On April 21, Joe Gray, PhD, presented a talk (video below) titled “Beyond Genomics: The Rationale for Spatial Systems Biomedicine” to a full house of faculty, students and staff in the OHSU Auditorium. Dr. Gray joined OHSU in January. He is the Gordon Moore Professor and Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, a lead scientist in the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, and the Director of the new OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine. The event was hosted by the School of Medicine.
“I came here because of you, because of the spirit I see in this place and because I think this is the place to do something new, different and important."
- Joe Gray, PhD
Mary Stenzel-Poore, PhD, Associate Dean for Basic Science and Chair of the Department of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology, introduced Dr. Gray’s lecture. “Joe joined OHSU three months ago and we are really delighted to have him here,” said Dr. Stenzel-Poore. “We have Brian Druker to thank who had the vision to recruit Joe Gray to OHSU, and Mark Richardson and Dan Dorsa for recognizing the role Joe could play here and how it could change our research world.”
Mark Richardson, MD, MBA, is Dean of the School of Medicine, and Dan Dorsa PhD, is Vice President of Research, and Senior Associate Dean for Research in the School of Medicine.
Dr. Gray is a national leader and innovator in genomics and cancer. “Today you will hear about his very exciting approach to understanding the mutations in cancer, and the key signaling molecules and the pathways involved. You will also hear about his vision for the new Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine,” said Dr. Stenzel-Poore.
Dr. Gray opened his talk by describing the motivations that had lured him to OHSU from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. “I came here because of you, because of the spirit I see in this place and because I think this is the place to do something new, different and important,” he said. “And I have been thinking about what I should talk about – finally deciding that I am here today to give you a sales pitch, a sales pitch for a new car that does not exist yet. I am going to sell you on this vision in the hopes all of you will help me design it.”
“Spatial systems biomedicine is needed to functionally interpret genomic aberrations in a spatial and temporal context,” he concluded. The Center will provide technology and processes to support “second step” research for multiple scientific endeavors, and its multi-disciplinary, collaborative framework will help nucleate a necessary culture change in science. “We have to think about science in a different way.”