Together, we heal

How the Leading Together campaign is turning hope into reality


This issue of Outlook is a special one. It documents the conclusion of Leading Together: The Campaign for Washington University.

The campaign, which ended this summer, raised an unprecedented $1.8 billion for the School of Medicine in the most successful campaign in school history. The campaign has established 281 endowed scholarships, produced 73 named professorships, and generated $1.3 billion for research.

These contributions have huge real-life import. They allow gifted students to attend a world-class medical school and learn from extraordinary faculty. And they allow leading researchers to find solutions for some of medicine’s most intractable problems. Those things are happening now, and, because of the generosity of donors, will continue to happen.

In this issue, we’ll look at four areas of research the campaign has significantly advanced. We’ll introduce you to the researchers who are advancing medicine in these areas, and, because the campaign was about looking forward, we’ll show you what the future holds.

Explore the latest advancements

A letter from the dean

David Perlmutter, MD

When I came to Washington University School of Medicine as executive vice chancellor and dean in 2015, Leading Together was charging full steam ahead. It was inspiring to see philanthropic support for the school, already at a remarkable level, soar to even greater heights. I am deeply grateful to everyone involved in the campaign for joining with us to pursue the vision of advancing human health.

I’d like to take a moment to thank members of the Washington University Board of Trustees, the School of Medicine National Council, the School of Medicine campaign committee, our Eliot Society committee, the Washington University Medical Center Alumni Association executive council, and the many other alumni volunteers who provided crucial leadership during the campaign. You helped steer the School of Medicine through the campaign’s goals and successful conclusion.

We face clear challenges as we look to the future of medicine. However, we also are poised to continue exceptional work and to make bold moves that will keep the School of Medicine at the forefront of biomedicine and health care. Many, many donors — from our loyal annual fund supporters, to those who invest in the leaders of tomorrow through scholarships, to those who have made a significant impact on faculty by funding research, professorships, facilities and centers — have made this possible. These individuals have helped position us to explore new partnerships, rethink our curriculum for new generations, build our excellent faculty practice, enhance and improve diversity, develop physician-scientists, and improve the already extraordinary breadth and depth of our collaborative research. This will translate into discoveries that will ultimately benefit patients here and around the world. Together, we can pursue a future in which discoveries reach patients sooner.

Together, we can realize the dream of personalized medicine. Together, we can continue to generate the resources needed to transform health care. Thank you for giving us the momentum to aim for the highest of ideals at Washington University School of Medicine. It’s an amazing place to be, and I’m so excited and fortunate to be a part of it.


David H. Perlmutter, MD

George and Carol Bauer Dean, School of Medicine
Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor
Executive Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs

Campaign summary

A successful campaign is supporting scientists, teachers and learners as they change the future of medicine locally and around the globe.

The Leading Together campaign raised $67 million in scholarship funds.

  • Annual named scholarship funds increased from 33 in fiscal year 2009 to 86 in fiscal year 2018.
  • Endowed scholarship funds increased from 180 in fiscal year 2009 to 281 in fiscal year 2018.
  • Altogether, the number of supported students jumped from 174 in 2009 to 351 in 2018.

Thanks to the 65,400 donors who gave to Leading Together:

  • 46,756 individuals
  • 11,846 alumni
  • 2,876 corporations
  • 1,805 agencies/groups
  • 1,722 parents
  • 395 foundations
73 endowed professorships established during the campaign included a named deanship, making David H. Perlmutter, MD, the inaugural George and Carol Bauer Dean of the School of Medicine.
Advancing the mission

The Debra and George W. Couch III Biomedical Research Building, named in recognition of significant campaign support from Debra and George W. Couch III, is home to numerous research initiatives and centers, including the Edison Family Center for Genome Sciences & Systems Biology, the Center for Cellular Imaging, the Center for Multiple Myeloma Nanotherapy, the Optical Radiology Lab and the Molecular Imaging Center.


Medical students Tiffany J. Wu, Jason A. Morris, Jae Lee and Jane M. Hayes, all Distinguished Alumni Scholarship recipients, are among hundreds of graduate students at the School of Medicine supported by scholarship donations.

Patient care

The School of Medicine’s patient care mission has flourished during the 10-year campaign period, which ended in summer 2018. The number of clinical practice sites grew from 35 to 49, clinical revenues nearly doubled, and two 12-story towers — carefully designed to support patient comfort and optimal care — opened on the Medical Campus, offering facilities for patients of Siteman Cancer Center and the Women & Infants Center. Here, Alison Cahill, MD, visits patient Susan Zeid.

Campaign Leadership

School of Medicine

Campaign Co-Chairs

George W. Couch III
Trustee, Washington University

David C. Farrell
Emeritus Trustee, Washington University

Gordon W. Philpott, MD ’61, HS
Former Chief of Surgery, Jewish Hospital
Former Trustee, Washington University

Committee Members

Andrew Chan, MD/PhD ’86, HS ’89
Senior Vice President, Genentech

Robert G. Clark
Chairman and CEO, Clayco Corporation

Peter Corr, PhD
Co-Founder, Auven Therapeutics Management LLLP

Louis Kuchnir, PhD, MD ’97, HS
Private Practice Physician

James S. McDonnell III

Philip Needleman, GR ’99
Emeritus Trustee, Washington University

William A. Peck, MD, HS ’63
Director, Center for Health Policy
Former Executive Vice Chancellor
and Dean, School of Medicine

Shirley Sahrmann, PT ’58, MA ’71, PhD ’73, HS
Professor Emeritus of Physical Therapy,
School of Medicine

Harvey Saligman*
Trustee, Washington University

Craig D. Schnuck
Chairman, Schnucks Markets Inc.
Trustee, Washington University

Sally Schnuck, OT ’78

William P. Wiesmann, MD ’72, HS
President and Founder, BioSTAR Group
Trustee, Washington University

Pamela Gallin Yablon AB/BS ’74, MD ’78
Director, Pediatric Ophthalmology,
Professor of Pediatrics,
Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center

Siteman Cancer Center

Honorary Chair
Alvin J. Siteman, GR ’00
Chairman, Site Oil Company of Missouri
Emeritus Trustee, Washington University

Robert F. O’Loughlin
Chairman and CEO, Lodging Hospitality Management
Emeritus Trustee, Washington University

Committee Members

Ronald A. Fromm
President and CEO, Fashion Footwear Association
of New York

Michael Staenberg
Founder, The Staenberg Group

Margaret A. and Jerry E. Ritter
St. Louis Community Volunteers

Joanne P. Knight, GR ’96, GR ’10

* Deceased                 

Published in the Winter 2018/2019 issue