Four Washington University in St. Louis faculty are among nearly 270 newly elected members of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies. They are Jean Allman, Scott J. Hultgren, Tristram R. Kidder and Lilianna Solnica-Krezel.
Founded in 1780, the academy honors exceptional scholars, leaders, artists and innovators and engages them in sharing knowledge and addressing challenges facing the world. The 2023 members were announced April 19.
“I’m very pleased that the American Academy of Arts & Sciences has recognized these four distinguished scholars for the important, innovative contributions they are making to their respective fields,” said Chancellor Andrew D. Martin.
Allman is the J.H. Hexter Professor in the Humanities and professor of African and African American studies in Arts & Sciences. She directed the Center for the Humanities from 2014 to 2022. Allman’s research and published work engages 19th- and 20th-century African history, with a geographic focus on Ghana and thematic interests in gender, colonialism, decolonization and the racial politics of knowledge production. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, Fulbright-Hays, the Social Science Research Council and the Mellon Foundation.
Allman co-edits the New African Histories book series at Ohio University Press and for six years co-edited the Journal of Women’s History. She was president of the Ghana Studies Council (now Association) from 1992-98 and has served on the board of directors of both the African Studies Association (USA) and the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora. She was president of the African Studies Association in 2018.
At WashU, Allman served as principal investigator (with Bruce Lindsey) for “The Divided City” and “The Divided City, 2022,” which explored the legacies of segregation locally and globally. She also served as principal investigator for “Faculty for the Next Generation,” which explored new models of doctoral education. She received the Arthur Holly Compton Faculty Achievement Award from Washington University in 2021.
Scott J. Hultgren
Hultgren, the Helen L. Stoever Professor of Molecular Microbiology and director of the Center for Women’s Infectious Disease Research at the School of Medicine, is recognized for his pioneering research in nonantibiotic treatments and preventives for urinary tract infections (UTIs), one of the most common infections.
Current therapies use antibiotics to kill bacteria in the urinary tract, but they are often ineffective and can promote drug resistance. Hultgren’s investigations of the bacterial and host mechanisms underlying UTIs have led to the identification of alternative therapies based on preventing bacteria from causing disease without killing the bacteria. Among such alternatives is an investigational vaccine that has completed phase 1a/1b clinical trials and that has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for compassionate use in patients with multidrug-resistant UTI caused by E. coli.
Hultgren co-founded Fimbrion Therapeutics, which is developing decoy sugars known as mannosides for use as nonlethal antimicrobials to eliminate bacteria from the urinary tract. These compounds are in phase 1 clinical trials. He is also a co-founder of QureTech Bio, which is working to develop first-line drugs to combat infectious diseases and prevent antibiotic resistance.
Hultgren is also an elected member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Inventors.
Tristram R. Kidder
Kidder is the Edward S. and Tedi Macias Professor, as well as a professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences.
Kidder’s research applies archaeology and geology to the study of how human populations have adapted to climate and environmental change. His field research includes ongoing studies of the ancient dynamics of human settlements along the Mississippi River in the Southeastern United States. He also is the co-director of several ongoing field research projects in Central Asia and China, including along the Silk Road and in the Yellow River basin.
His archaeological research focuses on the evolution of human societies in the Southeastern United States, including the emergence of social ranking and development of domesticated food crops. His interest in geoarchaeology includes studies of the evolution and chronology of Holocene rivers including the Mississippi River and rivers in Asia using archaeological data.
Kidder works at several Middle to Late Archaic mound sites in the Lower Mississippi Valley, including the well-known Poverty Point site in northeast Louisiana.
In addition to his many publications, research and teaching, Kidder has served on the editorial board of Geoarchaeology: An International Journal since 2018. He has been recognized by the Washington University Graduate Student Senate and Alumni Association for excellence in teaching and mentorship.
Solnica-Krezel is the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor and head of the Department of Developmental Biology at Washington University School of Medicine. She is an expert in understanding the earliest stages of embryonic development in vertebrates, with special expertise in studying zebrafish as a model organism.
Studying zebrafish, Solnica-Krezel’s team works to understand gastrulation — when various tissues first arise and are arranged into the body plan. Also working with human stem cells, her team investigates whether key developmental processes in zebrafish also are relevant in people. Her research may help better understand miscarriage, birth defects, cancer and other genetic disorders.
Solnica-Krezel led efforts to establish one of the largest and most technologically advanced zebrafish research facilities in the world, helping make Washington University a leader in the field of developmental biology. She also co-founded the university’s Center of Regenerative Medicine.
Solnica-Krezel is a past president of the International Zebrafish Society and the Society for Developmental Biology. She also has received the Edwin G. Conklin Medal from the Society for Developmental Biology and the Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard Award from the European Zebrafish Society in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the field, both as a research scientist and as a mentor helping train the next generation of developmental biologists. She also received the university’s Carl & Gerty Cori Faculty Achievement Award in 2021.