David and Dorothy Kemper

Robert S. Brookings Award

Through their long-standing support of the arts and deep commitment to education, David W. and Dorothy A. “Dotty” Kemper have made a profound difference at Washington University and beyond.

In 2004, the couple made a gift to the university with James M. Kemper Jr., David’s father, and the William T. Kemper Foundation to advance the study and appreciation of art. In 2006, the university named its new museum building in memory of David’s mother, Mildred Lane Kemper.

A series of subsequent gifts from the family and the foundation have helped the museum, part of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, build upon its reputation as one of the nation’s leading university art collections. They provided funds to endow the museum’s directorship and acquire notable artwork. And as chair of the oversight committee focused on transforming the east end of the university’s Danforth Campus, David worked with landscape architect Michael Vergason to create a new entrance foyer and add the James M. Kemper Gallery, which provides opportunities to display more of the museum’s exceptional permanent collection and flexibility for short-term exhibits and programs.

In 1991, David succeeded his father as chair and chief executive officer of Commerce Bancshares and Commerce Bank. The bank expanded throughout the Midwest during his tenure. Today, he is executive chairman of the company. His son John became CEO in 2018.

David joined the Washington University Board of Trustees in 1987 and served as vice chair from 2001 to 2004, chair from 2004 to 2009, and vice chair again from 2009 until the present. He became a distinguished trustee in 2019.

Philanthropic support from David and Dotty and the William T. Kemper Foundation extends to other areas of the university, including the University Libraries, the School of Medicine, and the Danforth Scholars program. The couple recently endowed a professorship in biology. The recipient, whose work will address climate change, will hold a joint appointment at the university and the Missouri Botanical Garden.

David is a member of the board of trustees of the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Saint Louis Art Museum and the board of directors for Greater St. Louis Inc., a civic group he helped create that is focused on shaping the region’s economic future. He graduated cum laude from Harvard University and earned a master’s degree in English literature from Oxford University and a master’s degree in business administration from Stanford University. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dotty attended Wellesley College and transferred to Princeton University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English. She later served as an admissions officer at Princeton. She is a lifetime member of the Women’s Society of Washington University. The couple have four children and nine grandchildren.

Joanne Knight

Robert S. Brookings Award

Through her experiences with loved ones affected by Alzheimer’s disease, Joanne P. Knight has become a powerful ally in the fight against the condition. With her children, she has continued the work she began with her husband, the late Charles F. “Chuck” Knight, to provide transformative philanthropic support to Alzheimer’s experts at Washington University.

Chuck and Joanne Knight’s history of giving has left an indelible mark on the university. Their generosity is most visible at Olin Business School, where two buildings are named in their honor, and the School of Medicine, where much of their support, and Joanne’s ongoing generosity, has been focused on Alzheimer’s disease research. Chuck, former chair and CEO of Emerson and a longtime university trustee, died from Alzheimer’s complications in 2017. Joanne’s mother and Chuck’s father died of the illness as well.

The family recently made a significant commitment to support an innovative clinical trial aimed at preventing Alzheimer’s disease by treating people before the first signs of the illness appear in the brain. The Knight Family Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network-Trials Unit, or Knight Family DIAN-TU, is leading this first-of-its-kind, international trial designed to determine if early treatment can forestall the cascade of molecular brain changes that lead to memory loss and cognitive decline. The trial is different from others in that it begins treatment before brain changes become evident via scans and tests.

In addition to their support for the Knight Family DIAN-TU, the family’s gifts to the medical school have benefited the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and the Joanne Knight Breast Health Center and Breast Cancer Program at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center. They also established the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Distinguished Professorship in Neurology and the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Distinguished Professorship in Orthopaedic Surgery.

Joanne is a director emerita of the Greater Missouri Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, where she has been active for more than three decades. She also is a life member of the board of directors and longtime volunteer for the Central Institute for the Deaf. In addition, she served on the boards of the Saint Louis Art Museum and St. Luke’s Hospital, where she was the first female board chair.

Joanne was a charter member of the Siteman Cancer Center Community Advisory Board and served on the national council for what is now known as the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. She received an honorary doctor of humanities degree from the university in 2010 and a Second Century Award from the School of Medicine in 2019. She and Chuck received the Dean’s Medal from Olin Business School in 2012.

Joanne’s family includes four children, 12 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

John Dains, BSBA ’68

Distinguished Alumni Award
CEO Emeritus, Helm Financial Corp.

John Dains is an accomplished corporate and community leader and one of Washington University’s most dedicated and engaged alumni. Through his philanthropy and service, he has played an instrumental role in advancing the university.

For more than three decades, Dains led Helm Financial Corp., the largest independent locomotive and railcar operating leasing company in North America, now owned by Wells Fargo. He joined the company in 1987 and served as chief financial officer, president, and chief operating officer before he was promoted to chief executive officer in 2005. Dains began his career at Petrolite Corp., a St. Louis-based manufacturing company, and IC Industries in Chicago, where he oversaw two of the conglomerate’s subsidiaries.

Dains was appointed to Washington University’s Board of Trustees in 2009 and served in that role for nine years before becoming an emeritus trustee. He is a longtime member of the university’s San Francisco Regional Cabinet and helped lead several major fundraising initiatives in the Bay Area that raised more than $88 million for the university.

Along with his late wife, Stephanie, AB ’69, Dains endowed three scholarships at WashU, including one in Arts & Sciences, one at Olin Business School, and the universitywide Mary E. and Charles V. Dains Sr. Scholarship, named for his parents. They also contributed generously to the Annual Fund as members of the Danforth Circle Chancellor’s Level of the William Greenleaf Eliot Society. Dains served as membership chair for the Eliot Society Executive Committee and is a member of the San Francisco Eliot Society Membership Committee.

In 2008, the couple made a $1.25 million gift to name the main dining hall of the newly built Danforth University Center, which has become a popular gathering space for the WashU community. More recently, in 2021, Dains pledged $8 million to endow an undergraduate student success fund that covers emergency and educational enrichment expenses for students with financial need, helping the university fulfill its goal of providing a best-in-class experience to all students, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

Dains has actively supported many arts and educational institutions and nonprofits in the San Francisco area, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, Headlands Center for the Arts, Art4Moore, Bay Area Discovery Museum, Community Music Center, Blue Bear School of Music, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and Ploughshares Fund.

A native of Benton, Arkansas, and one of six children, Dains attended Washington University with assistance from a scholarship. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1968. Olin Business School recognized him with a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013, and he served as keynote speaker for the school’s undergraduate diploma ceremony in 2015. In 2016, he shared the San Francisco Regional Award with Bob Frick, BS ’60, MBA ’62. The two spearheaded efforts to encourage young alumni in the region to join the Eliot Society.

Dains’ brother, Michael H. Dains, AB ’76, MBA ’80, also is a WashU graduate, as is Michael’s daughter, Hannah, AB ’20.

Carrie A. Johnson, AB ’89

Distinguished Alumni Award
Design Strategist and Social Activist

Carrie A. Johnson believes good design can create a sense of belonging. An accomplished design director with nearly 30 years of experience in design, development, and construction management, she has provided leadership on a diverse portfolio of projects, including mixed-use developments; high-end residential, hospitality, retail, and office campus structures; and workplace designs. She currently focuses on creating design solutions to ameliorate built environmental inequities within low-income and underrepresented communities.

Johnson has worked for a number of architecture firms and companies such as Atlassian Corp. and the Estée Lauder Cos. During her decade at Apple Inc. in Cupertino, California, she designed dozens of Apple retail stores around the globe and served as design and development director for the Apple Park Visitor Center. As senior designer and project architect for Handel Architects in New York, she helped transform a 1932 incinerator building in Washington, D.C., into an award-winning hotel—the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown.

Raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Netherlands, and Montgomery County, Maryland, Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Washington University in 1989 and a master’s degree in architecture from Harvard University in 1993. She received WashU’s Ralph Bunche Scholar Award for academic excellence and the Alpha Rho Chi Medal for leadership, service, and professionalism from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. She also was a finalist for the Graduate School of Design’s John Templeton Kelley Prize.

Johnson has been an active member of the Sam Fox School National Council since 2019, contributing insight in critical areas such as diversity and inclusion, and recruitment. She also contributed to the school’s recent strategic planning process as a member of the entrepreneurship and practice working group, and served on the university’s Student Access Advisory Committee.

A longtime supporter of scholarships at the university, Johnson endowed the Etta Green Johnson Scholarship for Sam Fox School undergraduates in 2020. She is serving as a co-chair of the recently launched Make Way: Our Student Initiative, which aims to build financial resources for undergraduate scholarships, graduate student support, and a best-in-class student experience for future generations of WashU students.

Beyond WashU, Johnson is a member of the Dean’s Leadership Council for Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and the steering committee for the Brookings Institution’s Playful Learning Landscapes initiative, which aims to develop vibrant public spaces that foster learning in young children and their families. She previously served on the board of directors for the American Institute of Architects and the Children’s Book Project in San Francisco.

Johnson recently moved to Baltimore, where she is establishing a nonprofit dedicated to executing systemic equitable and tactile design solutions for low-income and underrepresented residents, such as eradicating lead paint in the city’s housing stock. Her nephew, Natan Johnson-Potter, is a senior at WashU majoring in American culture studies.

Lori M. Lee, BSBA ’88, MBA ’89

Distinguished Alumni Award
CEO, AT&T Latin America
Global Marketing Officer, AT&T Inc.

Lori M. Lee is an internationally recognized business leader who has built an impressive 25-year career at AT&T, where she oversees the company’s global brand and reputation. Lee joined AT&T in 1997, assuming leadership responsibilities for finance, investor relations, customer service, and corporate strategy. She previously held positions at PwC, also known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Earthgrains Co., and Mallinckrodt Medical Inc.

Lee currently serves as CEO of AT&T Latin America and global marketing officer for AT&T Inc. In her role as CEO, she leads strategy, operations, and marketing for AT&T Mexico, which provides mobile services to more than 20 million consumers and businesses. Previously, she also led Vrio Corp., the holding company for DirectTV Latin America and SKY Brazil, which provides digital entertainment services to approximately 11 million subscribers across South America and the Caribbean.

As global marketing officer, Lee oversees AT&T’s brand strategy, advertising, corporate communications, events, executive operations, and sponsorships. She also leads “It Can Wait,” an initiative to curb distracted driving.

Lee, who worked in the dean’s office at Olin Business School as a student, went on to serve as an adviser to future deans, a member of Olin’s national council, and a member of the Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Cabinet as an alumna. She helped the university secure more than $1 million from the AT&T Foundation for WashU’s College Prep Program, which has prepared more than 250 St. Louis area high school students from low-income families to realize their dreams of attending college. Lee has shared her wisdom and expertise as the 2019 commencement speaker for Olin’s graduate program and as a 2015 panelist for OWN IT, WashU’s inaugural women’s empowerment summit.

A longtime supporter of the university, Lee made her first commitment to the Annual Fund in 1989, the year she earned her MBA from Olin Business School. She and her husband, Bradley A. Lee, who earned his MBA from Olin in 1992, established an annual scholarship that supports business school students who exhibit an interest in STEM fields.  

Lee has served on the board of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation since 2016, helping to raise money for nonprofits in California’s Central Coast region through golf charity events. In addition, she is a trustee of the American Film Institute, which celebrates excellence in film and creates educational initiatives for artists and audiences. She is a board member of PGA of America, the AT&T Foundation, and Emerson, among other organizations.

She is widely recognized for her exceptional skills and achievements. In 2014, she was named one of the most powerful women in business by Fortunemagazine, and in both 2015 and 2016, she was cited as one of the top 50 most powerful women in tech by the National Diversity Council. She received Olin’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016.

Lee and her husband reside in Dallas. They are the proud parents of two sons, Mitchell and Mason.

Shirley A. Sahrmann, BS ’58, MA ’71, PhD ’73

Distinguished Alumni Award
Professor Emerita of Physical Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine

Shirley A. Sahrmann is an internationally renowned educator, researcher, and clinician who has worked tirelessly to advance the profession of physical therapy during a career spanning more than five decades.

Sahrmann joined the Washington University faculty in 1961. While pursuing graduate degrees at the university in the years that followed, she studied the effects of neurological injuries such as stroke on human movement. Her work with primates served as a vehicle for two decades of investigation into spasticity and how this abnormal movement phenomenon can be measured in clinical settings. A pioneering scholar across disciplines, she helped develop the university’s doctoral program in movement science and served as its inaugural director. The program trains students to investigate and improve movement at the intersection of fields such as biomedical engineering, biology, and brain and psychological sciences. She eventually was named a full professor of physical therapy, of neurology, and of cell biology and physiology.

Sahrmann’s research established much-needed scientific frameworks for movement. She was the first to propose the existence of a unified physiological system that supports the movement of the human body, a concept she outlined in her seminal textbook “Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes,” published in 2000, which has been translated into seven languages. Her second book is titled “Movement System Impairment Syndromes of the Extremities, Cervical and Thoracic Spine.”

In addition to educating two generations of physical therapy students, Sahrmann has served the university in various administrative positions, including associate director of research for the Program in Physical Therapy, a role she used to foster a robust culture of science in the program. WashU recognized her outstanding contributions as an educator and clinician with a Distinguished Faculty Award in 1990, and she received an Excellence in Clinical Practice Award from the School of Medicine in 2008.

Sahrmann also served as co-chair of Our Washington: Together, We Make a Difference, the faculty and staff component of the university’s Leading Together campaign.She supports future leaders in physical therapy by generously funding scholarships.  

Sahrmann’s contributions to the broader physical therapy community include serving as president of the Missouri Physical Therapy Association from 1980-82 and as a member of the board of directors for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) from 1982-85. She is the recipient of numerous professional awards. Most notably, she became a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the APTA in 1986 and received the association’s highest honor, the Mary McMillan Award, in 1998 for her unwavering efforts to advance the physical therapy profession.

Sahrmann earned three WashU degrees: a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy in 1958, a master’s degree in neurobiology in 1971, and a doctorate in neurobiology in 1973. Now retired, she lives in St. Louis, where she is an active guest lecturer for the university’s Program in Physical Therapy. She also keeps busy giving virtual lectures to audiences around the world.

Timothy J. Eberlein, MD

Distinguished Faculty Award
Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor
Director, Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center
Senior Associate Dean for Cancer Programs, School of Medicine

Timothy J. Eberlein, MD, has served as director of the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine since its founding in 1999. During his tenure, he has led the cancer center to national distinction and overseen its exponential growth. As head of the Department of Surgery at the School of Medicine for more than 24 years, he also extended the department’s distinction as a leader in clinical care, research, education, and community outreach and health equity.

Within five years of the founding of Siteman and Eberlein’s arrival, the cancer center attained the prestigious Comprehensive Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). In 2015 and again in 2020, the center achieved the highest possible NCI rating—exceptional.

Under Eberlein’s leadership, Siteman has treated more than a million individual patients. It currently operates six satellite locations, including one in Illinois, and is one of the largest cancer centers by patient volume in the country. Eberlein also has cultivated a collaborative research environment across the university that has produced discoveries and therapies that have reshaped the cancer prevention and treatment landscape.

An expert in breast cancer and breast surgery, Eberlein has actively participated in clinical care and research. His work has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for more than 35 years. He also has received funding from the American Cancer Society and many foundations. His research focuses on tumor immunology and various immune and vaccine therapies. A dedicated educator, he has mentored hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students, residents, and junior faculty members who have pursued careers as surgeon-scientists.

Eberlein earned an undergraduate degree in biology and a medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He completed a residency in surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and research and clinical fellowships at the NCI. Before joining the Washington University faculty, he was the Richard E. Wilson Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School as well as chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology and vice chair for research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Eberlein is active in national committees and medical advisory boards and serves in leadership roles with the American College of Surgeons and the American Board of Surgery. He also is active in the work of the NCI, where he served on the Board of Scientific Counselors and as chair for NIH study sections. He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons and associate editor of the Annals of Surgical Oncology.

Among his many awards and honors, Eberlein received the John Wayne Clinical Research Award from the Society of Surgical Oncology and the Rodman E. Sheen and Thomas G. Sheen Award from the American College of Surgeons. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is married to Kimberley A. Eberlein, who had a distinguished career in health-care administration and is now an ambassador for Siteman and an active volunteer leader in arts and cultural institutions across St. Louis.

Jean M. Allman, PhD

Arthur Holly Compton Faculty Achievement Award (2021)
J.H. Hexter Professor in the Humanities

Regarded as one of the nation’s leading African historians, Jean M. Allman shares her passion for the continent through her teaching, mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students, and prolific writing and scholarship. Her research and published work, which focus on West Africa, explore the concepts of national identity, gender and colonialism, fashion and the politics of clothing, and the modernity of indigenous belief systems.

Allman’s first book, “The Quills of the Porcupine: Asante Nationalism in an Emergent Ghana,” published in 1993, is a groundbreaking case study of African nationalism and the struggle for independence from Britain in the 1950s. Her 2000 book, “‘I Will Not Eat Stone’: A Women’s History of Colonial Asante,” co-written by Victoria Tashjian, reflects her expertise in the field of women and gender history. She also is co-author of 2005’s “Tongnaab: The History of a West African God,”and her work has appeared in publications such as The Journal of African History; History Workshop Journal; The International Journal of African Historical Studies; African Studies Review; and The American Historical Review.

In addition, she has edited several collections, including “Fashioning Africa: Power and the Politics of Dress,”published in 2004. She co-edits the New African Histories book series at Ohio University Press and served as co-editor of the Journal of Women’s History from 2004-10. She was president of the Ghana Studies Association from 1992-98 and has served on the boards of the African Studies Association (USA) and the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora. She was president of the African Studies Association in 2018.

Allman’s research has been supported by the Fulbright-Hays Program, American Council of Learned Societies, Mellon Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and National Endowment for the Humanities. Her current work has been inspired by the #MustFall movements, which began in South Africa in 2015, and by calls for the decolonization of knowledge production. Most recently, it interrogates the whiteness of African studies in the United States and Europe and reconstructs the mechanisms through which “colonial knowledge” has been sustained and reproduced in “postcolonial” contexts, including in African institutions. 

Prior to taking sabbatical leave this year, Allman served as director of the Center for the Humanities, a position she had held since 2014. She also co-directed the first and second phase of the university’s “The Divided City” urban humanities initiative, which explores the legacies of segregation locally and globally, and was principal investigator for “Faculty for the Next Generation,” which examines new models of doctoral education.

Allman earned a bachelor’s degree in history and a doctorate in African history from Northwestern University. She joined the WashU faculty in 2007 after serving as professor and director of the Center for African Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a professor of African and African-American studies; history; and women, gender, and sexuality studies. She has two sons, Brendan, a 2005 alumnus of the university’s School of Law, and Donovan. 

Adrienne D. Davis, JD

Arthur Holly Compton Faculty Achievement Award (2020)
William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law
Professor of Organizational Behavior, Olin Business School

Adrienne Davis is well-known for her work in the areas of gender and race relations, theories of justice and reparations, and feminist legal theory. For nearly a decade, she applied her expertise to make Washington University a more equitable place for all to work and learn as the university’s first vice provost for faculty affairs and diversity. 

In her administrative role as vice provost from 2011 to 2021, Davis led efforts to design and implement a focused and flexible infrastructure for supporting diversity and inclusion on the Danforth Campus. Among her key accomplishments, she helped increase the number of Black tenured and tenure-track faculty on the Danforth Campus by 133% and the percentage of underrepresented tenured and tenure-track faculty of color by 110%.

She also oversaw a suite of academic mentoring, leadership development, and academic pipeline programs in the Office of the Provost, chaired or co-chaired key searches for senior leaders, and helped facilitate LGBTQ and gender-equity initiatives. From 2015-17, she was chair of WashU’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, which created a universitywide roadmap for these issues.

As a teacher and scholar, Davis focuses on “the law of daily life,” or how law regulates and affects people’s daily interactions, decisions, and identities. In addition to her appointment in the School of Law, she serves as a professor of organizational behavior and leadership at Olin Business School and also holds courtesy appointments in several departments in Arts & Sciences, including African and African-American studies; history; sociology; and women, gender, and sexuality studies.

Davis has written extensively on the gendered and private law dimensions of American slavery, the legal regulation of intimacy, and how law and culture converge to distribute justice. She has edited two volumes and published articles in the Stanford Law Review, the Columbia Law Review, and the California Law Review, as well as numerous other articles and book chapters.

She was the inaugural director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity, created in 2019 to accelerate the university’s capacity to study race and ethnicity and shape discourse on these complex and crucial issues. She also founded the Law and Culture Initiative at the law school.

Davis is active in several professional associations. She is a member of the executive committee for the Section on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues of the Association of American Law Schools and a past chair of the association’s Law & Humanities Section. She received WashU’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 2016 and the Arts & Sciences Dean’s Faculty Award in 2019.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in Afro-American studies, economics, and political science from Yale University and subsequently a juris doctorate from Yale Law School, where she was an executive committee editor of The Yale Law Journal. Davis serves on the executive committee of the board of directors for Opera Theatre Saint Louis; as secretary of the board of commissioners for the Saint Louis Art Museum; as and a member of the board of directors for the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.

Adia Harvey Wingfield, PhD

Arthur Holly Compton Faculty Achievement Award (2022)
Mary Tileston Hemenway Professor
Vice Dean for Faculty Development and Diversity, Arts & Sciences

Adia Harvey Wingfield is a leading sociology expert in racial and gender inequality. She is one of the founding members of Washington University’s current sociology department and vice dean for faculty development and diversity in Arts & Sciences.

Wingfield’s research examines how and why racial and gender inequality persists in professional occupations. Her 2019 book, “Flatlining: Race, Work, and Health Care in the New Economy,” explored the economic and social challenges facing Black doctors, nurses, technicians, and physician assistants working in health care. She has written or co-written several other books and book chapters as well as dozens of peer-reviewed articles in publications such as the Annual Review of Sociology, Gender & Society, and the American Sociological Review.

In 2021, Wingfield was awarded a two-year, $180,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for her research project “Millennials and Corporate Employment Practices.” She will investigate whether and how diversity initiatives in the finance and insurance industries shape where millennials want to work. In particular, she will examine whether these efforts lead to greater success in hiring.

She has twice received a distinguished book award from the American Sociological Association (ASA) Section on Race, Gender, and Class, in 2014 and in 2021, as well as the section’s Distinguished Career Award in 2021. Her other honors include the 2013 Richard A. Lester Award from Princeton University for her book “No More Invisible Man: Race and Gender in Men’s Work”; the 2018 Public Understanding of Sociology Award from the ASA; and the 2019 C. Wright Mills Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Most recently, she was one of two recipients of the 2022 Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award, presented by the ASA, an honor akin to a lifetime achievement award.

As vice dean for faculty development and diversity, Wingfield coordinates and implements support measures for faculty across Arts & Sciences, overseeing new chair and faculty orientations and leading faculty development workshops. She also works to recruit faculty from underrepresented backgrounds and support them in the early to mid-level stages of their careers.

Wingfield has served as president of both Sociologists for Women in Society and the Southern Sociological Society. With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, she is piloting a program to increase racial equity in health care. In addition to her expansive academic scholarship, Wingfield regularly contributes to mainstream outlets, including Slate, The Atlantic, Vox, and Harvard Business Review.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Spelman College in 1998. At Johns Hopkins University, she earned a master’s degree in 2000 and a doctorate in 2004, both in sociology. Wingfield joined the faculty of Washington University in 2015 after serving as an assistant professor at Hollins University and an associate professor at Georgia State University.

John P. Atkinson, MD

Carl and Gerty Cori Faculty Achievement Award (2022)
Samuel B. Grant Professor of Medicine
Professor of Molecular Microbiology
Director, RVCL Research Center

John P. Atkinson, MD, is an internationally recognized rheumatologist and immunologist. He is an expert on the complement system, a network of proteins fundamental to the workings of the human immune system. His clinical and research contributions span an array of biomedical disciplines, including rheumatology, immunology, hematology, molecular biology, and modern genetics.

Atkinson and his colleagues discovered membrane cofactor protein (MCP/CD46), a regulator of the complement system. CD46 is expressed on nearly every human cell and protects healthy cells from undesirable inflammation. Atkinson also played a lead role in discovering a rare microvascular disease known as retinal vasculopathy with cerebral leukoencephalopathy and systemic manifestations (RVCL-S). This disease causes progressive vision loss, brain dysfunction, and, eventually, death in middle age. In recent years, he has explored the pathogenesis of autoimmune rheumatic diseases, the genetic basis of age-related macular degeneration, and the cause of atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) and related kidney conditions. He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles.

A beloved educator, Atkinson has trained and mentored generations of graduate students and fellows and has received the medical school’s Distinguished Service Teaching Award 12 times. Colleagues describe him as a skilled diagnostician and empathetic physician, serving patients from across the country who seek his unique expertise in detecting and treating rare inflammatory conditions.

Atkinson became a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1996. He has been honored with WashU’s Distinguished Faculty Award, the School of Medicine’s Distinguished Clinician Award, and the Washington University Medical Center Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award. In 2016, he received the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Lifetime Achievement “Master Physician” Award. He was awarded the American College of Rheumatology’s Presidential Gold Medal, the highest recognition bestowed by the organization, in 2019. This year, he received the Ernest Beutler Lecture and Prize from the American Society of Hematology. He has presented more than 50 major invited lectures.

Atkinson earned a bachelor’s degree and medical degree from the University of Kansas. He completed an internship and residency at Massachusetts General Hospital followed by a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. He began his career at Washington University in 1974 as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Charles Parker in the Division of Allergy and Immunology. In 1976, he joined the faculty as chief of the Division of Rheumatology as well as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. In 1992, he became the Adolphus Busch Professor of Medicine and head of the John T. Milliken Department of Medicine, positions he held until 1997. He again served as chief of the Division of Rheumatology from 2007 to 2017.

Atkinson and his wife, Andrea, have three children, Christine, Amber, and Andrew, and six grandchildren. Andrea was a teacher and director of the Washington University Nursery School for many years until her retirement in 2014.

Joan L. Luby, MD

Carl and Gerty Cori Faculty Achievement Award (2020)
Samuel and Mae S. Ludwig Professor of Psychiatry
Director of the Early Emotional Development Program

Landmark studies conducted by Joan L. Luby, MD, have changed the way psychiatrists classify mental illness in preschoolers, particularly depression. Her work focuses on the emotional development of young children and how problems during early childhood put them at risk for mood disorders as they get older.

Luby’s research has demonstrated that forms of adversity, including poverty and neglect during the earliest years of life, are linked to changes in brain anatomy that increase the risks for learning difficulties, clinical depression, and behavioral problems as children grow into adolescence and young adulthood. She also has shown that interventions involving nurturing and support from caregivers can prevent some of those issues from occurring.

A Detroit native, Luby is the daughter of Washington University School of Medicine alumnus Eliot D. Luby, MD ’49, an innovator in biological psychiatry who studied schizophrenia. Joan Luby joined the William Greenleaf Eliot Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the university in 1990. As a new faculty member, she opened a clinic for infants and preschool children, even though many developmental psychologists at the time argued young children could not have psychiatric illnesses. Prior to Luby’s groundbreaking work, much research had suggested that secondary symptoms—for example, physical pain such as a stomachache—signaled psychiatric problems. But Luby’s research has shown that children with depression can be diagnosed mainly because they don’t enjoy activities as much as others their age.

In later studies conducted in collaboration with Deanna M. Barch, PhD, chair of Washington University’s Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences in Arts & Sciences, Luby discovered that the gray matter in the brains of depressed preschoolers was lower in volume and thinner in the cortex when the children reached school age, even after they recovered from depression. Gray matter is the tissue that connects brain cells and carries signals between them.

Luby earned her bachelor’s degree from Brown University and her medical degree from Wayne State University. She completed a residency in psychiatry and a fellowship in child psychiatry at Stanford University. She is founder and director of the Early Emotional Development Program in the Department of Psychiatry and co-principal investigator of the university’s National Institute of Mental Health-funded postdoctoral training program in developmental neuroscience and child psychopathology.

Among her many honors, Luby received the Norbert and Charlotte Rieger Award for Scientific Achievement and the Irving Philips, MD, Award for Prevention from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; the Blanche F. Ittleson Award from the American Psychiatric Association; and the Ruane Prize for Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Research from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2021.

Lilianna Solnica-Krezel, PhD

Carl and Gerty Cori Faculty Achievement Award (2021)
Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor
Head, Department of Developmental Biology, School of Medicine 

Lilianna “Lila” Solnica-Krezel is an internationally recognized leader in the field of developmental biology whose pioneering research focuses on the earliest stages of embryonic development. She currently serves as head of the Department of Developmental Biology and co-director of the Center of Regenerative Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine.

Solnica-Krezel studies a process called gastrulation by which an embryo transitions from a uniform mass of cells into a 3D structure with multiple layers that give rise to the various types of cells that make up the body. Gastrulation happens very early after an egg is fertilized, making it challenging to study in people or even mammals. For this reason, Solnica-Krezel applies genetic approaches in zebrafish as a model for understanding how the tissue layers and rudimentary organs begin to take shape in the early embryo. Zebrafish embryos are ideal for investigating development because they are transparent and mature outside the body.

In addition, her lab conducts studies of human pluripotent stem cells to see if the details of the process in zebrafish also are relevant to human diseases and development. Her research sheds light on the origins of miscarriage, premature birth, cancer, and many other genetic disorders. Her lab also uses the zebrafish model to understand the genetic basis of scoliosis and undiagnosed human diseases.

Solnica-Krezel co-led efforts to found the regenerative medicine center at WashU, which cultivates collaborations among diverse researchers studying the biology of stem cells, cell and tissue engineering, regeneration, and aging. She also spearheaded efforts to build the School of Medicine’s state-of-the-art zebrafish facility, one of the largest in the world, which provides labs throughout WashU with access to zebrafish for research projects and fosters a vibrant zebrafish research community.

Solnica-Krezel earned a master’s degree in molecular biology from Warsaw University in Poland and a doctoral degree in oncology from the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in developmental genetics at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and was on the faculty of Vanderbilt University for 14 years before being named head of developmental biology at WashU in 2010.

An active participant in numerous professional groups, Solnica-Krezel served as president of the International Zebrafish Society and the Society for Developmental Biology. She was named a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences and received the Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Award from the March of Dimes and the Fellows Award from the Academy of Science-St. Louis. She was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2018. In 2019, the European Zebrafish Society honored her with its Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard Award for outstanding achievements in zebrafish research.