Discoveries

OCT angiography summit draws international attention to pioneering technology

Scientists, clinicians, and engineers from around the world gathered at OHSU’s Casey Eye Institute in July for the first international Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Angiography Summit. Participants spent the day sharing their knowledge and discussing applications of a pioneering imaging technology that has the potential to transform how we diagnose and treat patients with common causes of blindness, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. James Fujimoto, Ph.D., was the summit’s distinguished guest speaker, … Read More

von Gersdorff team sheds light on how diabetes triggers blindness

A new study published in Neuron,  led by Henrique von Gersdorff, Ph.D., is the first characterization of a group of specialized synapses in the retina, the part of the eye that captures and transmits visual signals. These specialized synapses are inhibitory synapses that reduce the activity (or normal ‘chatter’) between neurons connected by multiple excitatory synapses. von Gersdorff and his team–Veeramuthu Balakrishnan, Theresa Puthussery, Mean-Hwan Kim, and W. Rowland Taylor–from the Vollum and Casey Eye … Read More

TTBD innovator spotlight: Carmem Pfeifer, D.D.S., Ph.D.

Carmem Pfeifer, D.D.S., Ph.D., assistant professor of biomaterials and biomechanics for the OHSU School of Dentistry, became an inventor without intending to. “When you get removed from your everyday problems, sometimes you can have an idea completely out of the blue,” she said. In 2009, with a suggestion from her postdoc supervisor, Pfeifer attended a UVA/UVB conference to showcase what they were doing in his lab to industries other than dental. During a session on … Read More

OHSU researchers identify structural changes in the cannabinoid receptor, yielding new insights into alternate GPCR signaling states

If you’re a vertebrate animal, you should be interested in new findings from the Farrens lab. All vertebrates use G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) to detect a variety of different stimuli. Upon binding their target molecules, these membrane proteins undergo structural changes that induce internal signal transduction cascades and alter cellular responses. Because GPCRs are involved in so many signaling systems and diseases, they are a common drug target in pharmacology. Recently, two exciting new areas … Read More

OHSU researchers develop a novel gene and stem cell technique for treating mitochondrial disease

A study led by OHSU researchers Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Ph.D., and Hong Ma, M.D., Ph.D., at the Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy and the Oregon National Primate Research Center, has revealed a critical first step in developing a new gene and stem cell regenerative technique for treating patients with mitochondrial disease. Mitochondrial diseases result from DNA mutations that lead to altered cell function. Cell injury and cell death result which can lead to multiple system failure … Read More

New insights on protein movement from the Chapman lab

A study from the Michael Chapman lab titled “Parsimony in protein conformational change,” published in the journal Structure, provides a more complete picture of how proteins move. The researchers used nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to better understand the dynamics of protein movement and thus get a better view of their normal functioning. The team designed a computer method that looks at two different snapshots of the same protein structures. Some of the findings: Minimal torsion … Read More

New Science paper from the Skach Lab sheds light on protein folding

A recent paper published in Science may change how we think about how protein folding in its endogenous context.  For the past 50 years, the principles by which proteins unfold and refold have been studied largely using purified recombinant substrates.  Under these experimental conditions, however, it has been extraordinarily difficult to examine how a protein folds in its native environment.  To address this question, the Skach Lab developed a novel technique that uses fluorescence resonance … Read More

The war on melanoma: Skin cancer research and sun safety expo, May 30

In a state more known for rain than sunshine, one would think skin cancer wouldn’t be much of a concern in Oregon. The fact is, Oregon ranks fifth in the nation for melanoma, the most serious of all skin cancers. Researchers at OHSU are on the case, declaring war on melanoma and engaging patients, survivors and the community to figure out how best to prevent, treat and detect the disease. Sancy Leachman, M.D., Ph.D., director … Read More

Gouaux lab breakthrough: How drugs disrupt dopamine

New findings published today in the journal Nature reveal how drugs of addiction disrupt the dopamine pathway. Research from the lab of Eric Gouaux, Ph.D., senior scientist at the Vollum Institute and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, shows precisely how cocaine and amphetamine affect normal functioning of dopamine by disrupting the dopamine transporter. These findings are important because while we know that cocaine and amphetamine interfere with dopamine, how this happens has been a long-standing … Read More

OHSU discovery leads to clinical trials of West Nile virus vaccine

OHSU has discovered and developed a novel investigational vaccine aimed at preventing West Nile virus, which poses a significant public health threat in the U.S. The vaccine, developed by scientists at the Oregon National Primate Research Center, is beginning evaluations in a NIH-sponsored Phase 1, first-in-human, clinical trial at Duke University. No West Nile virus human vaccine has yet been approved for commercial use. Mark Slifka, Ph.D., professor of molecular microbiology and immunology in the … Read More

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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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