05/03/11 Portland, Ore.
Dean Mark Richardson, MD, MBA, has announced the appointment of Susan Hayflick, MD, as chair of the Department of Molecular & Medical Genetics. Dr. Hayflick has served as interim chair since 2007. She is also a professor with joint appointments in Pediatrics and Neurology.
“Dr. Hayflick assumes this leadership position in the School of Medicine at a very important and exciting time in our evolution,” said Dean Richardson. “We are embarking on new strategic initiatives and directions – many of which are rooted in the scientific and clinical promise of genetics and genomics.”
Dean Richardson called out several examples of Dr. Hayflick’s influential role in helping to shape aspects of our new strategic initiatives, including the plan for the OHSU Knight Diagnostic Laboratories and the associated integration of four existing School of Medicine labs.
Dr. Hayflick is a world-renowned scientific and clinical expert on Neurodegeneration with Brain Iron Accumulation (NBIA), which is linked to other common human neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and HIV encephalopathy. The Hayflick Lab, in collaboration with the University of California at San Francisco, the University of Birmingham, and University College London discovered three genes that cause NBIA.
In 2006, Dr. Hayflick established the OHSU Human Genetics Initiative to help accelerate the translation of scientific knowledge from genetics to patient care. The Human Genetics Initiative cuts across all departments and units, and it was an early example at OHSU of the potential to reorganize ourselves in ways that better reflect the inherently integrative nature of our missions.
Dr. Hayflick’s vision for the Department of Molecular & Medical Genetics includes enhancing the clinical and research focus in genomics and rare genetic diseases, and forming a thematic focus around cancer genetics/biology. She intends to focus on strategic joint recruitments in order to build genetics work at OHSU. Her appointment includes support to recruit new faculty members, in addition to previously committed support for the recruitment of four faculty members to the Department of Molecular & Medical Genetics.