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Two staff members receive Distinguished Honor Award from Dean’s Office

Two members of the Department of Anesthesiology, Maureen Arends and Sherri Vogt, were recently awarded distinguished honors from the Dean’s Office at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Washington University School of Medicine Dean David H. Perlmutter, MD thanks the School of Medicine’s staff and announces the 2022 Distinguished Honor Award winners.

Maureen serves as the Assistant to Michael S. Avidan, MBBCh, FCASA, head of the Department of Anesthesiology, and is this year’s Dean’s Distinguished Service Award recipient.

The Dean’s Distinguished Service Award remains the highest form of staff recognition at the School of Medicine. The award recognizes an employee for displaying ongoing commitment to exceeding job responsibilities, helping to create a positive working environment, and improving the community in which he or she lives. 

{from left to right}
Michael S Avidan, MBBCh; Maureen Arends; Audrey Vincent,

Maureen began her journey in Washington University Anesthesiology Department in 2002 as the transcriptionist for the CTICU intensivists and admin to the Director of Critical Care, Dr. Eric Jacobsohn. As Dr. Jacobsohn transitioned to the division chief of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology, Maureen remained as the CTICU residency coordinator, working closely with residents to ensure they had the best education while in the CTICU. In 2006, Dr. Avidan became division chief of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology with Maureen expanding her indispensable role within the division. As Dr. Avidan transitioned to the chief of the Division of Clinical and Translational Research (DoCTR), Maureen transitioned seamlessly to work with the clinical research program where she made substantial contributions to investigators, helping with the rapid and impressive growth of the clinical and translational research program. In 2019, Dr. Avidan became chair of the department, and Maureen served as administrator to Dr. Ellen Lockhart, Vice Chair for Faculty Development, and Dr. Courtney Hardy, Vice Chair for Clinical Operations, before becoming Dr. Avidan’s assistant in 2020.

“I’ve been with Michael my entire career at WashU, and I’m all the better for it,” says Maureen. “I am honored and humbled to be chosen for the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award.”

“Maureen is truly an invaluable member of our department and our medical school,” says Dr. Avidan. “She works tirelessly to promote the success of our department in all our missions and cares deeply about each and every departmental colleague. I have had the privilege of working closely with Maureen for twenty years, and I am in awe of the extent to which she has selflessly contributed to so many people across our institution. I would be lost without her.” 

Sherri Vogt, Senior Research Lab Manager in the Gereau Lab, is the recipient of the 2022 Research Support Award. This award recognizes employees for exceptional performance, outstanding leadership, and superior quality of service.

Sherri Vogt (left) and Robert Gereau, PhD (right)

Sherri has worked in the Department of Anesthesiology for 11 years and has been at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis for over 30 years. Sherri graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1986 and began working as a research technician for Dr. Joseph Vople in pediatric neurology. Three years later, in 1989, she began working with Dr. Louis Simchowitz in rheumatology, where she conducted research with human neutrophils. She worked for Dr. Simchowitz as a research technician for over seven years before transferring to work with Dr. Louis Muglia in pediatric endocrinology. It was in this role where she emerged into the world of mouse work and mouse maintenance.

“After some time, I realized that although I loved doing experiments, it was time for a career change and a promotion,” says Sherri. “Dr. Muglia felt the same way and consequently, I was promoted to Research Laboratory Manager and remained in this position for 12 years.”

In early 2008, Dr. Muglia, along with Dr. Vople and Dr. Simchowitz, all left Washington University. In November 2008, she joined Dr. Robert Gereau in the Department of Anesthesiology as his lab manager, and in 2019, she was promoted to Senior Research Lab Manager. Presently, Sherri works for the Gereau Lab, maintaining Dr. Gereau’s substantial mouse colony, supervising the laboratory technicians, and managing the lab operations. In addition, Sherri provides support to all of the Anesthesiology basic research laboratories by helping to manage shared supplies, equipment repairs, and building logistics.  

“Sherri is a true partner in crime for me, both in my role as a lab head and in vice chair for research,” says Dr. Gereau. “It is obvious that she cares deeply about the work and the people in our organization. She is a true professional, and gives everything she has to keep everything running smoothly.”