Karen L. OMalley, PhD
Karen L. O’Malley, PhD, professor of anatomy and neurobiology, is an exceptional neurological investigator dedicated to training the next generation of neuroscientists.
Through her career, O’Malley has individually mentored 17 postdoctoral fellows and advised countless others, particularly during her five-year stint as director of the Program in Neurosciences. Trainees emphasize that O’Malley is truly supportive and proud of their achievements and ensures that they receive proper recognition and the opportunity to present their work at national meetings. She serves as a leading source of information on how to prepare resumes, papers, and grants, how to prepare for job interviews and how to take advantage of career opportunities, providing detailed guidance at every step.
O’Malley enthusiastically works to provide trainees opportunities to present their work and to network with leading scientists. She also encourages them to enhance their skills through workshops, seminars and other training opportunities and instills the value of forming strong collaborations with other researchers.
Her talent for mentoring has been recognized by the Washington University Postdoctoral Society and twice by the Washington University Graduate Student Senate.
On a more personal level, O’Malley has served as a role model for achieving balance between career and one’s personal life, and in particular has been extraordinarily supportive of female trainees trying to meet the demands of motherhood and caregiving. She frequently serves on postdoctoral panels discussing career/life balance for women in science.
O’Malley earned her bachelor’s degree from California State University of Sonoma in 1971 and her doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1980. She performed her postdoctoral training at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Cetus Palo Alto, and Stanford University Medical Center. She joined the Washington University faculty in 1984.