Medical Research Foundation honors three top Oregon scientists

11/16/12  Portland, Ore.

Distinguished faculty from Oregon Health & Science University, the University of Oregon and Oregon State University receive the MRF’s annual awards for scientific leadership and innovation

The Medical Research Foundation of Oregon has announced the recipients of its 2012 awards for scientific leadership and innovation in Oregon. The awards were presented Nov. 15 at a reception in Portland.


  • The MRF presented a Mentor Award to Christopher Minson, Ph.D., professor and head of the Department of Human Physiology and co-director of Exercise and Environmental Physiology Labs at the University of Oregon. Minson is a researcher, educator and leader whose efforts in growing biomedical research and pre-medical education at the University of Oregon have transformed his department, making it one of the preeminent pathways at the university for entry to graduate medical, dental, physical therapy and nursing programs.
  • The Discovery Award was presented to Oregon State University’s Joseph Beckman, Ph.D., for distinguished achievements in neuroscience. As OSU’s Ava Helen Pauling Chair at the Linus Pauling Institute, director of the Environmental Health Sciences Center and professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Beckman has shed light on the role of oxidative stress in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. His lab’s long-range goal is to understand the causes of ALS and to identify drugs and dietary compounds with the potential to treat the disease.
  • The Richard T. Jones New Investigator Award was presented to Bonnie Nagel, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience and director of Pediatric Neuropsychology in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Oregon Health & Science University. Nagel’s work on brain development during adolescence in healthy and at-risk populations has received significant attention and could have a major impact on public health.

About the Medical Research Foundation of Oregon

Established in 1942, the MRF promotes medical research achievement in Oregon. In addition to its annual honors, it administers more than $1 million per year in research funding and early investigator grants that support the work of outstanding investigators at research institutions across the state. Such funding is increasingly necessary in today’s climate. MRF grants help to sustain quality research programs, enabling Oregon researchers 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.