Message from Dean Richardson: OHSU Research Week - Advocating for research, building community

Dean Richardson4/21/12  Portland, OR

Dear School of Medicine Community:

As a nation, and an institution, health care research is at a pivotal moment. Research faces unprecedented funding challenges – a result of multiple factors, including a continuing sluggish economy. Paradoxically, these funding challenges are occurring at a time when academic medicine is poised to enter what many have called a golden age for biology and health care.

In this environment, the importance of mission advocacy from the academic medicine community has never been greater. Advocacy requires we find dynamic avenues and opportunities to share our passion and vision for cures and better health. Now, guided by the School of Medicine Research Roadmap, we are undertaking new initiatives to raise the profile of and increase understanding of health care and biomedical research. Our goal is to partner with the public and our constituents to ensure funding remains robust and that we deliver on the enormous and ongoing potential of research.

Support for the upcoming inaugural OHSU Research Week (May 7-10) is one part of our plan to raise the profile of our research mission. OHSU Research Week is due to an extraordinary grass-roots and collaborative initiative from our students, faculty and staff.

OHSU Research Week will help us share information about the breadth and depth of projects underway at OHSU. During the week, there will be more than 300 oral presentations and posters from students, faculty, post-docs, residents, research ranked employees and others. The week also includes socializing, an awards reception, and three keynote addresses.

As we learn more about the work of our colleagues across all schools and units at OHSU, we will be better able to advocate with this knowledge, as well as identify new opportunities to collaborate. This is important not just for research, but for all of our missions.

As part of our support, we've invited a keynote speaker with impressive experience with – and success in – R&D advocacy. Mary Woolley is the President and CEO of Research!America, a national advocacy organization for biomedical research. Ms. Woolley will present a keynote address on Wednesday, May 9 at noon.

Ms. Woolley's presentation is titled from World Class to Second Class? Acting Now to Assure Continued U.S. Leadership in Science and Innovation. Ms. Woolley will discuss how calls for fiscal austerity and the upcoming election could influence the future status of R&D, how Americans feel about U.S. leadership in R&D, and what all of us within the research community can do to ensure that research remains a top national priority.

Additional keynote addresses from Nora Disis, MD, and Darlene Francis, PhD, will be made during OHSU Research Week. Learn more at

I look forward to seeing all of you during OHSU Research Week, and also to working with you to advocate for our research mission – and all our missions – over the coming years and decade. Together, we will continue to have an enormously beneficial effect on human health and well-being, and we will be research leaders of the 21st century.

Best Regards,

Mark Richardson

Mark Richardson, MD, MBA
Dean, OHSU School of Medicine
President, Faculty Practice Plan