your public speaking and leadership skills at Toastmasters, an international public speaking club. 

WashU Med Masters meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. Meetings take place in the 2nd floor Conference Room 2057 of the Mid Campus Center (MCC, new building adjacent to MetroLink) unless otherwise noted on schedule below. For information, please contact Ariana Jasarevic at Jasarevic_a@wustl.edu.

Toastmasters International is a learn-by-doing workshop. Participants give speeches, take leadership or evaluative roles at meetings, and are encouraged to run for club and district office positions. The club also offers opportunities to network with Toastmasters in the greater St. Louis area and around the globe at regional meetings and international conferences.
Some benefits of joining include:
• A communication manual with 10 self-paced speaking assignments (included)
• A leadership manual (included)
• Toastmasters magazine (included)
• Networking with other WUSTL employees
• Special training seminars at district conferences (free to members)
• Opportunity to participate in speaking competitions
• Improved public speaking, leadership, and job interview skills
Not sure about joining Toastmasters?  Both clubs are open to any Washington University staff member.  Guests are welcome at every meeting. Stop by, introduce yourself, and see what Toastmasters is all about!



Work-Life Balance

Personal Wellness

Wellness Connection and our partners are pleased to offer wellness-related programs and workshops for benefits-eligible Washington University faculty, staff, clinical fellows and postdoctoral appointees. The wellness programs provide employees with the opportunity to learn and participate in activities that promote a healthy lifestyle. We are still developing new programs and appreciate your input. Visit

WU Wellness Connection Website for information on any of the following programs/resources.



Find us on facebook to keep updated on current events in peds.


Office of Faculty Development

Brian Hackett, MD, PhD, Director

Bess Marshall, MD, Associate Director

Janet Braun, Program Coordinator