Center for Clinical Pharmacology

Karen Seibert, Co-Director of the Center

Karen Seibert, Co-Director of the Center for Clinical PharmacologyKaren Seibert, Ph.D., is currently professor of pathology and immunology, professor of genetics and director of genomics and pathology services (GPS) at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. As director of GPS, she leads an effort to develop genomic-based clinical tests for use in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with cancer and other diseases and oversees numerous clinical research programs that have potential to lead to improvements in diagnosis or treatment of disease, especially in the area of cancer and rare disease research. Additionally, Seibert is the associate director of shared services for the Siteman Cancer Center.

Previously, Seibert spent nearly twenty years in the pharmaceutical industry, most recently as vice president of research and development for Pfizer at the St. Louis Laboratories. Her responsibilities included the management of research programs as they relate to multiple patient populations. While at Pfizer, Seibert collaborated with leaders at Washington University to renew the long-standing Biomedical Agreement between the two institutions and served as co-chair of the collaboration’s Joint Steering Committee.

Seibert is known as one of the principal investigators who identified the arthritis and pain drug, Celebrex. In studies initiated at Washington University in the late 1980s, Seibert and colleagues were the first to describe a novel enzyme involved in pain and inflammation (COX-2). These discoveries led to the development of specific inhibitors of the COX-2 enzyme that provide significant improvement over current therapies for patients with arthritis.

In 2000, she was awarded the Edgar Queeny Prize by the Monsanto Company for excellence in science and technology, in recognition of her contributions to COX-2 research, and in 2002 she received the pharmaceutical industry’s Discoverer’s Award. In 2008 she was named the “St Louis Health Care Hero” for her contributions to drug discovery and development and has recently been awarded the 2013 Outstanding Scientific Leadership Award from the St Louis Academy of Science.

Seibert received her undergraduate degree in biological sciences from Northwestern University, a Master of Science in Pharmacology from the University of Toledo, and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis before joining Monsanto in 1991. Seibert has delivered many papers worldwide in the areas of inflammation, pain, and cancer research and has coauthored nearly one hundred scholarly publications.

Seibert is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the St Louis YWCA, and previously served on boards for St Louis Winning Women, Lydia’s House, the United Way of St Louis Executive Leadership Team and American Heart Association She was named a Leader of Distinction by the St Louis YWCA in 2005.