Dr. Brian O'Roak named 2015 Sloan Research Fellow

Brian-J-ORoakFebruary 24, 2015

Brian O'Roak, Ph.D., assistant professor of molecular and medical genetics in the OHSU School of Medicine, is one of a select group of researchers in the United States and Canada to be honored with a 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship.

The prestigious, highly sought-after award honors 126 early-career scientists each year whose achievements and potential identify them as "rising stars."

Dr. O'Roak's accomplishments to date include groundbreaking research into the genetic basis of neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. Most notability, Dr. O'Roak and fellow researchers pioneered a family-based genome-sequencing model that has begun unraveling the genetic mystery of autism. Read about this study, published in the journal, Nature.

"At OHSU, Dr. O’Roak interacts with clinical investigators at the Child Development and Rehabilitation Center and Doernbecher Children's Hospital, and with leading neuroscience and human genetics researchers," said Susan Hayflick, M.D., professor and chair of molecular and medical genetics in the OHSU School of Medicine. "This is an ideal environment for him to make precision medicine in neurodevelopmental disorders a reality.”

Drs. O'Roak and HayflickOn February 23, OHSU leaders and colleagues honored Dr. O'Roak at a celebratory reception. "He is an original thinker," commented Mary Stenzel-Poore, Ph.D., senior associate dean for research in the OHSU School of Mecicine, "and one of those extraordinary scientists whose research spans multiple disciplines and technologies. His work offers promise to patients with autism and their families."

View The New York Times announcement and coverage in The Oregonian.

Dr. O'Roak is the third OHSU scientist to be honored with a Sloan Research Fellowship. He joined the OHSU faculty in 2013.

Pictured right: Dr. O'Roak with Dr. Hayflick