Academy of Science of St. Louis honors four WUSTL researchers

Four Washington University in St. Louis researchers are being honored as outstanding scientists by the Academy of Science of St. Louis.

Each year, the academy seeks nominations of outstanding women and men in science, engineering and technology who are known worldwide for their scientific contributions to research, industry and quality of life. Those recognized also have a record of excellence in communicating with the public and/or mentoring colleagues.

John E. Heuser, MD, professor of cell biology and physiology at the School of Medicine, will receive the Academy of Science’s Peter H. Raven Lifetime Achievement Award; David Holtzman, MD, the head of the Department of Neurology, will be honored with the Fellows Award; Caitlin Kelleher, PhD, the Hugo F. & Ina Champ Urbauer Career Development Associate Professor, will receive the Innovation Award; and Lihong Wang, PhD, the Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, will be recognized with the James B. Eads Award.


, MD, emeritus professor of cell biology and biophysics, pioneered a technique for imaging cells and molecules in the electron microscope that he calls the “quick-freeze deep-etch” procedure. The process has allowed him and his colleagues to take highly detailed pictures of rapid events, including the communication that occurs between nerve cells, the uptake and secretion of materials into and out of cells, and the rapid movements of cells ranging from contracting muscle cells to swimming sperm.

He continues to use his approach, in conjunction with other advanced electron microscope techniques, to provide unique and insightful 3-D views, known as “Heusergrams,” of membranes and molecules in a wide variety of biological contexts, including nerves, muscles, glands, blood, skin and bone. Heuser recently patented an update of the original machine.