C. Michael Crowder '82

Chemistry major

The Dr. Seymour and Rose T. Brown Professor Anesthesiology, Professor of Developmental Biology, and Chief Division of Basic Research in the Department of Anesthesiology, Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.   Recipient of the Hendrix Odyssey Medal for Research, 2009-10.

Highlight quote

"Without my Hendrix research experience, I probably would not have found my true calling as a medical scientist. "

Current projects

I have three primary jobs. I am head of a basic research lab that uses genetic, molecular biology, and cell biology methods to understand the mechanisms whereby low intracellular oxygen levels, such as encountered during stroke and heart attacks, kills cells. My second job is as an anesthesiologist caring for patients in tertiary care hospital undergoing complex surgical procedures. Finally, I direct a group of 13 research faculty members who study a variety of fundamental scientific questions related to anesthesiology.

Undergraduate Research

I worked with Dr. Tom Goodwin for two and half years on the total synthesis of an anti-cancer compound called maytansine. I worked within a group of several other Hendrix students.

How Hendrix prepared me for success

My Hendrix research let me experience for the first time the discovery of something novel, something no one prior to me knew or had made. The joy and satisfaction of such discoveries are what still drives my research enterprise today. Without my Hendrix research experience, I probably would not have found my true calling as a medical scientist. At a more practical level, I still use the chemistry and biology fundamentals that I learned at Hendrix in my research today.

Future plans

I plan to keep doing what I am doing.

My advice

Think big, long term, and do what makes you happy, not just what is expedient.