Larry J. Shapiro, MD, has announced he will step down as executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.
Shapiro, who has led the school for nearly 12 years, will continue at the helm until a national search is conducted and his replacement found.
Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton is chairing the search committee, which includes the provost, university trustees, School of Medicine department heads and others.
Wrighton, referring to Shapiro as “St. Louis’ physician-in-chief” and a leader devoted to the university and medical school, said it is impossible to recount all of Shapiro’s achievements.
“Larry has done a terrific job in every respect: The school has never been stronger, and he has done fabulously well in recruiting outstanding department heads and faculty; recruiting the most outstanding medical students; and building an outstanding and large clinical program, including development of the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center.
“He was instrumental in launching the Institute for Public Health and supporting its development, and he played a lead role in enhancing the school’s educational mission and in strengthening the quality and impact of research.”
Shapiro said his leadership role at the university “has been the utmost privilege of my professional career and has provided me with challenges, great satisfaction and much happiness.”
A pediatric geneticist by training, Shapiro is a Washington University legacy. He first arrived in St. Louis 50 years ago as an undergraduate student in Arts & Sciences. He then pursued his medical degree at the School of Medicine and completed his residency at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in 1973.
Afterward, he embarked on a medical career at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and then at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, San Francisco.
He returned to St. Louis in 2003 as a renowned genetics researcher, administrator and pediatrician. That year, he took on the roles of executive vice chancellor for medical affairs, dean of the School of Medicine and the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor.
He is also president of Washington University Medical Center, which includes the School of Medicine, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital.