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New director of pediatric critical care medicine division named

Bubeck Wardenburg noted for expertise in bacterial infections

by Kristina SauerweinDecember 1, 2016

Robert Boston

Juliane Bubeck Wardenburg, MD, PhD, a nationally recognized physician with expertise in bacterial infections, has been named director of the Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She will begin her new position in January.

Bubeck Wardenburg comes from the University of Chicago, where she is an associate professor of pediatrics and of microbiology, as well as chief of pediatric critical care in the Department of Pediatrics. At Washington University, her alma mater, she will continue her research, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), on the infectious bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Bacteriodes fragilis in the critically ill. She also will treat patients at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

“Dr. Bubeck Wardenburg is an outstanding physician-scientist who is equally adept at patient care, research and teaching,” said Gary A. Silverman, MD, PhD, the Harriet B. Spoehrer Professor and head of the Department of Pediatrics at the School of Medicine. “Washington University is enthusiastic about her leading the division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. She is a strength in every which way.”

Bubeck Wardenburg succeeds interim director F. Sessions Cole, MD, vice chair of the Department of Pediatrics, director of the Division of Newborn Medicine, chief medical officer at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the Park J. White, MD, Professor of Pediatrics.

“I look forward to building upon the existing strengths in patient care, education and research in the Division of Pediatric Critical Care,” Bubeck Wardenburg said. “This field is poised to achieve considerable advances in the care of children with life-threatening illness and injury, and to define fundamental biologic processes in these disease states. I am excited to join the amazing teams at the School of Medicine and St. Louis Children’s Hospital as we work together toward these goals.”

Bubeck Wardenburg began her academic career at Washington University, earning an undergraduate degree in biology in 1993 and graduating with accolades from the Medical Scientist Training Program in 2001. While here, her research contributed to defining how signals inside immune cells lead to the cells’ activation.

After completing her residency and fellowship training in 2008 at the University of Chicago, Bubeck Wardenburg became a faculty member there. The major focus of her research was and continues to be examining infectious bacteria’s role in causing serious illness in adults and children.

A member of the Society for Pediatric Research and the American Society for Clinical Investigation, Bubeck Wardenburg has received nearly two dozen awards for research, patient care and teaching.

“I am both delighted and honored to return to Washington University School of Medicine,” Bubeck Wardenburg said. “The rich environment provides an unparalleled opportunity to integrate clinical medicine and research to improve child health.”

Washington University School of Medicine‘s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

Kristina covers pediatrics, surgery, medical education and student life. In 2020, she received a gold Robert G. Fenley Writing Award for general staff writing from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and in 2019, she received the silver award. Kristina is an author and former reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Los Angeles Times, where she was part of a team of journalists that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004 for breaking news. Additionally, she covered the 2014 Ferguson unrest for TIME magazine and, for eight years, wrote a popular parenting column for