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OHSU, PSU announce dean of new School of Public Health

Following a national search, David Bangsberg, M.D., M.P.H. has been named the founding dean of the new OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, effective Friday, Sept. 16.

As dean, Bangsberg will establish the first urban school of public health in Oregon, a collaborative project that leverages the strengths of OHSU and Portland State University to meet evolving public health needs locally and nationwide.

“We could not be more delighted that Dr. Bangsberg will be the founding dean for our joint School of Public Health,” said Sona Andrews, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs, PSU. “He brings the passion, expertise and innovation needed to achieve the school's vision of helping students succeed while addressing the social determinants of health in Oregon and beyond.”   

A native of Portland, Oregon, Bangsberg is currently the director of MGH Global Health at Massachusetts General Hospital, the largest teaching hospital of the Harvard Medical School. Under his leadership, the MGH Global Health has transformed from a single program to an institution-wide global health initiative that now includes programs in medical technology innovation, global disaster response, cancer care, obstetrics/gynecology, radiology, pathology, infectious diseases, and community health. Dr. Bangsberg also serves as a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, and is a visiting professor at Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda, as well as the Vellore Institute of Technology in India.

“My first college lecture was at PSU and my first research job was at OHSU. I studied in the PSU and OHSU libraries as a teenager in order to better imagine what it would be like to be a member of these universities,” said Bangsberg. “It’s an incredible honor to return home to leverage the talent of the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health to address the most critical public health challenges identified by students, public health experts and implementers, civic and business leaders, and the public themselves.”

Bangsberg replaces Elena Andresen, Ph.D. F.A.C.E., who was appointed interim dean in 2014 and led the effort to secure accreditation for the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. Andresen will continue her role as a researcher and professor in the school.

“We are grateful to Dr. Andresen for her outstanding leadership and excellent work in preparing the School of Public Health for accreditation; she has built a solid foundation for Dr. Bangsberg to expand,” said Jeanette Mladenovic, M.D., M.B.A., M.A.C.P., executive vice president and provost, OHSU. “As we enter this exciting time for OHSU and PSU public health students and faculty, we are grateful to have a leader who can raise the national profile of our program. We are extremely pleased Dr. Bangsberg has agreed to join us.”

A graduate of Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon, Dr. Bangsberg studied neuroscience at the University of Rochester in New York and the philosophy of science at King’s College London before receiving his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He also received a Masters in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. His academic research career began at the University of California, San Francisco, where he created one of the leading programs on health disparities among the urban poor in the United States. This program eventually became the first NIH Clinical and Translational Science Initiative-funded program on urban domestic health disparities. Bangsberg is internationally known for his work on social, economic and structural barriers to HIV/AIDS care in sub-Saharan Africa.

About the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health

OHSU and Portland State University have established a joint School of Public Health that aims to create innovative and collaborative strategies to address key issues of health policy and disparities. The commitment to establish a collaborative School of Public Health was shared publicly in the presidents’ 2010 OHSU/PSU Strategic Alliance. Expected to achieve full accreditation in 2016, the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health will respond to Oregon’s public health workforce needs by providing excellent educational and research opportunities that utilize the considerable resources of OHSU and PSU, and builds on the solid foundation of the well-established Oregon Master of Public Health Program.


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