Student Representative to OHSU Board of Directors Steps Down

02/17/09  Portland, Ore.

The student representative to Oregon Health & Science University’s Board of Directors, Lawrence Gray, has announced his resignation.

Gray, a fourth-year graduate student in biochemistry and molecular biology in the OHSU School of Medicine, was appointed to the 10-member OHSU Board of Directors in October 2008 on the recommendation of Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski. The governor will nominate a new student representative to be confirmed by the Oregon Senate. 

Gray is leaving OHSU in order to continue pursuit of a doctoral degree under the leadership of his longtime mentor Svetlana Lutsenko, Ph.D. Lutsenko has accepted an appointment withJohns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

“It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve this institution and the state of Oregon in this capacity,” said Gray. “In my short time on the board, I’ve had the opportunity to support several diversity initiatives, and help direct the board’s attention to the diversity goal in the strategic plan, including initiating a report describing the institution’s plans for improving and expanding diversity, and the steps necessary to implement them.”

Gray came to OHSU in 2005 specifically to work with Lutsenko, a nationally recognized scientist whose research involves the short-circuit of copper metabolism in human cells that leads to two deadly neurodegenerative disorders known as Wilson's and Menkes disease. Gray’s research targets the role of copper and metalloproteins in the body. His goal is to find a less-invasive means of diagnosing Wilson’s disease in its early stages -- liver biopsy, when the disease is fairly advanced, currently is the only means of detection.

In addition to his research pursuits, Larry has been actively involved in recruiting talented students to OHSU and volunteering in the community. Prior to joining OHSU, Gray conducted post-graduate work at California State University, Fullerton, and in Australia.

“We will miss Larry’s insight and enthusiasm. He has contributed significantly to our discussions. We wish him all the best,” said Keith Thomson, chairman, OHSU Board of Directors.

About the OHSU Board of Directors

The OHSU Board of Directors comprises 10 members. Mandated positions on the board include the president of OHSU, a member of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education and an OHSU student. The other seven members serve at the governor of Oregon's discretion. The university president serves on the board throughout his or her presidency, the student board member serves a two-year term, and each of the other members is appointed for a four-year term.

About Oregon Health & Science University

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). 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.