NIH updates diversity statement

On Jan. 12, 2015, the NIH released an announcement that provides an updated diversity statement, describing the institutes’s interest in the diversity of the NIH-funded workforce. The statement provides recent data (updated in 2014) on underrepresented populations in the U.S. biomedical research community and encourages institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations.

The statement highlighted the under-representation of women at senior faculty levels in biomedical-relevant disciplines. A new provision was also included that allows for institutes to include women as eligible candidates in faculty-level diversity-targeted programs that provide structured opportunities for advancement (i.e. Diversity Supplement).

This notice was effective on its release date; however, existing funding opportunity announcements (FOA) with diversity statement language will continue to use existing language for the duration of the FOA.

eCRIS gets easier and faster with Gridless update, Jan. 26

For clinical research study staff, eCRIS is about to get a boost with the release of the gridless view for the Visit Schedule module. This release is set for Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, and all studies will be converted to the new gridless Visit Schedule data entry model. Gridless is the conversion in the Visit Schedule, and partly in the Budget module, from a grid view to a gridless view and will make building and modifying Visit Schedules easier and faster.

Contact Kristin Stiller to schedule a training session. In addition, an electronic module for training on the gridless view and updated eCRIS manual sections will be available later this month. Trainings are not mandatory but offer a good introduction and overview of the new functionality.

Did you know there is more eCRIS support on O2? Explore the eCRIS O2 site to:

  • Keep informed with downtime and update announcements
  • Get answers with manuals, guides and FAQs
  • Easy help for access and trainings
  • Find current issues and workaround reports
  • Locate eCRIS support contact links

Changes to NSF’s online portal (FastLane) scheduled for Jan. 26

On Jan. 26, 2015, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will implement changes in FastLane to support the revised version of the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) and to run additional automated compliance checks on proposals.

A revised PAPPG was issued on Nov. 20, 2014, which incorporates OMB’s Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance), as well as other policy updates. The following changes will be made to FastLane support the revised PAPPG:

  • Budget Form Updates: The “Residual Funds” line will be renamed “Small Business Fee” and may only be editable for SBIR/STTR programs.
  • Budget Justification Upload: Awardees will be required to upload a budget justification for each organization added to the budget via an upload screen.
  • Cost Sharing Notifications Requirements: Must now be submitted by all awardees with awards that include cost sharing.
  • New Funding Mechanism: (Ideas Lab, designed to support the development and implementation of creative and innovative project ideas).

FastLane will also begin to run an additional 24 automated compliance checks on proposals to ensure they comply with requirements outlined in the PAPPG. These checks will validate a proposal for compliance with page count, proposal sections per type of funding mechanism, and budget-related rules for proposals submitted in response to the Grants Proposal Guide, Program Announcements, and Program Descriptions. At this time, these checks will not be enforced for proposals submitted in response to Program Solicitations.



Oregon Scientist Development Award application deadline Feb. 15

The Medical Research Foundation (MRF) is accepting applications for the 2015 Oregon Scientist Development Award, which supports highly promising biomedical scientists seeking to develop their research careers in Oregon.

The OSDA is designed to support exceptional, but not yet fully independent, young investigators seeking to make the transition from an intermediate rank to scientific independence. This includes investigators currently at the level of staff scientist, research assistant professor, instructor or similar transitional appointments. Applicants must be in a rank that is eligible to submit independent R01s and similar grant applications. Because this award is meant to foster development of an independent research program, a minimum 25 percent FTE must be put to the project. Tenure track or new investigators with start-up packages are not eligible for this application.

Criteria for the award include exceptional quality of the applicant, strength of the research plan, strength of the career development plan, the research environment and degree of institutional/mentor commitment. Letters of support from a mentor and department chair need to accompany grant applications. Application guidelines can be found here.

New OHSU Research Uncovers Key Barrier, Further Advancing the Fight Against HIV

One of the challenges to curing HIV is that the disease lurks in the body, even when it’s being treated with anti-retroviral medication. Now this puzzle is one step closer to being solved. An ongoing study  by a team of researchers at Oregon Health & Science University’s Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute (VGTI) has identified a key biological barrier to the goal of curing HIV infection in people on anti-retroviral therapy. This work, published in Nature Medicine, builds on previous research by Louis Picker, M.D., associate director of VGTI. Picker’s lab uses a typically harmless virus called cytomegalovirus, which is already carried by a large percentage of the population, to target simian immunodeficiency virus, or SIV, a nonhuman primate form of HIV that causes AIDS in monkeys.

OHSU’s Louis Picker, M.D.

The latest breakthrough shows that even in nonhuman primates with highly effective immune (killer T cell) responses to the SIV–so-called “elite controllers”–the disease could still persistently replicate in B cell follicles, which exclude the antiviral killer cells. Thus, the virus found a biological sanctuary, where it could not be destroyed by even the most effective killer T cells. In SIV-positive monkeys on anti-retroviral medications, the low-level SIV replication that remained was largely found in the same B cell follicles, suggesting that therapeutic vaccines targeting killer T cells, which are designed to rid the body of this residual SIV, will fail until the B follicle sanctuary can be breached.

The researchers report that this discovery has identified one of several key barriers to eliminating SIV in nonhuman primates, barriers that also complicate development of a curative HIV therapy in humans. Another Picker lab report published in 2013 described a promising vaccine that was able clear SIV from the monkey’s body when given before infection. Picker’s group is currently testing whether this novel vaccine can facilitate of clearance of SIV when given after infection. The current findings help Picker and colleagues better understand the barriers needed to optimize this vaccine, with the hope that it will ultimately contribute to a cure for HIV.

This work was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases grants 4R37A1054292 and 1U19AI096109.



Methamphetamine Abuse Research Center pilot projects due March 30

OHSU’s Methamphetamine Abuse Research Center (MARC) seeks applications for pilot project research grants. These grants of up to $25,000 are designed to bring new research directions, approaches, and investigators into the center. Projects are also intended to generate preliminary data for future R-type grant applications. All OHSU and VA faculty interested in methamphetamine research are encouraged to submit proposals. Postdoctoral trainees are not eligible for this award.

The MARC will evaluate proposals on their scientific merit, innovation, and on their alignment with the MARC’s research themes, which include:

  • Neuroadaptation to methamphetamine;
  • Neurocircuitry of methamphetamine response;
  • Impulsivity as a predictor of methamphetamine abuse or as a characteristic that may be altered by methamphetamine;
  • Neuroimmune response (drug-induced or endogenous differences in neuroimmune function that affect the response to methamphetamine);
  • Translation between preclinical and clinical models of methamphetamine effects/abuse.

Pilots funded in an initial year are eligible for consideration for a second year of funding; however, all investigators who have received an initial year of funding must submit a new proposal describing their progress and proposed work for a second year of funding. For examples of previous MARC pilot projects, please see Component 6Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on March 30, 2015.

Read more…

Update on the Radiochemistry Research Center and potential impacts to labs; new dates for sensor placement and testing

UPDATE 1/15: Test dates changed. See below.

As previously reported, OHSU is moving forward on the development of a Center for Radiochemistry Research, including a cyclotron to produce the radionuclides required for designing new molecular probes for PET scanning by OHSU scientists.

If you work in buildings surrounding the Research Courtyard, your work may be affected by construction of this center, and for this reason we are doing extensive testing to measure potential impacts. OHSU Design & Construction understands the impact construction can have on nearby research laboratories and their subjects, and given the proximity to the Medical Research Building, is working with the Department of Comparative Medicine (DCM) and the Senior Vice President for Research’s Office to develop plans to offset, mitigate, and minimize construction impacts, including to animal housing areas, sensitive instrumentation, and ongoing research activities in any potentially affected areas.

As a result of discussions with representatives from DCM and the SVPR Office, a three-phase plan to utilize a monitoring system with sensors has been established with a vibration consultant, Vibro-Acoustic Consultants. The first phase will be a test scenario implemented during a foundation check, the second will provide a baseline set of readings when no construction is present, and the final phase of monitoring will be done during construction, which will likely commence this summer. The following is an initial list of room locations for sensors:


  • 135b
  • 125 (added)
  • 171
  • 219A
  • 227 (added)
  • 232
  • 265
  • 327 (added)
  • 621
  • 921 B or C

What to expect during phase 1:
Design & Construction is currently targeting the end of January for the first test is planning for the testing to take place on February 11.  During this time a soil-boring machine will be used to verify building foundations type. Sensors will be placed February 9 and 10 Jan. 26 and 27 and the boring work will take place on February 11th 28between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The boring work will be coordinated with the ultrasonic, noise and vibration sensors in place and will be actively monitored with real-time communication provided to the construction team.  In the event readings are seen that create concern, work will immediately cease and an alternate method or location will be identified. Other sample construction tasks will be tested in a similar manner (such as core-drilling, chipping and hammering). Upon completion of the test a review will take place to understand the data gained and fully develop the subsequent phases of the plan.

What monitoring during the construction phase will accomplish:
The monitoring system has three key goals:

  1. Provide real-time feedback to the construction team: alarm levels will be programmed into the system, and will issue text messages and/or emails when these levels are breached. This allows the contractor to understand in real time the impacts of various processes underway. When unexpected levels are encountered, the contractor will be able to respond immediately.
  2. Provide real-time information to researchers: researchers in nearby sensitive facilities can at any time go to a web page that shows the current environmental condition at the station nearest them. If desired, researchers can also receive real-time alerts like those sent to the contractor.
  3. Provide historical information to users: since researchers often collect data that are analyzed later, the web interface also has a facility to provide historical data. A researcher can immediately retrieve environmental data for any arbitrary date and time period. This allows researchers to quickly see whether vibration, sound, or other monitored parameters could be responsible for problematic data quality. Additionally, researchers will be able to download the entire dataset to facilitate their own custom analyses.

Further updates will be provided in advance of each of the scheduled phases. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Dan VanBrabant at


Oregon National Primate Research Center Pilot Research Program applications due Feb. 13

The Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) is soliciting proposals for the annual pilot research program. The purpose of this funding mechanism is to encourage activities related to the use of nonhuman primates for biomedical research or for studies enhancing NHP welfare or husbandry. Pilot research should be developmental or high-risk and should be used to generate preliminary data in support of applications for further project support, such as NIH, other federal, or foundation grants.


  • All activities related to the use of NHPs must be conducted on-site at ONPRC.
  • Pilot research funds may not be used to provide interim support for established projects or for investigations funded from other sources.
  • This 2015 solicitation is for one-year projects at a suggested maximum budget of $75,000.
  • Pilot grant applicants need not be ONPRC core scientists; however, if a non-core scientist is the PI, a core scientist must be involved in the planning, execution, and supervision, and must assume responsibility for overall management, coordination, and progress reports.

See the full announcement for further details and application submission instructions.

Fulbright Scholar Program – Key dates in Feb. and Apr.

The Fulbright Scholar program has announced upcoming registration deadlines and events:

Applications for the International Education Administrators Program (IEA) in France and Germany due February 2

Two-week IEA seminars help U.S. international education professionals and senior higher education officials create empowering connections with the societal, cultural, and higher education systems of other countries. Each seminar is comprised of group visits to colleges and universities, secondary level school systems, government agencies, and related educational organizations. IEA grantees network with host country counterparts to gain a basic understanding of their higher education system.

Additional information about the IEA Program is available on our website or by contacting Cate McCraw (France IEA) or William McShane (Germany IEA).

2016-17 Core Fulbright Scholar Program Competition OPENS February 2

The Core Fulbright Scholar Program sends 800+ U.S. faculty and professionals abroad each year. The Catalog of Awards will be available beginning February 2. To register interest in the program, join the My Fulbright online community for updates and to access helpful resources for applicants.

Fulbright Scholar Program Faculty Workshop held at OHSU on April 20

Catherine Matto, Assistant Director of the Fulbright Scholar Program at the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) will offer a workshop on the Fulbright Program for Faculty and Professionals:

  • Learn about teaching and research opportunities in more than 125 countries
  • Get Advice on selecting countries for application & making contacts abroad
  • Explore how your campus can host visiting foreign Fulbright scholars
  • Get Tips on how to prepare the Fulbright application

To reserve a seat, please contact Space is limited; RSVP by March 25.

Intermittent electrical shutdowns in Richard Jones Hall, Jan. 29 and 30

To perform electrical system upgrades that will support chilled water system improvements, power to Richard Jones Hall will be shut off Thursday, Jan. 29, and Friday, Jan. 30, from 2:30 to 5:30 a.m. Backup power will be functioning during the shutdown.

As a safeguard measure, research staff are asked to unplug any non-essential, sensitive or electronic equipment and close all fume hood sashes. Facilities representatives have met with impacted labs to identify critical items and power requirements, but if you have concerns or questions, contact Ryan BalFour at or Chuck Pratt at

Welcome to the Research News Blog

Welcome to the Research News Blog

OHSU Research News is your portal to information about all things research at Oregon Health & Science University. Visit often for updates on events, discoveries, and important funding information.

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