The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Jessina McGregor Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Chris Petersen.

September 4, 2016


Jessina Cicily McGregor (née Luiz) was born in Milwaukie, Oregon in 1978 and raised in nearby Gladstone. The daughter of Indian immigrants, McGregor developed an interest in science that emerged partly out of a desire to become a veterinarian. A strong student, McGregor was a drum major at her high school and also studied German - two interests that she continued to pursue during her college years.

McGregor graduated from high school in 1996 and began her undergraduate studies at Oregon State University that September. A flute player in the OSU Marching Band, McGregor was also a member of the second cohort in the history of the University Honors College and, during her sophomore year, was vice president of the OSU Residence Hall Association. Academically, McGregor entered OSU as a Biology major with a pre-Veterinary option, but later switched into a pure science track, ultimately settling on Microbiology. She also completed an International Degree, studying for one year in Germany. For her undergraduate honors thesis, McGregor worked in a microbiology lab, charged with both pursuing the identification of a new species of bacteria and also describing the history of identifying and naming bacterial species.

McGregor and her husband were married after their fourth year at OSU, in 2000. The following year, McGregor graduated with an honors bachelor of science degree in Microbiology and an honors bachelor of art degree in International Studies. That summer, she and her husband moved to Baltimore, where McGregor had been accepted into the Ph.D. program in Epidemiology at the University of Maryland-Baltimore. While there, she examined electronic health record data to look at risk vectors for acquiring drug resistant infections. Following the completion of her doctorate in 2005, McGregor spent a year as a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.

In 2006, McGregor returned to her alma mater when she was hired by the OSU College of Pharmacy as an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice. Eventually based at the burgeoning health sciences campus on Portland's South Waterfront, McGregor was also jointly hired by Oregon Health Sciences University as an assistant professor in OHSU's Department of Public Health and Preventative Medicine.

McGregor's research is primarily data- and clinic-based, with a lesser emphasis placed on laboratory experimentation. Her research group, which is part of the Pharmacy Outcomes Research Core at the Collaborative Life Sciences Center, is interested in the improvement of antibiotic utilization, and also studies healthcare-associated infections, antibiotic resistant organisms, and infectious diseases. McGregor bears the distinction of having received the first National Institute of Health R-level grant of any faculty member working in OSU's Department of Pharmacy Practice. She has likewise received two additional R-level grants from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.