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Accolades: Awards, honors and appointments April

Funding awards, leadership selections and more
OHSU Accolades: Awards, honors and appointments. Image is a close-up of several different people's hands clapping.

Wilder earns Hypothesis Fund

Brandon Wilder, Ph.D. (OHSU) standing outside near greenery, smiling.
Brandon Wilder, Ph.D. (OHSU)

Brandon Wilder, Ph.D., of the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute, received funding from the Hypothesis Fund, which supports innovative, early stage health and climate change research. Wilder's project, "Intracellular antibodies as a paradigm-shifting strategy for antibody-based therapeutics," was selected for the boldness of the science, his willingness to take risks and go after a big idea, and the potential long-term impact of his work. Wilder and team are exploring innovative antibody therapies that may help treat almost any disease that relies on proteins doing something bad inside the cell. This includes viral/bacterial infections, tumors and metabolic diseases.

Peace Corps names OHSU a 2024 Top Volunteer Producing University 

The Peace Corps recently announced its rankings of colleges and universities that have produced the highest all-time number of Peace Corps volunteers since the agency was established in 1961. Over the last six decades, more than 240,000 volunteers from more than 3,000 colleges and universities have accepted the agency’s Bold Invitation to serve in 144 countries. This year, Oregon Health & Science University ranked No. 4 in the small enrollment category, with over 440 alumni serving as Peace Corps volunteers to date. Through service, the Peace Corps equips alumni of schools such as OHSU with adaptive leadership, intercultural competence, and problem-solving skills that are highly valued by employers across federal, state and local governments, non-profits, and the private sector. 

“Today’s world requires problem solvers and people who understand that it is only through shared impact that we will change the trajectory of global issues. Curiosity and openness to others are cultivated in school, but must be nurtured throughout our lifetimes,” said Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn. “I am so grateful to these outstanding institutions for challenging and inspiring their students to not only be exceptional students but also to go on to be informed and intentional global citizens.”

Zelinski earns Society for the Study of Reproduction Distinguished Fellowship Award

Mary Zelinski, Ph.D. (OHSU) has long brown hair and wears glasses, smiling against a green background.
Mary Zelinski, Ph.D. (OHSU)

Mary Zelinski, Ph.D., a professor in the Division of Reproductive and Developmental Sciences at the Oregon National Primate Research Center, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Oregon Health & Science University, recently received a Society for the Study of Reproduction Distinguished Fellowship Award. This fellowship recognizes active Society for the Study of Reproduction members for their outstanding contributions to the field of reproductive biology and the society, illustrated by sustained high-impact research, leadership, service and mentorship. 

Zelinski’s recent achievements include: identifying a ferto-protective agent for the ovary against cancer therapies; developing vitrification for cryopreservation of ovarian cortical tissue with subsequent auto-transplantation to restore production of ovarian steroids, mature oocytes and embryos; advancing in vitro maturation of primate follicles in 3-dimensional culture to produce mature oocytes; and investigating potential interventions for ovarian aging. The importance of Zelinski’s basic research to women’s reproductive health has been recognized with awards from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, including four General/Scientific Program Prize Papers, and awards from the Fertility Special Interest Group, and International Society for Fertility Preservation. 

This society has been Zelinski’s “home professional society” since she was in graduate school, and she has been very active in supporting the society’s activities for three decades. She also received this award in 2014. Zelinski is co-editor-in-chief of the society’s journal, Biology of Reproduction.

Hallock-Koppelman selected as a regional director of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners

Laurel Hallock-Koppelman, D.N.P., F.N.P.-C., A.P.R.N. (OHSU) has short brown hair and red glasses, smiling against a gray background.
Laurel Hallock-Koppelman, D.N.P. (OHSU)

Laurel Hallock-Koppelman, D.N.P., F.N.P.-C., A.P.R.N., an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at the OHSU School of Medicine, has been selected as a region 10 director of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Selected by members during the March 8-31 voting period, Hallock-Koppelman is among several exemplary nurse practitioner leaders who will set the strategic direction for the association and play an instrumental role in guiding the profession forward. The association is a member-driven organization, with nurse practitioners informing the association’s actions and determining the future of their profession.

Kaufman president-elect of American Board of Radiology Board of Governors

John Kaufman, M.D., M.S. (OHSU), in a dress shirt and glasses, smiling.
John Kaufman, M.D., M.S. (OHSU)

John Kaufman, M.D., M.S., Frederick S. Keller chair and professor of interventional radiology at the OHSU School of Medicine, has been named president-elect for the American Board of Radiology Board of Governors. He will begin his duties at the end of the fall board meeting in late September.

Kaufman has more than 30 years of experience in his field. He holds the Frederick S. Keller endowed professorship in the School of Medicine and continues clinical practice. He has been serving in leadership roles through the American Board of Radiology for several years, contributing to interventional radiology being named the most recent medical specialty by the American Board of Medical Specialties, as well as helping establish interventional radiology residency programs, which are among the most competitive for graduating medical students.

“Dr. Kaufman has worked tirelessly and selflessly in support of many of our most prominent national organizations,” said Khashayar Farsad, M.D., Ph.D., professor and interim chair of interventional radiology and director of the Dotter Interventional Institute. “He is past president of the Society of Interventional Radiology and gold medalist for both the Society of Interventional Radiology and the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe. This is a true honor for a most deserving individual. Congratulations, Dr. Kaufman!” 

Smeraglio recognized for leadership in patient safety and quality

Andrea "Anne" Smeraglio, M.D. (OHSU) has short curly hair, smiling.
Andrea "Anne" Smeraglio, M.D. (OHSU)

Andrea (Anne) Smeraglio, M.D., director of Health Systems Science and associate professor of medicine in the Division of Hospital and Specialty Medicine and Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine and VA Portland Health Care, was recognized by the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM) for her time, dedication, expertise and leadership as co-chair of the AAIM Project ECHO Program Director Patient Safety and Quality (PDPQ) Collaborative Learning Community. 

Smeraglio first joined the ECHO PDPQ movement in September 2020 as a participant. Her expertise, enthusiasm and dedication were noticed by the collaborative’s leadership, prompting them to promote her to co-facilitator a year later. Since September 2021, Smeraglio has led monthly group discussions, shared expertise at weekly ACGME Structured ECHO PDPQ sessions, guided case presenters, and represented internal medicine in ACGME’s Structured ECHO PDPQ redesign project. 

The Organization of Program Director Associations and Project ECHO aim to implement a national learning network for residency program leadership in patient safety and quality improvement, and Smeraglio has been integral to the process of growing systems education in internal medicine across the country. She said she is eager to continue her national work and expand OHSU's position as a leader in Health Systems Science education.

Safarpour inducted into Gold Humanism Honor Society

Delaram Safarpour, M.D. (OHSU) has long brown hair, smiling.
Delaram Safarpour, M.D. (OHSU)

Delaram Safarpour, M.D., MSCE, FAAN, associate professor of neurology in the OHSU School of Medicine and medical director of the deep brain stimulation program in the OHSU Brain Institute, was recently inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. The induction recognizes Safarpour's commitment to placing human interests, values and dignity at the core of teaching and practicing medicine, and reflects a lifelong dedication to compassionate care and the values of humanity.

The Gold Humanism Honor Society is a community of medical students, physicians and other leaders who have been recognized for their compassionate care. The society reinforces and supports the human connection in health care, which is essential for all.

Hatch named OHSU School of Medicine Sharp Professor

Brigit Hatch, M.D. (OHSU) is wearing an orange shirt, has long brown hair and is smiling.
Brigit Hatch, M.D. (OHSU)

Brigit Hatch, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of family and preventive medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine, was named the OHSU School of Medicine Charles R. and Velma E. Sharp Professor. 

The ideal candidate for the professorship is a public health expert focused on cancer research, including prevention and outreach, and who is positioned to generate new knowledge in their field. Hatch’s research is focused on how large, system-level changes — such as the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or the COVID-19 pandemic — impact health and health outcomes for vulnerable populations. She teaches procedural skills for the screening, testing and surveillance of endometrial and cervical cancers. She also holds research appointments with the Oregon Community Health Information Network, a national network of community health centers, and the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network, where she is leading work to improve rural HPV vaccination rates.

“It has been an incredible honor to be appointed to the Charles and Velma Sharp Professorship,” Hatch said. “I am incredibly grateful for this generous opportunity, and I am eager to start planning how to maximize its impact.”

The establishment of this professorship was made possible through the estate planning generosity of OHSU School of Medicine graduate Charles Sharp, M.D., class of 1935, and his wife, Velma. In addition, the Sharp family endowed a scholarship to support students in family medicine. The tenure of the professorship is five years, with the possibility of renewal. The award carries an annual stipend. 

Mitchell named ‘Transformer of the Month’

Darren Malinoski and Jayne Mitchell (Courtesy) are standing near OHSU Hospital, smiling.
Jayne Mitchell, M.S. (Courtesy)

Jayne Mitchell, M.S., ANP-BC, CHFN, an instructor of medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine and a nurse practitioner in the OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute, has been named “Transformer of the Month.” This recognition honors employees who exemplify excellence in value-based care programs. 

“Jayne is famous for going the extra mile with patients who have been recently discharged,” Mitchell’s nomination letter read. “We all have stories of Jayne’s reports from home visits, visiting houseless patients staying at the recuperative care program — which she partnered with to pioneer an option for people with heart failure who did not have a place to go — and so much more. She has been the champion for the structural elements to help advance core heart failure value-based care principles as standard work for OHSU in post-discharge follow-up and regular discharge with evidence-based, guideline-directed medical therapy. This has led to OHSU being a gold level ‘Get with the Guidelines’ center of excellence for multiple years in a row.” 

2024 Foundation for Medical Excellence Scholars

Medical Excellence Scholars: The Foundation for Medical Excellence Scholarship recipients from left: Spencer Hills, Elena Paz-Muñoz and Tyler Yeager. (Courtesy)
The Foundation for Medical Excellence Scholarship recipients from left: Spencer Hills, Elena Paz-Muñoz and Tyler Yeager. (Courtesy)

Spencer Hills: Joseph Bloom Scholarship 

Hills is passionate about rural health care delivery, nutrition and primary care. He has experience volunteering in clinics for Portland’s unhoused population. He enjoys clinical teaching in direct primary care and is described as “effervescent” by friends and colleagues. 

Elena Paz-Muñoz: Walter McDonald Scholarship 

Paz-Muñoz’s leadership in teaching and service, passion for equity, and support of diverse communities wowed the scholarship selection committee. Paz-Muñoz looks forward to becoming a dermatologist and serving her community in clinical practice.

Tyler Yeager: Warren Jones Scholarship 

Yeager shared his moving story of illness and recovery during medical school. He is honored for his deep passion for improving rural health care delivery, research in applying artificial intelligence models to health care, and resilience during complex health challenges. He looks forward to becoming a pathologist in a rural health system.

These three OHSU School of Medicine students will each receive $5,000. They also will be invited to participate in the Foundation for Medical Excellence professional development programs, including distinguished lectureships on health policy and health care, the Physician Well-Being Conference, and other programs related to professional skills enhancement and medical excellence. 

“We received outstanding student essays and applications,” said The Foundation for Medical Excellence. “Their vision is for healthier built environments, stable food supplies, disease prevention and equitable care delivery. We are honored to support these talented students take the next steps in their career journeys.”

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