Valerie S. Ratts, MD, has been named the new associate dean for admissions at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, effective Jan. 1.
She will replace W. Edwin Dodson, MD, who is retiring at the end of this year.
In her new role, Ratts will oversee all aspects of medical school admissions, working to attract, recruit and enroll the best medical students for the School of Medicine. Additionally, she will chair several committees, among them the financial aid committee, the scholarship committee and the admissions steering committee.
In collaboration with the associate dean for student affairs, she also will provide administrative guidance for student support services. These offices include the registrar, student financial aid and student affairs.
Ratts is a professor in obstetrics and gynecology at the School of Medicine and a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. She will continue her clinical practice.
“I am delighted that Valerie is taking on this new role, and I know she will do an exceptional job,” said Alison Whelan, MD, senior associate dean for education. “She is a talented clinician, researcher and adviser. She also loves St. Louis and Washington University and has a gift for working with students. I know that the combination of her skills will help her continue our practice of recruiting the most talented students in the nation and building a diverse applicant pool.”
Ratts praised the medical school for its tradition of training elite students who have become leaders throughout the medical and scientific community. “Continuing to identify and to attract bright, motivated young men and women from diverse backgrounds is key to meeting the challenges of providing health care in the future," Ratts said. "I am excited and honored to be a part of this process.”
As an active member of the university community, she has served on the admissions committee for the medical school since 2008, as a master for the Cori Academic Society and as a faculty/student group adviser for medical students. Ratts lectures in the first-year Cell and Organ Systems Biology course. She also has served on the ob/gyn department resident education committee and as an adviser to residents and fellows.
A St. Louis native, Ratts earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois, where she was named a Bronze Tablet honors recipient. She earned a medical degree and completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology and a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility, all from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. As a medical student, she was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society.
She was an assistant professor in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Johns Hopkins from July 1993 to July 1994 before joining the Washington University faculty in August 1994.
Ratts has been named a National Institutes of Health-sponsored Reproductive Scientist Development Program scholar. Her research interests include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and other fertility-related disorders. She studies how drugs used to treat insulin resistance might increase ovulation and improve fertility in these women. Ratts also studies methods of preserving reproductive function in young cancer survivors.