Oregon Health & Science University

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Oregon Health & Science University

Motto Where Healing, Teaching and Discovery Come Together
Established 1974
Type Public
President Joseph Robertson
Postgraduates 3,900
Location Portland, and Hillsboro, Oregon, USA
Campus Urban
Website www.ohsu.edu
The OHSU campus sits atop Marquam Hill.

Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) is a public university in Oregon with a main campus, including three hospitals, in Portland and a smaller campus in Hillsboro. It was formed in 1974 as the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center, combining state dentistry, medicine, and nursing programs into a single center. It was renamed Oregon Health Sciences University in 1981 and took its current name in 2001, as part of a merger with the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology (OGI) in Hillsboro. In addition, the university has several partnership programs including a joint PharmD Pharmacy program with Oregon State University.


The main campus, located on Marquam Hill (commonly known as "Pill Hill") in the southwest neighborhood of Homestead is home to the university's medical schools as well as two associated hospitals. The Oregon Health & Science University Hospital is a Level I trauma center and general hospital; Doernbecher Children's Hospital is a children's hospital which specializes in pediatric medicine and care of children with long-term illness. The university maintains a number of outpatient primary care facilities including the Physician's Pavilion at the Marquam Hill campus as well as throughout the Portland metropolitan area.

A third hospital, the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center [2] is located next to the OHSU campus; this hospital is run by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and is outside the auspices of OHSU. A 1992 pedestrian bridge connecting OHSU Hospital and the VA Medical Center is the longest suspended pedestrian skybridge in North America, with a length of 660 feet (200 m).

The University also has a campus in Hillsboro, at the site of the former OGI. This campus specializes in graduate-level science and engineering education, and is located in the heart of Oregon's Silicon Forest. Since 1998, the university has controlled the Oregon National Primate Research Center, located adjacent to OGI in Hillsboro.

With the Marquam Hill campus running out of room for expansion, beginning in 2003 OHSU announced plans to expand into the South Waterfront District, formerly known as the North Macadam District. The expansion area is along the Willamette River in the South Portland neighborhood to the east of Marquam Hill and south of the city center. As existing surface streets were deemed insufficient to connect the two campuses, the new Portland Aerial Tram was built as the primary link between them and opened December 1, 2006. Controversy surrounded the costs of the tram[1], which nearly quadrupled from initial estimates. Construction of the tram was funded largely by OHSU ($40 million, 70%), with contributions from the city of Portland ($8.5 million, 15%) and developers and landowners in the South Portland neighborhood.[2]


The university can trace its roots back to the 1860s when the predecessor Willamette University School of Medicine was started in Salem.[3] Willamette University and the University of Oregon merged their medical programs in 1913, creating the University of Oregon schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Nursing. This lasted until 1974 when the state mandated the combination of those three schools into one freestanding University, independent of the University of Oregon. Its primary campus was established in 1917 by the donation of 20 acres (80,000 m²) from the Oregon-Washington Railroad and Navigation Company and 88 acres (360,000 m²) from the family that owned the now-defunct Oregon Journal. The land had originally been bought sight-unseen for the purpose of building a railroad yard. The area being on a hill, however, made this impossible.

Controversy over "sexual preference" research in sheep

Recently, the animal rights group PETA has incited some controversy over OHSU research involving sheep.[4] The research, which is being conducted in conjunction with Oregon State University is designed to understand the biological mechanisms involved in sexual partner preference.[5] These experiments are being funded through public grants through the year 2008.


  1. Murphy, Todd (October 11, 2002). "Nice tram, who pays?". Portland Tribune. Retrieved 2006-11-16. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. [1]
  3. OHSU: An historical chronology
  4. Oregon gay sheep experiment challenged by tennis champ
  5. Seattle Times: Born gay? How biology may drive orientation

External links

Template:Oregon University System