Linda J. Pike, PhD
Linda J. Pike, PhD, professor and Alumni Endowed Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Washington University School of Medicine, is recognized for co-founding the Academic Women’s Network (AWN), which has greatly impacted the work experience and lives of university faculty.
Pike arrived at Washington University in 1984, when there were only 30 tenured or tenure-track female faculty at the School of Medicine and no female department heads. Mentoring of women faculty was uneven across departments and many women did not know any other female faculty members. To confront this problem, Pike and four other women faculty members founded AWN in 1990 to enhance the exchange of information among women faculty and to promote the development of their careers in science and medicine.
As AWN grew, it began to serve as a liaison between the administration and faculty women, lobbying for increased availability of childcare on campus and better family leave policies. AWN was also the first organization on campus to raise the issue of gender pay equity. Founding AWN is now seen as a brave act of service to the entire university community as speaking up about the barriers to career advancement faced by women faculty disrupted the status quo. Twenty-eight years later, AWN continues to provide networking opportunities and career advice for women faculty and trainees.
In addition to her work with AWN, Pike spearheaded a faculty survey which identified the absence of consistent mentoring and annual reviews as particular problems for women. She also served as chair of the Faculty Senate Council and led the successful effort to amend the tenure document to allow tenure- track faculty to stop the tenure clock for a year after the birth of a child. In 2001, Pike received the Association of Medical Colleges Silver Achievement Award which is given for substantial contributions to the development of women in academic medicine.
Pike is also an outstanding teacher, as evidenced by the 20 Distinguished Service Teaching Awards she has received from medical students. She also received the prestigious Samuel R. Goldstein Leadership Award in Medical Student Education.
Her research, which has been supported by the National Institutes of Health since 1989 and has resulted in 81 publications, focuses on the structure and activation of epidermal growth factor receptor, which is involved in many types of cancer.
Pike earned her bachelor’s degree in 1975 from the University of Delaware and her doctoral degree in 1980 from Duke University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington from 1980 to 1984, when she joined the Washington University faculty.
The Washington University Medical Center Alumni Association is pleased to present its Distinguished Service Award to Dr. Pike.