Five pediatrics faculty to lead academic organizations

Washington University Department of Pediatrics and St. Louis Children’s Hospital have been catapulted into the national spotlight by the simultaneous election of five pediatric faculty into the top national leadership roles in large and distinguished medical societies.

“Election to lead a major academic society is a mark of distinction,” says Alan L. Schwartz, PhD, MD, the Harriet B. Spoehrer Professor and head of the Department of Pediatrics, who is president-elect of the American Pediatric Society. “We are very proud of the recognition of Drs. Ferkol, Hruska, Jaffe and Storch by their peers nationally. This is a most unusual concurrence, and one which highlights Washington University School of Medicine.”


Thomas W. Ferkol Jr., MD, was installed as vice president of the American Thoracic Society in May 2012 and will serve as its president from 2014-15. The society has more than 15,000 members and works to advance the clinical and scientific understanding of pulmonary diseases, critical illnesses and sleep-related breathing disorders. Ferkol is the Alexis Hartmann Professor of Pediatrics, professor of cell biology and physiology and director of the Division of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonary Medicine. He has been a member of the American Thoracic Society since 1995 and has served on several committees for the society and its Scientific Assembly for Pediatrics.


Keith Hruska, MD, was elected president of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR), the world’s leading scientific organization for bone health research, last fall for a one-year term. He previously served as president-elect and as secretary/treasurer from 2006-09. He has been a member of the society since 1978 and served on its education committee from 1986-88. Hruska is professor of pediatrics, of medicine and of cell biology and director of the Division of Pediatric Nephrology.


David M. Jaffe, MD, was installed as president of the Academic Pediatric Association at its recent annual meeting in Boston. Jaffe was chosen to lead the association for the 2012-13 term. He has been a member of the society since 1983 and served as treasurer and board member from 2003-06. He was elected president-elect and rejoined the association’s board of directors in May 2011 and will serve until 2014. Founded in 1960 with a membership of more than 2,000, the APA is one of the core organizations of the Pediatric Academic Societies. The association is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of all children and adolescents through research, education, innovative health-care delivery, advocacy, leadership and career development. Jaffe is the Dana Brown Professor of Pediatrics and director of the Division of Emergency Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics at the School of Medicine.


Schwartz will become president of the American Pediatric Society (APS) in May 2013. Founded in 1888, the APS is the oldest and most esteemed pediatric academic society and promotes pediatric research and scholarship and serves as an advocate for academic pediatrics. Schwartz has been a member of the society since 1989 and served on its council from 2005-2011.

Gregory A. Storch, MD, is president-elect of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology in April. Storch is the Ruth L. Siteman Professor of Pediatrics and professor of medicine and of molecular microbiology.

He also heads the divisions of pediatric infectious diseases and laboratory medicine, and is medical director of clinical laboratories at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and of Project ARK, an umbrella organization that provides medical and support services for children, youth, women and families affected by HIV. He has been involved with the society since the early 1980s and served as a councilor from 2001-04. Founded in 1977, the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology works to foster development of new techniques for rapid viral diagnosis, to improve quality control for reagents, to sponsor training programs, scientific meetings and symposia, to disseminate relevant information, to coordinate activities with other organizations and to encourage collaborative research.

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 sixth 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.