Since its inception, the Academy has promoted the recognition of the impressive scientists of St. Louis. This tradition continues with the 23rd Annual Outstanding St. Louis Scientists Awards. Each award-winner represents an extraordinary caliber of expertise.
We wish to focus the region’s attention upon individuals, institutions and corporations known worldwide for their scientific contributions to research, industry, and quality of life. In every category, preference is given to candidates who also have a record of excellence in communicating with the public, mentoring colleagues, or leadership in the field of science or industry
2017 Academy of Science – St. Louis
OUTSTANDING SCIENTISTS AWARDS
Chase Park Plaza – Starlight Ballroom
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Reception at 5:30 pm
Dinner at 7:00 pm
Salute to Academy Fellows
2017 Outstanding Scientists Awards
2017 Next Generation Student & Teacher Awards
2017 Science Leadership Award
The Science Leadership Award recognizes a distinguished individual — not necessarily a scientist—or organization that has played an important leadership role in the development of science and scientists in the St. Louis region.
Peter Wyse Jackson, Ph.D., President
Missouri Botanical Garden
George Engelmann Professor of Botany,
Washington University in St. Louis
As one of the world’s foremost and best-known botanists and plant conservationists, Wyse Jackson has played an influential role in reshaping and leading the international botanic garden community over the past two decades. He has worked extensively with botanic gardens and their network organizations worldwide, helping to establish or develop botanic gardens and other organizations in over 30 countries. He played a lead role in the development and implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, adopted by the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity in 2002, and has been chairman of the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation since 2004. He was co-author of the International Agenda for Botanic Gardens in Conservation, now endorsed by some 500 botanic gardens. He was founding chairman (and currently continues as co-chair) of the World Flora Online Consortium, an organization launched in 2012 to prepare an online Flora of the world by 2020.
Past Award Recipients: Henry (Hank) C. Foley, Ph.D. (2016); Cortex Innovation Community (2015) and Ralph S. Quatrano, Ph.D. (2015); Novus International (2014) and Robert Fraley, Ph.D. (2014); Nestle´Purina PetCare (2013) and Karen Seibert, Ph.D. (2013); James S. McDonnell Foundation (2012) and Larry J. Shapiro, M.D. (2012); Emerson (2011) and Timothy Eberlein, M.D. (2011); Missouri Botanical Garden (2010) and M. Carolyn Baum, Ph.D., OTR (2010); The Boeing Company (2009) and William A. Peck, M.D. (2009); Charles Kilo, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.E. (2008) and The Monsanto Company (2008); William (Bill) Danforth, M.D. and Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (2007)
2017 Peter H. Raven Lifetime Achievement Award
The Peter H. Raven Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a distinguished career of service in science, engineering, or technology.
Stephen M. Beverley, Ph.D., Marvin A. Brennecke Professor & Head, Department of Molecular Microbiology
Washington University School of Medicine
Dr. Beverley is a founding scientist and world leader of modern molecular parasitology. His seminal contributions, from basic discovery to practical applications, changed the way research was done on Leishmania and other protozoan parasites and produced novel approaches for developing novel chemotherapy and vaccines for the potential lethal disease leishmaniasis. Unique contributions include discoveries of the molecular mechanisms and genes involved in drug resistance, virulence factors for mammalian and arthropod hosts, and parasite genome structure and organization. He was first to describe how episomal gene amplification mediates drug resistance in eukaryotes, work that gave rise to new anti-folate-based chemotherapies. Most recently, his ground-breaking work identifying endosymbiotic protozoan viruses as virulence factors has led to investigation of anti-viral strategies to reduce disease symptoms and improve treatment regiments, as well as understanding why only certain parasite strains cause a disfiguring disease. Beverley’s research has opened new avenues for drug treatments and vaccines for Leishmania.
Past Award Recipients: Cheryl Asa, Ph.D. (2016); Steven L. Teitelbaum, M.D. (2015); John Edward Heuser, M.D. (2014); John C. Morris, MD (2013); Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD (2012); Marcus E. Raichle, M.D. (2011); Roger N. Beachy, Ph.D. (2010); Carl Frieden, Ph.D. (2009); Eduardo Slatopolsky, M.D. (2009); William S. Knowles, Ph.D. (2008); Philip D. Stahl, Ph.D. and David C. Van Essen, Ph.D. (2007); Lee Nelken Robins, Ph.D. (2006); Teresa J. Vietti, M.D. (2005); Brian J. Mitchell, Ph.D. (2004); Ira J. Hirsh, Ph.D. and Nobuo Suga, Ph.D. (2003); Maurice Green, Ph.D. and Patty Jo Watson, Ph.D. (2002); Jerome R. Cox, Jr., Sc.D. and Robert W. Murray, Ph.D. (2001); Philip Needleman, Ph.D. and Robert H. Waterston, M.D., Ph.D. (2000); Frank E. Moss, Ph.D. and William S. Sly, M.D. (1999); Louis V. Avioli, M.D. and Leonard Berg, M.D. (1998); Paul E. Lacy, M.D., Ph.D. and Robert M. Walker, Ph.D. (1997); John Olney, M.D. (1996); Michel Ter-Pogossian, Ph.D. (1995)
2017 Trustees Award
The Trustees Award recognizes outstanding contributions in keeping with the Academy of Science mission of promoting the understanding and appreciation of science. Through exceptional leadership and communication, their impact crosses geographic boundaries and enriches private, public, and academic sectors.
Philip O. Alderson, M.D., Dean Emeritus, School of Medicine
Saint Louis University
As Dean of the School of Medicine at Saint Louis University between early 2008 through December 31, 2016, Dr. Alderson oversaw the education, research and clinical missions of the School. He has been an advocate for innovation and entrepreneurship through his support and nurturing of the SLU Center for World Health and Medicine, an incubator for orphan drug discovery related to rare and/or neglected diseases. He has supported SLU’s unique Vaccine Treatment and Evaluation Unit, SLU’s work in structural biology and nuclear receptor science and the early efforts of the SLU Med Launch program, which is focused on student-driven multidisciplinary research innovations in the St. Louis region marketplace. He has fostered other scientific developments in the St. Louis region through his work on the Governing Council of the Institute for Clinical-Translational Science of Washington University and his work in the Health Economics Forum for the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce.
Additionally, he has supported science nationally through his service on the Council for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Engineering (2008-12) and the NIH Council of Councils (2013-16). Alderson has authored four books, 40 book chapters and over 150 journal articles that have contributed to the advancement of radioisotopic and radiological imaging and have been cited by peers more than 7,000 times. Through these roles and his service as a Trustee and Officer of the Academy of Science-St. Louis, Dr. Alderson has made a major impact on the research in St Louis and beyond.
Sharon L. Deem, D.V.M., Ph.D., Dipl. ACZM, Director, Institute for Conservation
Saint Louis Zoo
While living in the USA, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Gabon and Ecuador, Dr. Deem has worked as a clinician, wildlife veterinarian and epidemiologist. She has also worked in 25 additional countries, conducting conservation and veterinary research. Her extensive publication record, in both scientific and layperson friendly outlets, attests to her work within the One Health initiative. In addition, Dr. Deem served on the National Ecological Observatory Network as a member of the Disease Ecology Subcommittee. She holds leadership positions with the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and the American College of Zoological Medicine, for which she is currently the President. Since 2011, Deem has been the Director of the Saint Louis Zoo Institute for Conservation Medicine, advancing the One Health/Conservation Medicine initiative among veterinary and human medical and ecological professionals. Through the Institute’s Box Turtle project, students of all ages have been exposed to conservation science. With this local project, Dr. Deem has worked diligently on everything from leading field trips to internships that inspire the next generation of conservation scientists. She is currently writing her first textbook, along with her two co-authors from Fontbonne University, entitled “Introduction to One Health: An Interdisciplinary Approach for Planetary Health” and scheduled for publication in 2018.
Past Award Recipients: Sherri M. Brown, Ph.D. (2016); Jennifer K. Lodge, Ph.D. and Robert Magill, Ph.D. (2015); George Yatskievych, Ph.D. and Michael Cosmopoulos, Ph.D. (2014); Pana Charumilind, PhD (2013); Mabel L. Purkerson, M.D. (2012); Janey S. Symington, Ph.D. (2011) and Linda Cottler, Ph.D. (2011); Pfizer-St. Louis (2010); Heidi R. Hope, Ph.D. (2010); Lincoln I. Diuguid, Ph.D.(2009); Paul Markovits, Ph.D. and Paul A. Young, Ph.D. (2008); Patricia E. Simmons, Ph.D. (2007); Thomas A. Woolsey, M.D. (2006); Charles R. Granger, Ph.D. (2005); Luther S. Williams, Ph.D. (2004); Will D. Carpenter, Ph.D. (2003); Jessie L. Ternberg, M.D., Ph.D. (2002); Ernest G. Jaworski, Ph.D. (2001); Willis V. Hauser (1999)
2017 Fellows Award
The Fellows Award recognizes a distinguished individual for outstanding achievement in science.
Ebenezer Satyaraj, Ph.D., Product Development Manager
Dr. Satyaraj joined Nestlé Purina in 2003, as part of the Nestlé Research Center in St Louis establishing a nutritional immunology research program, helping launch several products globally, including ProPlan Optistart Puppy & Kitten. He implemented models for evaluating nutritional impact on the immune system and pioneered the development of the first multiplex assay panels capable of measuring canine & feline cytokines. Dr. Satyaraj has authored numerous scientific papers in the areas of cellular / molecular immunology and cytokine biology, including a recent publication in the journal “Science” that explains size variations in dogs and a book chapter describing the interplay of nutrition & immune system in infectious diseases. Dr. Satyaraj is a member of the American Association of Immunologist and the American Veterinary Immunology Association, is a reviewer for several journals including British Journal of Nutrition, Arthritis & Rheumatism. Ebenezer continues to devote his career at Nestlé Purina to gaining a greater understanding on how nutrients can work in a synergistic manner in the body to promote lifelong health. He developed an innovative research approach to increase understanding of the positive effects of nutrition on the immune health. His work from the immune health program is the underpinning of products that support immune health across the portfolio of products for both cats and dogs. He has significantly advanced Nestlé’s measures of immune responses and this has allowed Nestlé to show how nutrition impacts immune health in both pets and people.
Jeremy Taylor, Ph.D., Curators Distinguished Professor of Genetics and Animal Sciences
University of Missouri – Columbia
Dr. Taylor is one of the few researchers globally to have translated quantitative and molecular genomic methodologies to accelerate genetic improvement within the livestock industries. His seminal contributions include: the development of Birth Date Selection Mapping, a method to identify loci exposed to on-going, recurrent selection in temporally stratified populations, the development of the first bovine bacterial artificial chromosome library, genome-wide oligonucleotide gene expression microarray, and high-density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping assays including the bovine Functional250K assay, the first assay specifically designed to include functional variants. He co-developed a method for deep sequencing reduced representation libraries for SNP discovery used by the cattle, swine, sheep, horse and soybean communities to develop high-density genotyping assays. He has authored 235 peer reviewed journal articles, cited 13,953 times producing an h-index of 56. He is internationally recognized for his leadership of community projects such as the Bovine Genome Sequencing and HapMap projects, the Bovine Oligonucleotide Microarray and SNP-Chip Consortia and the Bovine Respiratory Disease and Feed Efficiency projects.
Past Award Recipients: James A. Birchler, Ph.D. (2016); Thomas P. Burris, Ph.D. (2016); Lilianna Solnica-Krezel, Ph.D. (2016); Samuel Achilefu, Ph.D. (2015) and Enrico Di Cera, M.D. (2015); David Holtzman, M.D. (2014) and Daniela Salvemini, Ph.D. (2014); Dale Dorsett, Ph.D. (2013) and Samuel Klein, M.D. (2013); Govindaswamy Chinnadurai, Ph.D. (2012) and Scott J. Hultgren, Ph.D. (2012); Duane Grandgenett, Ph.D. (2011) and Toni Kutchan, Ph.D. (2011); Alan L. Schwartz, Ph.D. (2010); Cheryl S. Asa, Ph.D.(2009) and Gerald Medoff, M.D. (2009); Martin H. Israel, Ph.D. (2008), Kattesh V. Katti, Ph.D. and Robert M. Senior, M.D. (2007); Barbara Schaal, Ph.D. and Raymond E. Arvidson, Ph.D. (2006); G. Alexander Patterson, M.D. and Robert T. Fraley, Ph.D. (2005); Patricia G. Parker, Ph.D. and Clifford M. Will, Ph.D. (2004); Susan Mackinnon, M.D. and Raymond G. Slavin, M.D. (2003); Carl M. Bender, Ph.D. and Robert E. Ricklefs, Ph.D. (2002); Christopher I. Byrnes, Ph.D. and Dennis W. Choi, M.D., Ph.D. (2001); Allen R. Atkins, Ph.D. and Sarah C. R. Elgin, Ph.D. (2000); Robert B. Belshe, M.D. and Ananthachari Srinivasan, Ph.D. (1999)
2017 James B. Eads Award
The James B. Eads Award recognizes a distinguished individual for outstanding achievement in engineering or technology.
Tom H. Adams, Ph.D., Vice president, Biotechnology
Innovation is central to helping farmers do more with less, and meet the demands of growing global population in an increasingly sustainable way. Adams has played a critical role in three new Monsanto research platforms – part of the company’s robust R&D pipeline – to help farmers improve farming practices, conserve natural resources and provide crop protection. His passion for delivering solutions was instrumental in launching new platforms for fungicides, microbials and topical uses for RNAi technology. Now he is applying that passion to Monsanto’s efforts in delivering gene-editing technologies to create new improvements in plant biotechnology. He currently serves as vice president of Biotechnology at Monsanto Company, directing a global Biotechnology R&D organization responsible for developing biotechnology traits currently found in numerous crops covering more than 140 million acres.
Robert Standley, Ph.D., Senior Fellow
SunEdison Semiconductor, LLC
From its inception, the semiconductor industry has evolved at an astonishing rate across an enormous variety of applications. This has demanded an equally rapid evolution in silicon wafer capabilities. The silicon wafer starting material is a fundamental part of the finished electronic device, engineered to exacting demands specifically tailored to each application. For the past twenty two years, Dr. Standley has worked to ensure that silicon wafer technology advancements align with industry needs. He has worked with the world’s foremost semiconductor companies to determine emerging silicon substrate requirements and design the advanced materials and processes to meet them. He has made numerous contributions to epitaxial wafers used by leading edge microprocessor companies. He was a founding member and contributor to the startup and development of the only Silicon-on-Insulator products manufactured in the U.S., used in applications such as automotive, aerospace and ultralow power devices. He is currently engaged in the development of ultrahigh resistivity silicon wafers for wireless communications. Standley was chairman of the starting materials metrology group of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors, and has taught invited tutorials on silicon wafer technology and design issues at many major semiconductor companies. He has seven patents and nineteen published papers.
Past Award Recipients: Rob Mitra, Ph.D. (2016); Babu Chalamala, Ph.D. (2015) and Charles M. Hohenberg, Ph.D. (2015); Lihong Wang, Ph.D. (2014) and Charles L. Armstrong, Ph.D. (2014); George Gokel, Ph.D. (2013) and Gregory Yablonsky, Ph.D. (2013); Kevin Depperman (2012) and Stuart A. Solin, Ph.D. (2012);Ettigounder (Samy) Ponnusamy, Ph.D. (2011) and Alexander Rubin, Ph.D. (2011); David A. Fischhoff, Ph.D. (2010) and Stephen R. Padgette, Ph.D. (2010); Ramesh K. Agarwal, Ph.D. (2009); Sherman J. Silber, M.D., F.A.C.S. (2008); Robert B. Horsch, Ph.D. (2006); Krishnan K. Sankaran, Ph.D. (2005); Rudolph N. Yurkovich (2004); Donald P. Ames, Ph.D. (2003); Richard E. Pinckert, Ph.D. and Jonathan S. Turner, Ph.D. (2002); Richard D. Bucholz, M.D. (2001)
2017 George Engelmann Interdisciplinary Award
The George Engelmann Interdisciplinary Award recognizes outstanding achievement in science, engineering, or technology that results from collaboration among two or more (up to three) individuals across disciplinary or institutional boundaries.
Edward Spitznagel, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Mathematics and Biostatistics
Washington University in St. Louis
Dr. Spitznagel’s areas of expertise include complex survey designs, psychiatric epidemiology, longitudinal modeling, survival analysis methods, structural equation modeling, propensity-score techniques and nationally representative datasets. He has been a proponent of realistic, active data analysis in statistics for over fifty years and has collaborated with investigators in such diverse fields as medicine, pharmacology, marketing, engineering, and psychology. His statistical work has been published in nearly 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts, including publications in four of the five “flagship” English-language medical journals: New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Annals of Internal Medicine, and The Lancet. Dr. Spitznagel has been a collaborator on multiple projects investigating the neurobiology of tinnitus and the impact of different treatment options. He has been the biostatistician on many NIH-funded clinical trials, including studies of the impact of gabapentin, rTMS, and a computer-based brain rehabilitation program on tinnitus bother.
Past Award Recipients: Yuanlong Pan, BVM, Ph.D. (2016); Gary D. Stormo, Ph.D. (2016); Gregory R. Heck, Ph.D. and Technical Community of Monsanto Leadership Team (2015) Timothy J. Ley, M.D. (2012) Elaine R. Mardis, Ph.D.(2012) Richard Wilson, Ph.D. (2012)
2017 Innovation Award
The Innovation Award recognizes a scientist or engineer – age 40 or under (for 2016 award, age 40 or under by December 31, 2015) – who has demonstrated exceptional potential for future accomplishments in science, engineering or technology.
Liviu Mirica, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Chemistry
Washington University in St. Louis
Dr. Mirica has broad research interests that span organometallic chemistry and bioinorganic chemistry. He has made important contributions to the development of new catalysts for energy applications by developing ligands that can stabilize transition metals such as palladium and nickel and in unusual oxidation states. He was the first to isolate a mononuclear organometallic complex of palladium in the +3 oxidation state. He has also shown that these high-valent metal complexes can lead to carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bond formation, reactions relevant to the development of catalysts for the activation of methane and reduction of carbon dioxide. In the area of bioinorganic chemistry, Dr. Mirica has been studying the role of metal ions in the oligomerization of Aβ peptides implicated in Alzheimer’s disease and the development of therapeutic and position emission tomography (PET) imaging agents for this neurodegenerative disease.
Kater Murch, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Physics Department
Washington University in St. Louis
Dr. Kater Murch has made significant discoveries in understanding and controlling quantum systems, revealing how quantum systems evolve during the process of measurement. Murch has surmounted the most challenging hurtle to controlling quantum systems and discovered how they evolve under measurement, a subject of intense debate since the formulation of quantum mechanics. Murch’s approach focuses on using weak measurements to slowly accumulate information about the quantum state and thereby “look inside” wave function collapse. Murch has applied this novel ability to track quantum systems through their complex-valued state space to examine fundamental processes such as spontaneous emission and high precision measurement by developing and testing quantum smoothing algorithms. These seminal experiments pave the way for direct control over quantum systems, with applications ranging from control over chemical reactions to harnessing the light-matter interaction for energy harvesting.
Past Award Recipients: Tiffani D. Eisenhauer, Ph.D. (2016); Gary J. Patti, Ph.D. (2016); Gautam Dantas, Ph.D. (2015) and Yiyu Shi, Ph.D. (2015); Caitlin Kelleher, Ph.D. (2014); Angel Baldan, Ph.D. (2013) and Katherine A. Henzler-Wildman, Ph.D. (2013); Audrey R. Odom, M.D., Ph.D. (2012); Randall J. Bateman, M.D. (2010); Ganesh K. Venayagamoorthy, Ph.D. (2010); Jonathan M. Chase, Ph.D. (2009); Timothy E. Holy, Ph.D. (2009); Sonya Bahar, Ph.D. (2008); Eric C. Leuthardt, M.D. and Ali Shilatifard, Ph.D. (2007); Shelley D. Minteer, Ph.D. (2005); James H. Buckley, Ph.D. (2004); Phyllis I. Hanson, M.D., Ph.D. and James P. McCarter, M.D., Ph.D. (2003); Karen L. Wooley, Ph.D. (2002); Jonathan B. Losos, Ph.D. (2001); Steven F. Dowdy, Ph.D. and Michael E. Wysession, Ph.D. (2000); Laura L. Dugan, M.D. (1999); Scott Hultgren, Ph.D. (1998); James M. Bornholdt, Ph.D. (1997); Alison Goate, Ph.D. and Robert D. Davinroy (1996); Jacob C. Langer, M.D. (1995)
2017 Science Educator Award
The Science Educator Award recognizes a distinguished individual on the basis of outstanding contributions to science education or to the public understanding of science, engineering, or technology. As each category of award now includes a strong education and outeach component, and we have another mechanism for awarding K-12 Teacher Awards, the Educator category is primarily for those in higher education or the corporate sector. This is not a reflection on the excellent work in education, but rather is a verification of the high value of educational endeavors (including mentoring, citizen outreach, STEM advocacy and interdisciplinary efforts) performed by the Award recipients in all categories.
David Westenberg, Ph.D., Associate Professor,
Department of Biological Sciences
Missouri S & T
Dr. Westenberg has a great passion for educating the public, supporting teacher professional development and educating students. He engages the public through hands-on activities and encouraging students to participate. This includes visiting schools, hosting school groups and public events. As chair of the American Society for Microbiology Committee for K12 Outreach he supports education by developing classroom activities and hosting symposia at national teacher conferences, inviting prominent scientists to talk about their research in the context of education. As chair he also plans, develops and participates in ASM exhibits for the USA Science and Engineering Festival. As co-director of the S&T Science Education and Quantitative Literacy program he trains teachers to integrate math and science in the classroom. He also works with the BioBuilder Foundation hosting workshops to train teachers to include synthetic biology in their courses. He has been invited to give presentations at local, regional and national education meetings and has published commentaries in national education journals. Recently he was invited to serve as an HHMI Biointeractive teaching ambassador to develop and disseminate education resources.
Past Award Recipients: Kyra N. Krakos, Ph.D. (2016); Robert Marquis, Ph.D. (2014); James Wilson, Ph.D. (2013); Pamela Gay, Ph.D. (2012) and Michael W. Friedlander, Ph.D. (2012); Young Scientist Program, Washington University in St. Louis (2011); Harold H. Harris, Ph.D. (2010); Victoria Lynn May (2009); Harold R. Messler, B.S. (2008) and John Rigden, Ph.D. (2008); Patrick L. Osborne, Ph.D. (2007); Kenneth Mares, Ph.D. (2006); Robert A. Williams, Ph.D. (2005); Paul H. Young, M.D. and William L. McConnell (2004)
Photos from the Past!
2016 Outstanding St. Louis Scientists Awards Ceremony
You can view and download photos from our Flickr site. Please credit the Academy of Science St. Louis if you use photos in your institution’s website or printed materials. You can also view photos taken by Ladue News.