Medical Research Foundation honors top Oregon scientists, mentors

11/15/13  Portland, Ore.

Distinguished Oregon Health & Science University and Oregon State University faculty members, nonprofit organization receive MRF annual awards for scientific leadership, innovation

The Medical Research Foundation of Oregon has announced its 2013 awards for scientific leadership and innovation in Oregon. The awards were presented Thursday, Nov. 14, at a reception in Portland.


  • The MRF presented a Mentor Award to Saturday Academy, a nonprofit organization that engages motivated young people in hands-on learning and problem solving by connecting them with community experts as instructors and mentors. Saturday Academy inspires students and prepares them for scientific and technical careers through summer day camps, after-school classes, and an apprenticeship program in which students conduct research in university laboratories, government agencies and technology businesses.
  • The Discovery Award was presented to P. Andrew Karplus, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and biophysics at Oregon State University. Karplus’ contributions to biomedical research include discoveries about the structure-function relationship of a diverse array of proteins, many of which are important to the understanding of problems in human health and agriculture. His landmark “floodgate signaling” hypothesis has strongly influenced research on aging, cancer and obesity-related diseases.
  • The second Discovery Award was presented to Eric Orwoll, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute at Oregon Health & Science University. Orwoll is widely acknowledged for first identifying osteoporosis in men. His work has contributed unique insights into the risk factors for bone loss and fractures and established guidelines for screening and treating male osteoporosis.
  • The Richard T. Jones New Investigator Award was presented to Jennifer E. DeVoe, M.D., associate professor of family medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. She is a practicing family physician and health services researcher whose work on improving access to care and health outcomes for low-income populations has had a sizeable impact on health care policy in Oregon and nationwide. DeVoe was the principal investigator on the Children’s Access to Healthcare Study that informed Gov. Kulongoski’s Healthy Kids Initiative.

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.

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.