Washington University School of Medicine

Coordinates: 38°38′13″N 90°15′53″W / 38.6370°N 90.2646°W / 38.6370; -90.2646
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Washington University School of Medicine
Parent institution
Washington University in St. Louis
DeanDavid Perlmutter
Academic staff
Students1349 (including 605 MD [183 MD/PhD] and 267 OT, 278 PT)
Location, ,
United States

BJC Institute of Health on the Washington University School of Medicine campus

Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) is the medical school of Washington University in St. Louis, a private research university with its main campus in St. Louis County, and Clayton, Missouri. Founded in 1891, the School of Medicine shares a campus with Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, and Central Institute for the Deaf. It has consistently ranked among the top medical schools in the United States in terms of the number/amount of research grants/funding awarded by the National Institutes of Health, among other measures.[1][2]

The clinical service is provided by Washington University Physicians, a comprehensive medical and surgical practice providing treatment in more than 75 medical specialties. Washington University Physicians are the medical staff of the two teaching hospitals – Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital. They also provide inpatient and outpatient care at the St. Louis Veteran's Administration Hospital, hospitals in the BJC HealthCare system and 35 other office locations throughout the greater St Louis region.


Medical classes were first held at Washington University in 1891 after the St. Louis Medical College decided to affiliate with the University, establishing a Medical Department. Robert S. Brookings, a University benefactor from its earliest days, devoted much of his work and philanthropy to Washington University and made the improvement of the Medical Department one of his primary objectives. This especially became a cause for concern after an early 1900s Carnegie Foundation report derided the organization and quality of the Medical Department.[3]

Following a trend in medical education across the country, research and the creation of new knowledge became a stated objective in a 1906 course catalog for the medical department. For Brookings and the University, incorporating the Medical Department into a separate School of Medicine seemed to be the next logical step. This process began in 1914 when facilities were moved to their current location in St. Louis's Central West End neighborhood in 1914, and was completed in 1918 with the official naming of the School of Medicine.[4] The first female faculty member seems to have been biochemist and physiologist Ethel Ronzoni Bishop, who became an assistant professor in 1923.[5]

The Medical School began its escalation from regional renown in the 1940s, a decade when two groups of faculty members received Nobel Prizes, in 1944 and 1947. In 1950, a Cancer Research Building was completed, the first major addition to the School of Medicine since its 1914 move and one of several buildings added in the decade. In the 1960s the School of Medicine diversified its student body, graduating its first African-American student and substantially increasing the percentage of graduating students who are female to nearly half.[4]

In March 2020, Washington University School of Medicine announced the construction of a new $616 million, 11-story, 609,000-square-foot neuroscience research building which will sit at the eastern edge of the Medical Campus in the Cortex Innovation Community. Construction of the building is to finish in 2023.[6]


Barnes-Jewish Hospital, which is affiliated with the Medical School

Washington University Medical Center comprises 164 acres (0.5 km²) spread over about 17 city blocks, located along the eastern edge of Forest Park within the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis. Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital, part of BJC HealthCare, the teaching hospitals affiliated with the School of Medicine, are also located within the medical complex. Many of the buildings are connected via sky bridges and corridors. As of 2008, the School of Medicine occupies over 4,500,000 square feet (420,000 m2) in the complex.[7]

Washington University and BJC HealthCare have taken on many joint venture projects since their original collaboration in the 1910s. One is the Center for Advanced Medicine, which houses the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center and was completed in December 2001. At 650,000 square feet (60,000 m2), it is one of the largest buildings in the complex.[8]

The complex has several especially large buildings. In 2007, construction began on the 700,000-square-foot (65,000 m2) BJC Institutes of Health, of which Washington University's Medical School occupies several floors. It is the largest building constructed on Washington University's campus. Called the BJC Institute of Health at Washington University, it houses the University's BioMed 21 Research Initiative, five interdisciplinary research centers, laboratories, and additional space for The Genome Center.[9]

Prominent buildings, centers, and spaces at the medical campus includes Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the Central Institute for the Deaf, St. Louis Children's Hospital, Rehabilitation Institute of Saint Louis, Siteman Cancer Center, Center for Advanced Medicine, Charles F. Knight Emergency and Trauma Center, and the Eric P. Newman Education Center.

The complex is accessible via the Central West End MetroLink station, which provides transportation to the rest of Washington University's campuses.

Reputation and rankings[edit]

Its major teaching hospital, Barnes Jewish Hospital was ranked #11 in the United States in 2022-2023 by U.S. News & World Report.[10]

In the 2023-2024 U.S. News & World Report rankings, Washington University School of Medicine was ranked fifth in the nation among medical schools for research.[11] In its graduate school specialties, according to U.S. News for 2023-2024, it was ranked #6 in audiology, #8 in radiology, #10 in surgery, and #10 in obstetrics and gynaecology.[12]

Affiliated research institutions[edit]

  • Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) - founded in 1985, the mission of the ADRC is to promote collaborative research in the treatment and assessment of Alzheimer's disease. The center also provides a training environment for postdoctoral fellows, students in nursing, social work and medicine, along with residents in geriatrics, psychiatry and neurology.
  • BioMed 21 - started in 2003, BioMed 21 is an interdisciplinary research center linking life sciences and medical education throughout Washington University. To be housed in a 700,000-square-foot (65,000 m2) facility in the Medical Complex to be named the BJC Institute of Health at Washington University, BioMed 21 includes five Interdisciplinary Research Centers:
    • Center for Cancer Genomics
    • Center for the Investigation of Membrane Excitability Disorders
    • Center for Women's Infectious Disease Research
    • Hope Center Program on Protein Folding and Neurodegeneration
    • Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of Diabetic Cardiovascular Disease
  • Central Institute for the Deaf - combines education, research and clinical and community service to benefit individuals who are deaf and hearing-impaired. Audiologists, teachers and scientists serve as graduate program faculty and Washington University graduate students gain experience in real-world situations.
  • Hope Center for Neurological Disorders - formed by a collaborative alliance between Washington University School of Medicine and Hope Happens, a St. Louis-based non-profit formerly known as ALS Hope, its mission is to improve the lives of people with neurological disorders (particularly ALS, Alzheimer's Disease, brain and spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, and stroke) by discovering the fundamental mechanisms of neurodegeneration and translating this knowledge into new methods for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
  • Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology - serves as the Department of Radiology for the Washington University School of Medicine. Institute physicians and scientists are faculty members of the School of Medicine, and physicians are on the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital. Multidisciplinary research training programs combine both clinical and basic research.
  • McDonnell Genome Institute - an organization focusing on genomics research. The Institute played a major role in the Human Genome Project, to which it contributed 25% of the finished sequence, and is currently a major participant in both The Cancer Genome Atlas and the 1000 Genomes Project.[13][14]


18 Nobel laureates have been associated with the School of Medicine. 12 faculty members are fellows of the National Academy of Sciences; 30 belong to the Institute of Medicine. 92 faculty members hold individual career development awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 59 faculty members hold career development awards from non-federal agencies. 14 faculty members have MERIT status, a special recognition given by the National Institutes of Health that provides long-term, uninterrupted financial support to investigators. Six faculty members are Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators.

Nobel laureates[edit]

Physiology or Medicine


Notable alumni[edit]

Other associated hospitals[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Simpson, Maddy (May 9, 2022). "Beyond the List: Washington U expects federal health research grants to grow by up to 30% in next five years". St. Louis Business Journal. Archived from the original on September 26, 2022.
  2. ^ McCarthy, Leslie Gibson (April 15, 2022). "School of Medicine climbs ever closer to No. 1 in NIH funding. - The Source - Washington University in St. Louis". The Source. Archived from the original on January 4, 2023. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  3. ^ "Medical Campus Tour". Washington University in St. Louis. Archived from the original on December 5, 2008. Retrieved July 22, 2008.
  4. ^ a b Anderson, Paul; Marion Hunt. "Origins and History of the Washington University School of Medicine". Washington University Medical School, Bernard Becker Medical Library. Archived from the original on September 28, 2011. Retrieved July 22, 2008.
  5. ^ "Ethel Bishop Ronzoni" (PDF). Washington University. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 5, 2010. Retrieved May 6, 2012.
  6. ^ "Washington University to break ground on major neuroscience research hub". Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. March 6, 2020. Archived from the original on March 19, 2020. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  7. ^ "Facilities". Washington University in St. Louis. Archived from the original on August 12, 2009. Retrieved July 29, 2009.
  8. ^ "Washington University Medical Center". Washington University in St. Louis. Archived from the original on May 5, 2008. Retrieved July 29, 2009.
  9. ^ Ericson, Gwen (October 30, 2007). "Immense new facility to house BioMed 21 research at Washington University Medical Center". Medical Public Affairs. Archived from the original on September 8, 2008. Retrieved July 29, 2009.
  10. ^ Harder, Ben (July 26, 2022). "America's Best Hospitals: the 2022-2023 Honor Roll and Overview". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on July 10, 2018. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  11. ^ "2023-2024 Best Medical Schools: Research". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on March 20, 2018. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  12. ^ "Washington University in St. Louis Medical School Overview". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on May 5, 2023. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  13. ^ Munz, Michele (March 11, 2021). "Whole genome sequencing shows promise in routine treatment of blood cancers, Washington U. study says". STLtoday.com. Archived from the original on May 14, 2021. Retrieved May 18, 2023.
  14. ^ Rubbelke, Nathan (June 13, 2022). "Washington University opens new $15M technology center to advance disease research (photos)". www.bizjournals.com. Archived from the original on August 8, 2022. Retrieved May 18, 2023.
  15. ^ "Missouri Women in the Health Sciences - Biographies - Rita Levi-Montalcini". Washington University in St. Louis. Archived from the original on May 28, 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  16. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang (July 16, 1999). "Ernst Wynder, 77, a Cancer Researcher, Dies". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 16, 2017. Retrieved February 14, 2013.

External links[edit]

38°38′13″N 90°15′53″W / 38.6370°N 90.2646°W / 38.6370; -90.2646