CORVALLIS, Ore. - John M. Cassady, a leading cancer researcher and former pharmacy dean at The Ohio State University, has been named vice president for research at Oregon State University. He will begin his new duties on March 1.

Cassady will be Oregon State's first vice president for research in several years. OSU's growing research enterprise pulled in a record $177 million in funding last year and President Ed Ray said Cassady can help faculty colleagues leverage that success into even more future grants and appropriations.

"I've seen first-hand how effective John can be not only in running an organization, but in articulating a vision and getting everyone from faculty to funding agencies to buy into that vision," said Ray, who served as executive vice president and provost at Ohio State while Cassady was dean.

Cassady's research interests lie in the anticancer properties found in plants - research that parallels that of Oregon State pharmacy professor William Gerwick, who also is nationally known for his work. Cassady is the co-principal investigator on a $1 million grant funded by the National Cancer Institute that is evaluating novel strategies for plant-derived anticancer agents.

"I am honored and excited at the selection to be part of President Ray's leadership team at Oregon State and to join an outstanding team in the Research Office," Cassady said. "I have spent my entire academic career in strong, diverse land-grant institutions and these public research universities - like Oregon State - are wonderful places where teaching, research and outreach come together to create an optimal environment for undergraduate, graduate and professional students to learn and be transformed."

Cassady joined the Ohio State faculty in 1988 as dean of the College of Pharmacy, serving in that position until last year, when he stepped down after three five-year terms to concentrate on his research. He is a professor in the college's Division of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy.

He also was on the faculty of Purdue University for 21 years and headed the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy from 1980-87.

While at Ohio State, Cassady developed a number of alliances with the pharmaceutical industry and was a leader in several professional pharmacy organizations. Under his leadership as dean, the pharmacy college increased its endowment from $1.5 to $11.5 million, and he led a $15.5 million fundraising campaign to establish professorships, increase fellowships and provide student, faculty and staff support. He also helped secure state funding for a new $21 million building.

Those abilities will serve Cassady well in his new position, OSU President Ray said.

"One of the university's goals is to continue expanding our research funding, getting additional support from federal agencies, private foundations and industry," Ray said. "John Cassady can help us reach those goals."

The vice president for research at OSU administers institutional research funds and ensures compliance with all applicable federal, state and university policies on scientific integrity, research subjects and safety.

Cassady also will assume a leadership role for developing an "innovation campus" for OSU. The university is in the process of soliciting bids for the project, which would be located on a 52-acre parcel south of campus. The proposed innovation campus may eventually have as many as three anchor buildings that could include multiple clients occupying lease space from 200 to 20,000 square feet. These buildings also would contain office and laboratory space, and open areas.

Additionally, the site would have a number of lots to attract new businesses, which could build free-standing research and development facilities to their specifications.

"I am impressed with the quality and diversity of the research programs at OSU," Cassady said, "and I look forward to working with the faculty and leadership in the colleges and centers to support their efforts. The increase in funding to nearly $180 million in 2003-04 is a tribute to the efforts and quality of the faculty."

Of the record $177,545,624 OSU attracted during 2003-04, nearly $147 million was generated from competitive grants and contracts - primarily from federal agencies and major foundations. Much of the remaining $30 million came to OSU through legislative appropriations or gifts directly to the OSU Foundation.

Among the major agencies sponsoring OSU research are the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Public Health Service and National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Ray praised the work of Rich Holdren, OSU's vice provost for research, for his leadership during the past three-and-a-half years.

"Rich has provided focus, integrity, and exceptional service for our research enterprise and the leadership of this remarkable research effort by our faculty has grown into more than a one-person job," Ray said. "Rich will continue to play a vital role for the university as we enter this new chapter."

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Ed Ray, 541-737-4133