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Professional Notes: Back-to-School 2019


A round-up of awards, presentations, papers and the other professional achievements of SLU faculty, staff and students. 



Harold Braswell, Ph.D., of the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics, published an article, “Putting the 'Right to Die' in its Place: Disability Rights and Physician-Assisted Suicide in the Context of US End-of-Life Care,” which won Emerald Literati Award for Excellent. The prize, given by Emerald Publishing, goes to a few articles each year that are nominated by the editors of their respective journals. His article was originally published in “Studies in Law, Politics, and Society.”

George Grossberg, M.D., of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, was selected as the 2019 recipient of the International Psychogeriatric Association’s (IPA) Service to the International Psychogeriatric Association. The award recognizes exemplary professionals who have devoted their leadership and efforts to serving the organization and field. Grossberg received his award on Saturday, Aug. 31, during the IPA’s International Congress in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.


Tobias Winright, Ph.D., Department of Theological Studies and Center for Health Care Ethics, was elected to serve as vice president of the College Theology Society, for a two-year term that began in June. The College Theology Society (CTS), founded in 1954, is a professional association of college and university professors. It has a membership of over 900 college and university professors throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.

In addition to peer-reviewed research and scholarship, the CTS investigates the relationship of theology/religious studies to other academic disciplines and the place of religion in the total college curriculum; explores ways of teaching theology/religious studies effectively; and promotes the development of programs which are genuinely intellectual, value oriented, and realistically designed to meet students' needs.

The CTS also publishes an annual volume of essays through Orbis Books, and with Cambridge University Press, the CTS publishes the prestigious journal, Horizons.

Winright has been at SLU since 2005. He served on the CTS board (2011-2014) and also was convener for the “Justice and Peace” section of the CTS. He is currently serving a second term on the board of the Society of Christian Ethics (SCE), where he was co-editor of its flagship publication, Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, from 2014-2017.


Keon Gilbert, DrPH, of the Behavioral Science and Health Education Program in the College for Public Health and Social Justice, co-edited Racism: Science & Tools for the Public Health Professional (Washington, D.C.: APHA Press, 2019).


Faculty members in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine recently received several grants totaling more than $3.83 million including:

Ryan Teague, Ph.D.
  • Researcher: Ryan Teague, Ph.D., associate professor
  • Grant: National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Cancer Institute, “Defining how obesity shapes immunity and the success of cancer immunotherapy,” $1,732,780.
  • Abstract: “Human obesity represents a major health epidemic associated with impaired immune responsiveness. How this influences outcomes for obese cancer patients being treated with immunotherapy remains undetermined. Our research project will employ several innovative mouse models and leverage our access to unique human tissues from melanoma patients to define the immune cell-intrinsic mechanisms and the systemic comorbidities linking obesity to compromised tumor immunity.”
Daniel Hawiger, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Researcher: Daniel Hawiger, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor
  • Grant: National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), $756,301.
  • Abstract: This award will continue to support the on-going research in Hawiger’s lab. In multiple sclerosis (MS), cells of the immune system called T cells mistake the nerve fiber coating called myelin as a foreign tissue to be destroyed. Normally, such T cells that react to the body’s own proteins undergo a process called “immunological tolerance” in which they are educated to ignore “self”. The maintenance of this tolerance is facilitated by the functions of regulatory T cells (Treg cells). The functions of Treg cells are decreased in MS patients and therefore Treg cells have been proposed as a therapy target to block the on-going neuroinflammation. Another type of immune cells called dendritic cells have a key role in controlling the autoimmune process and Treg cell functions. The new award from NMSS will allow Hawiger and his team to work toward understanding how different dendritic cells control different types of Treg cells under inflammatory conditions in a mouse model of MS. The ultimate goal of this project is to investigate the specific molecular mechanisms in effort to devise experimental strategies for improved anti-MS immunotherapies. 
William S.M. Wold, Ph.D.
  • Researcher: William S.M. Wold, Ph.D., professor and chair of MMI
  • Grant: Task Order A14 “Hamster model for human adenovirus, approximately, $1,346,414. 
  • Abstract: The objectives of the project are to use the immunosuppressed Syrian hamster model for human adenovirus replication to evaluate anti-adenovirus drugs and to study adenovirus pathogenesis. This model was developed in the Wold lab, with colleagues Karoly Toth, Ph.D., Ann Tollefson, Ph.D., Baoling Ying, M.D., and Jacqueline Spencer. All the funding listed is for the Wold Lab.



Doctoral student Eleanor Peters Bergquist, along with SLU faculty members Anne Sebert Kuhlmann, Ph.D., and, Travis Loux, Ph.D., published an article, “Presenting to the Emergency Department Versus Clinic-Based Sexually Transmitted Disease Care Locations for Testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea: A Spatial Exploration,” in Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

The article discusses STD rates within St. Louis City and County, where STD services are sought, suggests why patients seek treatment at certain locations.