Sleckman to direct Laboratory and Genomic Medicine

Barry P. Sleckman, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pathology and immunology, has been named director of the Division of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine.

Skip Virgin, M.D., Ph.D., the Edward Mallinckrodt Professor and head of pathology and immunology, made the announcement.

“Dr. Sleckman is an outstanding fundamental scientist interested in a range of basic processes that determine how lymphocytes in the immune system develop and function,” Virgin said.

“His clinical training and commitment to training of students and residents stand out as true strengths that will influence his division for years to come,” Virgin said.

Barry Sleckman

Barry Sleckman

The Division of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine supports the work of many clinical departments by providing diagnostic testing services that help confirm the causes of patient illnesses. Sleckman said the division is already very strong in development and application of traditional laboratory tests from areas such as microbiology, chemistry and hematology. He said he plans to further expand the division’s capabilities and research in bioinformatics and molecular and genomic testing techniques.

“The idea is that everybody’s different, and people respond differently to treatments,” Sleckman said. “Differences in our individual genetic makeup are likely contributing to these altered responses, so we’re coming to a point where we’re going to need to be able to sequence a portion of a person’s genome for the cost of an MRI or a CT scan.”

Sleckman earned a medical degree and doctorate from Harvard University in 1989.

He was an instructor in medicine at Harvard prior to coming to WUSTL as an assistant professor of pathology and immunology in 1998. He became associate professor of pathology and immunology in 2003, and he has been the medical director of the Clinical Immunology Laboratory at the School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital since 2005.