Helen M. Piwnica-Worms ’79

wormsGerty T. Cori Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology

Washington University School of Medicine

Helen Piwnica Worms received her B.A. degree from St. Olaf College and a Ph.D. degree in microbiology and immunology from Duke University Medical School. After completing postdoctoral training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, she joined the faculty of Tufts University Medical School, followed by Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Hospital, Boston. Piwnica-Worms joined the faculty at Washington University School of Medicine in 1994 where she is currently the Gerty T. Cori Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology, Professor of Internal Medicine and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Piwnica-Worms’ laboratory investigates how cells control their division cycle and how cancer cells disrupt these regulatory pathways.

Piwnica-Worms has won national and international recognition for her scientific contributions. She was a Damon Runyon fellow, a Pew Scholar of the Biomedical Sciences and an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association. In addition, Piwnica-Worms was a recipient of the Spirit of Health Award for Cancer Research from the American Cancer Society. She has been elected to the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research, named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the Academy of Arts and Sciences. At Washington University, Piwnica-Worms has been named the first Gerty T. Cori Professor at the School of Medicine.

Piwnica-Worms has served on search committees for the heads of several medical school departments and on the Medical Science Training Admission Committee for nine years. She helped build the molecular oncology program at Washington University. At the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, she leads the cell proliferation program, is a member of the Executive Committee, the Basic Science Leadership Committee and the Cancer Biology Pathway Selection Committee.