About The Source

The Source is a place for information, inspiration and for sharing stories about exciting discoveries and accomplishments at Washington University. Here, you’ll experience the research, scholarship and creativity that drive us every day. You’ll also get a glimpse of campus life and meet the people who inspire us: scientists, leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, artists and authors. If you’re looking to explore a remarkable place where people matter and serious work is done, this is The Source.

Cooking for civil rights

“Few chefs of African descent work at the pinnacle of our national haute cuisine today, yet their contributions to American kitchens and dining rooms have been definitive.” So argues Rafia Zafar, professor of English and of African-American studies, both in Arts & Sciences, in her new book “Recipes for Respect: African American Meals and Meaning.”

How team sports change a child’s brain

Adult depression has long been associated with shrinkage of the hippocampus, a brain region that plays an important role in memory and response to stress. Now, new research from Washington University in St. Louis has linked participation in team sports to larger hippocampal volumes in children and less depression in boys ages 9 to 11.
“Feeding Cahokia: Early Agriculture in the North American Homeland” (2019 University of Alabama Press).

Women shaped cuisine, culture of ancient Cahokia

Long before corn was king, the women of Cahokia’s mysterious Mississippian mound-building culture were using their knowledge of domesticated and wild food crops to feed the thousands of Native Americans who flocked to what was then North America’s largest city, suggests a new book by a paleoethnobiologist at Washington University in St. Louis. “Feeding Cahokia” sets the record straight on America’s first farmers while offering a roadmap for rediscovering the highly nutritious native foods they once cultivated, including a North American cousin of quinoa.

Performance-based pay linked to employee mental-health problems, study shows

In the first big-data study combining objective medical and compensation records with demographics, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and Aarhus University in Denmark discovered once a company switches to a pay-for-performance process, the number of employees using anxiety and depression medication increased by 5.7 percent over an existing base rate of 5.2 percent.

Mobile phone technology to screen, help treat college students

With a growing demand for mental health services at colleges, a research team led by the School of Medicine has received a $3.8 million grant to test a mental health phone app to treat depression, anxiety and eating disorders in a study involving some 8,000 students at 20 colleges, universities and community colleges.