Peter Barr-Gillespie, Ph.D., appointed associate vice president for basic research

Dr. Barr-Gillespie

Dr. Barr-Gillespie

Senior vice president for research Daniel M. Dorsa, Ph.D., is pleased to announce the appointment of Peter G. Barr-Gillespie, Ph.D.,  as associate vice president for basic research.

Dr. Barr-Gillespie has been with OHSU since 1999. After undergraduate studies at Reed College, Barr-Gillespie attended graduate school at the University of Washington, working with Joe Beavo; he received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology in 1988. From 1988 to 1993, he worked as a postdoc with Jim Hudspeth, first at UCSF, then at the UT Southwestern Medical Center. He joined the Department of Physiology at Johns Hopkins University as an assistant professor in 1993, becoming associate professor in 1998. In 1999, he joined the Vollum Institute and the Oregon Hearing Research Center as an associate professor of otolaryngology; he was promoted to professor of otolaryngology in 2004. In 2012, Barr-Gillespie was named director of the Hearing Health Foundation’s Hearing Restoration Project (HRP), a consortium of scientists who are developing a strategy for regeneration of sensory hair cells of the inner ear. Barr-Gillespie’s own research focuses on mechanotransduction by hair cells; the lab uses proteomics, genomics, molecular biology, imaging, and electrophysiology to understand how molecules of the hair cell, many of which can be disrupted in genetic deafness, come together to form an extremely sensitive and selective sensory receptor.

In his role as associate vice president for basic research, Dr. Barr-Gillespie will help to guide Dr. Dorsa in operational and strategic areas in the research mission. He will work closely with his counterpart, Eric Orwoll, M.D., the associate vice president for clinical and translational research and director of the Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Institute. Dr. Barr-Gillespie says that in spite of the challenges of the current scientific environment, he remains an optimist: “Modern biomedical research has had astounding successes, and the continued evolution of ideas and technology has produced a remarkable understanding of the basic biology underlying cellular and organ physiology. Because of these successes of basic science, there is more promise than ever for disease therapies. This position will provide an outstanding platform for shepherding OHSU’s growing excellence in basic science, and I am pleased to participate in the institution’s response to the challenges of the present environment.”

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