Discoveries

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 … Read More

Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute’s Jay Nelson awarded vaccine adjuvant discovery contract

Jay Nelson, director of the OHSU Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute, has been awarded a $10 million contract from the National Institutes of Health for discovery work on new ways to improve vaccines. They were one of seven groups awarded such contracts. Vaccine adjuvants are compounds that bolster the innate immune response, essentially super-charging the vaccine. While adjuvants show great promise in improving vaccines and fighting disease, currently  just three are in use–scientists at VGTI … Read More

Orexigen featured in the Portland Business Journal

You may have read that a drug from an OHSU startup received FDA approval last month. In 2003, OHSU’s office of Technology Transfer & Business Development (TTBD) created a start-up company called Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc., with Michael Cowley, then a neuroscience researcher at the Oregon National Primate Research Center. Cowley’s work looks at the appetite-regulating pathways in the brain and how these pathways are affected by obesity. Orexigen Therapeutics became public in 2007, and now the … Read More

Collaboration in Collaborative Life Sciences Building yields hypertension breakthrough

David Ellison, M.D., professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Science University and staff physician at the Portland VA Medical Center, leads a group that has been studying causes of human hypertension. In a paper published September 24th in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, “Hyperkalemic hypertension-associated cullin 3 promotes WNK signaling by degrading KLHL3”, the group identified a novel and unexpected mechanism for this hypertensive disease.  This research was done in collaboration with groups in … Read More

OHSU startup Orexigen earns FDA approval

The office of Technology Transfer and Business Development is happy to announce that a drug from  Orexigen Therapeutics Inc., called Contrave, has been approved by the FDA. This drug helps with weight management, along with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity, in adults with an initial body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or greater (obese), or 27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) who also have at least one weight-related comorbid condition. Contrave has two components: … Read More

TTBD Inventor Spotlight: Michael P. Hutchens, M.D., M.A.

The office of Technology Transfer & Business Development would like to highlight a particularly innovative or note worthy OHSU inventor and invention at the university. This quarter, our office would like to congratulate Michael P. Hutchens, M.D., M.A., for his work on the “Disinfection device for medical access sites” and the “Anesthetic vapor delivery device” that he has created and submitted to our office. Dr. Michael Hutchens is an assistant professor in the Department of … Read More

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

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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