Powderly, Setton receive faculty achievement awards

William G. Powderly and Lori A. Setton will receive Washington University in St. Louis’ 2023 faculty achievement awards, Chancellor Andrew D. Martin announced. 

They will be honored at the university’s annual Founders Day dinner Nov. 4.

Powderly, MD, the Dr. J. William Campbell Professor of Medicine at the School of Medicine, will receive the Carl and Gerty Cori Faculty Achievement Award.

Setton, PhD, the Lucy & Stanley Lopata Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the McKelvey School of Engineering, will receive the Arthur Holly Compton Faculty Achievement Award.

“It is one of my greatest pleasures when I have the chance to recognize the excellent work in research, teaching and service by our faculty. The Cori and Compton awards are two of the university’s most well-regarded by the faculty, who nominate their peers for this annual recognition, and I am thrilled that Bill and Lori are this year’s recipients,” Martin said.

“I applaud them both for their outstanding research and teaching achievements in their respective fields, and I thank them for their many contributions to advancing Washington University’s mission and helping to improve lives through their important work.”

About Powderly

Powderly, an infectious diseases specialist and public health leader, has made contributions to biomedical science that have shaped the landscape of infectious disease medicine and advanced public health.

WIlliam Powderly

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Powderly led the national ACTIV-1 trial launched by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to evaluate pre-existing drugs normally prescribed for autoimmune conditions as potential treatments for COVID-19. Two of the drugs evaluated in the trial improved survival among people hospitalized with COVID-19. As the associate dean for clinical and translational science and director of the university’s Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences, Powderly played a key role in coordinating Washington University’s scientific response to the pandemic by organizing emergency funding for COVID-19 research and facilitating the rapid launch of numerous studies.

Powderly is also the Larry J. Shapiro Director of the Institute for Public Health. Under his direction, the institute has focused on broadening the impact of discovery science and addressing disparities in health outcomes. In addition, Powderly is co-director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, in which capacity he oversees the clinical operations, educational programs, and clinical and translational research of the division. He also serves as an attending physician on the infectious diseases consult service, where he cares for patients and trains medical fellows, residents and students.

Powderly has been actively involved in HIV-related clinical research for over 35 years, with specific interest in opportunistic infections and long-term outcomes of antiretroviral therapy. He led a series of national randomized trials that defined the treatment of cryptococcal meningitis, an opportunistic infection that caused many deaths in patients with AIDS. In the 1990s, he led the NIH-funded AIDS Clinical Trials Unit at the School of Medicine. His work has advanced understanding of how HIV/AIDS affects the body and helped inform optimal treatment regimens and prevention strategies.

Powderly is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland, the Royal College of Physicians (London) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is a past president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

About Setton

Setton is a renowned researcher on the role of mechanical factors in the degeneration and repair of soft tissues of the musculoskeletal system. Her collaborative research is pioneering new ways of providing relief to those with pain from osteoarthritis or lumbar disc degeneration.

Headshot of Lori Setton

Her lab work uses mechanical engineering, materials synthesis and cellular technologies to advance drug- and biomaterial-based musculoskeletal therapies. She has received grants from the NIH, National Science Foundation, Coulter Foundation and Whitaker Foundation, among others, and research agreements with industry to support her work.

In 2022, she received both the H.R. Lissner Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, for outstanding achievements in the field of bioengineering, and the Christopher Jacobs Award for Excellence in Leadership from the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), the discipline’s premier professional society, for making an impact in the cell and molecular bioengineering community.

Setton joined the McKelvey Engineering faculty in 2015 from Duke University, where she was the William Bevan Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Bass Fellow and associate professor of orthopaedic surgery. She was named chair of McKelvey’s Department of Biomedical Engineering in 2016.

She is also a professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at McKelvey Engineering and of orthopedic surgery at the School of Medicine. She was a key supporter of WashU’s newly created Center for Women’s Health Engineering, the St. Louis Summer Internship Program for BME, the Education, Engineering & Race seminar series, and the inaugural Rising BME Scholars Regional Conference.

She is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Orthopedic Research Society and of BMES, for which she served as president from 2016-18. She earned a Presidential Early Career Award from Scientists and Engineers in 1997, as well as several awards for excellence in mentoring.

Setton earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University. She earned a master’s and a PhD, both in mechanical engineering and biomechanics, in 1988 and 1993, respectively, from Columbia University.  

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