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Reedies Win Top Honors at OHSU Foundation Medical Research Awards

The Medical Research Awards are generally reserved for Oregon’s most illustrious scientists and educators.

PORTLAND, OR (November 17, 2008)-- Stephen W. Arch, Reed College’s Laurens N. Ruben Professor of Biology, is the recipient of the 2008 Medical Research Foundation Mentor Award.  Arch was chosen by his peers in Oregon’s scientific research community for his essential contributions to the next generation of scientists. The award was presented on November 11 at a ceremony hosted by Oregon Health & Science University Foundation in Portland’s Governor Hotel.

“Professor Arch has demonstrated rigorous scientific practice while directly mentoring research students and providing leadership in the biology department’s educational mission,” noted a Medical Research Foundation spokesperson.

In his 36 years at Reed, Arch has acted as thesis advisor to more than 170 senior biology majors, nearly a third of whom have gone on to earn a doctorate or medical degree. Many of his advisees have advanced to leadership positions at major research universities, pharmaceutical companies, academic medical centers, scientific journals, and various scientific organizations. Arch has been instrumental in making Reed one of the top per capita undergraduate institutions for producing future biology Ph.D. students.

The other Reedie to be honored by the foundation is 1986 graduate Rosalie C. Sears, associate professor in the department of molecular and medical genetics at the School of Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. Sears won the 2008 Richard T. Jones New Investigator award for her important contributions to cancer research.

Sears’ groundbreaking research has helped identify c-Myc’s potential as a therapeutic target by shedding light on the role it plays in human cancer. c-Myc codes for a protein that binds to the DNA of other genes. When c-Myc is mutated the protein doesn't bind correctly, and often causes cancer.

Sears earned her B.A. in biology from Reed in 1986. She went on to study cell biology at Vanderbilt University, where she earned a Ph.D. in 1993, and later completed a postdoctoral fellowship in genetics at Duke University.