Second headshot photo session scheduled for May 2

Yesterday we posted an announcement about the opportunity to have your professional photo taken during Research Week and all available slots filled up within hours! Since there’s obviously a demand for this, we’ve decided to add a second session:

FPP 21469239 Research Week 2017 ART RGBTuesday, May 2
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
OHSU Old Library

Check in at the south entrance – photos will be taken outside weather permitting.

Sign up now for the second session!

Please be on time to your session and remember these tips for your headshot:

  • Dress professionally, but like yourself (you want to feel comfortable).
  • Don’t wear anything too distracting that might take away from the focus on your face and eyes, solid colors that are medium to dark are a good choice.
  • Don’t tilt your head in your photo.
  • Don’t do a straight on pose, turn your shoulders slightly.
  • Smile!
  • Google some additional tips for taking a good professional headshot.

Questions? Contact us at

OHSU scientist Carsten Schultz: Illuminating insulin release

Worldwide, type 2 diabetes rates quadrupled between 1980 and 2016. That growth, reported by the World Health Organization last April, reflects the urgent need for prevention and improved treatment of diabetes. In current treatments of individuals with diabetes, measuring insulin levels is a fundamental tool.

Confocal images of MIN6 β cells expressing RINS1. Enlargement of the selected square (top right). Merged images (top), single channels (bottom), mCherry (magenta), sfGFP (green).

Confocal images of MIN6 β cells expressing RINS1. Enlargement of the selected square (top right). Merged images (top), single channels (bottom), mCherry (magenta), sfGFP (green).

Until now, laboratory tests have measured the total amount of insulin secreted by a large number of cells. But exploring the fundamental biology behind this process—and accurately testing drugs that could potentially control levels of insulin secretion—requires an understanding of how this works at the single-cell level.

Carsten Schultz, Ph.D., chair of the OHSU School of Medicine’s Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, led the multi-institution study that may give us a new optical method to measure the rate of insulin release from single cells in real time. The method was reported in Cell Chemical Biology.

Pancreatic beta cells produce proinsulin, the protein from which insulin is made. Proinsulin comprises an A chain, B chain, and a C-peptide that together form insulin. The C-peptide separates from the A and B chains during insulin formation. Once insulin and the C-peptide are separated, a normal beta cell releases both molecules at the same time

Using mouse beta cells, Schultz’s team tagged the A chain in a beta cell with a green fluorescent protein, and attached a molecule of a red fluorescent protein—mCherry—to the C-peptide. Unexpectedly, in the modified system, only the insulin tagged with the green fluorescent protein was released, while the C-peptide tagged with mCherry remained inside the cell.

Taking the ratio of green to red fluorescence provides a new way to measure the rate of insulin release which is significant advance over existing methods, mainly because natural cell-to-cell variability can be addressed by this method.

The new tool is likely to be useful in observing the effects of drugs or drug candidates on the release of insulin, which is important in developing treatments for type 2 diabetes.

Co-authors of the paper are Martina Schifferer, Dmytro A. Yushchenko, Frank Stein, and Andrey Bolbat. The project was supported by the European Molecular Biology Laboratory; the EMBL Interdisciplinary Postdoc Program (M.S. and D.A.Y.); the EU Marie-Curie Program (EU grant 229597 for D.A.Y.); the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (D.A.Y.); and the German Research Foundation (TRR186 for C.S.).

Judges and volunteers still needed for Research Week!

FPP 21469239 Research Week 2017 ART RGBResearch Week 2017 kicks off this coming Monday, May 1, and we’re still in need of a few oral presentation judges. Specifically, we’re looking for faculty, postdocs, or researchers with expertise in:

Cell and molecular biology
• Surgery

Judges play a critical role in giving valuable feedback to trainees on their presentation style and content. Your support is greatly appreciated. Please register as soon as possible.

A few volunteer slots are also still open. We need a few poster wranglers on Monday evening to make sure posters are set up in the right location. We’re also in need of a few moderators and backup moderators for some of the oral presentation sessions. View the schedule and sign up here.

Thank you!

The Research Week Planning Committee

Sign up to have a professional photo taken at Research Week 2017

In this fast-paced digital world we live in, your image is your personal brand and most often the first impression you make. Whether you’re applying for a job and need to spiff up your LinkedIn profile, or promoting your research using social media, having a professional “headshot” is essential.  At this year’s Research Week event, the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research is sponsoring a complimentary “headshot” photo session for OHSU students and postdocs.FPP 21469239 Research Week 2017 ART RGB

Wednesday, May 3
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
OHSU Old Library

Check in at the south entrance – photos will be taken outside weather permitting.

You must sign up for a time as the number of slots is limited!  We’ll be sending students and postdocs out in groups of five to have their pictures taken. For this reason, it’s very important that you show up on time, and ideally five minutes early.

A few tips for your headshot:  

  • Dress professionally, but like yourself (you want to feel comfortable).
  • Don’t wear anything too distracting that might take away from the focus on your face and eyes, solid colors that are medium to dark are a good choice.
  • Don’t tilt your head in your photo.
  • Don’t do a straight on pose, turn your shoulders slightly.
  • Smile!
  • Google some additional tips for taking a good professional headshot.

Questions? Contact us at

Registration deadline for OHSU’s Three Minute Thesis competition extended to April 27

3MT_FoundedByUQ-411x130It’s not too late to register for this year’s 3MT competition. An 80,000-word Ph.D. thesis would take nine hours to present. In this Research Week favorite, the presentation time is scaled back a bit…presenters have just three minutes to share their work. The 3MT exercise develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills. Any student enrolled in an OHSU graduate program may participate. Email Jackie Wirz, Ph.D. to sign up. Wednesday, May 3, 4 p.m., OHSU Auditorium.

You’re invited to Research Week 2017

We’re sharing the following message from Dan Dorsa, Ph.D., senior vice president for research.

FPP 21469239 Research Week 2017 ART RGB

Dear colleagues,

I would like to invite you to join me in celebrating OHSU Research Week, May 1-3, 2017, our annual celebration of research at Oregon Health & Science University. More than 200 OHSU researchers will be presenting their latest findings throughout the week. I encourage you to show your support by attending talks and poster sessions. Many of the presenters are trainees, the future of the biomedical research workforce.

In addition to OHSU presenters, we have an exceptional lineup of events scheduled. Specific highlights from the Research Week program include:

  • An opening reception and all-OHSU poster session in the BICC, Monday, May 1;
  • Posters and oral presentations on a range of topics, from neuroscience to nursing, beginning Monday at 1 p.m. and continuing through Wednesday afternoon;
  • Keynote addresses by Nicholas J. Strausfeld, Ph.D. and Reshma Jagsi, M.D., D.Phil.;
  • Student day, Tuesday, May 2, will feature a host of panel discussions on topics such as mentor/mentee relationships and non-academic careers. The day will conclude with a CV/resume review mixer. If you’d like to have your CV or resume reviewed by one of our experts, you’ll need to sign up here;
  • OHSU’s 5th annual Three Minute Thesis competition, Wednesday, May 3.

The full schedule can be found here.

The work of our research scientists, students, postdocs, and staff is the foundation underlying OHSU’s success as an academic health center. I hope you will help me celebrate their achievements by attending Research Week events.


Dan Dorsa, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President for Research, OHSU

Career development opportunities at this year’s Research Week

FPP 21469239 Research Week 2017 ART RGB

Research Week 2017 begins next week on Monday, May 1, and will feature several workshops, lectures, and discussions relevant to students, postdocs, and junior faculty who want input on how to build their careers.

Start your week off Monday morning by attending an interactive workshop on “Promoting your research.”  You’ll learn about best practices for promoting your science and the OHSU resources available to assist you. Find out how to work with OHSU’s media relations and social media departments—and what you can do to promote your research yourself.

Student day is Tuesday, May 2, and will focus on several facets of career development:

  • Mentor/mentee relationship: Hear from a panel comprised of both mentors and mentees on how to navigate this very important, and sometimes tricky, relationship. Panelists will provide a general overview and share their experiences, followed by a Q & A session. If you’d like to ask a question anonymously, you can submit your queries before the event here.
  • Exploring non-academic careers: Listen in on a group of panelists who are finding success outside academia. They’ll speak about the challenges and choices they each made in their specific careers and respond to questions from the audience.
  • CV/resume mixer: Student day will wrap up with this interactive workshop and social mixer. A group of experts will work with participants to create a compelling story on paper that will stand out with prospective employers. Listen in on reviews and critiques and share your own tips on building a strong presentation of your education and experience. Refreshments will be served. You must RSVP to reserve a spot to meet with a reviewer by emailing

And don’t miss the panel discussion, “Leading by example: A panel on diversity in science” on Wednesday, May 3. Panelists will share their experiences and describe their career trajectories as well as answer questions from the audience about women and underrepresented minorities in science. Submit your questions before the event (coordinated by the Alliance for Visible Diversity in Science student interest group).

Times and locations for all events can be found here.

Lastly, we still need volunteers to make this event successful. Please consider helping out – it’s a great way to meet people across the institution and to learn more about the research going on at OHSU. Sign up today!

Volunteers and judges still needed for Research Week 2017!

FPP 21469239 Research Week 2017 ART RGBResearch Week 2017 is now less than two weeks away, and we still have many volunteer and judging slots to fill. Volunteers play a critical role in making Research Week a success – we couldn’t do it without you! Judges provide valuable feedback to presenters and help select this year’s presentation winners. Anyone at OHSU can volunteer. Faculty, postdocs, and research staff can all serve as judges. It’s a great opportunity to meet people from other areas and gain an understanding of the scope and quality of the research conducted every day at OHSU.

There are a number of ways volunteers can help:

  • Check-in desk
    As a Check-in Desk volunteer, you are tasked with greeting attendees and checking in presenters.
  • Poster wrangler
    It’s the Poster Wrangler’s job to see that posters are put up in the right locations.
  • 3MT ballot collector
    Help collect the audience ballots for the “People’s Choice Award” at the end of the Three Minute Thesis competition on Wednesday, May 3.
  • Moderator/backup moderator
    This is not as scary as it sounds! Moderators are needed to ensure that the pace of the oral presentation sessions are maintained, keeping presenters to their 10-minute time limit.

Volunteers – Go to the Research Week 2017 volunteer page to see what shifts are available and to sign up. Remember, you can choose as many shifts as you’d like!

Judgesvisit the sign up page for a full listing of session dates, times, and research topics that need coverage. To sign up, check the box for the session you’re interested in and click “submit”–once you get into the tool, you’ll be able to see full details.

OHSU scientist Jon Hennebold identifies key pathway in ovulation

LIF and its downstream effectors are induced in the primate periovulatory follicle after an ovulatory stimulus (human chorionic gonadotropin). Endocrinology

LIF and its downstream effectors are induced in the primate periovulatory follicle after an ovulatory stimulus (human chorionic gonadotropin). Endocrinology

Individuals should have the opportunity to have the number of children they want—that is the dogma of the laboratory of Jon Hennebold, Ph.D. To make that possible, Hennebold, chief of the Division of Reproductive & Developmental Sciences at the Oregon National Primate Research Center, focuses on identifying and characterizing the molecular events necessary for ovulation in primates.

Most of what we currently know about the ovulation cycle stems from data generated using rodent models, but there is no doubt there are differences between rodents and primates in the ways reproductive systems are controlled. Hennebold’s recent research with non-human primates has not only identified a new key player in ovulation in primates—it has demonstrated a specific difference in ovulatory processes in rodents and primates.

The Endocrine Society has named the paper, published in the journal Endocrinology, one of the 15 most important papers of the year.

Previous research conducted with mice models proved that Leukemia Inhibitory Factor, a cytokine that affects cell growth, is unnecessary for rodent ovulation. Hennebold’s team has now demonstrated that, for primates, LIF is absolutely required. The findings have implications for the promotion and control of fertility in humans, as well as demonstrating an important difference in the ovarian systems in rodents and primates.

In order to understand primate reproduction physiology and ovarian biology, Hennebold’s team has been applying genomic approaches to characterize all of the pathways that have to work together for ovulation to occur. When the team found that, unlike with rodents, LIF is highly active in the primate ovary, they conducted additional studies in which they blocked the LIF pathway. These studies demonstrated that without LIF, ovulation cannot occur.

The findings have clinical implications. Understanding that LIF is critical in primates but not in rodents moves scientists closer to understanding the mechanisms involved in human ovulation. The physiology and processes of ovulation are extremely similar in humans and non-human primates, and this new knowledge suggests that targeting LIF may lead to therapies that could encourage or interrupt fertility.

Next steps in the research include examining the relationship between this event, ovulatory processes, and fertility. Hennebold’s team has taken us one step closer to their goal—making it possible for women to have the number of children they choose.

Co-authors of the paper include Melinda J. Murphy, Nathan G. Halow, and Pamela A. Royer. This work was supported by the National Institutes for Health Grants OD011092 (J.D.H.) and R21HD072528 (J.D.H.).

OHSU rallies for science

Research funding from the National Institutes of Health has advanced our understanding of the molecular underpinnings of life—and has led to cures and therapies for some of the world’s most devastating diseases. 
Those advances, however, may be in jeopardy if proposed cuts to NIH funding take effect. These cuts—$5.8 billion, or 18 percent of its budget—would be devastating to biomedical research and would threaten the future health not only of people in the United States, but across the world. 
Without funding from the NIH, research in many of our laboratories would grind to a halt. A 20 percent cut could mean years before new grants are awarded. 
OHSU is taking the proposed cuts to science very seriously. The entire OHSU community—from faculty and staff to students and senior administration—are taking action to prevent them. Employees are organizing letter-writing campaigns to Oregon’s congressional delegation, members of the OHSU community are joining the non-partisan March for Science, and OHSU Senior Vice President of Research Dan Dorsa has been getting the word out to the public in multiple media appearances, including with KPTV and KGW.
Advocating for science is critical at this moment. The health and welfare of future generations depends on the life-saving and life-transforming research conducted at OHSU and other institutions across the country. 

Welcome to the Research News Blog

Welcome to the Research News Blog

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