Dr. Carsten Schultz recruited as new chair of physiology and pharmacology

Dr. Carsten Schultz

August 9, 2016

OHSU School of Medicine Dean Mark Richardson has appointed Carsten Schultz, Ph.D., as chair of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology following a national recruitment search. The appointment is effective October 1, 2016. Dr. Schultz will succeed Beth Habecker, Ph.D., who has served as interim chair since 2014. 

"Dr. Schultz is arguably among the top chemical biologists in the world," said Dean Richardson. "His recruitment brings an important level of scientific expertise to OHSU, enhancing the strength of the faculty and providing the foundation for a new era of growth and success in physiology and pharmacology at OHSU." 

Dr. Schultz comes to OHSU from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) -- Heidelberg where he currently serves as group leader and senior scientist of the Cell Biology and Biophysics Unit. He was drawn to OHSU because of its dynamic research and clinical environment in which basic scientists and clinicians collaborate to solve complex problems in health and biomedical science.

As chair, Dr. Schultz will enhance the department with new faculty recruitments and resources. He'll oversee the expansion of chemical biology research within the department as well as broaden the department's funding portfolio. A key priority, he says, will be fostering interdisciplinary relationships at OHSU with a focus on areas such as cystic fibrosis/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes and cancer. 

Dr. Schultz received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Bremen in 1989. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Diego, in 1993 under the mentorship of Nobel laureate Roger Y. Tsien, Ph.D., before returning to Germany to take up a position at the University of Bremen. Dr. Schultz has been a group leader at EMBL since 2001 and a senior scientist since 2008. He has been a member of the German Center for Lung Research since 2011 and associate editor of Chemical Science since 2015.

His lab focuses on developing new tools for imaging and for manipulating cellular enzyme activities and networks, with a particular emphasis on lipid signaling in diabetes and the hereditary disease, cystic fibrosis. His research interests include signal transduction networks related to insulin secretion, cystic fibrosis and COPD. His team has created novel fluorescent sensors and reporters that allow innovative investigations of lipid signaling and protein-lipid interactions. In addition, Dr. Schultz's laboratory has made powerful contributions to the chemical strategies that allow labeling of proteins and cellular messengers in intact cells.

Dr. Schultz is an active educator and mentor, supervising more than 20 Ph.D. students and 20 postdoctoral fellows during the course of his scientific career.

Dr. Habecker, current interim chair, will step down later this year and continue as a faculty member in the department.  

The Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, home to 15 faculty members, emphasizes a chemical biology approach to the study of systems physiology, in which physiologists and chemical biologists team up to create new chemical tools for probing specific signaling pathways and mechanisms in whole animal models. The department is home to a graduate program and is one of seven basic science departments in the OHSU School of Medicine.


Schultz Group website