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Bubeck Wardenburg appointed executive vice chair

Juliane Bubeck Wardenburg, MD, PhD, the Donald B. Strominger Professor of Pediatrics and chief of Pediatric Critical Care at Washington University Department of Pediatrics, has been appointed the executive vice chair. She has demonstrated expertise in improving, expanding and refining clinical operations to improve the overall care of children. She will assist the Department of Pediatrics and St. Louis Children’s Hospital in developing ways to improve patient flow from admission to discharge. Additionally, she will provide strategic, academic and administrative leadership to the department in its patient care, research, teaching and service missions.

Bubeck Wardenburg received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis in 1993 then entered the Medical Scientist Training Program at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis where she completed her PhD studies in the laboratory of Andrew Chan, MD, MPH, in the Department of Pathology and received her MD degree in 2001. Bubeck Wardenburg obtained her pediatric specialty training and critical care fellowship subspecialty training at the University of Chicago. At the end of her pediatric residency, she was awarded a mentored fellowship position from the Pediatric Scientist Development Program. She performed her postdoctoral fellowship studies in the laboratory of Olaf Schneewind, MD, PhD, at the University of Chicago where she developed a strong interest in life-threatening bacterial infections. She published four outstanding papers during her postdoctoral fellowship, including a landmark paper in Nature Medicine (2007) demonstrating the key role of a toxin produced by Staphylococcus aureus in lethal infection.

Since 2008, the Bubeck Wardenburg laboratory has focused on the role of bacterial toxins in the perturbation of host cellular and tissue homeostasis. Her laboratory has made seminal contributions to understanding how S. aureus alpha-toxin contributes to infection, positioning this protein as a leading target of S. aureus vaccines in human clinical trials. As the founder of Forward Defense, LLC, she has advanced a novel approach to the development of a S. aureus vaccine designed for infants and children. As a practicing clinician and division chief, Bubeck Wardenburg enjoys patient and family care, working with diverse colleagues in the children’s hospital and seeing her faculty and fellows advance in their career development and impact the field.

She received the Society for Pediatric Research Young Investigator Award and the University of Chicago Distinguished Investigator Award. In 2012, she was named a Burroughs Wellcome Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases. She was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Academy of Physicians and received the Academic Women’s Network Mentor Award at Washington University.