Susan K. Dutcher, PhD
Susan K. Dutcher, PhD, professor of genetics and of cell biology and physiology, is honored for her work as a distinguished investigator. She pioneered studies examining the assembly and function of centrioles and cilia, hair-like structures on the surface of almost all human cells that are key to fetal development and in homeostasis. She was among the first to find that many health issues — including obesity, retinal degeneration, and issues with respiratory function and kidney and bone development — are due to defects in cilia and centrioles.
Dutcher, also interim director of the Elizabeth H. and James S. McDonnell III Genome Institute at Washington University, is an internationally respected geneticist. As an educator, she spearheaded new processes that have increased the number of awards won by junior faculty; she is known as a strong mentor for junior faculty who excels in enhancing the visibility of their research.
Her past honors include being named as a Searle Scholar and a fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This year she was named a fellow of the American Society of Cell Biology.
Dutcher earned her bachelor’s degree in 1974 from Colorado College and her doctoral degree from the University of Washington in 1980. She completed postdoctoral training at Rockefeller University. She joined the Washington University faculty in 1999.