Our Directors


Katie Plax, MD

Ferring Family Professor of Pediatrics, Adolescent Medicine

Division Chief, Adolescent Medicine

Dr. Katie Plax is the Division Chief of Adolescent Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine. She focuses on improving health for disadvantaged youth populations through patient care, teaching, advocacy and research. The link between these areas is central to her leadership in the development of The SPOT (Supporting Positive Opportunities with Youth), a youth specific drop-in center, to serve the health and social service needs of 13-24 year-olds. Since 2008, The SPOT has served over 23,000 youth.

Her clinical focus is special populations of youth and includes: medical care to adolescents with HIV, youth in the foster care system, youth with other high-risk behaviors and mental health. These efforts have engaged her in collaborative planning with the State, county, and city health departments to combat the spread of STI’s and HIV and to work collaboratively on STI/HIV prevention efforts and youth health needs. She also leads WUPAARC’s efforts to bring evidenced-based care and treatment around behavioral health into pediatric practice.

Dr. Plax’s research outside of WUPAARC focuses on describing her team’s innovative programs and interventions implemented at the SPOT. These interventions have included the SPOT youth center itself, the medical home work for youth in foster care and more recently, the text messaging intervention E-VOLUTION to help youth with HIV improve health outcomes. Dr. Plax also engages in system and policy advocacy around health care access, youth in foster care and reproductive and sexual health.


Jason Newland, MD, MEd, FPIDS

Professor of Pediatrics, Infectious Diseases

Vice Chair of Community Health and Strategic Planning

Dr. Jason Newland is a Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University in St. Louis. He is a graduate of University of Notre Dame and University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. He completed his pediatric residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and pediatric infectious diseases fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. After spending almost 10 years at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO, he joined the Department of Pediatrics at Washington University in 2016.

His research spotlights the use of antimicrobials and the impact of an antimicrobial stewardship program at children’s hospitals. In 2013, he co-founded the Sharing Antimicrobial Reports for Pediatric Stewardship (SHARPS) Collaborative, comprised of more than 70 children’s hospitals that focuses on establishing best practices for the use of antimicrobials in children. He currently is leading a multi-centered study on the best strategies to eliminate unnecessary post-operative antibiotics. His passion for appropriate antibiotic use also includes organizing the International Pediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship Conference that occurs every June in St. Louis.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jason has conducted efforts evaluating the rate of transmission in schools, the impact of routine school-based SARS-CoV-2 testing, and effectiveness and safety of COVID-19 vaccines for children. His efforts during the pandemic have also included the establishment of a listserv to help keep community pediatric providers up-to-date on COVID-19 related issues.

When not talking about antibiotics or speaking on the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine, Jason likes to spend time with his wife, Helen (an adult infectious diseases pharmacist), and trying to get his 3 children (Will-20, Ilsa-18, Anna-16) to think he is somewhat cool. He also loves to swim outdoors, snow ski, run and Zwift.

Children's Hospital St. Louis
Wash U School of Medicine
Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences