Chung named associate dean for medical student research

Koong-Nah Chung, PhD, has been named associate dean and director of the Office of Medical Student Research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Chung was most recently assistant dean for medical admissions and student affairs at the School of Medicine. She also directs the medical student summer research program, which has grown from 25 students in 2000 to more than 90 in 2010 under her supervision, chairs the Southern admissions committee and oversaw the selective program for first-year students. She also is an instructor of cell biology and physiology.


In her new role, Chung’s responsibilities include overseeing and organizing research experiences for students in medicine and the programs in Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Audiology and Communication Sciences. In addition, she will be the principal liaison for research experiences at the School of Medicine for undergraduate students from the Danforth Campus. She will continue to remain active with her Admissions Office and Student Affairs activities.

“Both Dr. Shapiro and I are delighted with the promotion of Dr. Chung, and it is an acknowledgement of her many contributions to advancing medical student research at the School of Medicine,” says Alison Whelan, MD, senior associate dean for education at the School of Medicine.

Chung’s work has resulted in securing substantial extramural support for School of Medicine student research, including a training grant from the National Institutes of Health, along with an exceptionally high rate of participation and satisfaction of students, Whelan says.

“We are fully supportive and very much appreciate Dr. Chung’s past efforts, and we look forward to her continued excellent work in the future,” Whelan says.

After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior staff fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, Chung joined the School of Medicine in 1996 as research assistant professor.

She studied the role of cell membrane structures called caveolac in cholesterol trafficking. In 1995, she received the Young Investigator Award from the Society of Biomedical Research.

She earned a doctorate in molecular biology and biochemistry from Washington University School of Medicine in 1986 and a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1980.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.