Dr. Linda Pike – Alumni Endowed Professor

On July 11, 2016, Dr. Linda Pike was installed as the Alumni Endowed Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics. The Installation was held in the Eric P. Newman Education Center. Dean David Perlmutter and Dr. John Cooper presided over the installation ceremony. After the opening remarks and installation Dr. Pike presented a seminar entitled “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme: The Fine ErbBs.”

In attendance were Dr. Pike’s family members, her spouse, Dr. J Evan Sadler, Chief of the Division of Hematology and Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine; her mother-in-law, Clara Rose Sadler; her sister, Dr. Cynthia Romine; and her two children, Dr. Brooke Sadler, a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the Department of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine and her husband, Dr. Gabe Haller, also a Postdoctoral Researcher at the School of Medicine; and Dr. Evan D. Sadler, currently a Prize Fellow in Economics at Harvard and MIT. Also in attendance were many faculty colleagues, postdocs, students, and staff. Following the installation and reception was a dinner with current faculty and family members at the Saint Louis Club.

Dean Perlmutter opened the installation by stating “An endowed professorship is the highest honor a university can bestow upon a member of its faculty, and it is an honor that has been earned by Linda through her extraordinary work as a scientist, mentor, teacher, and leader. Professorships recognize exceptional contributions, the kind that have made this school a world-class institution and a wonderful platform for advancing medicine and biomedical research and Linda Pike has made exceptional contributions through her work here over 33 years.”

Linda J. Pike, PhD, earned her bachelor’s degree with high honors in chemistry from University of Delaware and her doctorate in biochemistry from Duke University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute associate investigator before joining the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine as an assistant professor in 1984.

Pike’s research focuses on identifying structure-function relationships within the ErbB family of homologous receptors to understand what drives their interaction and how it’s regulated. Her lab is also interested in how the receptors mediate the earliest steps in the process of signal transduction. As mutation or over-expression of the ErbB family members is associated with several different types of cancer, including breast cancer, lung cancer, and glioblastoma, understanding how these receptors function within the context of the overall signaling network is key to developing effective therapies for many different types of cancer. To date, Pike’s work has led to a patent and to 79 publications.

Throughout her career, Pike has been devoted to the education of medical students and is an 18-time recipient of the Distinguished Service Teaching Award from the first year medical school class. She has taught and directed numerous courses in biochemistry and cell biology since 1985 and is currently the course director and lecturer for Molecular Foundations of Medicine for Medical Students and a lecturer for Cell and Organ Systems Biology for Medical Students. She has also served as a teaching mentor for physicians. In 2008, she received the Samuel R. Goldstein Leadership Award in Medical Student Education.

On a national level, Pike has held numerous leadership roles with the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, including serving on council and as chair of the Publications Committee. She has also served in many leadership capacities within Washington University, including faculty representative to the University Council and to the Board of Trustees. Within the School of Medicine, she has served as the preclinical representative to the Executive Faculty, and as a member of the Research Affairs Subcommittee of the Executive Faculty, the Gender Pay Equity Committee, and the Task Force on the Status of Women.

She currently serves as the chair of the Committee for the Academic and Professional Evaluation of Students and is a member of the Teaching Support task force. She was also a founding member and second president of the Academic Women’s Network.

Pike’s honors include the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Silver Achievement Award (2001), which honors individuals who have contributed substantially to the development of women in academic medicine. She served on the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry for 15 years, and currently serves as the associate editor of the Journal of Lipid Research and as a reviewer for numerous other scientific journals.

Pike has a strong family connection to Washington University. Her spouse, J. Evan Sadler, MD, PhD, is chief of the Division of Hematology and a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine. They are the parents of Brooke Sadler, PhD, who is a postdoctoral research scholar in the Department of Neurology at Washington University and Evan D. Sadler, PhD, currently a Prize Fellow in Economics at Harvard and MIT.