Faculty News

Faculty News
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.

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