Pew Scholars Program for junior faculty; internal applications due June 5

Pew-Charitable-TrustsThe Pew Charitable Trust has invited OHSU to sponsor a single candidate for their Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences. This prestigious opportunity provides $60,000 in support per year for four years to assistant professors with outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health.

The program is open to individuals with a doctorate in medicine or biomedical sciences. As of Oct. 23, 2017, candidates must hold full-time appointments at the rank of assistant professor or equivalent and must have been in such an appointment (tenure- or non-tenure track) for less than three years as of on July 7, 2017. This time may have been spent at more than one institution but time spent in clinical internships, residencies, or in work toward board certification does not count as part of this three-year limit. See full announcement for all eligibility exclusions.

Please note: This competition requires internal coordination. If you intend to apply, please submit a limited submission application via the Competitive Application Portal (CAP) before June 5, 2017.

Previous Pew Scholars from OHSU include:

Questions? Contact

High-fat diet in pregnancy can cause increased respiratory problems in children

By the time they are six, half of all children in the United States require medical attention because of wheezing and other respiratory symptoms. New research conducted at OHSU and published in Physiological Reports demonstrated that a maternal diet high in saturated fat plays a key role in programming airway hyperreactivity—a hallmark of asthma—in their offspring.

Stained liver sections reveal vacuolization only in offspring cohorts actively consuming high-fat diet. Diet cohort legend: NF is normal fat content diet, HF is high fat content diet. The first abbreviation indicates the maternal diet, the second following the hyphen indicates the postnatal diet.

Stained liver sections reveal vacuolization only in offspring cohorts actively consuming a high-fat diet.

Using a mouse model, this research supported findings in observational studies that associate maternal obesity and early life wheezing and asthma. The model removed variables—from genetics and socioeconomic conditions to dietary variation and race—that attend human population studies. In the United States, one in three women with the potential to become pregnant are obese, making childhood respiratory health a potentially widespread public health challenge.

Diet—a high-fat diet and a typical diet—was the only variable in this study, led by Kelvin MacDonald, M.D., an assistant professor of pediatrics. Induced airway hyperreactivity was evaluated in four cohorts: dams fed a high-fat diet, dams fed a normal-fat diet, offspring weaned to the same diet as their mother, and offspring weaned to the opposing fat content diet.

Whether they were weaned to a normal or a high-fat diet, the offspring of dams fed a high-fat diet experienced greater airway hyperreactivity. The results demonstrated that a maternal diet high in saturated fat during pregnancy and lactation plays a key role in programming adult offspring airway hyperreactivity.

This research builds on a 2016 retrospective cohort study by MacDonald and long-time collaborator Cynthia T. McEvoy, M.D., M.C.R., a professor in the School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics. Using data from Kaiser Permanente Northwest, they found that—within a cohort of more than 6,000 pregnancies—children of obese mothers were more likely to use asthma medicines through the first four years of life. The team hopes to now work with Kaiser to identify these same individuals and determine whether the children went on to have asthma.

Proving a direct causal relationship is an important step in advancing research into the long-term consequences for children born to women who are obese or consume a high-fat diet while pregnant.

In addition to MacDonald and Cindy McEvoy, co-authors include Aurelia R. Moran, Ashley J. Scherman, and Astrid S. Platteau from the OHSU School of Medicine.

This work was supported by National Institutes of Health/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development HD057588 02 (K. D. M.), Parker B Francis Fellowship (K. D. M.), Thrasher Foundation (K. D. M). Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute UL1TR000128 (K.D.M. and C.T.M.). 

School of Dentistry Dean’s Seminar Series, May 15

The OHSU School of Dentistry welcomes William Giannobile, D.D.S., D.Med.Sc., Najjar endowed professor of Dentistry & chair of the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine at the University of Michigan to present as part of its Dean’s Seminar Series. His talk is titled “Is regeneration of the periodontium a clinical reality?” and will take place:

SoD Dean's Seminar Series-William Giannobile D.D.S. D.Med.Sc

William Giannobile, D.D.S., D.Med.Sc.

Monday, May 15, 2017
Noon – Box lunches will be served
12:15 p.m. – Oregon Dental Conference and SoD Dean’s Fellowship Awards
12:30 – Seminar lecture

OHSU School of Dentistry
Collaborative Life Sciences Building, 3A003A/B
2730 SW Moody Avenue

For more information or questions, contact Kim Wamock at

Summer Vollum writing class starts July 12

The Vollum Writing Program is a professional science writing course open to OHSU graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty.

This class uses short lectures, class discussion, and workshop-style writing assignments to help researchers learn to write better papers and grants. Topics include:

  • The basic elements of good scientific writing style, including sentence and document structure
  • Insight into scientific conventions regarding grammar, punctuation, and usage
  • Strategies for revising
  • Dealing with writer’s block and time management
  • Best practices for writing introductions, results, discussions, and grant proposals

The class runs for four weeks, Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., beginning July 12, 2017. Four individual tutorials with the instructor are included. There are no prerequisites for this non-credit professional development course, but you should not take the class unless you have enough data to write about.

The course carries a fee of $500 per student (unless you are in a Vollum lab or part of certain graduate Ph.D. programs). Questions? Contact

Access Compass to register for the Vollum Writing Class.

OHSU scientist Ilya Ivlev finds patient decision aids can have big impact

Key research questions: (KQ1) What effect do breast cancer screening patient decision aids (BCS-PtDA) have on younger and older women's intention to undergo screening mammography?; (KQ2) What effect do the aids have on the intention of women (a) in their forties to begin screening and (b) in their seventies to continue screening?

Key research questions: (KQ1) What effect do breast cancer screening patient decision aids (BCS-PtDA) have on younger and older women’s intention to undergo screening mammography?; (KQ2) What effect do the aids have on the intention of women (a) in their forties to begin screening and (b) in their seventies to continue screening?

Screening mammograms can cause significant stress for women—particularly for the 13 percent who receive news that their initial results are abnormal. Yet, for the majority of this 13 percent, additional imaging yields normal findings. False-positive findings occur at a significantly higher rate with annual screening than biennial screening and for women in their forties and seventies who do not have risk greater than the general population, research indicates that breast cancer mortality is not generally reduced with screening.

How many women without major risk factors for breast cancer would undergo screening mammography if they were made aware of rates of false positives and their level of risk with or without screening? A new paper by Ilya Ivlev, M.D., Ph.D., reports that evidence-based breast cancer screening patient decision aids had a significant influence on women’s decisions regarding mammography. The study, published in the March 2017 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, is one of the first to examine the effects of these aids of screening plans on women’s intentions to be screened.

In a systematic review and meta-analysis of three randomized trials, Ivlev, a postdoctoral fellow in clinical informatics, found that, compared to typical care, 77 percent of women aged 38 to 50 who viewed a patient decision aid decided not to undergo screening mammography. The aid was developed by Karen Eden, Ph.D., medical informatics and clinical epidemiology professor at OHSU, and was based on the 2016 findings of Heidi Nelson, M.D., M.P.H., M.A.C.P., research professor and vice chair of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology and medicine at OHSU. Nelson’s research indicated breast cancer mortality with screening compared to nonscreening was not statistically significant for women of average risk who were in in their forties or seventies. However, her meta-analysis revealed that mortality was generally reduced for women aged 50 to 69.

Providing patients with the right treatment at the right time is the goal of these and other scientists at OHSU. Ivlev’s research may inform appropriate approaches to shared-decision making in determining whether to screen average-risk women in their forties.

In addition to Ivlev and Eden, co-authors were Erin N. Hickman, M.D., National Library of Medicine fellow in the Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology, and Marian S. McDonagh, Pharm.D., professor in the Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology and associate director of the Evidence-based Practice Center. The study was supported by United States National Library of Medicine Biomedical Informatics training grant T15LM007088.

Research Week 2017 highlights

FPP 21469239 Research Week 2017 ART RGBResearch Week 2017 consisted of three days full of events and activities celebrating the research that takes place at OHSU. More than 370 participants took part this year, including two keynote speakers, 139 poster presenters, 86 oral presenters, 11 Three Minute Thesis competitors, 61 volunteers, 69 judges, and 33 panelists at various events throughout the week.

The 3MTs brought the week to a celebratory close with awards announced at the end of the event. This year’s award recipients included:

Oral presentation winners

A few of the oral presentation winners From left to right: S. Ravisankar, V. Cochrane, A. Quackenbush, R. Hood, C. Kersch

A few of the oral presentation winners
From left to right: S. Ravisankar, V. Cochrane, A. Quackenbush, R. Hood, C. Kersch

Brett Daniel Dufour: “Corticosterone dysregulation exacerbates disease progression in the R6/2 transgenic mouse model of Huntington’s disease”
Sweta Ravisankar: “Identification of small molecules predictive of oocyte and embryo developmental potential in rhesus macaques via high-throughput metabolomics analysis”
Anna Mammel: “Myelin sheath formation in the peripheral nervous system”
Katie Truong: “Surface modification of poly(vinyl alcohol) vascular grafts for implantation”
Alexandra Quackenbush: “Lipids in weaning-induced liver involution: A role in the liver pre-metastatic niche?”
Cymon Kersch: “Interactions of metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer with the brain microenvironment”
Veronica Cochrane: “Calcium imaging illuminates leptin signaling in pancreatic β-cell”
Rebecca Lynn Hood: “Cortical disinhibition improves motor function in a progressive mouse model of Parkinson’s disease”
Canan Schumann: “Nanoparticle mediated therapy for the treatment of muscle wasting disorders”
Andrew Phillip Sill: “Practice gap in atrial fibrillation oral anticoagulation prescribing at emergency department discharge”
Michael Heskett: “Dissecting tumor heterogeneity with single cell transcriptomics”

Poster presentation winners

Three poster presentation winners From left to right:  Q. Roth-Carter, X. Ouyang, J. Lueras

Three poster presentation winners
From left to right: Q. Roth-Carter, X. Ouyang, J. Lueras

Sarah Larimer: “Intestinal colonization of a probiotic strain, lactobacillus salivarius UCC118, in critically Ill patients”
Jordan Lueras: “Longitudinal data reveals atypical development of spatial working memory brain activation in binge-drinking adolescents”
Nicole Ovregaard: A validated 7-minute tool to examine pediatric safety and quality: The Pediatric prehospital safety Event Detection System (PEDS)”
Xiaoming Ouyang: “Co-targeting epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) overcomes EGFR inhibitor resistance in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patient-derived models”
Rebecca Broeckel: “Novel cytomegalovirus and adenovirus vectors induce protective T cell responses to Chikungunya virus in mice”
Emily Calabro: “Resilient trait mechanisms in night, day, and rotating shift nurses: A secondary data analysis”
Erin Elizabeth Takemoto: “Insurance status differences in weight loss and regain over five years following bariatric surgery”
Lotte Elisabeth Tholen: “Evaluating miR-1246 as an onco-miR and driver of AML disease progression”
Quinn Roth-Carter: Eosinophil peroxidase increases thymic stromal lymphopoietin expression in keratinocytes”
Theodore Wright: “Improving retrieval of datasets: OHSU participation in the bioCADDIE evaluation Challenge”

Three Minute Thesis winners

First place:
Katie Lebold, M.D./Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program: “Maternal asthma changes airway nerve development in offspring”

Second place:
Prerna Das, M.S. student, Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology: “In pursuit of genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s”

People’s Choice winner:
Ben Doron, Ph.D. student, Cancer Biology Graduate Program: “Acute Myeloid Leukemia: BAD TO THE BONE”

All three winners will represent OHSU at the statewide Three Minute Thesis competition at University of Oregon, Saturday, May 20, at 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Thank you to all who made Research Week 2017 a success! A special thank you to the Office of the Provost, the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, the OHSU Library and Graduate Student Organization for providing both the financial and moral support needed to make Research Week a success. Thank you do Dr. Charles Thomas and the School of Medicine Department of Radiation Medicine for the kind support for the visit of Dr. Reshma Jagsi. Special thanks also go to all our fantastic volunteers, without whom there would be no Research Week.

The Research Week Planning Committee

Last day to join in on Research Week 2017!

Research Week ends later this evening so if you haven’t had a chance to check out an oral presentation or attend a talk or workshop, come to one of today’s engaging and informative events:

FPP 21469239 Research Week 2017 ART RGBProfessional photo opportunity: The second headshot photo session will take place later this morning. If you weren’t able to sign up because all slots were all full, we encourage you to come on by around 12:30 p.m. as we may be able to squeeze you in. Many people who signed up for yesterday’s session didn’t show, so we could have accommodated more people.

Professional headshots
11 a.m to 1 p.m.

Old Library South Entrance (photos will be taken outside)

Leading by example: A panel on diversity in science. Join a panel presentation and discussion on pursuing a career in science as a female and/or underrepresented minority professional. Panelists will discuss their own experiences and careers followed by questions from the audience. Coffee and snacks will be served at 12:30 p.m., allowing time for further discussion.

Panel: Diversity in science
11 a.m to 1 p.m.

OHSU Auditorium and Great Hall

Reshma Jagsi, M.D., D. Phil.

Reshma Jagsi, M.D., D. Phil.

Keynote presentation: Don’t miss the opportunity to hear from our distinguished keynote speaker Reshma Jagsi, M.D., D. Phil., who will present “The promise of translational research for improving the quality of care: The example of breast radiotherapy.” Jagsi is a renowned radiation oncologist and ethicist at the University of Michigan who strongly advocates for translating clinical trial findings into practice in ways that impact population health with maximal value.

3 to 4 p.m.

OHSU Auditorium

Three Minute Thesis competition: Research Week closes with the 3MT competition. Come watch students present a compelling oration on their thesis and its significance in just three minutes! All Research Week awards will be announced after the 3MT presentations. Remember, you must be present to win the passport prizes.

Three Minute Thesis and awards
4 to 6 p.m.

OHSU Auditorium

Also, oral presentations are happening throughout the day. See the full schedule here.

See you there!
– The Research Week 2017 Planning Committee


Research Week 2017: Join us for Students’ Day, May 2

Today, Tuesday, May 2, we celebrate OHSU’s diverse and accomplished student body by featuring programming relevant to those who are just starting out in their careers.

Each year, the Graduate Student Organization selects a keynote speaker to participate in Research Week. This year, they invited Nicholas J. Strausfeld, Ph.D. to present. His talk “Half a billion year old brains and those of today: What is different?” will focus on the evolution of arthropod brains, specifically the conservation of neural “ground patterns,” or the unique set of motifs in the organization of the brains and ventral ganglia of arthropods that have been remarkably well conserved for over half a billion years. Given the amazing evolutionary stability of ground patterns, this talk will also discuss the enigma of the vast diversity of behaviors that have evolved in arthropods from their similar neuronal organization.N. J. Strausfeld 3

Students’ Choice Keynote: Nicholas J. Strausfeld, Ph.D.
12 to 1 p.m.
OHSU Auditorium

You’re also invited to attend one of the following workshops taking place this afternoon:

Lecture and panel: The mentor/mentee relationship
This event will consist of a 30-minute lecture followed by an hour-long panel discussion. The lecture will focus on the generalities of what builds and sustains successful mentor relationships. The subsequent panel will have mentors and mentees from OHSU who will workshop example situations, offer advice on what allows for successful mentor-mentee relations, and take questions from the audience. 1:30 to 3 p.m., OHSU Auditorium

Panel: Beyond academia
A panel of professionals from various extra-academic fields will answer your questions about the challenges and choices they each made in building their careers. 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., OHSU Auditorium

CV/resume review mixer
Best practices for formatting CVs, resumes, and biosketches will be briefly discussed followed by breakout sessions in which experts will hold individual review sessions. Sign up to have your CV/resume/biosketch reviewed or just stop by and listen in. Light snacks and beverages will be served. 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Old Library Great Hall

Hope to see you there!

The Research Week 2017 Planning Committee


Second headshot photo session scheduled for May 2

Yesterday we posted an announcement about the opportunity to have your professional photo taken during Research Week and all available slots filled up within hours! Since there’s obviously a demand for this, we’ve decided to add a second session:

FPP 21469239 Research Week 2017 ART RGBTuesday, May 2
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
OHSU Old Library

Check in at the south entrance – photos will be taken outside weather permitting.

Sign up now for the second session!

Please be on time to your session and remember these tips for your headshot:

  • Dress professionally, but like yourself (you want to feel comfortable).
  • Don’t wear anything too distracting that might take away from the focus on your face and eyes, solid colors that are medium to dark are a good choice.
  • Don’t tilt your head in your photo.
  • Don’t do a straight on pose, turn your shoulders slightly.
  • Smile!
  • Google some additional tips for taking a good professional headshot.

Questions? Contact us at

OHSU scientist Carsten Schultz: Illuminating insulin release

Worldwide, rates of type 2 diabetes quadrupled between 1980 and 2016. That growth, reported by the World Health Organization last April, reflects the urgent need for prevention and improved treatment of diabetes. In current treatments of individuals with diabetes, measuring insulin levels is a fundamental tool.

Confocal images of MIN6 β cells expressing RINS1. Enlargement of the selected square (top right). Merged images (top), single channels (bottom), mCherry (magenta), sfGFP (green).

Confocal images of MIN6 β cells expressing RINS1. Enlargement of the selected square (top right). Merged images (top), single channels (bottom), mCherry (magenta), sfGFP (green).

Until now, laboratory tests have measured the total amount of insulin secreted by a large number of cells. But exploring the fundamental biology behind this process—and accurately testing drugs that could potentially control levels of insulin secretion—requires an understanding of how this works at the single-cell level.

Carsten Schultz, Ph.D., chair of the OHSU School of Medicine’s Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, led a multi-institution study that may give us a new optical method to measure the rate of insulin release from single cells in real time. The method was reported in Cell Chemical Biology.

Pancreatic beta cells produce proinsulin, the protein from which insulin is made. Proinsulin comprises an A chain, B chain, and a C-peptide that together form insulin. The C-peptide separates from the A and B chains during insulin formation. Once insulin and the C-peptide are separated, a normal beta cell releases both molecules at the same time

Using mouse beta cells, Schultz’s team tagged the A chain in a beta cell with a green fluorescent protein, and attached a molecule of a red fluorescent protein—mCherry—to the C-peptide. Unexpectedly, in the modified system, only the insulin tagged with the green fluorescent protein was released, while the C-peptide tagged with mCherry remained inside the cell.

Taking the ratio of green to red fluorescence provides a new way to measure the rate of insulin release that is a significant advance over existing methods, mainly because natural cell-to-cell variability can be addressed by this method.

The new tool is likely to be useful in observing the effects of drugs or drug candidates on the release of insulin, which is important in developing treatments for type 2 diabetes.

Co-authors of the paper are Martina Schifferer, Dmytro A. Yushchenko, Frank Stein, and Andrey Bolbat. The project was supported by the European Molecular Biology Laboratory; the EMBL Interdisciplinary Postdoc Program (M.S. and D.A.Y.); the EU Marie-Curie Program (EU grant 229597 for D.A.Y.); the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (D.A.Y.); and the German Research Foundation (TRR186 for C.S.).

Welcome to the Research News Blog

Welcome to the Research News Blog

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