Five OHSU faculty among world’s “hottest researchers”

A report titled “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds 2014,” was published by Thomson Reuters this past summer. This annual ScienceWatch list is a selection of authors publishing high-impact papers on groundbreaking and influential research. This year’s list included five OHSU researchers from three different disciplines:

Biology & Biochemistry:

-Eric Gouaux, Ph.D. Senior Scientist, the Vollum Institute

Clinical Medicine:

-Christopher Corless, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer, Knight Diagnostic Laboratories

-Brian Druker, M.D., Director, Knight Cancer Institute

-Michael Heinrich, M.D., Knight Cancer Institute

Social Sciences:

-Joan Ash, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology, OHSU School of Medicine

To compile the list, Thomson Reuters used Essential Science Indicators, a comprehensive compilation of science performance statistics intended to mitigate the confounding factors associated with using citation rates alone to assess impact. An article in University World News provides more information on how the Thomson Reuters’ list was compiled as well as some interesting statistics pulled from the report. Notably, universities in the United States are the primary institutional affiliations for 55 percent of the total scientists on the list.

OHSU researcher Brian J. O’Roak, Ph.D., helps identify new genetic risk factors for autism

A study published online yesterday in Nature identifies genes that, if mutated, either result in autism or contribute to its risk. Brian J. O’Roak, Ph.D., first author on the study and assistant professor of molecular and medical genetics in the OHSU School of Medicine, worked on the study for the past three years in collaboration with scientists at three other institutions. The study looked at 2,500 families with autistic children and compared siblings with autistic characteristics to those without the disorder. The 27 genes identified represent a small but significant number of genes correlated with autism. Dr. O’Roak will be working with fellow OHSU colleagues to build a research program designed to identify the full spectrum of these genes, believed to number approximately 400. See the OHSU media release here.

Oregon Hearing Research Center Seminar, Oct. 31: Karl R. Koehler, Ph.D.

Karl R. Koehler, Ph.D., will give a lecture titled “Modeling Inner Ear Organogenesis with Stem Cells,” sponsored by the Oregon Hearing Research Center. Dr. Koehler is a postdoctoral fellow at Indiana University School of Medicine in the department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. His paper, “Generation of inner ear sensory epithelia from pluripotent stem cells in 3D culture,” was published in Nature in 2013. Friday, Oct. 31, 4 p.m., Vollum M1441. You can read more about his work here.



People Management for Principal Investigators, November 14 & 15

Every principal investigator wants to build and maintain a lab that attracts and retains outstanding trainees and staff members. Juggling this endeavor with everything else the PI must do – writing papers, teaching, mentoring, gaining and maintaining funding, creating collaborative and productive relationships with other PIs – can be challenging at best. This 1.5-day course, led by Jennifer Crosby-Meurisse and Rachel Dresbeck from the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, will help you learn to manage people with a focus on the particular needs of running a lab or research group.

When: Friday, November 14, 2014, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, November 15, 2014, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Location: SON 107

In this course you will learn:

  • Strategies for approaching the role of “coach” in the lab – developing your leadership style
  • Recruitment and retention strategies – Building (and maintaining) the best team for your lab
  • Steps to take when coaching doesn’t work – Performance management in the lab
  • Resources that are available to you to support you and your lab staff

Enrollment is limited; there is no cost to participants. Please indicate your interest and willingness to participate by registering for this course. Participants will be notified of acceptance after registering.

Register on Compass.

OCTRI Research Forum: Mentored career development awards, Nov. 10

Join the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute, OCTRI, in a monthly research forum that addresses all things clinical and translational research.

Don’t miss November’s topic: Mentored Career Development Awards
Learn about strategies to write a successful mentor career development award and hear about resources available through OCTRI for applicants. Presented by Cindy Morris.

Monday, Nov. 10, 2014
12 to 1 p.m.
Mackenzie Hall 2201

Topics will be presented in a problem-solution fashion, and anyone from the research arena is welcome! Do you have a clinical or translational research question or problem? Let us know, and we’ll do our best to help during these events! Please submit questions and topic requests to Colleen Berreta.

Click here for more information about the OCTRI Research Forum.

Save the date!
December OCTRI Research Forum: Power and Sample Size Simplified
Dec. 12, 2014
12 to 1 p.m.
Mackenzie Hall 2201

Dr. Jennifer DeVoe elected to the Institute of Medicine

Jennifer DeVoe, M.D., D.Phil., associate professor of family medicine, OHSU School of Medicine, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IMO),  one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. Dr. DeVoe, a family physician and health services researcher and chief research officer at the Oregon Community Health Information Network (OCHIN), was elected in recognition of her outstanding professional achievement and commitment to services in health and medicine.

“I am humbled by this great honor,” said Dr. DeVoe. “It is so exciting to get recognized by the IOM for the amazing work done by our teams at OCHIN and in the OHSU Department of Family Medicine. We are part of a national community of innovators committed to generating and spreading new knowledge relevant to primary care. This transformative work is vital to equipping primary care clinics and communities with the tools and information needed to improve population health.”

According to the IOM Member Directory web page, there are only seven current IOM members who list their academic affiliation as Oregon. Of those, four are from OHSU: Brian Druker, M.D.; Richard Goodman, M.D., Ph.D.; Joe Gray, Ph.D.; and Gary Westbrook, M.D. Dr. DeVoe is the eighth Oregon member and the fifth from OHSU. She is the first woman to be elected from both Oregon and OHSU.

Read more.

Notice: NIH revises definition of “clinical trial”

The revision is designed to make the distinction between clinical trials and clinical research studies clearer and to enhance the precision of the information NIH collects, tracks, and reports on clinical trials.  It is not intended to expand the scope of the category of clinical trials. No changes have been made to the NIH definition of a “Phase III clinical trial.”

The revised NIH definition of “clinical trial” is:
A research study1  in which one or more human subjects2 are prospectively assigned3 to one or more interventions4 (which may include placebo or other control) to evaluate the effects of those interventions on health-related biomedical or behavioral outcomes.5
  1. See Common Rule definition of research at 45 CFR 46.102(d).
  2. See Common Rule definition of human subject at 45 CFR 46.102(f).
  3. The term “prospectively assigned” refers to a pre-defined process (e.g., randomization) specified in an approved protocol that stipulates the assignment of research subjects (individually or in clusters) to one or more arms (e.g., intervention, placebo, or other control) of a clinical trial.
  4. An intervention is defined as a manipulation of the subject or subject’s environment for the purpose of modifying one or more health-related biomedical or behavioral processes and/or endpoints.  Examples include:  drugs/small molecules/compounds; biologics; devices; procedures (e.g., surgical techniques); delivery systems (e.g., telemedicine, face-to-face interviews); strategies to change health-related behavior (e.g., diet, cognitive therapy, exercise, development of new habits); treatment strategies; prevention strategies; and, diagnostic strategies.
  5. Health-related biomedical or behavioral outcome is defined as the pre-specified goal(s) or condition(s) that reflect the effect of one or more interventions on human subjects’ biomedical or behavioral status or quality of life.  Examples include:  positive or negative changes to physiological or biological parameters (e.g., improvement of lung capacity, gene expression); positive or negative changes to psychological or neurodevelopmental parameters (e.g., mood management intervention for smokers; reading comprehension and /or information retention); positive or negative changes to disease processes; positive or negative changes to health-related behaviors; and, positive or negative changes to quality of life.
The revised definition will replace the current clinical trial definition in relevant extramural and intramural NIH policies, guidance, and instructional materials. It will apply to competing grant applications that are submitted to NIH for the January 25, 2015 due date and subsequent due dates and contracts proposals that are submitted to NIH on or after January 25, 2015.

Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Scholar Award for early career scientists, Nov. 21

The Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation’s Scholar Award program is designed to support early-stage investigators engaged in any area of biomedical research that has the potential to significantly advance the understanding, diagnosis, or treatment of disease. The award provides up to $100,000 per year for four years to faculty members who hold a M.D. and/or Ph.D. degree, and who are in their fifth to eighth year of a tenure-track position, with the aim of moving the project forward to the point where R01 or other independent funding can be obtained.

OHSU has been selected as one of 30 institutions invited to submit applications this review cycle. This opportunity is categorized as a Limited Submission since OHSU can only nominate two candidates. If you intend to apply, please complete a Limited Submission Form prior to the internal deadline of Nov. 21. The sponsor deadline for applications is Jan. 15, 2015. The full proposal must be accompanied by letters of approval by the dean of the medical school and/or another senior faculty member.

IRB Brown Bag: VA Update

IRB Brown Bag

We began the process of joint PVAMC/OHSU IRB review two years ago. Please join us for an update and some helpful tips on this time-saving process. 

Monday, Nov. 17
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
OHSU Hospital, 8th floor auditorium 8B60

Please note, this session is on Monday due to holiday scheduling

OCTRI announces 2015 Catalyst Award recipients

The Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Institute (OCTRI) has funded four projects designed to enhance translational research at OHSU. These novel, collaborative, multidisciplinary studies will lead to further research and funding in translational research. The funding was made available through institutional support of OCTRI from the School of Medicine (Research Roadmap initiative) and the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research.

Congratulations to the 2015 Catalyst Award winners:

Joshi Alumkal, M.D.

“Bromodomain Inhibition For The Treatment Of Lethal Prostate Cancer”



Willi Horner-Johnson, Ph.D.

“Reproductive Health of Women with Disabilities Initiative”



Stephen Lloyd


Stephen Lloyd, Ph.D.

“DNA Glycosylases: Novel Targets for Small Molecule-induced Synthetic Lethality”


William Messer


William Messer, M.D., Ph.D.

“Long-term DENV immunity in a human cohort”


OCTRI Catalyst funding is specifically intended to enable the development of compelling new grant applications that will sustain the proposed research activity. Please see the OCTRI Funding Opportunities page for more information or contact Colleen Lay.

See full project abstracts here.
For more information on OCTRI’s resources and services, please visit:

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.

Read more

Participation Guidelines

Remember: information you share here is public; it isn't medical advice. Need advice or treatment? Contact your healthcare provider directly. Read our Terms of Use and this disclaimer for details.