Researchers elected to American Society for Clinical Investigation

Physician-scientists (clockwise from top left), Jennifer Philips, MD, PhD, Patricia Dickson, MD, Brian T. Edelson, MD, PhD, Erik Musiek, MD, PhD, and Nathan O. Stitziel, MD, PhD. (Photo: School of Medicine)

Five physician-scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have been elected members of the American Society for Clinical Investigation in recognition of original, creative and independent investigations in the clinical or allied sciences of medicine. The new members were inducted April 8.

Patricia Dickson, MD, is the Centennial Professor of Pediatrics and director of the Division of Genetics and Genomic Medicine. Her research focuses on genetic lysosomal storage diseases, which are rare metabolic disorders caused by the body’s inability to produce specific enzymes. The condition can affect various parts of the body such as the brain, heart, skeleton and central nervous system.

The work of immunologist Brian T. Edelson, MD, PhD, associate professor of pathology and immunology, encompasses autoimmune and infectious diseases. He studies how cytokine production by T cells is regulated, with a focus on how autoreactive T cells mediate the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis.

Erik Musiek, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology, studies the role of circadian rhythm in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. He has discovered that body clock disturbances are an early sign of Alzheimer’s and raise the levels of damaging Alzheimer’s proteins in the brain.

Tuberculosis expert Jennifer Philips, MD, PhD, is associate professor of medicine and co-director of the Division of Infectious Diseases. Her work focuses on how TB bacteria evade the body’s immune defenses and cause disease, a key step in developing better drugs and vaccines to combat the lethal infection.

Cardiologist Nathan O. Stitziel, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine, uses human genetic studies to understand the inherited basis of cardiovascular diseases caused by either a single gene or by complex interactions of multiple genes. His work aims to leverage insights from these studies to identify and validate novel therapeutic targets for patients with heart disease.

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