In memoriam: Richard Traystman, Ph.D.

Dr. Richard TraystmanOctober 31, 2017

The OHSU School of Medicine announces with great sadness that Richard "Dick" Traystman, Ph.D., died Oct. 19, 2017. Dr. Traystman was a friend, a mentor and an important contributor to the research mission at OHSU and to advancements in his field.

Dr. Traystman earned his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University Medical Center, where he worked for more than 30 years, becoming a distinguished professor and senior vice chair for research. 

In 2003, he left Hopkins and joined OHSU, serving as associate vice president for research planning and development. 

In the OHSU School of Medicine, Dr. Traystman served as associate dean for basic research and held a faculty appointment as a professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine with joint appointments in the Departments of Physiology and Pharmacology and Neurology.

"Dick was an ideal mentor and wonderful friend," said Jeffrey Kirsch, M.D., chair and professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine, OHSU School of Medicine. "He had the ability to push each of his students very hard, while also being nurturing as needed. Although many will remember Dick for his incredible contributions that allow us to better understand control of the cerebral circulation and mechanisms of brain injury and opportunities for protection with ischemia, hypoxia and during CPR, I'll always most appreciate his mentorship and kindness toward me, my family and each and every one of his students/mentees."

Dr. Kirsch added, "Dick was always passionate about 'team science,' which is now becoming popular around the U.S. He never cared if our collaborators were members of our department or not; he simply wanted the best people available to be working on each of our projects. He was instrumental in helping us build a culture of team science at OHSU and was masterful in organizing many mentors and investigators throughout the university, which would ultimately support the growth of research expertise within our department. I feel particularly blessed to have had Dick as an important figure in my life."

In 2007, Dr. Traystman joined the University of Colorado, where he oversaw research functions at both Anschutz and Denver campuses, including research development, regulatory compliance and laboratory animal resources.

Dr. Traystman made many significant and lasting scientific contributions, including in the field of cerebral blood flow and metabolism. He published more than 475 articles in peer-reviewed journals, served on editorial boards for many prestigious journals, trained more than 100 fellows and students and was funded by the NIH throughout his decades-long career.

Among the numerous distinguished awards he received were the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism, the Excellence in Research Award from the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the Excellence in Research Award from the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Heart Association, designation as the Robert M. Berne Distinguished Lecturer by the Cardiovascular Section of the American Physiological Society and an ScD (Honorary) from Long Island University.

View University of Colorado announcement.