Oregon Health Services University treats patients, trains healthcare professionals and carries out hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of research to tackle some of the most important health challenges of our age. Its researchers have developed a pill that stops certain chronic cancers by flipping a molecular switch; helped invent the world’s first artificial heart valve; and found a way to develop stem cells from skin cells.
OHSU bills itself as Oregon’s only public academic health and research university. It is also one of the largest employers in the state, and has launched hundreds of community programmes to improve the health of Oregon citizens. Its mission to make the Oregon lead the United States in terms of scientific and technological health innovation, as well as improving ordinary peoples’ lives. The university seeks to address employee shortages in the healthcare professions so that Oregon citizens can find the healthcare that they need.
The university started life in 1887 as the medicine department of the University of Oregon. After establishing a department of nursing in the 1930s and a dental school in 1945, it was renamed Oregon Health Sciences University in 1981 after a consolidation of schools, hospitals and university programmes the previous decade.
OHSU trains doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals, but student life does not revolve entirely around medicine – the campus student centre exhibits artwork by students, employees, patients and faculty members. The campus is based in the city of Portland, one of the US’s most eco-friendly and attractive cities, and is based right next to Marquam Nature Park.