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The DOM Insider

The official newsletter of the Department of Medicine

Vol 11, Winter 2022

EPIC Update             Grand Rounds             Calendar             News             New Faculty

Letter from the Chair

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

We have successfully made it through another COVID surge and find ourselves in a much better position now than we were the past few months. COVID hospitalizations have dropped dramatically to about 60 inpatients at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and COVID test positivity is down to about 13 percent across the region. Things are going in the right direction and I am cautiously optimistic that we will have a much better spring ahead of us. Although if this pandemic has taught us anything, we must continue to be prepared for ongoing mutations and new variants. Our teams have done an extraordinary job dealing with the Delta and Omicron variants by providing access to booster vaccines, monoclonal antibody infusions, new oral therapies, and EVUSHELD. COVID variants have caused us to change course again and again over the past year – and our department has navigated these changes with determination and fortitude.

All of our divisions have worked together in unprecedented ways to maintain the highest level of patient care in the hospital and in our clinics. Staff rallied, many working long hours, providing extra coverage where needed, dealing not only with COVID but extreme weather.

Despite the trying times, the department continues to flourish. Fellowship Match Day in December was a huge success for our graduating residents and our fellowship programs that recruited an outstanding group of diverse, new fellows from across the US. Our Grand Rounds presentations continue to feature excellent faculty from the department and national and international leaders. We are looking forward to hosting Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for the Gerald Medoff Visiting Professor lecture on March 3, 2022.

Research continues to grow across the department. In this issue, we spotlight Alessandro Vindigni, PhD, Division of Oncology, and his research on DNA replication and repair. Learn more about his exciting work with the new Center for Genome Integrity.

Our faculty and trainees also won a large number of teaching awards which will be celebrated in the educational awards ceremony on March 1. Please participate and congratulate your distinguished colleagues in person or online. The depth of clinical, research, and educational contributions by our department continues to be inspiring and I want to extend my most sincere gratitude for everyone’s efforts over the past few months. As COVID is now receding, please catch up on your rest, spend quality time with your families, get outdoors and get some exercise. You all have been working very hard for a long time and deserve time to recover.

Thank you for your support of the Department of Medicine.

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

Medicine Grand Rounds

Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH"Lessons from the Pandemic for the Future of Public Health"
The Gerald Medoff Visiting Professor Lecture will feature Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Thursday, March 3, 2022, 8 - 9 am
View more details


Alessandro Vindigni, PhDAlessandro Vindigni, PhD: Building Community around Genome Integrity
Throughout his professional career, Alessandro Vindigni, PhD, has always been fascinated by the mechanisms that bridge DNA and people together. An expert in genome integrity, Vindigni’s diverse background spans extensive research in DNA repair to years of experience collaborating and strengthening interactions with the international scientific community. Read more

Persevering through the COVID Surge: Stories across the Department

Caroline Kahle, MDHandling a COVID SURGE – Success through Planning and Tetris Skills: The Role of Hospitalists and Leadership of Caroline Kahle, MD (right). Read more.

COVID-19 exposure-alert system that uses smartphones expands in Missouri. Read more.

Promoting resilience in health-care workers aim of new grant. Read more.

DOM faculty profiled in Outlook Magazine on how science, medicine and health care are adapting to a pandemic world. Read more.

Elvin Geng, MD, MPH"By getting to know patients’ stories, and perhaps letting them know ours, we might be able to add a link to the chain of trust ... and collectively these conversations may be one potential remedy for the afflicted social fabric of our times.”

— From Perspective in NEJM authored by Elvin Geng, MD, MPH (right) on one of the oldest, and perhaps best tools physicians have to fight this pandemic: talking to patients. Read more.

Clinical News

Gastrointestinal Center moves to new clinical space at Center for Advanced Medicine.
Read more.

Home-monitoring program for COVID-19 is effective, bridges digital divide. Read more.

Research News

Diabetes, metabolic syndrome in mice treated with novel class of compounds. Read more.

Researchers unravel omicron’s secrets to better understand COVID-19. Read more.

COVID-19 infections increase risk of heart conditions up to a year later. Read more.

Possible new method identified to assess severity of TB infection. Read more.

Boosting T cells improves survival in mice with glioblastoma. Read more.

For children, young adults with recurrent AML, immunotherapy shows promise. Read more.

Asthma may reduce risk of brain tumors — but how? Read more.

(left to right) Drs. Warre and-GandraWashU ID's David Warren, MD (left) and Sumanth Gandra, MD, MPH (right),
co-led project within CDC initiative aimed at identifying new solutions to prevent antimicrobrial-resistant infections and their spread. Read more.

Drug compound makes pancreatic cancer cells more vulnerable to chemo. Read more.

Education News

Washington University Complete Care Clinic (WUCC) builds teamwork through retreat.
Read more.

Washington University Complete Care Clinic Director Jennifer Schmidt, MD, posting notes from clinic team members with their aspirational thoughts about the clinic.Washington University Complete Care Clinic Director Jennifer Schmidt, MD, posting notes from clinic team members with their aspirational thoughts about the clinic.

Washington University Team Wins Inaugural TL1 Debate, ‘Statin Wars’. Read more.

SAFE: Supporting a Fair Environment: Learn more about the new SAFE website.

Office of Vice Chair of Education

  • Heartfelt congratulations to the Department of Medicine Residency and Fellowship Programs on a successful virtual recruitment season!
    DOM fellowship recruitment wrapped up in November with the Medical Subspecialties Match Day occurring on December 1st, 2021. Thanks to the tireless efforts of our fellowship Program Directors, Associate Directors, Coordinators, and Fellows, we have managed to recruit a stellar class of incoming trainees to start fellowship next summer!
    The Main Residency Match is up next on March 18th. We look forward to learning about the amazing medical students that will be joining Washington University for the next step in their careers. Congratulations to our IM Residency Program Director, Dominique Cosco, MD and Senior Residency Coordinator, Amy Foyil for organizing a seamless interview experience for faculty and applicants alike. Good luck in the Match!
  • We are excited to announce the formation of the inaugural Department of Medicine Fellows’ Council! The council, which consists of physicians from a variety of DOM fellowship programs, will work closely with the Office of the Vice Chair to support the interests of all subspecialty fellows in the Department of Medicine. If you are interested in serving as a council member, please reach out to Gayathri Krishnan at

Learn more about the DOM Fellows’ Council, recruitment, accomplishments and other exciting education news in the latest update from the Office of the Vice Chair of Education, Abby Spencer, MD.

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 our website to learn about existing resources. 

Check our calendar for continuous updates on upcoming events:

  • DOM Leadership Training Course - In-person
    Interested in gaining skills to enhance your leadership potential? Apply for this immersive 8-half day course at the BJC Learning Institute in fall 2022. This course is open to all DOM Faculty
  • Symposium on Women in Medicine and Science
    Virtual Half-day symposium on March 3, 2022 from 12 pm-4pm. Co-sponsored by multiple departments, including DOM. This event is open to trainees, faculty, and staff.
  • DOM Financial Literacy Workshop - In-person
    First session March 10, 2022 from 5:00-6:00pm. Explore this BRAND NEW four-part educational series designed for physicians to increase awareness and knowledge of core financial topics including developing a budget, saving for retirement, student loan repayment, investment vehicles, insurance, financial professionals worth hiring, and more! This workshop is open to all DOM faculty.
  • CEP Workshop
    Are you keeping your Clinical Educator Portfolio up to date? View the recording for the most recent CEP workshop that was held on Feb. 2nd. Special thanks to our faculty facilitators: Drs. Abby Spencer, Ramsey Hachem, and Jean Wang!

DOM Office of Inclusion and Diversity (OID)

Featured in February’s Washington Magazine, Victoria J. Fraser, MD, blazed a path to the top of academic medicine, and then turned her attention to smoothing out the bumps on the path for women and members of other under-represented groups who came behind her.
Read full article.

Diversity Residents Showcase hosts 65 prospective URM applicants on January 21, 2022. Read more.

Shayna Bradford, PhD (Postdoctoral Scholar in Division of Nephrology): Received $55,000 in grant funding from the Feuerstein Health & Wellness Center in the Becker Medical Library and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, in addition to support from the Division of Nephrology, to provide social justice, inclusion and equity curated literature and programming for the Healing Equity and Reflection (HEaR) Initiative through the DOM Office of Inclusion and Diversity.
Read more.

Black History Month GraphicAs Black History month comes to an end, we hope you have had time to reflect on the many historical sacrifices and important contributions of Black Americans to our American way of life. Read more about ways to continue your reflections on Black History month.

Forum for Women in Medicine

We’ve had a great winter of events through FWIM:

FWIM Workshop: Leveraging Communication Styles for Successful Collaborations with Abby Spencer, MDDecember 2, 2021 FWIM Workshop: Leveraging Communication Styles for Successful Collaborations with Abby Spencer, MD

January 26, 2022: FWIM DOM Moms & Caregivers virtual session: Mindful Parenting w/ Meg Krecji, WashU Wellness Consultant

February 17, 2022: FWIM Virtual Presentation – “I Cannot Be What I Cannot See: Time to Unleash A JEDI Environment in Healthcare” with speaker Darilyn V. Moyer, MD, Executive Vice President & Chief Executive Officer, American College of Physicians. View the slides and recording.

Join us for the inaugural Department of Medicine Women in Medicine and Science Seminar! This virtual seminar, “Creating a Roadmap for Effective Career Advancement”, will provide a foundation for you to learn the critical skills, strategies and resources available to prepare for career advancement and promotion opportunities. This event is open to all Department of Medicine faculty, fellows, house staff and medical students. A recording will be sent out after the event to all who register. Friday, April 22, 8 - 1:30 pm.

Across the Department

WashU IM residency program FUNuary: FUNuary, an annual WashU IM residency program tradition, features a month of events, raffles and food provided free for all residents. Most of these events/raffles are financed by generous donations from medicine faculty. It’s a fantastic team effort to show how much we appreciate our residents!

Residents showing their skills at the FUNuary wine and paint class.
Residents showing their skills at the FUNuary wine and paint class.

Dermatology’s Laurin Council, MD, PGY3 Daniel Schlessinger, MD, and PGY2 Aubriana McEvoy, MD published an article and quiz in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
Read more.

Sara Kellahan, MSN, AGPCNP-C, Daphne Lew, PhD, MPH, Xinliang Huang, Seth Eisen, MD, MSc, Hong Xian, PhD and senior author Alfred H. Kim, MD, PhD recently published an article in Arthritis Care & Research demonstrating the persistence of depression overtime in patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Read more.

Hospital Medicine welcomes new clinicians: Robert Young, MD and Carla Robinson-Rainey, NP

Clay F. Semenkovich, MD and collaborators publish in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read more.

Natalia Genere, MD published review in Clinical Thyroidology. Read more.

Michael P. Whyte, MDThe Division of Bone and Mineral Diseases is pleased to announce that Michael P. Whyte, MD, (right) has been appointed emeritus professor in the Washington University John T. Milliken Department of Medicine, effective January 1st, 2022. Read more.

Chun Wang, PhD, was appointed to the rank of Instructor in Medicine, effective January 1, 2022. Read more.

Max C. Petersen, MD, PhD and collaborators (Lauren Begnel, RDN, LD; Michael Wallendorf, PhD; and Marina Litivin, MD) had their article, “Effect of elexacaftor-tezacaftor-ivacaftor on body weight and metabolic parameters in adults with cystic fibrosis,” published in the Journal of Cystic Fibrosis. Read more.

Clinical nurse coordinator Cheryl Cress and transplant nephrologist Tarek Alhamad, MD, MS, FACP, FASN, help make NKF Virtual Kidney Social Summit a success. Read more.

2022 Renal Staff Microgrant to fund home blood pressure managing program. Read more.

Nephrology’s Feng Chen, PhD a co-principal investigator in $7.5 million senescence study. Read more.

Frank O'Brien, MBBCh, MRCPI (Nephrology), Lisa A. Zickuhr, MD, MHPE (Rheumatology) and Nathan Nolan, MD, MPH (Infectious Diseases), with social worker Andrew Robinson (Rheumatology), to Present Health Equity Education Workshop at AIMW22. Read more.

Interview with Jeffrey Miner, PhD, shown at “Learn Live Lead 2021” Event. Read more.

WashU Nephrology celebrates National Women Physicians Day. Read more.

WashU Nephrology announces 2022 Renal Transplant Fellows: Gaurav Rajashekar, MD, (second-year renal fellow at WashU Nephrology) and Mahathi Kalipatnapu, MBBS, MD, (University of Chicago). Read more.

Renal fellows from WashU and SLU discuss “Kidney Care During the Pandemic” at NKF Renal Roundtable. Read more.

Nephrology fellowship match announced for 2022. Read more.

Food DriveWashU Nephrology virtual food drive raised $1,525 to help those in need this past holiday season. Read more.

Infectious Diseases division collaborates with the Institute for Public Health’s Center for Dissemination and Implementation, and the Brown School on new initiative to face challenges of infectious diseases. Read more.

Welcome to Twitter:

Check out the newly redesigned websites for:

New Faculty Leadership

(left to right) Drs. Littich, Majerus, Oh, Huffman, Kushnir(left to right) Drs. Littich, Majerus, Oh, Huffman, Kushnir

In Memorium

  • Obituary: Robert E. Kleiger, MD, a noted, longtime electrophysiologist in the Cardiovascular Division. Read more.


Ying (Maggie) Chen, MD, PhD and Kory Lavine, MD, PhD have been elected members of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. Read more

Nephrologists Patricia Kao, MD, MS; Timothy Yau, MD; Steven Cheng, MD; Tingting Li, MD, MSCI; and Seth Goldberg, MD receive Academy of Educators Inaugural Honor Roll Awards. Read more.

Division of Nephrology’s Anitha Vijayan, MD, FASN, and Aubrey Morrison, MBBS, MACP, FASN, were among four Barnes Jewish Hospital/Washington University physicians honored by the BJH Medical Staff Association at their semi-annual general meeting held Thursday, November 15, 2021, at EPNEC. Read more.

Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) honors nine WashU physicians, including Courtney Chrisler, MD, Michael Durkin, MD, Kevin Hsueh, MD, Jennie H. Kwon, DO, Andrej Spec, MD, Philip J. Budge, MD, PhD, Gerome Escota, MD, Jennifer A. Philips, MD, PhD, and Keith F. Woeltje, MD, PhD. Read more.

Congratulations to the 11 DOM fellows honored with the 2021 Knowlton Incentive for Excellence Awards from The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Read more.

Congratulations to the DOM faculty awarded grants through the Siteman Investment Program including: Jaebok Choi, PhD, MA; Matthew Ciorba, MD; Daniel Link, MD; Debra Oliver, PhD, MSW, Russell Pachynski, MD and Jieya Shao, PhD. Read more.

Brenda J. Grossman, MD and Jeffrey P. Henderson, MD, PhD: Honored with a 2021 President's Award from Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies. Read more.




  • Partnership Development & Sustainability Support funding program (PDSS): Applications are due March 17, 2022. PDSS provides support for the development and sustainment of mutually beneficial research partnerships between community organizations and academic researchers. For more information/To apply.
  • ICTS Just-in-Time Core Usage Funding Program: Designed to provide quick access to funding to use any of the JIT Cores (pdf) for research advancing medical knowledge that can improve human health. For more information/To apply.



  • 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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