Faculty Achievement Award 2016

GWeil Faculty Achievement 2016

Gary J. Weil, MD

Gary J. Weil, MD, professor of medicine and of molecular microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine, is known for his international contributions to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of tropical diseases.

He has devoted his career to the diagnosis and eradication of tropical parasitic diseases. His efforts have impacted multiple countries and have led to new and highly effective diagnostic tests and treatments. Passionate about promoting global health awareness, Dr. Weil has educated scores of students about the interconnectedness of global health concerns and has supported and created dynamic global health educational programs. The Washington University Medical Center Alumni Association is proud to present Dr. Weil with its Faculty Achievement Award.

Weil focuses his research on two common parasitic diseases that infect millions of people — onchocerciasis, also known as river blindness, and paragonimiasis, or lung fluke disease. For more than 30 years, he has crisscrossed the globe, traveling 75,000 miles annually in some years, in his efforts to eliminate the transmission of these diseases. His research lab has developed new diagnostic tests that have been highly effective and are now being explored by the World Health Organization for use in mapping and monitoring the impact of mass drug administration to prevent disease transmission. Weil also is investigating the optimal frequency for treatment in order to more effectively wipe out disease transmission.

His work, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and involving researchers around the world, includes applied field research in eight countries. In the United States, Weil’s research has identified paragonimiasis in crayfish living in Missouri waterways, work that has resulted in disease prevention and transmission guidelines for the Missouri Department of Health.

Weil served for 20 years as a member of the International Centers for Tropical Disease Research Network of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He has been a faculty scholar for Washington University’s Institute of Public Health since 2008. He serves as a faculty advisor for Washington University’s Forum for International Health and Tropical Medicine (FIHTM), a student-led group founded in 1999 that is supported partially by alumni contributions. Through FIHTM, medical students are able to travel abroad for international health rotations. Characteristic of his leadership role in academic medicine, Weil continues clinical activities as a member of the infectious diseases service and is a popular educator for students, fellows and house staff.

His colleagues note that Weil’s scholarly work truly exemplifies the power of translational research, and that Weil serves as a superb role model as he strives to eliminate parasitic diseases worldwide. The Washington University Medical Alumni Association is honored to present Dr. Weil with its Faculty Achievement Award.