School of Medicine

Physician-Scientist Program

Science bottles

Dean Sharon Anderson has prioritized support to sustain the work of physician scientists at OHSU and attract more.

The program is a comprehensive approach that provides support across the professional continuum, helping departments and units create robust start-up packages and support the work of junior scientists to reach the level of independent funding.

Start-up and transition periods are particularly critical times in the development of physician-scientists. The Physician-Scientist Program offers both transitional and new appointment/recruitment support awards to support exceptional physician-scientists at OHSU. 

One recipient of the program Phoebe Lin, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of ophthalmology, OHSU School of Medicine, studies age-related macular degeneration. She used preliminary data partially generated by the school’s support for physician-scientists to earn a highly competitive Edward N. & Della L. Thome Memorial Foundation Award.

Our work with

  • Oregon State University
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Portland State University
  • University of Oregon
  • VA Portland Health Care System

and others fuel biomedical discovery in the Northwest. View strategic alliances.

For example, OHSU partnered with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to become one of three national centers established by the National Institutes of Health in cryo-electron microscopy. Researchers in the Pacific Northwest Center for Cryo-EM on the OHSU campus will study cells at the atomic level using four new powerful microscopes and train scientists nationwide.

“The first thing you notice about research here is a sense of collaboration and team spirit,” said Daniel Marks, M.D., Ph.D., senior associate dean for research, OHSU School of Medicine, and a faculty member since 2001. “There is a strong belief that every conversation holds the promise for a new joint project.” 

One such exchange led to a notable asthma study. By working at the nexus of several disciplines and by developing a new imaging technique using OHSU’s state-of-the-art confocal microscopes, the team of physician-scientists and basic scientists – led by Matthew Drake, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, OHSU School of Medicine – linked airway nerve density with asthma symptoms of greater severity. Now researchers are investigating whether these changes are preventable or reversible, offering fresh hope to the 235 million people worldwide living with asthma. 

“This work couldn’t have been done without outstanding collaboration within our team and without OHSU’s support for research, particularly for early-stage investigators,” said Dr. Drake.