Chris Minson's leadership in the University of Oregon's Department of Human Physiology -- teaching and mentoring students, building the curriculum and forging relationships across campus and with area physicians -- has earned him the 2012 Mentor Award from the Medical Research Foundation of Oregon.
The Mentor Award, to be presented Nov. 15 in Portland, goes to an Oregonian who has provided outstanding leadership and support of health research, education or the advancement of health care.
Minson, who joined the UO faculty in 2000 after a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, will receive $6,000 and a commemorative crystal paperweight when he is formally recognized along with the 2012 recipients of the foundation's Discovery and Richard T. Jones New Investigator awards.
Minson's research focuses on human cardiovascular physiology. He studies how natural and synthetic forms of estrogen and progesterone impact cardiovascular health and blood pressure regulation in women. He also studies neural and vascular interactions and adaptations during thermoregulatory challenges. His teaching is in the areas of cardiovascular and environmental physiology.
Minson earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Arizona and a master's degree and doctorate in exercise science, respectively, from San Diego State University and Pennsylvania State University.
In nominating Minson for the Mentor Award, Professor John Halliwill wrote that his colleague "is one of, if not the most productive researcher in our department." He noted that Minson's published research has been cited 2,216 times and that his citation ranking is one of the highest in the department.
"Dr. Minson has mentored a growing number of undergraduate graduate students within his research program," Halliwill continued. "His former graduate students are all currently employed within the field, some as postdoctoral fellows in prestigious labs, others have moved on to their first faculty appointments. In general, all are being successful and this reflects highly on Dr. Minson's mentorship."
Halliwill also noted the growth of the Department of Human Physiology since Minson's arrival, and praised Minson for having "heavily invested his time in developing working relationships with key individuals and groups that could support his vision for research."
The Medical Research Foundation -- based at Oregon Health & Science University --was founded in 1942 by a group of businessmen and physicians for the purpose of stimulating medical research achievement in Oregon. When the foundation became an affiliate committee of the OHSU Foundation in 1994, it retained its own unique purpose in recognizing excellence in both scientific achievement and mentorship throughout Oregon.