School of Medicine Alumni Award Winners
Meet the extraordinary people who make us proud to be part of the OHSU alumni community.
Congratulations to the 2023 School of Medicine Alumni Award Winners
Brian Park, M.D., R '18, M.P.H.
Walter C. Reynolds M.D. ’49, Community Service Award
“Dr. Park builds connections and opportunities and lifts up the voices of those who are marginalized by the system. – Patrice Eiff, M.D.
“Dr. Park builds connections and opportunities and lifts up the voices of those who are marginalized by the system.” – Patrice Eiff, M.D.
New this year, the Walter C. Reynolds M.D. ’49 Community Service Award honors the life and legacy of Walter C. Reynolds, M.D. ’49, a physician, community leader and the first Black graduate of the University of Oregon Medical School, now the OHSU School of Medicine. This award recognizes alumni who have demonstrated service that substantially benefits a local community.
As the son of South Korean immigrants, Brian Park grew up witnessing how language and cultural differences created barriers in his family’s pursuit of health and access to health care, influencing him to emulate Dr. Reynolds by making justice, equity and belonging the focus of his own health care career. He practices Family Medicine at OHSU’s Richmond Clinic and directs OHSU’s RELATE Lab. As co-founder of the Relational Leadership Institute, he facilitates a course in leadership that he co-developed, encouraging participants to implement a more human-centered model of leadership that fosters collective input and builds consensus.
Wayne Clark, M.S., M.D. ’85
Charles A. Preuss Distinguished Alumni Award
“There is nothing better than seeing a stroke patient regain the ability to talk, walk and be with family again.” – Wayne Clark, M.S., M.D.
As a vascular neurologist, Wayne Clark, professor of neurology, has always emphasized that stroke is an emergency. After he joined OHSU’s Oregon Stroke Center in 1991, Clark developed a mobile stroke team to respond to stroke emergencies. Clark sought to expand advanced treatment to stroke patients throughout the state and as director of OHSU’s Telestroke Program, he created a video connection between OHSU physicians and emergency rooms statewide. He developed a national leading stroke translational clinical trial program at OHSU that has completed over 175 clinical trials. Many of the medications and devices tested in these trials are now standards of care across the nation.
Julia Maxson, Ph.D. '11
Richard T. Jones Distinguished Alumni Scientist Award
“Dr. Maxson’s productivity stems from her scientific creativity and her ability to execute her ideas through technical mastery and exceptional organization.” – Brian Druker, M.D.
After earning her Ph.D. at OHSU, Julia Maxson, associate professor, Division of Oncological Sciences, worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratories of Jeffrey Tyner, Ph.D., and Brian Druker, M.D., of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. Within two years, Maxson’s work led to a major advancement in the understanding of a rare form of cancer, chronic neutrophilic leukemia (CNL), for which she was published as first-author in The New England Journal of Medicine. Maxson’s work led to an update in the World Health Organization’s diagnostic criteria for CNL. She has established her own laboratory at the OHSU Knight cancer Institute where she has since identified therapeutically targetable nodes of oncogene synergy.
Brian Duty, M.D. ’04, R ’06, R ’09, M.B.A. ’19
Esther Pohl Lovejoy Leadership Award
“Dr. Duty is a leader on the national level, in Oregon and in service to OHSU during the time of pandemic turmoil.” – John M. Barry, M.D.
When Brian Duty, associate professor of urology, was named to a leadership position within his department, he joined the OHSU/ PSU Healthcare M.B.A. program to increase his leadership skills. Through the program, he gained an increased awareness of how social determinants cause disparities in the U.S. health care system and became passionate about health policy and advocacy. To raise student awareness of health system disparities, Duty co-designed a curriculum that educates OHSU first-year medical students about the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. health care system. He is a leader of the public policy efforts of the American Urological Association (AUA) and works to change public healthcare policy both nationally and locally.
Jenna Emerson, M.D. ’13
Early Career Achievement Award
“Her expertise contributes to OHSU’s standing as a national leader in ob/gyn training,” – Elizabeth Munro, M.D.
As an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Jenna Emerson is a lead mentor and innovator, surgeon and oncologist. She designed and implemented a Robotic Gynecologic Surgery Curriculum and used paintbrushes and watercolors instead of surgical instruments to teach nervous interns to manipulate delicate tools. Through ongoing service trips to Guatemala, she has provided acute specialized gynecologic care, and acted as team lead for the Rwanda Center of Excellence in Cervical Cancer Detection and Treatment, participating live and virtually in training programs for health care providers and trainees in Kigali, Rwanda. The virtual training sessions also benefit physicians and trainees in the United States.
Theodore Braun, M.D., Ph.D. ’12
Early Career Achievement Award
“A major purpose of my work is to understand why leukemia happens. Only through understanding the why will we be able to develop lasting cures.” – Theodore Braun, M.D., Ph.D.
As an OHSU graduate student, Ted Braun, now an assistant professor of medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, fundamentally changed the understanding of muscle wasting in response to human growth. He demonstrated that cytokines act in the hypothalamus to release cortisol, which signals the muscle to produce wasting. His work revealed this as the primary mechanism of muscle wasting in cancer, challenging a 20-year-old model. Working in Dr. Brian Druker’s lab at the Knight Cancer Institute, Braun developed a retroviral system that allowed in vitro prospective temporal control of mutation order. Braun demonstrated that acute myeloid leukemia (AML) only develops when CEBPA mutations precede mutations that are more generally associated with proliferation. This was the first instance of experimental manipulation of mutation order in an in vivo AML model. Braun’s current research focuses on the earliest genetic events in leukemia that occur in epigenetic regulatory genes.