Virginia V. Weldon (b. 1935)

Virginia V. Weldon
Virginia V. Weldon, ca. 1979

Born in Toronto in 1935, Virginia Verral Weldon graduated cum laude from Smith College in 1957. She attended the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and received her medical degree in 1962. After an internship and residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and a fellowship in Pediatric Endocrinology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Weldon joined the faculty of the Washington University School of Medicine in 1968 as an instructor in Pediatrics. She became assistant professor of Pediatrics in 1969, associate professor in 1973, and professor in 1979. Weldon’s research in pediatric endocrinology, especially her studies of the mechanisms of abnormal growth in children, received national recognition.

During her career at Washington University, Weldon served as assistant director of the Clinical Research Center (1972-1978), co-director of the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism (1973-1977), assistant to the vice chancellor for Medical Affairs (1975-1981), and vice president of the Washington University Medical Center (1980-1989). Weldon was named deputy vice chancellor for Medical Affairs in 1983 and served in that position until she left the university in 1989.

Dr. Weldon was recognized nationally for her leadership on issues in medical education and biomedical research, and on legislation affecting health care. In 1981 she was elected to a four-year term on the National Advisory Board of the Research Resources Council at the National Institutes of Health. The following year Weldon was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In 1985-86 Dr. Weldon was the first woman to chair the Association of American Medical Colleges.

In 1989 Dr. Weldon left Washington University for the position of vice president of Scientific Affairs at the Monsanto Company, where she addressed public policy issues affecting the company and its products. Weldon retired from Monsanto in 1998 as senior vice president for Public Policy. She then returned to Washington University to serve for one year as director of the Center for the Study of American Business. In 2000, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture appointed Weldon to the Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology.

Though retired from academic and corporate positions, Dr. Weldon continues to serve as a member of a number of boards of trustees and corporate boards of directors. She is currently chair of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees.