Medical Research Foundation honors top Oregon scientists, mentors

11/17/14  Portland, Ore.

The Medical Research Foundation of Oregon has announced the recipients of its 2014 awards for scientific leadership and innovation in Oregon. The awards were presented Wednesday, Nov. 12, at a reception in Portland.


  • The Mentor Award was presented to Fay Horak, Ph.D., professor of neurology in the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, and physical therapist and motor control neurophysiologist in the OHSU Parkinson Center of Oregon. Horak’s research focuses on neurological disorders that affect balance and gait. Horak was recognized for being a coach, collaborator, adviser and advocate who contributed to the success of 47 postdoctoral fellows, including numerous MRF grant recipients. Many of her former trainees now hold faculty positions around the world.
  • The Discovery Award was presented posthumously to George Bailey, Ph.D., distinguished professor emeritus in the Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology and retired principal investigator at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Bailey helped pioneer the use of rainbow trout in studying carcinogens. His work in cancer chemoprevention has the potential to dramatically limit colon and liver cancer rates in many regions of the world. His research changed the understanding of carcinogens, especially exposures relevant to humans. Bailey died Oct. 20 following a serious illness. He was 73.
  • The Richard T. Jones New Investigator Award was presented to Joshi J. Alumkal, M.D., associate professor of medicine and molecular and medical genetics in the OHSU School of Medicine, and co-leader of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute’s Prostate Cancer Research Program. Alumkal is a physician-scientist whose work on developing more effective treatments for advanced prostate cancer patients has had a significant impact in Oregon and beyond. Alumkal’s research is focused on understanding molecular mechanisms by which lethal prostate cancers evolve.

About the Medical Research Foundation of Oregon

Established in 1942, the MRF promotes medical research achievement in Oregon. In addition to awarding its annual leadership and innovation honors, it administers more than $1 million in annual research funding and early investigator grants that support the work of outstanding investigators at research institutions across the state. MRF grants help to sustain quality research programs, enabling Oregon scientists to compete more effectively for grants from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health. In 1994, the MRF became an affiliate committee of the OHSU Foundation, retaining its own unique mission and purpose to support Oregon biomedical research.

About the OHSU Foundation

The OHSU Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that exists to secure private philanthropic support to advance OHSU’s vital missions. The OHSU Foundation raises funds from individuals, corporations and organizations, and manages and invests those gifts to honor donors’ wishes.