Chris Minson named to first Singer Professorship

UO human physiology professor Chris Minson
UO human physiology professor Chris Minson

Chris Minson knows what it’s like to be breathless. After all, one of the things the UO human physiology professor studies is the effect of high altitude on the cardiovascular system.

So perhaps it’s fitting that Minson had to catch his breath himself when he learned he has been appointed to the first-ever endowed professorship in his department’s history. Minson now holds the Ken and Kenda Singer Professorship in Human Physiology.

The professorship was endowed by Dr. Ken Singer and his wife, Kenda, longtime supporters of the UO’s human physiology and athletic training programs. Dr. Singer has long served on the athletic department’s medical staff and holds a courtesy appointment as a professor in the human physiology department.

“It is an absolute honor to be selected as the Ken and Kenda Singer Professorship in Human Physiology,” Minson said. “The Singers have been incredible supporters of our department and the UO, as well as philanthropic supporters of numerous other groups in Eugene and Oregon. It is a privilege to have my name associated with the Singers, and I will endeavor to honor their incredible generosity and trust.”

Minson’s research focuses on issues related to women’s health, physiology of the skin and responses to environmental extremes. He is co-director of the Evonuk Environmental Physiology Core at the UO and previously served has department head.

In addition, Minson serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Applied Physiology and Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. He has received research awards from the American Physiological Society and the American College of Sports Medicine. He received a UO Faculty Excellence Award in 2007 and the Mentor Award from the Medical Research Foundation of Oregon in 2012.

In a letter, College of Arts and Sciences interim Dean W. Andrew Marcus said the selection committee based the choice on Minson’s “truly outstanding record of scientific achievement,” including the award of grants from some of the nation’s most competitive funding agencies. He also cited the more than 80 publications Minson has authored in top-tier international journals.

“The committee noted that your collective body of work places you among the best scientists in your field and that your leadership has been transformational,” Marcus wrote. “You have been inspirational to your colleagues.”

Minson served as department head during a period of transformation that included explosive growth in both undergraduate and graduate student enrollment and the addition of a number of new faculty members. He helped build the department’s infrastructure and also took part in a major curriculum reform project.

Minson joined the UO in 2000 and came with the potential of sparking a renaissance in the human physiology department, the selection committee said, calling Minson a “superb scientist, outstanding mentor, and a caring colleague who personifies the best of what the program has become and what it aspires to be.”

 “The enormity of the gift bestowed on the department is recognized by all our faculty, staff and students, as it is a landmark event in the department’s history,” Minson said. “I am humbled by being selected by an esteemed committee and the Singers, and I can assure them that their gift and trust will be well-placed as I continue to advance my research and teaching in the realms of cardiovascular health and environmental physiology.”

By Greg Bolt, Public Affairs Communications