David A. Hunstad, M.D.  dhunstad@wustl.edu

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Division Chief, Infectious Diseases
Professor, Infectious Diseases
Professor, Molecular Microbiology
Infectious DiseasesMolecular Microbiology

phone: (314) 454-6050

Research Interests

Dr. Hunstad evaluates children on the Infectious Diseases service at St. Louis Children's Hospital. With his research team in the McDonnell Pediatric Research Building and Northwest Tower, he studies the interactions of Gram-negative bacteria with their hosts. He is particularly interested in mechanisms by which Gram-negative pathogens modulate host immune responses in order to establish infection. Related projects in the laboratory explore how chaperone proteins help bacteria to assemble virulence factors on their surfaces, and how bacterial adhesins can be leveraged to deliver antimicrobials to bacteria residing in host epithelia. His goal is to develop new targets for prevention and treatment of Gram-negative bacterial infections of the urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract, and central nervous system. He is the Director of the Pediatric ID Division and co-founded the Wash U Pediatric Physician-Scientist Training Program with his colleague Tony French, MD, PhD.


  • BA, summa cum laude, Carleton College1991
  • MD, Washington University School of Medicine1995


  • Intern and Resident in Pediatrics, St. Louis Children's Hospital1995 - 1998
  • Chief Resident in Pediatrics, St. Louis Children's Hospital1998 - 1999
  • Fellow, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Washington University2000 - 2003

Licensure and Board Certification

  • 1998 - PresMO, Physician and Surgeon
  • 1999 - PresAmerican Board of Pediatrics
  • 2003 - PresABP Sub-board of Pediatric Infectious Diseases
  • 2008Neonatal Resuscitation Program

Honors and Awards

  • Dean's List, Carleton College1987 - 1991
  • CRC Press Award, Carleton College1988
  • Phi Beta Kappa Sophomore Award, Carleton College1989
  • Barry M. Goldwater Foundation Scholarship1990 - 1991
  • USA Today All-USA Academic Team1990 - 1991
  • Virgil Loeb, MD, Distinguished Alumni Scholarship, Washington University1991 - 1995
  • Finalist, American College of Physicians Award for Excellence in Physical Diagnosis1994
  • Fellow, Pediatric Scientist Development Program2001 - 2004
  • NIH Pediatric Research Loan Repayment Program Award2002 - 2006
  • Scholar, WU Child Health Research Center of Excellence2005 - 2008
  • Wall of Honor, SOAR Program, Red Wing, MN2006
  • Basil O'Connor Scholar Award, March of Dimes Foundation2009
  • Residents' Lecture Award (x2), St. Louis Children's Hospital2010
  • David Hunstad, MD, Distinguished Alumni Scholarship named by Washington University School of Medicine2015
  • Fellow, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society2015
  • Residents’ Lecture Award, St. Louis Children’s Hospital2015
  • Best Doctors in America (St. Louis Magazine)2015 - 2018
  • Featured New Member, American Pediatric Society2017
  • Elected Member, Alpha Omega Alpha2018
  • Faculty Achievement Award, WU Medical Center Alumni Association2019
  • Fellow, Infectious Diseases Society of America2020

Selected Publications view all (53)

A host receptor enables type 1 pilus-mediated pathogenesis of Escherichia coli pyelonephritis. PLoS Pathog. 2021;17(1):e1009314. PMID:33513212 
Androgen-Influenced Polarization of Activin A-Producing Macrophages Accompanies Post-pyelonephritic Renal Scarring. Front Immunol. 2020;11:1641. PMCID:PMC7399094  PMID:32849562 
TGFβ1 orchestrates renal fibrosis following Escherichia coli pyelonephritis. Physiol Rep. 2020;8(6):e14401. PMCID:PMC7104652  PMID:32227630 
Androgen exposure potentiates formation of intratubular communities and renal abscesses by Escherichia coli. Kidney Int. 2018. doi:10.1016/j.kint.2018.04.023  PMID:30041870 
Androgens enhance male urinary tract infection severity in a new model. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2016;27(6):1625-34. PMCID:PMC4884108  PMID:26449605 
Local generation of kynurenines mediates inhibition of neutrophil chemotaxis by uropathogenic Escherichia coli. Infect Immun. 2016;84(4):1176-83. PMCID:PMC4807489  PMID:26857571 
Imidazolium salts as small-molecule urinary bladder exfoliants in a murine model. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2015;59(9):5494-5502. doi:10.1128/AAC.00881-15  PMCID:PMC4538537  PMID:26124168 
Cathelicidin augments epithelial receptivity and pathogenesis in experimental Escherichia coli cystitis. J Infect Dis. 2015;211(7):1164-73. doi:10.1093/infdis/jiu577  PMCID:PMC4366604  PMID:25336727 
Preparation and in vitro antimicrobial activity of silver-bearing degradable polymeric nanoparticles of polyphosphoester-block-poly(L-lactide). ACS Nano. 2015;9(2):1995-2008. doi:10.1021/nn507046h  PMCID:PMC4455953  PMID:25621868 
Bacterial lysis liberates the neutrophil migration suppressor YbcL from the periplasm of uropathogenic Escherichia coli. Infect Immun. 2014;82(12):4921-30. PMCID:PMC4249291  PMID:25183735 
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