Vollum Institute Researcher elected to National Academy of Sciences

04/30/08  Portland, Ore

Election to the academy is considered one of the highest honors accorded to a scientist

Gail Mandel, Ph.D., senior scientist at the Oregon Health & Science University Vollum Institute and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Sciences is an honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific research and dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and its use for the general welfare. Members are elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

“Gail is one of the leading scientists in OHSU's Vollum Institute and is a major figure in developmental neurobiology,” said Richard Goodman, M.D., Ph.D., and director of the OHSU Vollum Institute. “Her studies of gene regulation in neural differentiation have helped define the critical differences between neural and non-neural cells. Her work is highly relevant to neurodevelopmental disorders, such as Rett syndrome and autism, as well as efforts in the OHSU Stem Cell Center to develop novel therapies for neurological diseases.”

President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation creating the academy in 1863, at the height of the Civil War. Today, the academy includes 2,041 eminent researchers and 397 foreign associates, more than 200 of whom have won the Nobel Prize.

Oregon Health & Science University now is home to four distinguished members of the National Academy of Sciences, three of whom are senior scientists in the Vollum Institute. In additional to Mandel, they include:

Wolfard Almers, Ph.D., adjunct professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, OHSU School of Medicine, and a Vollum researcher who was elected in 2006.

Richard Goodman, M.D., Ph.D., director of the OHSU Vollum Institute, professor of cell and developmental biology, and medicine, OHSU School of Medicine, was elected to the academy in 2002.

Brian Druker
, M.D., director of the OHSU Cancer Institute, the JELD-WEN Chair of Leukemia Research, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2007.


About OHSU

Oregon Health & Science University is the state’s only health and research university, and Oregon’s only academic health center. OHSU is Portland's largest employer and the fourth largest in Oregon (excluding government), with 12,400 employees. OHSU's size contributes to its ability to provide many services and community support activities not found anywhere else in the state. It serves patients from every corner of the state, and is a conduit for learning for more than 3,400 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to every county in the state.

As a leader in research, OHSU earned $307 million in research funding in fiscal year 2007. OHSU serves as a catalyst for the region's bioscience industry and is an incubator of discovery, averaging one new breakthrough or innovation every three days, with more than 4,100 research projects currently under way. OHSU disclosed 132 inventions in 2007 alone, and OHSU research resulted in 33 new spinoff companies since 2000, most of which are based in Oregon.