As of July 1, 2022, John A. Olson Jr., MD, PhD, has taken up the mantle as head of the Department of Surgery and William K. Bixby Professor. Olson succeeds Timothy Eberlein, MD, after his 24 years of service to the department. With this new chapter opening in the Department of Surgery, we welcome nine additional faculty members across four divisions and sections.
July New Faculty
Section of Vascular Surgery
The Section of Vascular Surgery welcomes Katherine Holzem, MD, PhD, as an assistant professor. With this new position, Holzem continues her work with Washington University, having earned her medical degree and doctorate from the School of Medicine in 2015 and having completed her vascular surgery residency there this year. Holzem specializes in vascular surgery and has experience treating conditions such as aneurysm, aortic dissection, claudication, blood clots and chronic venous insufficiency.
Genevieve Hayek, MD, joins the Section of Vascular Surgery as an assistant professor. Hayek recently completed her vascular and endovascular fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine. She earned her medical degree from the University of Queensland School of Medicine in Queensland, Australia in 2014 and completed her general surgery residency at Ochsner Clinic Foundation at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2020. In 2015, as one of the first recipients of a research grant awarded to the graduates of the University of Queensland/Ochsner Clinical School graduates, Hayek created database of over 800 breast cancer patients which was used to create several different published retrospective studies. She specializes in general surgery.
Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery
The Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery welcomes Matthew Schill, MD, this July as an instructor. Schill has a long history with Washington University; he earned his medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine in 2013 and went on to complete his general surgery residency and cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at the School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He has extensive experience in coronary artery bypass grafting, valve replacement and repair, complex aortic procedures, heart and lung transplantation, and transcatheter aortic and mitral procedures. His research focuses on the advanced technology and decision-making involved in the surgical treatment of arrhythmias.
Division of Public Health Sciences
Saira Khan, PhD, MPH, joins the Division of Public Health Sciences as an assistant professor. She earned her doctorate in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2016 and her master’s degree in Epidemiology from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2008. She, too, makes her return to Washington University this July. Kahn was a post-doctoral research scholar in cancer prevention and control in the Division of Public Health Sciences until 2019, when she took a position as an assistant professor in Epidemiology at the University of Delaware College of Health Sciences in Newark, Delaware. Her research focuses on reducing the burden of disparities in prostate cancer by improving the understanding of risk factors including tumor aggressiveness, recurrence and survival.
Division of Urologic Surgery
Woodson Smelser, MD, joins the Division of Urologic Surgery as an assistant professor. Smelser earned his medical degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia in 2015. He completed his general surgery internship at the University of Missouri-Kansas in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2016, and his urology residency at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, in 2020. He recently completed his fellowship in urologic oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Smelser specializes in urologic surgical oncology and performs open, laparoscopic and endoscopic urologic procedures. He commonly treats prostate, kidney, bladder, testis and adrenal cancer, elevated PSA and hematuria.
Michael Johnson, MD, joins the Division of Urologic Surgery as an associate professor. He earned his medical degree from the University of Washington in Seattle. Johnson also makes his return to St. Louis this year, as a former general surgery intern and urologic surgery resident at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Johnson completed his urologic oncology fellowship at the Brady Urological Institute and Department of Urology at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2016. He was recruited from his previous positions as a urologist and director of Advanced Cancer Care at Oregon Urology Institute. Johnson’s research focuses on efforts to advance precision in the treatment of kidney cancer and to further prostate cancer research and telemedicine. He has extensive clinical experience in all areas of urology and sees patients with many urologic conditions.
Jason Farrow, MD, joins the Division of Urologic Surgery as an assistant professor. Farrow earned his medical degree at the University of California Davis School of Medicine in Sacramento, California, in 2015. He completed his general surgery internship and urology residency at Kansas University School of Medicine in Kansas City, Kansas, in 2020, and recently completed his minimally invasive surgery fellowship at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. Farrow specializes in general urology and the treatment of urothelial cancer.
Kimberly Berni, MD, and Jeffrey Glaser, MD, join the Division of Urologic Surgery as instructors. Berni and Glaser moved recently from their former location in Lake St. Louis to join the Washington University Department of Surgery. They will now see patients at Progress West Hospital and Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital. Both Berni and Glaser earned their medical degrees from the University of Missouri – Columbia School of Medicine and specialize in general urology. In her practice, Berni has an interest in female urology and stone disease. Glaser’s specialty areas include men’s health, stone disease, prostate cancer, fertility and sterility and hematuria.
New Department Chair
New Department of Surgery Chair and William K. Bixby Professor John Olson, MD, PhD, was recruited from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, where he served as head of the Division of General and Oncologic Surgery and the Campbell and Jeannette Plugge Professor of Surgery. He held multiple other esteemed positions at the University of Maryland, including associate director of the Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, and has received multiple National Institute of Health (NIH) grants and wide recognition for his research on endocrine tumor formation. Olson returns to St. Louis where he completed his residency and postdoctoral research fellowship at Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He is a groundbreaking researcher and excellent surgeon-scientist committed to furthering Washington University School of Medicine’s commitment to excellence in clinical practices, education and research.
The Department of Surgery welcomes Holzem and Hayek to the Section of Vascular Surgery; Schill to the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery; Khan to the Division of Public Health Sciences; Smelser, Johnson, Farrow, Berni and Glaser to the Department of Urologic Surgery; and congratulates Olson on his appointment as head of the Department of Surgery and William K. Bixby Professor.