New bioinformatics services for all OHSU investigators available July 1

Fee-for-service bioinformatics support, focused on next-generation sequencing, will be available to all OHSU investigators starting July 1, 2017.

cellsThis interim bioinformatics service will provide additional capacity and will complement the existing Oregon National Primate Research Center bioinformatics service core, which is primarily dedicated to ONPRC investigators, as well as the bioinformatics services provided for Knight Cardiovascular Institute Epigenetics Consortium members.

Investigators will have two new tiers of bioinformatics service available to them: (1) flat-fee based QA/QC and alignment, and (2) hourly rate analytical support. In addition, the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI) Translational Bioinformatics Program will provide consultations regarding experimental design, data management and dissemination free of charge for FY18.

In order to assess the growing needs of OHSU investigators, the OCTRI Translational Bioinformatics Program will provide a unified point of contact and will connect investigators with available faculty collaborators from across campus for other bioinformatics needs (imaging, proteomics, immunophenotyping, natural language processing, etc.). Available collaborators are found in the Division of Bioinformatics and Computational Biomedicine in the Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Biomedical Engineering, the OCTRI Biostatistics and Design Program (BDP), the OCTRI Research Data Warehouse, the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health Biostatistics, the Knight Cancer Institute Biostatistics Shared Resource, and other OHSU units.

The data collected by OCTRI Translational Bioinformatics Program and the MPSSR on support requests and utilization of these services will be critical to guide the university in the expansion of existing cores as well as the development of new ones. In particular, these data will help us restart a new bioinformatics core for OHSU if the demand shows its necessity.

This fee-for-service bioinformatics support has been made possible by a partnership between the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, the University Shared Resources (USR) program, the OCTRI Translational Bioinformatics Program, the Integrated Genomics Laboratory’s Massively Parallel Sequencing Shared Resource (MPSSR) and the Advanced Computing Center (ACC).

For a free consultation or to request analytical support, please submit a service request. MPSSR users will also be able to request services when they initiate projects via the MPSSR’s online form at the OHSU iLab portal.




Upcoming class: Introduction to Research Administration, July 13

Research Administration Training & Education (RATE) connects the research community with workplace learning and offers classes for research administrators and others who support research at OHSU.

RDA 101 provides a big-picture overview of research administration. Meet Research Development and Administration unit leaders, tour valuable web resources, and meet face-to-face with your contacts in OPAM, IRB, TTBD, and others.

RDA 101: Introduction to Research Administration
Thursday, July 13
9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Center for Health & Healing, CHH 3070, room 4

The class is designed for research administrators who are new to OHSU, as well as those who have been at OHSU for a while.

Use your network login to enroll through Compass. Questions? Contact Margaret Gardner.

K12 career development opportunity for research in women’s health, sex/gender differences


The BIRCWH (Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health) K12 program announces a special funding opportunity for OHSU junior faculty members. The BIRCWH program provides salary support and fringe benefits, limited research funding, and an infrastructure to support mentored career development for those interested in interdisciplinary basic, translational, behavioral, clinical, population, and/or health services women’s health and/or sex/gender differences research. The BIRCWH program anticipates up to three openings for a K12 scholar in Fall of 2017 and Winter of 2018. Deadline for applications is August 1, 2017.

Award information: Scholars will receive salary and fringe benefit support for .75 FTE, up to $93,000 (plus OPE), and up to $25,000 per year for research, supplies, and travel. You will be appointed as an OCTRI scholar, which will give you access to core OCTRI services including statistics, IRB, regulatory compliance etc. (Some limitations will apply to these services.) This is an interdisciplinary research training program, so scholars must have multiple, experienced research mentors who represent different disciplines.

Eligibility: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or non-citizen nationals, or individuals lawfully admitted for permanent residence (by October 1, 2017), who hold a clinical or nonclinical doctoral degree or its equivalent, can commit a minimum of 75% full-time professional effort to conducting women’s health and/or sex/gender differences research, have identified mentors with extensive research experience, and must NOT be or have been a PI on an R01 or K award. The applicant’s department must commit to support for a faculty appointment, protecting 75% FTE for research on this award, and covering any excess salary/OPE beyond this award.

Visit the BIRCWH website for more information. Apply here.

For questions or for more information, please contact BIRCWH Program Director Jeanne-Marie Guise, MD, MPH or BIRCWH Program Coordinator Daniel Johnson.

Outgoing Subawards: Best practices, West Campus, June 27

Does your research department subcontract with third parties for projects or programs? Research Administration Training & Education (RATE) offers a number of learning opportunities at South Waterfront, Marquam Hill and West Campus locations. In June, we are offering Outgoing Subawards: Best practices.

Outgoing Subawards: Best practices
Tuesday, June 27
1 to 2 p.m.
VGTI Conference Room, 1st floor
West Campus

Meet the Sub-out team and gain insight into best practices for development and administration of subawards. Course topics include tips for completing required documents to avoid administrative hang-ups; creating a subaward scope of work and budget; and potential pitfalls in sub-out requests and how to avoid them.

Part instruction and part discussion, this session is intended for departmental staff who coordinate or manage administrative aspects of subaward or subrecipient relations and processes.

To find more information and to enroll, visit Compass, or contact the RATE Program team at

Applying for foundation funding? Check out the President’s List!

Just a friendly reminder that if you plan to submit a grant to a foundation or corporation on the OHSU President’s List, you are required to submit a Notice of Intent form to the OHSU Foundation. The purpose of the President’s List is to ensure that OHSU maintains coordinated communication with these organizations. Additionally, some organizations are reserved for top institutional priorities as determined by senior OHSU leadership.

Things to keep in mind:

  • If you’re interested in applying to one of these organizations, please submit a Notice of Intent form. The Notice of Intent Form is only required for organizations on the list.
  • If Office of Proposal & Award Management needs to contact one of these organizations or receives communications from them, please let someone on the Office of Foundation Relations team know.
  • The OHSU President’s List is updated about once a year.

Questions? Contact the OHSU Foundation.

Searle Scholars career development program; internal deadline July 12

The Searle Scholars Program is a highly competitive program designed to support exceptional, new junior faculty. It supports research in biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience, and pharmacology, as well as related areas in chemistry, medicine, and the biological sciences. The program does not ordinarily support purely clinical research but has supported research programs that include both clinical and basic components. Applications are evaluated on the potential of the applicant to make innovative and high-impact contributions to research over an extended period of time. Awardees receive $100,000 per year for three years.

Candidates should have begun their first appointment as an independent investigator at the assistant professor level on or after July 1, 2016. The appointment must be a tenure-track position (or its nearest equivalent).

Internal deadline: July 12, 2017
Sponsor deadline: September 29, 2017

Limited SubmissionThis opportunity requires internal coordination because OHSU is limited to only submit one application. If you intend to apply, complete an application via Competitive Application Portal (CAP) by the internal deadline. Click here to learn more about OHSU’s Limited Submission process.

Arthur Vandenbark and team find treatment dose for MS is sex dependent

High dose of DRα1-mMOG-35-55 reduces demyelination and leukocyte infiltration in female mice with chronic EAE.

High dose of DRα1-mMOG-35-55 reduces demyelination and leukocyte infiltration in female mice with chronic EAE.

One of the main challenges in treating multiple sclerosis is reversing the effects of accumulated damage to the central nervous system. Damage to myelin, which coats and protects axons, and chronic axonal loss due to the absence of myelin are hallmarks of the disease.Most of the available drugs for MS are anti-inflammatory and used to treat the most common type of MS: relapsing-remitting. It is not clear to what extent these drugs help repair damaged axons and create new myelin sheaths. Repairing or stopping chronic myelin damage may reduce or halt MS progression.

A team led by Arthur A. Vandenbark, Ph.D., used a mouse model of MS to evaluate potencies of a genetic therapy, called pMHC class II constructs, on the progressive form of this MS model. Vandenbark, professor in the OHSU Multiple Sclerosis Center, and his team have previously shown that these pMHC class II constructs may prevent or reverse clinical signs of neuro-inflammatory diseases, including the mouse model of MS.

The research, published May 6 in the Journal of Neuroinflammation, demonstrated that treating the mouse model of chronic MS with these constructs significantly reversed the clinical severity of the disease. The treatment also reduced continued loss of myelin and the associated axonal damage in the central nervous system.

The findings demonstrated that the effective dose of pMHC constructs was sex dependent and might be regulated by estrogen signaling through estrogen receptor alpha, a nuclear receptor that is activated by the sex hormone estrogen. The team identified the importance of the dose of these constructs, particularly when used in future therapies for women with progressive MS. Of the 400,000 people in the United States with MS, most are women.

This work may potentially support the design of future clinical trials using pMHC for treatment of progressive MS.

In addition to Vandenbark and first authors Gil Benedek and Priya Chaudhary, co-authors include Roberto Meza-Romero, Evan Calkins, Gail Kent, Halina Offner, and Dennis Bourdette.

This work was supported by NIH grants AI 122574 (to AAV) and the Merit Award BX000226 (to AAV) through the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Office of Research and Development, Biomedical Laboratory Research and Development.


Reminder: RCR and human subjects training deadline, May 31

Last July, OHSU announced changes in training requirements for the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and protection of human subjects. With the university’s transition to the CITI Program, all researchers who completed their training more than three years ago in the Big Brain system are now being asked to complete updated training through CITI by May 31, 2017. The CITI Program meets NIH standards and is utilized by the majority of academic institutions in the U.S. and the Veteran’s Administration.

Depending on your work, you might need to complete at least one of the following CITI courses by the May 31 deadline.

  • Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). Previously called “RCR for All” in Big Brain. This course is required for anyone involved in research at OHSU.
  • Animal Care and Use (ACU): Working with the IACUC. Previously called “RCR involving Animal Subjects” in Big Brain. This course must be completed by researchers who use animals.
  • Human Subjects Research (HSR): Human Researchers. Previously called “RCR involving Human Subjects” in Big Brain. This course must be completed by researchers conducting research with human subjects.
  • Biosafety/Biosecurity: Working with rDNA/Infectious Agents/Toxins. Previously called “RCR involving rDNA, Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules and Infectious Agents/ Biological Toxins” in Big Brain. This course must be competed if you work with recombinant DNA, synthetic nucleic acid molecules in cells, organisms or viruses, infectious agents, or biologically derived toxins.
  • Good Clinical Practices (GCP). Previously called “RCR for FDA Regulated Products” in Big Brain. This course must be completed by researchers conducting human subject research involving FDA regulated products (drugs or devices), clinical trials funded by the NIH or clinical trials with GCP training required by the sponsor.

Changes in Compliance Training

With the ever-changing research regulatory environment, OHSU has instituted a 3-year renewal requirement for the CITI courses listed above, as is the standard at many institutions, to provide updated content and refreshers on regulatory requirements.

If you have previously completed the listed courses in Big Brain, you will be eligible to enroll in a refresher training option once in the CITI system. Similarly, past CITI users are able to associate their existing CITI account with OHSU in order to apply previously completed courses towards OHSU requirements. By linking your OHSU credentials to a pre-existing CITI account, you will be given credit for any equivalent trainings completed in the last 3 years when you register for OHSU training. Please note that the CITI modules do take longer than the old Big Brain modules, so expect to devote at least an hour to each.

When do I have to complete CITI training?

Courses previously completed in Big Brain will be automatically assigned to your Compass account. Based on your past completions, you were either assigned a due date of May 31, 2017 or May 31, 2018. If you are not sure when you are due, you can check your account in Compass for any assigned training and the due date. Failure to complete your training by these dates will result in you being noncompliant in funding set-up processes and block the submission of IRB, IACUC, and IBC protocols on which your education compliance is being managed by OHSU.

You only need to complete courses related to the type of work you do now. If you no longer need to complete a course that has been assigned to you, please let us know by filling out this online form. You can also reply back to, and identify which course no longer applies to you and why. Your Compass transcript will be adjusted accordingly. Please visit the website for more information on training requirements, and contact with any questions.

Faculty honored for contributions to OHSU’s missions

At OHSU, the passion we bring to our work leads to discoveries, educational opportunities, and patient successes that literally change the world. At the heart of our success are faculty members that bring this devotion, creativity, and energy to everything that we stand for. This makes a difference not only in the eyes of other faculty members, but to students and patients as well. It is a great honor to be recognized by fellow faculty members for the many contributions that are sometimes thought as unseen.

Congratulations to this year’s Faculty Senate Awards finalists and winners (highlighted in blue).

Affiliated Units and Institutes
Teaching Award
Robin Champieux, M.L.I.S.
Tawnya Peterson, Ph.D.

School of Dentistry
Excellence Award
Luiz Bertassoni, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Sylvia Nelsen, PhD
Carmem Pfeifer, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Sivaraman Prakasam, Ph.D.

School of Medicine
Service Award
Kara Connelly, M.D.
Karen Eden, Ph.D.
David Jones, M.D.
Christina Milano, M.D.

School of Nursing
Research Award
Lissi Hansen, Ph.D., R.N.
Dena Hassouneh, Ph.D., R.N. A.N.P. P.M.H.N.P, F.A.A.N.
Christopher Lee, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.H.A., F.A.A.N., F.H.F.S.A.

College of Pharmacy
Leadership Award
Gary DeLander, Ph.D.
Theresa Filtz, Ph.D.
Mark Leid, Ph.D.

School of Public Health
Collaboration Award
Elena Andresen, Ph.D.
Dennis McCarty, Ph.D.
John Stull, M.D., M.P.H.

The award categories rotate among the different schools and affiliated units on an annual basis. Nominations are reviewed by committees representing individual units, and final selection is made by the OHSU Faculty Senate. The awards are supported by the OHSU Foundation. The award winners were announced at this year’s Distinguished Faculty Awards luncheon which was held on May 24.

OHSU Center for Women’s Health Circle of Giving awards two research grants

The OHSU Center for Women’s Health Circle of Giving, a group of philanthropic women who pool and target their resources to advance women’s health research at OHSU, have announced the recipients of two research grants for 2017.

Award recipient Wei Huang,  Ph.D.

Award recipient Wei Huang, Ph.D.

Wei Huang, Ph.D., (left photo) from the Advanced Imaging Research Center will receive a $125,000 grant. Dr. Huang proposes to develop a safer, faster and lower-cost MRI exam that can detect breast cancer with high accuracy and can be used following positive mammographic findings to improve diagnostic accuracy and reduce unnecessary biopsies. His goal is that the MRI exam will be about ten minutes and will not require the need for contrast injections, which currently make MRIs more expensive and unsafe for some women.

Award recipients Kimberly Beatty, Ph.D., and Jim Korkola, Ph.D.

Award recipients Kimberly Beatty, Ph.D., and Jim Korkola, Ph.D.

Jim Korkola, Ph.D. and Kimberly Beatty, Ph.D., both assistant professors of biomedical engineering, OHSU School of Medicine, will also receive a $125,000 grant. They propose to use new molecular technology to investigate drug resistance mechanisms in HER2+ breast cancers. The technology will allow them to tag and track the locations and interactions of breast cancer receptors, in cancer cells. This research could reveal new information about why patient responses to treatment varies and identify new opportunities for treating drug-resistant, HER2+ breast cancers.

Since its founding in 2006, the Circle of Giving has awarded almost $2 million in grants to OHSU researchers doing important work in the field of women’s health. A total of 18 grants have been awarded, including some smaller grants for focused research and equipment. The Circle of Giving is unique in the United States. It is the only giving circle of its kind: focused exclusively on women’s health research.

The Circle of Giving grant is open to OHSU researchers who wish to launch new ideas and innovations in a broad range of women’s health issues. The next grant cycle will begin in December 2017. Please contact Casey Conrad for more information about submission requirements.

Welcome to the Research News Blog

Welcome to the Research News Blog

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