Mildred Trotter Lecture

Dr. Mildred Trotter photo with image of Washington University shield on red background

The Mildred Trotter lecture invites accomplished women scientists to Washington University School of Medicine to share their work.

Washington University Medical School Alumni Association honored Mildred Trotter, PhD, a member of the faculty for more than 55 years, by endowing a lectureship in her name. Dr. Trotter, Professor Emeritus and Lecturer in Anatomy since 1967, was the first woman faculty member to be recognized in this way. To acknowledge her deep concern for the role of women in academic life, the lectureship is used to bring a distinguished woman scientist to the University every year.

Dr. Trotter contributed much of what is known today about the influence of age, sex and race on variation in human skeletal mass. Her formulas for estimating stature from long limb bone lengths still are used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and in forensic medicine. Nutritionists have profited from her research on developmental variation in the mineral content of bone. Her earlier work focused on factors influencing hair growth.

A founding member of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Dr. Trotter held elected posts in this Association (including the presidency from 1955-1957) and in the American Association of Anatomists. Her awards include the Viking Fund Medal in Physical Anthropology (1956), the Globe Democrat Award for Women of Achievement in Science (1955) and Honorary Doctor of Science degrees from Western College for Women (1956), Mount Holyoke College (1960), and Washington University (1980).

Dr. Trotter’s engagement with science continued after her retirement. She served as Convener of the Subcommittee on Osteology for the International Anatomical Nomenclature Committee and co-chaired a session on “Human Evolution: The Skeletal Dimension” at the 1985 Taung Diamond Jubilee International Symposium in South Africa to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the first australopithecine fossil. While in attendance at this meeting, she suffered a debilitating stroke. Dr. Trotter passed away on August 23, 1991.

Download the program (PDF) for the 38th Mildred Trotter Lecture, held October 27, 2021.

Mildred Trotter Lecture speakers

Dr. Catherine Dulac
Samuel W Morris University Professor and HHMI Investigator
Harvard University
Neurobiology of Social and Sickness Behaviors
Dr. Rachel Wilson
Joseph B. Martin Professor of Basic Research in the Field of Neurobiology
Harvard Medical School
Neural Networks for Navigation
Dr. Beth Stevens
Associate Professor
Department of Neurology
Children’s Hospital Boston
Mapping Microglia States to Function in Alzheimer’s Disease
Dr. Leah Krubitzer
Professor of Psychology, Center for Neuroscience
University of California, Davis
Combinatorial Creatures:  Cortical Plasticity Within and Across Lifetimes
Dr. Amita Sehgal
John Herr Musser Professor, Department of Neuroscience
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Interactions of Circadian Rhythms and Sleep with Basic Physiology
Dr. Dora Angelaki
Professor, Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Tandon School of Engineering
New York University
A Gravity-Based Three-Dimensional Compass in the Mouse Brain
Dr. Constance Cepko
Bullard Professor of Genetics and Neuroscience
Harvard Medical School
Strategies to Preserve Vision and Nanobodies as Regulators of Intracelluar Biological Activities
Dr. Shirley Tilghman
Professor of Molecular Biology & President Emerita
Princeton University
The Best of Times, the Worst of Times: Life in Biomedical Science
Dr. Nancy Kanwisher
Walter A. Rosenblith Professor, Investigator, McGovern Institute for Brain Research
Massachusetts Institutes of Technology
Menagerie of Mind: Domain Specific and Domain General Components
Dr. Silvia Arber
Professor of Neurobiology, Biozentrum
University of Basel
Senior Group Leader, Friedrich Miescher Institute  for Biomedical Research
Precision and Function of Neuronal Circuits Controlling Motor Behavior
Dr. Cori Bargmann
Torsten N. Wiesel Professor, Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior
The Rockefeller University
Genes, Neurons, and Dynamics: Building Flexible Behaviors with a Fixed Wiring Diagram
Dr. Ann Graybiel
Institute Professor, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Investigator, McGovern Institute for Brain Research
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Our Habitual Lives: How the Brain Makes and Breaks Habits
Dr. Eve Marder
Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor  of Neuroscience, Volen Center for Complex Systems
Brandeis University
Variability, Compensation, and Homeostasis in Neuronal Networks
Dr. Paula Tallal
Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience
Rutgers University
Language Development and Disorders: From Research to Remediation
Dr. Gwen Jacobs
Cell Biology & Neuroscience
Montana State University
Creating a View of the Sensory World: How Interneurons Interpret and Encode Sensory Signals from the Environment
Dr. Susan Lindquist
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Prions: One Surprise After Another
Dr. Linda Buck
Full Member, Division of Basic Sciences
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Deconstructing Smell
Dr. Leslie Ungerleider
Chief, Laboratory of Brain and Cognition
National Institute of Mental Health
Neural Mechanisms of Visual Attention in the Human Cortex
Dr. Janet Rossant
Professor and Joint Head, Program in Development and Fetal Health
Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto
Signalling Pathways in the Early Mouse Embryo
Dr. Ursula Bellugi
Professor, Laboratory for Cognitive Neuroscience
Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Linking Cognition, Brain and Gene: Clues from Genetically-Based Syndromes
Dr. Mary Bartlett Bunge
Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy and Neurological Surgery, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis
University of Miami, School of Medicine
What Combinations of Cells and Factors Will Best Promote Axonal Regeneration in the Injured Mammalian Spinal Cord?
Dr. Jane E. Buikstra
Professor of Anthropology
University of New Mexico
The Chiribaya Mummies: Human Biology Meets Political Economy
Dr. Helen Blau
Professor of Molecular Pharmacology
Stanford University School of Medicine
Control of Muscle Differentiation: Riboregulators and Gene Therapy
Dr. Anne Young
Julieanne Dorn Professor of Neurobiology
Harvard Medical School
Huntington’s Disease: Genetics, Pathophysiology and Therapeutic Strategies
Dr. Mary Lou Oster-Granite
Professor of Biomedical Sciences
University of California, Riverside
Recent Studies of Gene Expression in Normal, Trisomic, and Transgenic Mice
Dr. Carla J. Shatz
Professor of Neurobiology
Stanford University School of Medicine
Neural Activity in Visual System Development
Dr. Nancy Wexler
Associate Professor of Clinical Neurophyschology
College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University
Huntington’s Disease: Characterization of the Venezuelan Pedigree
Dr. Lily Yeh Jan
Professor of Physiology & Biochemistry
University of California, San Francisco
Molecular Studies of Voltage Sensitive Potassium Channels
Dr. Lee N. Robins
Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Washington University School of Medicine
Drink, Drugs, and Bad Behavior: Explaining the Links
Dr. Lynn Landmesser
Professor, Department of Physiology and Neurobiology
The University of Connecticut
Qualitative and Quantitative Matching Between Embryonic Motoneurons and Target Muscles
Dr. Zena Werb
Professor of Anatomy & Cell Biology, Laboratory of Radiobiology and Environmental Health
School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
The Macrophage as a Secretory Cell
Dr. Dorothea Bennett
Professor of Cell Biology & Genetics
Sloan‑Kettering Institute for Cancer Research
The Control of Differentiation: Embryonic Lethal Genes and Their Organization
Dr. Dorothy T. Krieger
Professor of Medicine, Director, Division of Endocrinology
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
An Overview of Brain Peptides
Dr. Marian Koshland
Professor of Bacteriology & Immunology, Department of Bacteriology and Immunology
University of California, Berkeley
Control of Gene Expression in the B-Cell
Dr. Mary D. Leakey
Olduvai Gorge Excavations, Tanzania, East Africa
The History and Meaning of the Discoveries at Olduvai Gorge and Laetoli
Dr. Marilyn Gist Farquhar
Professor of Cell Biology and Pathology
Yale University School of Medicine
Recent Findings on the Biochemical and Functional Organization of the Glomerular Basement Membrane
Dr. Elizabeth D. Hay
Chairman, Department of Anatomy
Harvard Medical School
Interaction of Epithelial Cell Surface and Extra‑Cellular Matrix During Corneal Development
Dr. Elizabeth E. Neufeld
Chief, Section of Human Biochemical Genetics
Natl. Inst. of Arthritis, Metabolism and Digestive Diseases, NIH
Transport of Lysosomal Enzymes in Fibroblasts
Dr. Rosalyn S. Yalow
Distinguished Service Professor
Mt. Sinai School of Medicine of the City University of New York
Perspectives in Radioimmunoassay
Dr. Beatrice Mintz
The Institute for Cancer Research, Philadelphia, PA
Teratocarcinoma Cells as Probes of Differentiation and Malignancy
Dr. Mary E. Avery
Thomas Morgan Rotch Professor of Pediatrics
Harvard Medical School
Pulmonary Surfactant: From Bench to Bedside