Wright named Jones Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery

Rick W. Wright, MD, has been named the Dr. Asa C. and Mrs. Dorothy W. Jones Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Wright’s appointment was announced by Washington University Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton and Larry J. Shapiro, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.

“Asa Jones had a long and happy association with Washington University,” Shapiro says. “He graduated from the School of Medicine, and although he practiced in Lima, Ohio, for 37 years, he was a very involved and active alumnus. Through his endowment, the School of Medicine continues to benefit from his generosity.”


Jones and his wife, Dorothy, made contributions to endow two professorships in orthopaedic surgery. The other is named in honor of Jones’ mentor, J. Albert Key, MD.

Asa “Doc” Jones was born at Washington University Medical Center in 1915. He earned an undergraduate degree from Washington University and later graduated from the School of Medicine. An active alumnus, he frequently returned over the years. Jones died in 2010.

“Rick Wright is a nationally recognized contributor in the field of sports medicine and an outstanding choice for this professorship,” says Richard H. Gelberman, MD, the Fred C. Reynolds Professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. “We are delighted that Asa Jones’ legacy is continuing to strengthen our department’s excellence in musculoskeletal research, patient care and physician education.”

The endowment provides financial support for Wright’s research to investigate the causes of weakened knee ligaments and to improve surgical methods to repair ligaments and tendons. In addition to his research, Wright’s clinical interests focus on arthroscopic and minimally invasive management of knee, shoulder and sports injuries. He is residency program director and co-chief of sports medicine for the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and he is a team physician for both the St. Louis Blues and the St. Louis Rams.

“I am honored by this appointment,” Wright says. “Under Dr. Gelberman’s leadership, we have amassed one of the finest orthopaedic surgery departments in the world, and I am proud to have been here to witness that growth and grateful for this recognition.”

An author of more than 100 scientific publications, Wright joined the Washington University faculty as an instructor in 1994 and became a full professor in 2010. He is a frequently invited lecturer, nationally and internationally.

Wright is an active member of many medical organizations and serves on a variety of committees for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine, the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons and the American Orthopaedic Association.

He also is a member of the MOON (Multi-center Orthopaedic Outcomes Network) knee and shoulder group, and he serves as the principal investigator for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded MARS (Multi-center ACL Revision Study) group.

Wright has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the Cabaud Memorial Award from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and the Neer Research Award from the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons. In addition, the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery has awarded him the Jerome J. Gilden Compassionate Physician Award, the Palma Chironis Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Lee T. Ford, MD, Award for Academic Achievement.

Wright earned undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He completed an internship and residency at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, Tenn., and a fellowship in sports medicine at the Minneapolis Sports Medicine Center in Minnesota.

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.