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The DOM Insider

The official newsletter of the Department of Medicine

Vol 9, Summer 2021

EPIC Update             Grand Rounds             Calendar             In the News

Letter from the Chair

Victoria Fraser, MD, Chair of MedicineDear colleagues and friends,

As the summer draws to a close, we find ourselves in the midst of another COVID surge driven by the highly contagious Delta variant. The case rates have stabilized somewhat and we are continuing to push to increase vaccination rates and mask use. Our faculty and trainees are caring for COVID patient in the ICUs, medicine FIRMS and hospitalist teams.

According to new FDA recommendations, immuno-compromised patients can now receive a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. We are implementing these booster vaccinations according to CDC eligibility requirements for immunosuppressed and other individuals. Learn more about these new guidelines and vaccination sites here.

Our COVID monoclonal antibody (mAb) infusion sites have been greatly expanded. We are providing mAb infusion treatment for high-risk COVID patients and post-exposure prophylaxis in the unvaccinated and immunocompromised individuals age 12 and older who meet high-risk criteria. More detailed information can be found here.

Despite the recent COVID surge, the Department of Medicine has continued to thrive. Clinical, research and educational programs are growing and our achievements underscore our ability to deliver on our mission despite the pandemic challenges. We welcomed outstanding new residents and fellows in July. We have a robust Grand Rounds series schedule planned for the coming year. Details regarding these upcoming presentations are now available on the DOM events calendar. Our ongoing dedication to patient care is evident in our ability to provide care for COVID and non-COVID patients throughout this COVID surge. Clinical teams continue to deliver exceptional care and display remarkable resilience. Research programs are expanding and making high-impact scientific discoveries. In fact, NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, recognized some of the outstanding work of our department faculty in his recent blog post, “mRNA Vaccines May Pack More Persistent Punch Against COVID-19 Than Thought”.

We are happy to welcome many new faculty to the department at our new faculty orientation on August 27 sponsored by the Office of Faculty Development (OFD). A variety of support is available through OFD and the department’s Office of Inclusion and Diversity. Please reach out and utilize their many resources.

I extend my deepest gratitude to all who continue to work on the front lines in clinical care, research and our educational programs. It is truly inspiring to witness our achievements despite the challenges we face.

Please take care and reach out with your thoughts and suggestions. And, as always, thank you for all you do on behalf of the Department of Medicine.

Best Regards,
Vicky Fraser, MD, Adolphus Busch Professor of Medicine, Chair, Department of Medicine


persistent-human-germinal-center-responsesWashU Med research on mRNA vaccines featured in NIH Director’s Blog
NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, featured research from the School of Medicine in his July 13, 2021 blog post titled “mRNA Vaccines May Pack More Persistent Punch Against COVID-19 than Thought”. The post references a study in the journal Nature authored by several Department of Medicine faculty that suggests mRNA vaccines provide lasting protection. Read the entire NIH Director’s Blog post here.

Education News

Stephen Oh, MD, PhDNHLBI Molecular Hematology T32 Training Grant (PI: Stephen Oh, MD, PhD) renewed through year 50! One of the longest running active T32 programs, this award provides critical support for predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees (including PSTP fellows) conducting hematology research at WashU. More information about the program can be found here.

Cardiovascular Division: A new fellowship training pathway focused on aortopathy and the mastery of clinical cardiology skills has been established called the Noémi and Michael Neidorff Aortopathy and Master Clinician Fellowship.

New fellow Andrew Lai, MD (left), with Alan Braverman, MD.New fellow Andrew Lai, MD (left), with Alan Braverman, MD

For the ninth consecutive year, the Cardiology Fellowship Training Program has received an NIH-funded T32 “Principles in Cardiovascular Research” Training Grant to support the training and research efforts of outstanding young investigators.

Grand Rounds: Check out Internal Medicine Grand Rounds every Thursday at 8am throughout the academic year. All presentations are available via Zoom. A schedule of upcoming Grand Rounds presentations is now available on the DOM events calendar
Missed a presentation? Recordings of past Grand Rounds can be found on the DOM website or via the DOM YouTube channel.

Doximity logo.The Internal Medicine Residency Program was recognized in the top 10 of Doximity’s 2021-2022 Top Internal Medicine Program survey report. Over 30,000 U.S. physicians participated in Doximity’s survey to nominate residency programs that offered the best clinical training across 28 different specialties, including Internal Medicine.

Alfred Kim, MD, PhD, was featured on the ACR COVID-19 Town Hall: COVID-19 Vaccination, Immunosuppression and Rheumatic Disease on Wednesday, August 4. Watch the recording

Lisa Zickuhr, MD, MHPETeaching faculty and health professionals from the Divisions of Infectious Diseases, Nephrology, and Rheumatology designed a multidisciplinary, interprofessional Health Equity Case Conference. This new conference series is scheduled quarterly and provides a venue for participants to discuss patient care experiences when social determinants of health influenced health outcomes. Rheumatology’s Andrew Robinson, MSW, LSW and Lisa Zickuhr, MD, MHPE hosted the first conference this July, leading attendees through a board game poverty simulation, reviewing key terms in the topic of health equity, and sharing the history of St. Louis that shapes the racially segregated environment in which patients seek and practitioners provide health care. 

Nephrology welcomes six new renal fellows for 2021 and two new renal transplant fellows

Clinical News

Potential dialysis center nightmare averted by quick-thinking and teamwork during power outage. Read more.

Former WashU renal fellow Gonzalo Matzumura joins faculty – will direct renal biopsy program. Read more.

Margo Girardi, MDMargo Girardi, MD, has been working with 3500 and the ER regarding the SQ insulin administration for DKA patients (SQIuD Protocol). Overall, this is a project aimed at treating low to moderate severity patients with DKA with SQ insulin rather than an insulin infusion and cohorting these patients on 3500 under hospitalist care.

Ofer Zimmerman, MD, will begin a collaborative Allergy and Immunology clinic with Infectious Diseases at 620 South Taylor Ave., Suite 100 beginning August 31, 2021. The clinic will focus on patients with immunological disorders, including: recurrent infections, recurrent pneumonia, mycobacterial infections (lung or invasive), low antibody levels, immunodeficiency, and autoimmunity. Read more.

Research News

Antibody protects against broad range of COVID-19 virus variants.
Researchers led by Michael S. Diamond, MD, PhD, have identified an antibody that is highly protective against a wide range of COVID-19’s variants, a discovery that could lead to new therapies that are less likely to lose their potency as the virus mutates. Read more.

Kory J. Lavine, MD, PhD and Amanda K. Verma, MDKory J. Lavine, MD, PhD (left), Chieh-Yu Lin, MD, PhD and Amanda K. Verma, MD​​​​​​, authored a letter to the editor in the August 18, 2021 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine titled, “Myocarditis after Covid-19 mRNA Vaccination”. Read letter. 

ASMB President-Elect, Jeffrey Miner, PhD, announced the ASMB biannual meeting will be held in St. Louis in September 2021. Read more

Ying Maggie Chen, MD, PhD, presented at the 2021 FASEB Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) Conference Virtual Conference. Read more

The July issue of The Rheumatologist, the official publication of the American College of Rheumatology featured three articles from the Division of Rheumatology. The article, “The Power of Mentorship in the Cultivation of Advanced Practice Providers” details the experience of Sara Kellahan, MSN with the Rheumatology Research Foundation’s Mentored NP/PA Award. Read articles here.

Office of Vice Chair of Education

Read the latest updates from the Office of the Vice Chair of Education, Abby Spencer, MD here.

In conjunction with Women In Medicine month and “GiveHerAReasonToStay in Healthcare”, the Department of Medicine along with the Office of the Vice Chair of Education, the Office of Health Equity, the Forum for Women in Medicine, and Advancing Women in Academic Medicine will sponsor 10 women to attend professional development conferences. All attendees will participate in the development and delivery of further WIM leadership development at the department level.

DOM Office of Faculty Development (OFD)

Office of Faculty Development (OFD) wishes to provide faculty with resources and guidance that will foster professional and personal growth and development in clinical care, education, research, and leadership. Visit the OFD website to learn about existing resources.

Welcome to our new DOM faculty
New faculty orientation was hosted by the Office of Faculty Development on Friday, August 27th for new or recently hired DOM faculty.

From left to right, Abby Spencer, MD, Milan Anadkat, MD and Angela Brown, MD after their presentations during new faculty orientation.From left to right, Abby Spencer, MD, Milan Anadkat, MD and Angela Brown, MD after their presentations during new faculty orientation.

An audio-recording of the orientation session and a box folder with resources can be found on the Office of Faculty Development website here.

Research considerations

  • NIH Resilience Training Program
    Assists universities in teaching resilience and wellness tools to biomedical trainees to “Becoming a Resilient Scientist”

From the Institute for Clinical and Translational Sciences:

Links of Interest for Faculty

DOM Office of Inclusion and Diversity (OID)

OUTmed hosted the LGBTQIA+ Resident Welcome Party for incoming residents and fellows at Up Down where incoming trainees could network and meet current residents and faculty.

OUTmed Welcome Event held at Up Down in CWE on June 20.OUTmed Welcome Event held at Up Down in CWE on June 20.

Residents and Fellows Meet and Greet
The DOM Resident and Fellow/PostDoc diversity initiative hosted a meet and greet to welcome new DOM URM trainees at Juniper on July 30th from 5:00-7:00pm.

The Office of Inclusion and Diversity (OID) and the DOM Vice Chair for Health Equity hosted a Summer Welcome & Networking event for URM trainees and faculty on Friday, August 6th from 6:30-8:30pm.  The event used community building activities to encourage guests to meet and get to know each other.The Office of Inclusion and Diversity (OID) and the DOM Vice Chair for Health Equity hosted a Summer Welcome & Networking event for URM trainees and faculty on Friday, August 6th from 6:30-8:30pm. The event used community building activities to encourage guests to meet and get to know each other.

Consider these upcoming Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs across WUSM:

  • Diversity Week – 9/20-9/24. Learn more about virtual events scheduled for the week here.
  • ODEI Events: View all upcoming events here
    • Disability Employment Awareness Month Event – October 5th from 4:30-6:00pm
    • American Indian Heritage Month Event – November 4th from 12-1pm
    • Interfaith Panel - Religion's role in social justice – December 8th from 11:30am-1:00pm

Forum for Women in Medicine

FWIM "Meet the Chair" Happy Hour event. It was a wonderful evening of creating connections across the various divisions in the Department of Medicine.FWIM "Meet the Chair" Happy Hour event. It was a wonderful evening of creating connections across the various divisions in the Department of Medicine.

Don’t miss FWIM’s upcoming event: September 19, 2021 DOM Moms & Caregivers Meet and Greet Social Event at Tilles Park. Learn more.

Check out the latest profiles in “Journeys in Medicine: Narratives with Women Faculty”, a resident-driven collection of interviews with women faculty across the School of Medicine honoring and sharing the unique journeys women face pursuing a career in medicine. The concept for these narratives was developed and led by internal medicine resident Preet Shaikh, MD with guidance from Rakhee Bhayani, MD.

Women in Medicine Month

Each September, the American Medical Association (AMA) celebrates women physicians, residents and students by offering programming, content and resources to recognize the contributions of women in medicine. Read more about the unique programs within the department that support women in medicine, including the Forum for Women in Medicine (FWIM) and Advancing Women in Academic Medicine (AWAM).

Across the Department

SmartphoneThe Institute for Informatics launched a smartphone system that allows Washington University faculty, staff and students to use COVID-19 Exposure Notifications. It was launched with approval from the state of Missouri and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, and uses the exposure notifications system provided by Google and Apple. Read more.

Podcast: New threats from highly contagious delta variant. Listen here to the latest “Show me the Science” podcast featuring Hilary Babcock, MD, MPH and Philip R.O. Payne, PhD.

Linda Eissenberg, PhD: Authored an op-ed in STLtoday titled, “Why a Booster Might be Necessary”. Read more.

Beth Prusaczyk, PhD, MSW: Was interviewed by St. Louis On The Air, STL Public Radio on rural vaccine rollout. “What will it take to overcome vaccine hesitancy in rural Missouri? Listen here.

Rachel Presti, MD: Featured as an ICTS success story. Read more.

Rupa Patel, MD, MPH: Featured in St. Louis Magazine. Read more.

Gayathri Krishnan, MD: Dr. Krishnan, a 2nd year ID fellow, created an online platform for women professionals in the field of infectious diseases. Read more.

Hilary Babcock, MD, MPH and Jennie Kwon, DO, MSCIHilary Babcock, MD, MPH (left) and Jennie Kwon, DO, MSCI are co-authors of MMRW early release of reports on COVID-19 Hospitalizations and Vaccine Effectiveness. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines provide strong protection against severe COVID-19; however, the duration of protection is uncertain.
Read more.

Reena Gurung, MD and Kelli King-Morris, MD join WashU Nephrology faculty.

A big welcome to the Division of Hospital Medicine's new faculty. Read more.

New Websites: Check out the newly redesigned websites for the Divisions of Allergy and Immunology, Bone and Mineral Diseases and Rheumatology.

New Faculty Leadership


  • Amber Afzal, MD, MSCI: Was selected to participate in the ASH Clinical Research Training Institute. The ASH Clinical Research Training Institute (CRTI) is a unique, year-long education and mentoring program for hematology fellows and junior faculty at academic medical centers. Read more.
  • Rita Brookheart, PhDRita Brookheart, PhD: Served as the WashU Howard Hughes Medical Institute Gilliam Institutional Representative, and chaired the nomination committee. DBBS student Bobbie Brown was awarded a 2021 HHMI Gilliam Fellowship along with her mentor Dr. Robert W. Gereau in the Department of Anesthesiology. Read more about the 2021 awardees.
  • Ying Maggie Chen, MD, PhD: Received the UAB-UCSD O’Brien Center Pilot Award. Read more.
  • Dennis Chang, MD: Received the 2021 General Internal Medicine Teacher of the Year award. Read more.
  • Steven Cheng, MD: Voted Pre-Clinical Teacher of the Year for 2020 and Nephrology Teacher of the Year for 2021. Read more.
  • Vikas Dharnidharka, MD, MPH: Inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Read more.
  • Carol Faulk, MD: Received the 2021 General Internal Medicine Teacher of the Year award. Read more.
  • Anne Carol Goldberg, MD: Was recognized for her many contributions to the Foundation of the National Lipid Association as the Foundation names an award after her. Read more.
  • Seth Goldberg, MD: Voted 2021 Nathan Hellman Memorial Teacher of the Year. Read more.
  • Eirini Kefalogianni, PhD: Awarded KidneyCure Carl W. Gottschalk Grant. Read more.
  • Robyn Klein, MD, PhD: Received an $8.7M grant to investigate why some emerging viral infections can trigger memory problems that last long after the virus is gone from the body. Read more.
  • Lisa Koester-Wiedemann, ANP, CNN-NP: WashU Nephrology nurse practitioner receives Dean’s Distinguished Service Award. Read more.
  • George B. Kyei, MBChB, PhDGeorge Kyei, MBChB, PhD: Awarded $393,750 in RO1 funding from the NIH/NIAID for research on “Protein interactions regulating HIV replication in macrophages”. The goal is to identify cellular factors that control HIV replication and find therapeutic targets for host-directed viral control or elimination. 
  • Anuja Java, MD: Co-chairs working group in an international committee for revising aHUS nomenclature. Read more.
  • Shiyuan (Anabeth) Liu, MD: Recipient of the 2021 CAHON Young Investigator Award. Read more.
  • Aubrey Morrison, MBBS, MACP, FASN: Awarded the Distinguished Graduate Medal by The Association of Medical and Dental Graduates of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Read more and view video.
  • Julie O’Neal, PhD: Received award from the International Myeloma Society toward treating multiple myeloma. Read more.
  • Hilary Reno, MD, PhD: Authored recent STI Treatment Guidelines 2021 and also co-authored “A Guide to Taking a Sexual History”. Read more.
  • Andrej Spec, MD, MSCI, FECMM: Selected to lead the update of the Histoplasma guidelines by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Read more.
  • Laneshia Tague, MD, MSCI: Received the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Award of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Read more about the program.
  • Deborah Veis, MD, PhDDeborah Veis, MD, PhD: Appointed to serve as the next editor-in-chief of the journal JBMRŽ Plus. She was selected after a global editor search and brings to the position a broad knowledge of the musculoskeletal field, exceptional leadership capabilities, and several years of editorial experience with biomedical journals. Read more.
  • Timothy Yau, MD: Receives 2021 Pre-clinical Teacher of the Year Award by graduating MD students. Read more.
  • Rong Mei Zhang, MD: Received an American Heart Association Development Award. Read more.
  • Roseanne Zhao, MD, PhD: Awarded the American College of Rheumatology Distinguished Fellow award.
  • Lisa Zickuhr, MD: Was named recipient of the Richard Brasington Teaching Award and Fellowship Associate Program Director.

Physician-Scientists Andrew Malone, MBBCh, and Parker Wilson, MD, PhD chosen as JASN Editorial Fellows. Read more.

The inaugural Benjamin D. Schwartz, MD, PhD Distinguished Fellow Award in Rheumatology was awarded to Andrea Ramirez, MD and Tinu Aluko, MD.

Internal Medicine Scholars Symposium held on May 19. Below are the names of resident awardees, and their Mentors in Medicine (MiM) mentor (if applicable):

  • Oral Presentation winners:
    • 1st prize: Nakul Shah, MD (with Margery Gang, MA, MD; Natalie Baumann, MD and Sara Chen, MD)
    • 2nd prize: Jonah Graves, MD (Mentor: Brian Gage, MD)
  • Poster Winners:
    • 1st prize: Austin Niu, MD
    • 2nd prize: Nicole Foley, MD (Mentor: Mark Schroeder, MD)
    • 3rd prize: Kevin O’Fee, MD (Mentor: David Brown, MD)
    • 4th prize: Anabeth Liu, MD (Mentor: Cynthia Ma, MD)

Big Idea graphic2020-21 Big Ideas Winning Teams. The seven winners of the 2020-21 Big Ideas competition presented the results of their research projects to Big Ideas leadership June 21 and 22. Read more.

The Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center and The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital are pleased to announce the 2021 Cycle 1 SIP RDA recipients. Please click here to read further about each project.

Congratulations to Dennis Chang, MD and Carol Faulk, MD for receiving the 2021 General Internal Medicine Teacher of the Year award. Read more.


The Doris Duke Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists Program (DDFRCS) at Washington University in St. Louis has been developed to provide innovative institutional solutions to reduce faculty attrition by assisting junior faculty facing extraprofessional demands.
Letter of intent and applications due: October 1st. Learn more.

2022 Dean’s Scholars Program: The Dean’s Scholars program supports outstanding MD-only individuals committed to a career as a physician-scientist. Applications are due by 10/20/21.
For more information/to apply.


  • A listing of all 2021 Department of Medicine promotions is available here.


  • A listing of all current Department of Medicine grants ≥ $300,000 is available here.


View recent publications across the Department of Medicine via the links below.

Recent publications are provided using Research Profiles, the faculty profile and research information platform for the School of Medicine. Visit the website to check your profile, view network collaborations for yourself, department, or division, and locate faculty working in a particular research area. To update your profile or request corrections, use the Change Request form or contact Laura Simon, Research Support Librarian, at


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