04_09_14Since its inception, the Academy has promoted the recognition of the impressive scientists of St. Louis. This tradition continues with the 26th Annual Outstanding St. Louis Scientists Awards. Each award-winner represents an extraordinary caliber of expertise.

We wish to focus the region’s attention upon individuals, institutions and corporations known worldwide for their scientific contributions to research, industry, and quality of life. In every category, preference is given to candidates who also have a record of excellence in communicating with the public, mentoring colleagues, or leadership in the field of science or industry.

26th Academy of Science – St. Louis
Outstanding St. Louis Scientists Awards

Awards will be presented at
The Academy of Science – St. Louis
Outstanding St. Louis Scientists Awards Dinner

The Academy staff and Board of Directors—helmed by Board president Toni Kutchan, Ph.D., are pleased to announce that the 26th Outstanding St. Louis Scientist Awards (originally scheduled for 2020) will be held Wednesday, September 20, 2023.

The event will be held at the soon-to-be-opened Bayer Event Center at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Your patience has been most appreciated during the delay, and we are thrilled to honor the work of these extraordinary scientists!

More information will follow, but please reserve September 20th, 5:30 p.m. for an evening of celebration.

Sign up to receive email updates on this event here!


2020 Science Leadership Award

The Science Leadership Award recognizes a distinguished individual — not necessarily a scientist—or organization that has played an important leadership role in the development of science and scientists in the St. Louis region.

Science Leadership Award – Corporate Sector

Jim McKelvey, Author; Founder, Invisibly; Founder, Mira; Independent Director, St. Louis Federal Reserve; Co-Founder, LaunchCode; General Partner at FINTOP Capital; Co-Founder, Square, Inc.; Co-Founder, Third Degree Glass Factory

Native St. Louisan, Jim McKelvey, has co-founded numerous 21st century innovations with global and regional impact.  From the Third Degree Glass Factory, a glass art education center and studio, to Square, Inc. a powerful point-of-sale software, McKelvey is a leader in forming solutions. In addition to the Square, Inc. San Francisco HQ, Square has expanded into the St. Louis CORTEX facility supporting the hub of business, innovation and technology in the St. Louis region.

Co-Founder of LaunchCode, a nonprofit organization, free training to pursue well-paying careers in technology creating equitable access, opportunity and stability for families in the St. Louis Region and beyond is offered.  Recently, classes have been extended near bases for current and veteran military members and their families, and teaching in new locations like D.C. and Minneapolis. Additionally, they are finding new ways to bring introductory education to even more people, partnering with local libraries and charities to bring pre-coding fundamentals to the public.

Founder of Invisibly, his newest project to address the world’s need for quality content through an attention economy which sustainably monetizes digital content and improves consumer and marketer experiences online.


Science Leadership Award – Individual

Raymond C. Tait, Ph.D., Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, Saint Louis University

Dr. Raymond Tait is a clinical psychologist who has been active in the pain field for almost 40 years as a clinician, researcher, and program administrator.  In 1982, he founded a multi-disciplinary treatment program.  The clinical success of that program convinced him that chronic pain, while challenging, is best treated through a multidisciplinary approach. During that time, he observed many instances where patients were evaluated by providers who often reached very different clinical conclusions.  Those observations led him toward a clinical research focus on pain assessment and clinical judgments, focusing on factors that systematically influence judgments of pain in others. That focus led to research on racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in the treatment of pain (and in long-term treatment outcomes), on patient, provider, and situational factors that influence clinical decisions, and on factors that contribute to diverging patient and provider expectations for pain treatment.  His current interests involve the study of “cognitive maps” constructed by providers, patients, and the lay public that inform their approaches to pain treatment.  He served as IRB Chair for five years and then as Vice President for Research, Chief Research Officer, and Research Integrity Officer at Saint Louis University for eight years. He is currently Interim Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience and Interim Administrative Director of the Cancer Center at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.  He served for many years on the Governing Board of the Center of Research, Technology and Entrepreneurial Exchange (CORTEX).

Past Award Recipients: Bayer (2019); Mark S. Wrighton, Ph.D. (2019); Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals (2018); Randall S. Prather, Ph.D. (2018)Peter Wyse Jackson, Ph.D. (2017); Henry (Hank) C. Foley, Ph.D. (2016); Cortex Innovation Community (2015) and Ralph S. Quatrano, Ph.D. (2015); Novus International (2014) and Robert Fraley, Ph.D. (2014); Nestle´Purina PetCare (2013) and Karen Seibert, Ph.D. (2013); James S. McDonnell Foundation (2012) and Larry J. Shapiro, M.D. (2012); Emerson (2011) and Timothy Eberlein, M.D. (2011); Missouri Botanical Garden (2010) and M. Carolyn Baum, Ph.D., OTR (2010); The Boeing Company (2009) and William A. Peck, M.D.* (2009); Charles Kilo, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.E. (2008) and The Monsanto Company (2008); William (Bill) Danforth, M.D.* and Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (2007)

2020 Peter H. Raven Lifetime Achievement Award

The Peter H. Raven Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a distinguished career of service in science, engineering, or technology.

Francis Sessions Cole, III, M.D., Assistant Vice Chancellor for Children’s Health and Park J. White, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Washington University in St. Louis

Dr. Cole’s efforts in neonatology have moved the field forward by applying genomic and computational methods to genetic causes of birth defects and inherited breathing problems in infants and children.  The quality and consistency of his work have resulted in continuous funding as Principal Investigator from the National Institute of Health (NIH) for >20 years, in his service on >50 NIH study sections or Special Emphasis Panels, and, most recently, in his successful competition for an Undiagnosed Diseases Network Clinic Site Award from the NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute.  Dr. Cole’s work has extended beyond the genetics of surfactant deficiency to the use of cutting edge technologies, merged with classic clinical investigation, to define the genetics of undiagnosed diseases in infants, children, and adults.  These efforts are noteworthy because of the profound costs of these previously undiagnosable diseases for both families and our health care system.  No less important has been his impact as a role model, academic leader, and strong advocate for reversing health disparities and for recognizing the dignity of patients and families.  Together, his investigative and clinical contributions form a coherent, consistent, and exemplary body of work that has substantially impacted science, pediatrics, and health care delivery and fostered the careers of pediatric physician scientists.  Dr. Cole’s scientific achievements have fundamentally changed the way scientists and physicians think about lung disease in newborn infants and children and stimulated other investigators to elucidate the genetic mechanisms of disease in infants, children, and adults.

Past Award Recipients:
Edward H. Coe, Jr. Ph.D. (2019); Stuart Kornfeld, M.D. (2018); Stephen M. Beverley, Ph.D. (2017); Cheryl Asa, Ph.D. (2016); Steven L. Teitelbaum, M.D. (2015); John Edward Heuser, M.D. (2014); John C. Morris, MD (2013); Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD (2012); Marcus E. Raichle, M.D. (2011); Roger N. Beachy, Ph.D. (2010); Carl Frieden, Ph.D. (2009); Eduardo Slatopolsky, M.D. (2009); William S. Knowles, Ph.D.* (2008); Philip D. Stahl, Ph.D. and David C. Van Essen, Ph.D. (2007); Lee Nelken Robins, Ph.D.* (2006); Teresa J. Vietti, M.D.* (2005); Brian J. Mitchell, Ph.D.* (2004); Ira J. Hirsh, Ph.D.* and Nobuo Suga, Ph.D. (2003); Maurice Green, Ph.D.* and Patty Jo Watson, Ph.D. (2002); Jerome R. Cox, Jr., Sc.D. and Robert W. Murray, Ph.D. (2001); Philip Needleman, Ph.D. and Robert H. Waterston, M.D., Ph.D. (2000); Frank E. Moss, Ph.D.* and William S. Sly, M.D. (1999); Louis V. Avioli, M.D.* and Leonard Berg, M.D.* (1998); Paul E. Lacy, M.D., Ph.D.* and Robert M. Walker, Ph.D.* (1997); John Olney, M.D.* (1996); Michel Ter-Pogossian, Ph.D.* (1995)


2020 Trustees Award

The Trustees Award recognizes outstanding contributions in keeping with the Academy of Science mission of promoting the understanding and appreciation of science.  Through exceptional leadership and communication, their impact crosses geographic boundaries and enriches private, public, and academic sectors.

Pamela M. Bachman, Ph.D., Digital Agriculture & Sustainability Lead, The Climate Corporation, a subsidiary of Bayer

Dr. Bachman has had a varied career that has led her from non-profits to academia and the private sector.  In that time, she has kept one key theme, wise use of our natural resources is necessary for a sustainable future.  Trained as an ecotoxicologist and ecologist, Bachman has gained an international reputation in regards to the ecological impacts and risks of conventional and biotechnology-derived crop protection products.  She led foundational research into the use of RNA interference (RNAi) for ‘greener’ insect pest control which led to the first registration of this technology with regulatory agencies.  Dr. Bachman’s belief has been that partnerships across sectors are necessary to achieve outcomes related to ecological conservation, restoration, and sustainability. She has worked to find common ground across private sector, academia, NGOs, and government on issues related to pollinator conservation and biodiversity including developing monarch butterfly recovery strategies with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  At The Climate Corporation, Bachman is building a new program to use data science and develop digital tools to aid the agricultural community in adopting more sustainable practices aimed towards reducing the environmental impacts of farming including greenhouse gas emissions. She recently led development of an app to help support our national pollinator recovery efforts. Bachman has been recognized as an advocate for diversity and inclusion in science and served as a resource for the visibility, development, and promotion for women and LGBTQIA+ individuals in the workplace.


Will R. Ross, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Dean for Diversity, Professor of Medicine and Principal Officer for Community Partnerships, Washington University School of Medicine

Dr. Ross has developed innovative medical school pipeline programs and recruited and developed a diverse workforce of medical students, residents and faculty.  As a public health/health policy expert, he focuses on systems integration and conceptual frameworks to reduce health-care disparities.  He is co-founder of the BJH Center for Diversity and Cultural Competence and served on the task force that created the Washington University Institute for Public Health, while serving as co-director of the new MD/MPH program. He co-developed an undergraduate program in public health in Haiti.  He has been instrumental in redesigning local access to health care for the underserved.  He initiated a free neighborhood health clinic in St. Louis, run by medical students and supervised by Washington University School of Medicine faculty to provide primary care and tertiary care referrals for underserved members of the community who are without access to healthcare.  He is a founder of the nonprofit organization Health Literacy Media, and a founding member of the Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience, a magnet public high school for students pursuing careers in medicine and biomedical sciences. He served on the Institute of Medicine’s Health Literacy Roundtable, evaluating health literacy efforts at the international level.  He is former Chairman of the Board of the Mid America Transplant Foundation, current Chairman of the S. Louis City Board of Health.  He is a founding associate editor of the public health journal, Frontiers in Public Health Education and Promotion, has numerous scientific publications, and is co-author of Poverty and Place.

Past Award Recipients: James S. Miller, Ph.D. (2019); Douglas D. Randall, Ph.D. (2019); Peter Hoch, Ph.D. (2018); Ty T. Vaughn, Ph.D. (2018); Philip O. Alderson, M.D. (2017) and Sharon L. Deem, D.V.M., Ph.D., Dipl. ACZM (2017); Sherri M. Brown, Ph.D. (2016); Jennifer K. Lodge, Ph.D. and Robert Magill, Ph.D. (2015); George Yatskievych, Ph.D. and Michael Cosmopoulos, Ph.D. (2014); Pana Charumilind, PhD (2013); Mabel L. Purkerson, M.D. (2012); Janey S. Symington, Ph.D. (2011) and Linda Cottler, Ph.D. (2011); Pfizer-St. Louis (2010); Heidi R. Hope, Ph.D. (2010); Lincoln I. Diuguid, Ph.D.* (2009); Paul Markovits, Ph.D. and Paul A. Young, Ph.D. (2008);  Patricia E. Simmons, Ph.D. (2007); Thomas A. Woolsey, M.D. (2006); Charles R. Granger, Ph.D. (2005); Luther S. Williams, Ph.D. (2004); Will D. Carpenter, Ph.D. (2003); Jessie L. Ternberg, M.D., Ph.D.* (2002); Ernest G. Jaworski, Ph.D.* (2001); Willis V. Hauser* (1999)

2020 Fellows Award

The Fellows Award recognizes a distinguished individual for outstanding achievement in science.

Laura Jean Bierut, M.D., Alumni Endowed Professor of Psychiatry, Vice Chair for Faculty Development, Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

As a physician scientist, Dr. Bierut has built a successful research program devoted to understanding the genetics of substance dependence. As an active clinician she is consistently recognized as one of the Best Doctors in our region. She has served on the Advisory Counsel for the National Institute on Drug Abuse and she is an active member of the NIDA Genetics Consortium, a national group of scientists leading NIDA’s efforts to understand genetic causes of substance dependence. Dr. Bierut led the initial studies which found that the α5 nicotinic receptor subunit genes on chromosome 15 and the α6β3 nicotinic receptor subunit genes on chromosome 8 increase a smoker’s risk for nicotine dependence. In collaboration with other groups, it has been demonstrated that the same genetic variants that contribute to smoking in the chromosome 15 region also influence the development of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Dr. Bierut’s scientific trajectory has been impressive in its breadth as well as its depth, and in her ability to capitalize on findings and carry them through to the next steps linking genetic discovery to treatments and population health. After making key initial genetic findings in her research group, Dr. Bierut has organized national and international teams of researchers to identify the mechanisms behind her observed associations, to pool data from dozens of teams to enable more powerful analyses of genetic variation, to extend results to different ethnic groups and cultures, and to study clinical and public health implications of this work.

Importantly she is actively working to translate these scientific discoveries into improved clinical care for the community members of our region.


Alexei V. Demchenko, Ph.D., Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Missouri – St. Louis

The Demchenko laboratory, Glycoworld, has trained more than 130 researchers and has developed many innovative tools for the synthesis and application of carbohydrates in five major areas: 1. New synthetic reagents and building blocks; 2. Reactions for stereocontrolled glycosylation; 3. Expeditious strategies and automated technologies for oligosaccharide synthesis; 4. Biomedical studies on the development of glycopharmaceuticals; and 5. Integration of glycans and nanomaterials in carbohydrate nanotechnology. Some of these methods have been applied to the synthesis of biomedically relevant molecules such as tumor-associated glycosphingolipids that mediate the metastasis and those involved in pathogenesis of Krabbe disease; glycoconjugates of important bacterial pathogens Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus; and glycopeptides as anti-septicemia and anti-cancer therapeutics. Demchenko has co-authored more than 180 articles and has given approximately 150 invited lectures and seminars in the United States and abroad. He has served as an associate editor of the Journal of Carbohydrate Chemistry and a member of many editorial and advisory boards. Demchenko has organized and chaired many international symposia, including the 2015 Gordon Research Conference on Carbohydrates. Since 2019, he has served as the president of the U.S. Advisory Committee for the International Carbohydrate Symposia. Demchenko is the U.S. representative for the International Carbohydrate Organization and the 2020-21 chair of the Division of Carbohydrate Chemistry of the American Chemical Society. His research program has been funded by grants from a variety of private and public foundations. After retiring from UMSL in 2021, Demchenko joined the faculty at Saint Louis University as Professor and Department Chair.


Gary A. Weisman, Ph.D., Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry, University of Missouri – Columbia

Dr. Weisman is internationally recognized for his work on P2 nucleotide receptors and for cloning the first human gene for a nucleotide receptor (P2Y2R), a critical step in the identification of other members of this receptor family that plays important roles in neurotransmission and inflammation.  His work has centered on understanding how P2 nucleotide receptor activity can be manipulated for the treatment of human diseases.  Some of his notable contributions include identification of the ligand binding site of the G protein-coupled P2Y2R and structural motifs in this receptor that mediate direct interaction with integrins, filamin A and Src kinases to control immune cell adhesion and migration through the vascular wall.  Weisman was the first to identify BzATP as a selective ligand for the P2X7R, an ion channel nucleotide receptor that acts as a danger signal in damaged tissue to instigate an inflammatory response.  His work has also demonstrated that P2Y2R is upregulated in wounded tissue and, in the vasculature, persistent upregulation of this receptor promotes intimal hyperplasia and the development of an artherosclerotic plaque.  His recent work focuses on investigating the use of P2 nucleotide receptor antagonists to prevent detrimental inflammatory events associated with autoimmune diseases, such as Sjogren’s syndrome, autoimmune thyroiditis and systemic lupus erythematosus.  Weisman has organized many conferences, including a Gordon Research Conference concerning exocrine biology and served as a reviewer on numerous study sections for the National Institutes of Health.

Past Award Recipients: Adrian Michael DiBisceglie, M.D. (2019); Anne M. Fagan, Ph.D. (2019); Daniel F. Hoft, M.D., Ph.D. (2018); Gary Stacey, Ph.D. (2018); Ebenezer Satyaraj, Ph.D. (2017) and Jeremy Taylor, Ph.D. (2017); James A. Birchler, Ph.D. (2016); Thomas P. Burris, Ph.D. (2016); Lilianna Solnica-Krezel, Ph.D. (2016); Samuel Achilefu, Ph.D. (2015) and Enrico Di Cera, M.D. (2015); David Holtzman, M.D. (2014) and Daniela Salvemini, Ph.D. (2014); Dale Dorsett, Ph.D. (2013) and Samuel Klein, M.D. (2013); Govindaswamy Chinnadurai, Ph.D. (2012) and Scott J. Hultgren, Ph.D. (2012); Duane Grandgenett, Ph.D. (2011) and Toni Kutchan, Ph.D. (2011); Alan L. Schwartz, Ph.D. (2010); Cheryl S. Asa, Ph.D.(2009) and Gerald Medoff, M.D.* (2009); Martin H. Israel, Ph.D. (2008), Kattesh V. Katti, Ph.D. and Robert M. Senior, M.D. (2007); Barbara Schaal, Ph.D. and Raymond E. Arvidson, Ph.D. (2006); G. Alexander Patterson, M.D. and Robert T. Fraley, Ph.D. (2005); Patricia G. Parker, Ph.D. and Clifford M. Will, Ph.D. (2004); Susan Mackinnon, M.D. and Raymond G. Slavin, M.D. (2003); Carl M. Bender, Ph.D. and Robert E. Ricklefs, Ph.D. (2002); Christopher I. Byrnes, Ph.D.* and Dennis W. Choi, M.D., Ph.D. (2001); Allen R. Atkins, Ph.D. and Sarah C. R. Elgin, Ph.D. (2000); Robert B. Belshe, M.D. and Ananthachari Srinivasan, Ph.D. (1999)

2020 James B. Eads Award

The James B. Eads Award recognizes a distinguished individual for outstanding achievement in engineering or technology.

Gary G. Bond, Technical Fellow, Boeing Research & Technology, The Boeing Company

An internationally recognized expert in advanced composite materials systems and processes, Gary Bond as a materials & process engineer for The Boeing Company has led the development and implementation of lightweight and structurally efficient composites across a broad range of aerospace products with a global impact.  His understanding of both research and production processes allowed him to develop and qualify the new generation of low-temperature, low-pressure curing epoxy composites to reduce reliance on costly autoclave processing and substantially decrease costs and environmental impact.  This material will allow additional usage of composites on aircraft across the world, reducing their weight, fuel burn, and carbon footprint.

Bond also possesses a deep and abiding passion for teaching and mentoring including crafting composites training classes for both Boeing and non-Boeing students as well international classes in Finland and Malaysia.  In 2014, was named a Fellow for the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE).  In 2015, he was named a Technical Fellow for The Boeing Company.

Gary Bond is a SAMPE designated subject matter expert in the area of out-of-autoclave composites.  Boeing has also designated Bond as a BDE (Boeing Designated Expert) in composite processes, materials, and out-of-autoclave composites.  He has published over 25 peer-reviewed journal papers and has presented at numerous international conferences as a featured lecturer, on panels, and as a keynote speaker.  His pioneering patent in 2003 “Direct Manufacture of Aerospace Parts” blazed the trail for today’s revolution in 3D printing.


Guy M. Genin, Ph.D., Harold and Kathleen Faught Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Co-Director, NSF Science and Technology Center for Engineering MechanoBiology; McKelvey School of Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis

An internationally recognized expert in MechanoBiology, Dr. Genin has enhanced the St. Louis region through his scientific leadership, his research and his entrepreneurship related to interfaces and adhesion in nature, physiology, and engineering.  His research, which aims to understand harness force in living systems, has advanced path-breaking solutions, including engineered scaffolds for tissue repair and regeneration, improved reconstructive surgery, therapy for tissue inflammation and fibrosis, hardier crops that require fewer resources, and more.  Genin co-founded and co-directs the US National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center (STC) for Engineering MechanoBiology at Washington University, one of only 14 STCs across all areas of science and the first in the history of Missouri.  Through this effort, he has helped establish St. Louis as a world center for the study of disease from the engineering perspective.  From the standpoint of entrepreneurship, Genin has helped found local start-up companies that offer engineering MechanoBiology-based treatments for otherwise incurable disease, such as the recently founded Caeli Vascular, LLC, which offers new treatments for deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.  From the perspective of leadership, he is an internationally recognized figure who has brought cutting-edge international conferences to the city, such as the 2019 Society of Engineering Science conference that he co-chaired, and innovative outreach modules to the region’s students, such as the “Lunch with a Venus Flytrap” MechanobBiology demonstration that he has delivered on multiple occasions.  His achievements in engineering and technology are highly creative and directly impact healthcare both in the St. Louis region and beyond.

Past Award Recipients:  Henry Erk, D.Sc (2019); Michael Graham, Ph.D. (2019); Elizabeth Bryda, Ph.D. (2018); Raj Jain, Ph.D. (2018); Jeffrey Roach (2018); Tom H. Adams, Ph.D. (2017) and Robert Standley, Ph.D. (2017); Rob Mitra, Ph.D. (2016); Babu Chalamala, Ph.D. (2015) and Charles M. Hohenberg, Ph.D. (2015); Lihong Wang, Ph.D. (2014) and Charles L. Armstrong, Ph.D. (2014); George Gokel, Ph.D. (2013) and Gregory Yablonsky, Ph.D. (2013); Kevin Depperman (2012) and Stuart A. Solin, Ph.D. (2012);Ettigounder (Samy) Ponnusamy, Ph.D. (2011) and Alexander Rubin, Ph.D. (2011); David A. Fischhoff, Ph.D. (2010) and Stephen R. Padgette, Ph.D. (2010); Ramesh K. Agarwal, Ph.D. (2009); Sherman J. Silber, M.D., F.A.C.S. (2008); Robert B. Horsch, Ph.D. (2006); Krishnan K. Sankaran, Ph.D. (2005); Rudolph N. Yurkovich (2004); Donald P. Ames, Ph.D.* (2003); Richard E. Pinckert, Ph.D. and Jonathan S. Turner, Ph.D. (2002); Richard D. Bucholz, M.D. (2001)

2020 George Engelmann Interdisciplinary Award

The George Engelmann Interdisciplinary Award recognizes outstanding achievement in science, engineering, or technology that results from collaboration among two or more (up to three) individuals across disciplinary or institutional boundaries.

Gail L. Czarnecki-Maulden, Ph.D., Senior Research Nutritionist, Nestle´ Purina PetCare PTC

Dr. Czarnecki-Maulden joined the Nestle´ Purina R & D team in 1990, and has spent her entire career as a contributor of breakthrough science on behalf of pet health. Dr. Czarnecki-Maulden is widely recognized as an expert in the area of companion animal nutrition. She is a member of the National Academy of Science Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources and the AAFCO dog and cat nutrient profiles subcommittee (which sets nutrient standards for dog and cat foods in the US). She has served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the International Probiotics Association and the NAS/NRC Committee on Evaluating the Safety of Dietary Supplements for Horses, Dogs and Cats. Czarnecki-Maulden has published over 100 articles and abstracts in the area of pet nutrition. Her research focuses on the effect of nutrition on gastrointestinal health and microbiome. Notably, her research showed links between behavior and gut bacteria and resulted in the launch of the first probiotic proven to reduce anxiety in dogs. Another accomplishment was the development of a prebiotic/nutrient blend proven to increase longevity in cats. Her discoveries have been implemented globally across a range of premium and superpremium pet foods and supplements. Dr. Czarnecki-Maulden’s love of science extends to her personal life. She is a certified dog trainer and is actively involved in educating the public about science-based positive reinforcement dog training.

Past Award Recipients: Susan K. Dutcher, Ph.D. (2019); Eric Miller, DVM, Dipl.ACZM (2019); Xuemin (Sam) Wang, Ph.D. (2018); Edward Spitznagel, Ph.D. (2017); Yuanlong Pan, BVM, Ph.D. (2016); Gary D. Stormo, Ph.D. (2016); Gregory R. Heck, Ph.D. and Technical Community of Monsanto Leadership Team (2015) Timothy J. Ley, M.D. (2012) Elaine R. Mardis, Ph.D.(2012) Richard Wilson, Ph.D. (2012)

2020 Innovation Award

The Innovation Award recognizes a scientist or engineer – age 40 or under (for 2019 award, age 40 or under by December 31, 2018) – who has demonstrated exceptional potential for future accomplishments in science, engineering or technology.

Joseph D. Schaefer, Ph.D., Sr. Structural Analysis Engineer, Boeing Research & Technology, The Boeing Company

Since 2015, Schaefer has led a cross-industry team to advance the state of the art in both experimental and computational mechanics. Creating the innovative ABCD Verification and Validation (V&V) Framework for computational progressive damage and failure analysis methods, he provided the objective methodology to establish predictive capability. Described in over 50 authored publications, this framework has spurred numerous fundamental advancements in composite mechanics, leading to computational models with higher accuracy and utility across quasi-static, fatigue, and dynamic impact applications. Dr. Schaefer has worked as a Principal Investigator and technology integrator across academic, Department of Defense, and industry domains to derive theoretical improvements, define finite element method best practices, and benchmark the V&V approach. Concurrently, Schaefer has led domestic and international programs to develop a high fidelity database utilizing advanced in situ X-ray computed tomography inspection data to characterize composite failure mechanisms under loading. The V&V Framework will be published in the Composite Materials Handbook 17 Rev H, the historic global standard for composite structure design, and the database has been transitioned for public use via the National Institute for Aviation Research. Partners in this effort have included NASA Langley Research Center, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Office of Naval Research, Lockheed Martin, and most importantly, his Boeing Research & Technology colleagues. Enabled by Dr. Schaefer’s work will be the successful use of advanced analysis techniques to recertify existing aircraft, produce new design concepts for urban air mobility, and successfully optimize novel through-thickness reinforcement for composite structures.


Ruth A. Wagner, Ph.D., VP Head of Data Science & Analytics, Plant Biotechnology, Bayer – Crop Science Division 

Dr. Wagner joined the AG industry to help create products that matter in people’s everyday lives. In less than a decade, Dr. Wagner has amassed valuable experience leading projects and teams, setting scientific vision and strategy, and recruiting and managing critical talent segments. She serves as a member of the Plant Biotechnology Leadership Team as Head of Data Science & Analytics in the Crop Science division of Bayer. She is responsible for accelerating product development through strategic data engineering, data science, statistical analyses, and predictive analytics. Dr. Wagner is a recognized scientific leader, shaping private and public partnerships to unlock the value within plant genomes, addressing the growing needs for a sustainable food supply. She has a strong record of patents, publications and invited speaking events, guiding the direction of scientific research pipelines and projects. Dr. Wagner fosters scientific exchange and career development, especially for students and women as a mentor and as an active member and sponsor of professional development programs for members of underrepresented groups.





Mohamed A. Zayed, MD, PhD, FACS, Associate Professor of Surgery, Radiology, Molecular Cell Biology, and Biomedical Engineering, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Dr. Zayed is a surgeon-scientist-entrepreneur. He is an Associate Professor of Surgery, Radiology, Molecular Cell Biology, and Biomedical Engineering, with tenure, at Washington University School of Medicine. He is a practicing vascular surgeon at Washington University. Dr. Zayed earned his medical degree at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill through the medical scientist training program (MSTP). He completed his clinical training in surgery at Stanford University Medical Center. In his current clinical appointments, Dr. Zayed treats patients with the breadth of arterial and venous disease. He performs >500 operations per year, and is actively involved in medical student, surgical resident, and surgical fellow education. His dedication to educating trainees has been recognized through multiple teaching awards at Washington University School of Medicine.

In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Zayed leads a robust research program. He earned his doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in vascular pharmacology, and he has >20 years of research experience in the biotech industry, medical startups, and academia. He currently serves as Director of Vascular Surgery Research, Director of the Vascular Surgery Tissue Biobank, and Co-Director of the CardioVascular Research Innovation in Surgery & Engineering (CVISE) Center at Washington University. His multi-disciplinary research innovation program has been granted >$25M in NIH and research foundation funding, and is comprised of three domains: 1) Biomedical research in peripheral atheroprogression in the lower extremities and extracranial neurovasculature, 2) Immune modulation of aortic aneurysmal disease, and 3) Vascular device innovation that progresses concept ideas to validation processes, prototyping, and early product development. His research programs have led to various fruitful collaborations with faculty at the McKelvey School of Engineering, Olin Business School, and venture platforms throughout St. Louis such as BioGenerator. His research is widely published in rigorous peer-reviewed journals and has led to >15 submitted and issued U.S. patents.

For the past 6 years Dr. Zayed has co-founded and led 4 small businesses and ventures. One of these ventures is currently licensing patented technology from Washington University and is currently actively engaged in Series A fundraising. Dr. Zayed completed an executive Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at the Olin Business School in May 2023, where he received specialized training in accounting, finance, marketing, operational management, and organizational leadership.


Past Award Recipients: Andrew H. Baker, Ph.D. (2019); Rebecca Bart, Ph.D. (2019); Samantha A. Morris, Ph.D. (2019); Carla Reynolds, Ph.D. (2018); Liviu Mirica, Ph.D. (2017) and Kater Murch, Ph.D. (2017); Tiffani D. Eisenhauer, Ph.D. (2016); Gary J. Patti, Ph.D. (2016); Gautam Dantas, Ph.D. (2015) and Yiyu Shi, Ph.D. (2015); Caitlin Kelleher, Ph.D. (2014); Angel Baldan, Ph.D. (2013) and Katherine A. Henzler-Wildman, Ph.D. (2013); Audrey R. Odom, M.D., Ph.D. (2012); Randall J. Bateman, M.D. (2010); Ganesh K. Venayagamoorthy, Ph.D. (2010); Jonathan M. Chase, Ph.D. (2009); Timothy E. Holy, Ph.D. (2009); Sonya Bahar, Ph.D. (2008); Eric C. Leuthardt, M.D. and Ali Shilatifard, Ph.D. (2007); Shelley D. Minteer, Ph.D. (2005); James H. Buckley, Ph.D. (2004); Phyllis I. Hanson, M.D., Ph.D. and James P. McCarter, M.D., Ph.D. (2003); Karen L. Wooley, Ph.D. (2002); Jonathan B. Losos, Ph.D. (2001); Steven F. Dowdy, Ph.D. and Michael E. Wysession, Ph.D. (2000); Laura L. Dugan, M.D. (1999); Scott Hultgren, Ph.D. (1998); James M. Bornholdt, Ph.D. (1997); Alison Goate, Ph.D. and Robert D. Davinroy (1996); Jacob C. Langer, M.D. (1995)

2020 Science Educator Award

The Science Educator Award recognizes a distinguished individual on the basis of outstanding contributions to science education or to the public understanding of science, engineering, or technology. As each category of award now includes a strong education and outreach component, and we have another mechanism for awarding K-12 Teacher Awards, the Educator category is primarily for those in higher education or the corporate sector.  This is not a reflection on the excellent work in education, but rather is a verification of the high value of educational endeavors (including mentoring, citizen outreach, STEM advocacy and interdisciplinary efforts) performed by the Award recipients in all categories.

Kelly E. Lane-deGraaf, Ph.D., Director, Center for One Health and Assistant Professor, Department of Biological and Physical Sciences, Fontbonne University

 Dr. Lane-deGraaf has creatively engaged with students – undergraduates, middle school girls, and community members – and made significant contributions to her discipline and to science education. She developed the Fontbonne University senior capstone course in the sciences, the result of which is that nearly every student graduating with a degree in Biology also graduates as a co-author on a manuscript in review. Simultaneously, Lane-deGraaf mentors numerous undergraduate students in bench and field research experiences in disease ecology, where the focus of her work examines how institutional racism has shaped wildlife population dynamics in urban raccoon populations. Her interest in advocating for women in science drove her to create ‘Girls in Science,’ a free program that has reached more than 200 middle school girls in the last five years, training them in chemistry, biology, physics, and ecology. Dr. Lane-deGraaf, along with Drs. Sharon Deem and Elizabeth Rayhel, also recently published an undergraduate textbook, An Introduction to One Health: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Planetary Health, demonstrating her commitment both to undergraduate education and to One Health as a discipline. And importantly, Lane-deGraaf centers inclusion and diversity in all aspects of her work – classroom teaching, community outreach, and research and scholarship. This focus is reflected in the work she does, her classroom policies, and her approach to making science accessible to all.

Past Award Recipients: Nicole Miller-Struttmann Ph.D. (2019); David Kirk, Ph.D. (2018); Johannes Strobel, Ph.D. (2018); David Westenberg, Ph.D. (2017); Kyra N. Krakos, Ph.D. (2016); Robert Marquis, Ph.D. (2014); James Wilson, Ph.D. (2013); Pamela Gay, Ph.D. (2012) and Michael W. Friedlander, Ph.D.* (2012); Young Scientist Program, Washington University in St. Louis (2011); Harold H. Harris, Ph.D. (2010); Victoria Lynn May (2009); Harold R. Messler, B.S. (2008) and John Rigden, Ph.D.* (2008); Patrick L. Osborne, Ph.D. (2007); Kenneth Mares, Ph.D. (2006); Robert A. Williams, Ph.D. (2005); Paul H. Young, M.D. and William L. McConnell (2004)


* Denotes deceased

From the past!  Science Matters at Academy of Science – Awards Dinner!



From 2019

CLICK HERE for photos from the 25th Annual Outstanding
St. Louis Scientists Awards Dinner on April 4, 2019!

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