March 18, 2024

Meet Ian Koller

Research Office Manager 

Where are you from? 

I was born and raised in the Greater St. Louis Metro area. If you continue down highway 15 past Eckert’s Orchards in Belleville, IL, you’ll stumble upon the small township of Freeburg, Illinois. That’s where I spent my formative years. Freeburg’s claim to fame is their controversial high school mascot.

What brought you to Washington University Orthopedics?

I worked a dozen years in varying capacities at a local non-profit organization. During my final year there, I acted as financial operations manager and was instrumental in moving along a merger with a larger entity. The merger was a success, but unfortunately, I made myself obsolete. It was then I stumbled upon the world of academia, first working three years as office manager of student health services at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. My experiences there transformed me into the prime candidate to become Research Office Manager for WashU Ortho.

How do you support the department? 

As Research Office Manager in Orthopaedic Surgery, I help make sure everything runs smoothly for a team of over 100 scientists and researchers, across 12 unique laboratories. I provide support for HR-related matters, including onboarding and promotions, purchases and ad hoc departmental logistics. In addition to my duties as office manager, I also serve as the assistant to ortho’s research Vice Chair, Dr. Matthew Silva.

What aspect of your work do you find most interesting or rewarding?

I love that no two days are the same! Supporting ortho research is quite a varied task, with just as many variables as the research projects that happen here. There is never a dull day.

What's your favorite thing to do outside of work? 

I’m an artist. Working with hands is my passion. I’m the proud creator of Ookaloos. What started as a way to keep me occupied during the early days of COVID has turned into quite the side project. My “Ooks” and I been featured in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and twice on local NBC-affiliate, KSDK. Most evenings, you’ll find me at the kitchen table making these miniature creatures, while listening to informative podcasts. Starting in early Spring, you’ll likely find me at a local farmer’s market or art festival where I can showcase my Uniquely Kooky Curios. I bring a little folding table so I can create on the spot and people can see my works in progress.

Aside from Ooks, I enjoy spending time with my partner, Levi, and our 3 rescue mutts: Molly, Piper, and Lila.

What's the best advice you've ever received? 

You are not your thoughts; you are the awareness of your thoughts.

If you weren't in health care, what would you like to be doing?

I enjoy being on a stage. I’ve done community theatre, improv, and storytelling. I think I’d enjoy being a motivational speaker, speaking on the topics of art and mental health.

Learn why patient's choose Washington University Orthopedicsrequest an appointment online or call (314) 514-3500.

Request an Appointment

caret-up caret-down