Discoveries

Method pioneered by OHSU researcher could become gold standard for creating embryonic stem cells

Stem cell therapies hold great promise for replacing cells that have been damaged by injury or illness. Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University recently compared two methods to create human pluripotent stem cells—those which can be transformed into any other cell type in the body—and have found a clear winner. Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) appears to be more accurate at reprogramming human skin cells to become embryonic stem cells and produces fewer epigenetic … Read More

Cardiovascular researcher wins prestigious young investigator’s award

Chi Young Shim, M.D., Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher at the Knight Cardiovascular Institute, was awarded the prestigious 2014 Arthur E. Weyman Young Investigator’s Award at last week’s American Society of Echocardiography 25th Annual Scientific Sessions. Dr. Shim presented the results of a study which used molecular imaging with “smart” targeted microbubbles to detect the sticking of platelets to the vessel wall at various stages of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries due to plaque build-up, can … Read More

Researchers create 3-D model of elusive brain receptor

Exciting news from the Gouaux Lab this week: researchers have discovered new information about the structure of an important brain receptor that is crucial for learning and memory. Malfunction of the receptor, N-methyl-D-asparate (NMDA), is known to cause a variety of neurological disorders and diseases, but until now, researchers had limited information about how its subunits operate in the brain. Using X-ray crystallography, Dr. Gouaux and his team at the OHSU Vollum Institute created a … Read More

OHSU study finds that POLST forms honor patients’ wishes

A new study published by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University shows that the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment program–commonly known as POLST–is effective in honoring end-of-life wishes for frail or seriously ill patients. By reviewing death records from 58,000 Oregonians, the researchers found that only 6.4% of patients who asked for comfort measures only on their POLST form died in a hospital, whereas 44.2% of patients who asked for full medical treatment died in … Read More

Study: compound found in broccoli and cauliflower lowers blood pressure

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects about one in three adults in the U.S. Researchers in the lab of Agnieszka Balkowiec, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of integrative biosciences in the OHSU School of Dentistry, have contributed their expertise to a project led by Fawzy Elbarbry, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacy at Pacific University, resulting in an important new discovery that has implications for prevention and treatment of hypertension. The study, “Modulation of Arachidonic Acid Metabolism in … Read More

OHSU researchers develop safer vector for lentivirus gene therapy

Gene therapy, a promising clinical approach to treat patients with a range of inherited diseases, often uses vectors derived from lentiviruses to insert a correcting genetic sequence into the patient’s stem cell chromosomes. While this type of treatment can provide long-term cures for inherited diseases, vectors from these viruses can also inadvertently activate cancer-causing genes because of the way they stitch or “integrate” the therapeutic DNA with human DNA. Avoiding these unwanted integrations while retaining the correcting gene has … Read More

Researchers find gene mutation that may make heart cell regeneration possible

In a paper published March 4 in Nature Communications, coauthored by Lincoln Shenje, M.D., Ph.D, assistant professor at the OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute, researchers describe the first found gene mutation in humans that causes heart muscle cells to proliferate beyond birth. This mutation was discovered in a rare syndrome called ALMS1 that has been reported in less than 70 people in the past 50 years worldwide. According to Dr. Shenje and colleagues, this discovery goes … Read More

OHSU researchers use breakthrough “barcode” method to improve gene therapy

Gene therapy holds the promise of curing many diseases—but this promise has been thwarted by the steep technical challenge of delivering new genes into cells. One potential solution to this challenge is to use adeno-associated virus (AAV), which is an ideal vector because it does not cause disease in humans. Despite AAV’s many advantages, however, currently available AAV vectors can be used only in limited cases because engineering the viral capsid, or shell, has been … Read More

Amino acids found in food improve sleep in mice with traumatic brain injury

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and University of Pennsylvania have improved sleep disturbances in mice with traumatic brain injuries by giving them branched chain amino acids – something all humans produce from foods in their normal diets. This discovery could lead to help for thousands of people who have long-term and debilitating sleep and wakefulness issues after they suffer concussions. “If further research confirms what this study suggests, we could … Read More

OHSU researchers develop new drug approach with far-reaching treatment potential

Misfolded protein molecules, caused by gene mutation, are capable of maintaining their function but are misrouted within the cell and can’t work normally, thus causing disease. An OHSU team has discovered a way to use small molecules that enter cells, fix the misfolded proteins and allow the proteins to move to the correct place and function normally again. The team, led by P. Michael Conn, Ph.D., formerly a senior scientist in reproductive sciences at neurosciences … Read More

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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