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Newsroom > Congratulations to the 2014 Kopolow and Friedman Awardees


From left to right: Erik S. Musiek, Nancy Morrow-Howell, Lynn Friedman Hamilton, Jennifer K. Phillips, and Myrtis Elizabeth Smith Spencer at the 2014 Friedman Lecture

 Congratulations to the 2014 Kopolow and Friedman Awardees

The Foundation for Barnes Jewish Hospital presented the 2014 Alene and Meyer Kopolow Award to Erik Musiek, MD, PhD and the Dorismae Hacker and Harvey A. Friedman Awards to Jennifer Phillips and Myrtis Elizabeth Smith Spencer at the 14th Annual Friedman Lecture on May 8.

2014 Kopolow Award Winner: Erik S. Musiek

The Alene & Meyer Kopolow award recognizes stellar contributions to the care of older adults by a resident, post-residency fellow, or junior faculty member in neurology, psychiatry, medicine, or related disciplines.

Erik S. Musiek, MD, PhD, is assistant professor of neurology in the School of Medicine. He sees patients with cognitive disorders in Memory Disorder Clinic, works on clinical studies through the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, and performs laboratory research on the molecular basis of age-related neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Alzheimer’s Disease, using animal and cellular models.

Dr. Musiek’s research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration, with a special interest in oxidative stress. He is especially interested in role of circadian clock genes in the regulation of brain oxidative stress, bioenergetics, and neurodegeneration. A second project examines how certain proteins which are associated with neurodegenerative disease modulate oxidative stress responses in the brain. Ongoing studies seek to understand the similarities between familial and sporadic Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as to employ brain imaging techniques to study the relationship between brain amyloid deposition, neuronal oxidative damage, and dementia in living patients.

2014 Friedman Award Winners: Jennifer K. Phillips and Myrtis Elizabeth Smith Spencer

The Dorismae Hacker & Harvey A. Friedman award recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to patient-oriented care of older adults.

Jennifer K. Phillips
Ms. Phillips is the education core coordinator at Washington University’s Charles F. and Joanne Knight Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. She is also the primary investigator for the Dementia Understanding Opportunity Program, an education and enrichment activity pairing first-year Washington University School of Medicine medical students with persons with mild Alzheimer’s disease. This program provides mentorship and social engagement opportunities for persons with Alzheimer’s disease, offers an opportunity for both the person and family to share their experiences with the illness, and gives medical students the opportunity to get to know someone with dementia outside of the clinical setting.

Prior to working at Washington University, Ms. Phillips worked for seven years at the St. Louis Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, where she managed 1200+ volunteers and students annually yielding approximately 300,000 volunteer hours and directed community education efforts, including programs in 38-counties in Missouri and Illinois, plus health education events. 

Myrtis Elizabeth Smith Spencer
Mrs. Myrtis Elizabeth Smith Spencer joined Washington University School of Medicine as community outreach coordinator for the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in 2007. In this position, she serves as a public liaison to participant recruitment with an emphasis on recruiting older African Americans into research. She works closely within the local community, building relationships among individuals and organizations through direct personal contact and hosting outreach programs to promote dementia awareness and to encourage research participation. Mrs. Spencer also manages the center’s African American Advisory Board.

Though she volunteers for multiple community organizations, Mrs. Spencer is most closely involved with the Monsanto Family YMCA with over 27 years of volunteer service including chairing multiple committees and events, notably the annual Tuxedo & Tennis Gala. She has also been a volunteer reader for over twenty years in Saint Louis City and County Public Schools where she encourages young people to do their best and follow their dreams. She is also an active member of the Greater Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church.

Mrs. Spencer, a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, holds a BA in Social Science from Arkansas Baptist College. Mrs. Spencer retired in 2003 from SBC, now AT&T, where she worked for over thirty-seven years in diverse management positions.