Division Announcements Fellows’ Corner

Two ID Fellows will be honored Dec. 6 with prestigious Excellence Award

Patrick Olson, MD, PhD and Abby Sung, MD, Infectious Diseases Fellows who trained in the Washington University School of Medicine Internal Medicine (WUSM IM) Residency Program, will be honored with the Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital 2021 Knowlton Incentive for Excellence Award. The award recognizes and supports current fellows who trained in the WUSM residency program and exemplify a compassionate spirit combined with outstanding knowledge and skill.

Dr. Olson is an excellent physician in his second year of fellowship training in the Infectious Disease Division at Washington University in St. Louis.   Patrick completed his internal medicine residency at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Medical Scientist Training Program.  He is currently investigating the use of a combination of murine models and new patient biorepository  to decipher how differences in the T cell response drives susceptibility to S. aureus infection. Ultimately his research findings may be able to improve treatment and prevent invasive S. aureus infections.

Previously, Patrick investigated how sex differences influence host susceptibility to UTI, finding that small fluctuations in testosterone cause dramatically increased susceptibility to UTI. He has won numerous awards including The Alexander Berg Prize for outstanding research in microbiology, Washington University School of Medicine in 2018. The Knowlton award is a well-deserved recognition of the efforts of a young clinician scientist who is also a strong advocate for his patients.

Dr. Abby Sung is a second year Infectious Diseases fellow dedicated to improving patient care through her interests in hospital epidemiology and the history of medicine.  Dr. Sung’s research focuses on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and its implications for infection prevention. One of her projects is focused on understanding SARS-CoV-2 viral viability in immunocompromised patients, and in recognition of her research excellence, she is the recipient of an IDWeek Travel Award.  Dr. Sung is also working on a project understanding the social, mental health, and career trajectory impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare epidemiologists.

To further hone her research skills, she is taking classes, through the WUSM CRTC, on statistical analysis and study design. Dr Sung’s previous undergraduate thesis work at Washington University was on the malaria eradication program by the World Health Organization. During her second year of fellowship, Dr. Sung is receiving training in healthcare epidemiology through direct mentorship from Dr. Jennie Kwon, an ID physician researcher and healthcare epidemiologist dedicated to infection prevention. Dr. Sung will attend the SHEA 2022 course in healthcare epidemiology. Abby is actively working to combine her interest in medical history and hospital epidemiology to improve patient care and outbreak response . Abby treats her patients with compassion and understanding.  She gets along well with staff and peers, and is willing to go the extra mile for her patients. 

Recipient physicians will be recognized during a virtual ceremony December 6, 2021.

Knowlton Incentive for Excellence Award

In 1984, Charles J. Cella established the Knowlton Incentive for Excellence Fund to honor his father, Norman Knowlton Jr., MD, for his compassionate caregiving. Since then, the Knowlton fund at The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital has awarded more than $3.5 million in support of resident education programs at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.

In December 2017, Mr. Cella passed away peacefully at the age of 81 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. His legacy will live on through awardees, who exemplify what he liked to refer to as the Knowlton spirit. Since his first generous gift 34 years ago, Mr. Cella and the committee has recognized 179 of the most talented fellows to come through Barnes-Jewish Hospital. His son, John Cella, has taken up his father’s torch and now serves on the Knowlton fund committee.

The Knowlton Incentive for Excellence Fund at The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital is stewarded by a committee chaired by Dr. Norman Knowlton, III. In the past 35 years, more than 200 awards have been given to fellows who have completed internal medicine residency programs, embody the “Knowlton spirit” of care, and are likely to practice in the St. Louis area.

The Knowlton fund launched the Knowlton Incentive for Excellence Award program to help our medical center train, recognize, and nurture the best internal medicine physicians in St. Louis, if not the world. The Knowlton awards salute resident physicians who have demonstrated the ability to balance exceptional, compassionate care with a commitment to being leaders in the science of internal disease diagnosis, prevention, and treatment.