OHSU grad students to compete in statewide 3MT event May 16

During Research Week 2015, OHSU held its third annual Three Minute Thesis competition, where 16 graduate students rose to the challenge of presenting their thesis in 180 seconds with a single slide. Three students emerged victorious:

First place:  Katie Lebold, “Imaging dysfunctional nerves in asthma”
Second place: QiLiang Chen, “Shedding light on the pain in your brain”
People’s Choice: Josh Kaplan, “A cerebellar contribution to alcohol intake”

Not only did these students take home cash prizes and bragging rights, but they’ll represent OHSU at the statewide 3MT competition Saturday, May 16, in Portland. You’re invited to cheer them on as they compete against students from University of Oregon, Portland State University, and Oregon State University.

Three Minute Thesis State Championship
Saturday, May 16, 2015
3 to 5 p.m.
Collaborative Life Sciences Building, 2S060
South Waterfront, Portland

The event is free and open to the public.


About 3MT
3MT® is an academic competition developed by the University of Queensland, Australia. The exercise develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills as students explain their research in three minutes in a language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience.

The guidelines:

  • Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum and competitors exceeding three minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g., no poems, raps, or songs).
  • A single, static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations, or movement of any description, the slide is to be presented from the beginning of oration).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g., sound or audio files) or props are permitted.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  • Presentations will be judged by a panel of faculty and non-faculty.

Judging criteria:

  • Communication style: Was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience?
  • Comprehension: Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  • Engagement: Did the oration make the audience want to know more?


Another successful Research Week in the books

Research Week 2015 consisted for four solid days full of events and activities celebrating the research that takes place at OHSU every day. More than 400 participants took part this year, including two keynote speakers, 100 oral presenters, 132 poster presenters, 16 Three Minute Thesis competitors, 20 new faculty participating in the first-ever lightning rounds, 56 volunteers, and 25 School of Medicine alumni at career networking night.

The awards ceremony and reception brought the week to a celebratory close as Dan Dorsa, senior vice president for research, and other leaders lauded the depth and breadth of this year’s programming and handed out awards to participants.

This year’s award recipients included:

Top 10 oral presentations

  1. Katherine M. Lebold
  2. Erica Goddard
  3. Gabriela Alarcon
  4. Madeline Midgett
  5. Johanna Petersen
  6. Krystal A. Klein
  7. Connor W. Barth
  8. Daicia C. Allen
  9. Marilynn Chow
  10. Amy Marie Bittel

Top 10 poster presentations

  1. Ryan Lane
  2. Arthur Scott Gutnik
  3. Daniel Sundfeld Neto
  4. Sarah Anne Wicher
  5. Erin W. Meermeier
  6. Elizabeth Sunderhaus
  7. Christopher D. Fanger
  8. Heather McConnell
  9. Jaime Eduardo Zelaya
  10. Spencer Watson

Three Minute Thesis winners
1st place:  Katie Lebold, “Imaging dysfunctional nerves in asthma”
2nd place: QiLiang Chen, “Shedding light on the pain in your brain”
People’s Choice: Josh Kaplan, “A cerebellar contribution to alcohol intake”

Pretty data winners
Kayly Lembke
Jolanda Muenzel

Ugly data winners
Christie Pizzimenti
Bene Ramirez
Paul Kramer
Maria Purice

Thanks to all who made Research Week 2015 a success!

OHSU Presidential Bridge Funding applications due May 29

The Office of the Senior Vice President for Research has released its call for proposals for the 2015-2016 OHSU Presidential Bridge Funding Program. Bridge funding is available for established investigators threatened by an imminent lapse in research support. Investigators can request up to $50,000 in funding for one year to help bridge them while they generate data to restore funding. Up to 3 awards will be made this funding cycle (summer 2015) with another 3 awards made in winter.

Awards will be made only to OHSU investigators. The PI must be an independent scientist. Independence is defined by: rank at the level of assistant professor or above; committed institutional support such as space and salary; a track record of first authored or senior authored publications; a recent history of federal (or similar) funding; and imminently planned or pending application for funding on a national level. Postdoctoral fellows and similar trainees are not eligible to apply.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, May 29, 2015. Please note, the submission process has changed – applications will now be submitted online via InfoReady Review. View guidelines and instructions here.

OHSU inventors collaborate with local community to make life better for transplant patients

Left to right: Chris Tobias; Dr. Amira Al-Uzri, OHSU; Colleen Lay, OCTRI; Dorota Shortell, Simplexity

Monitoring medication levels for transplant patients is tricky–for one thing, it requires patients to visit laboratories for blood draws monthly, or even weekly. Amira Al-Uzri, M.D., Pediatric Nephrology, and her team, which includes Dennis Koop, PhD, Physiology & Pharmacology, and Andy Chitty, MBA, University Shared Resources, wanted to see if they could make life easier for these patients. They have developed a user-friendly dried blood spot collection device that can be applied in-home to obtain an accurate and precise blood sample. The invention from Dr. Al-Uzri’s team will allow patients to collect accurate blood samples at home, replacing visits to the clinic, and will benefit those who require life-long therapeutic drug monitoring.

The technology’s development has required Dr. Al-Uzri and her team–which itself is a cross-disciplinary collaboration–to build an extensive collaboration across Oregon. For example, the Oregon Clinical &Translational Research Institute provided funding, mentoring, educational opportunities, and project management through their Biomedical Innovation Program, leading to the creation of a product prototype and initial product testing. The device served as a case study for the University of Oregon’s Technology Entrepreneurship Program, receiving a comprehensive marketing plan as a result. It was also presented at the Oregon Bioscience Conference last September and was featured at the Med Tech Alliance on May 6, 2015. The OHSU Office of Proposals & Award Management negotiated the complex agreements related to the Biomedical Innovation Program grant. Simplexity Product Development, an engineering firm in Washington and California, aided in the research and development process and also provided capital for the prototype creation. The in-house patent team within the Technology Transfer & Business Development  office at OHSU has written and filed a patent application on the invention.  The resulting intellectual property is jointly owned with Simplexity Product Development and will be managed by OHSU. Lastly, Allegory Venture Partners provided the OHSU researchers guidance that may turn into a venture capital investment if the technology reaches market viability.

These partnerships play an important role in the development of inventions at OHSU. Outside collaborations can create positive working relationships among inventors, OHSU, and local organizations that can ultimately create a stronger foundation for success. Dr. Al-Uzri and her team are currently looking for final set of collaborators to license the device and bring their efforts into the hands of patients.

Funding Focus: Understanding Foundation Funding, May 21

Are you familiar with NIH funding but not sure where to start when it comes to foundations? Maybe you need seed funding for a new project or you’re planning a conference and could use help finding corporate sponsors. Join us for May’s Funding Focus seminar, Understanding Foundation Funding on:

Thursday, May 21
12 to 1 p.m.
Mackenzie Hall 2201

We’ll cover:

  • Key differences between government and private funding
  • How to target your research proposal to a specific foundation
  • Internal processes at OHSU for applying to private foundations and corporations

Funding Focus is a series of workshops that Research Funding and Development Services offers throughout the year to share advice, tips, and general information on funding for the OHSU research community. Faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and administrators are all welcome to attend.

First OHSU Simulation Forum, May 13

You are invited to the first Quarterly OHSU Simulation Forum.

Curious what is going on with simulation at OHSU? Want to understand how to schedule the Simulation Center at the Collaborative Life Sciences Building or Surgical Simulation in Richard Jones Hall (VirtuOHSU)?

Come join the OHSU Simulation Medical Director Jeffrey A. Gold, M.D., and Associate Director Donn Spight, M.D., along with other members of the OHSU community, to learn what is happening and ways to get involved.

OHSU Simulation Forum
Wednesday, May 13
12 to 1 p.m.
Mackenzie Hall, 1162 tiered lecture hall

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 puzzle – in part because it has been difficult to pinpoint the activity of the dopamine transporter. The Gouaux lab researchers were able to visualize for the first time the binding of dopamine to an active dopamine transporter, as well as to amphetamine and cocaine. Read more here.

Human Investigations Program applications due July 15

The Human Investigations Program (HIP) trains scientists in the principles of and best practices in clinical and translational research. Participants can obtain a Certificate in Human Investigations or a Master of Clinical Research degree. A non-degree track is also offered and allows enrollment in individual courses. The curriculum includes a wide variety of requirements and electives that will provide a rich background in human investigation. Topics range from the basic science of disease to biostatistics to evidence-based medicine and beyond.

Application Deadline: July 15, 2015
The application involves a written portion, letters of support from your department or mentor, and transcripts.  Find out more about the application process here.

HIP is based on nationally recognized competencies for clinical and translational research and operates on a policy of inclusion.  The program is open to faculty, clinical and postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. Applicants should have a doctoral degree or be enrolled in a doctoral degree program within the SoM, SoD or SoN.

HIP is supported by the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI). Find more information about HIP at www.ohsu.edu/hip.

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 OHSU School of Medicine and senior scientist at the Oregon National Primate Research Center, and his colleagues have worked with immunologists, vaccinologists, virologists, regulatory consultants, and manufacturing experts – with support from the FDA and NIH – to bring the vaccine platform to the clinical trial stage.  More about the specifics of the clinical trial are available here.

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne human pathogen that has become endemic in North America and causes substantial disease and death. Thousands of West Nile virus infections have occurred in the U.S. since 1999. A total of 47 states and the District of Columbia reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds or mosquitoes in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Immunocompromised and elderly individuals are especially vulnerable.

Read the news release in its entirety here.

OHSU and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory team up to promote biomedical discovery

OHSU and the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., have formed the  OHSU-PNNL Northwest Co-Laboratory for Integrated ‘Omics. This partnership allows both parties to share their research programs and leading-edge technology for biological mass spectrometry to pursue disease markers for new therapies. In essence, the two entities are working together to answer some of the world’s most complex biomedical questions and accelerate discovery.

Through a memorandum of understanding, the institutions have formed the co-laboratory to expand existing individual collaborations and provide enhanced access to state-of-the-art mass spectrometry instrumentation and technical expertise. One benefit? A streamlined workflow, which is critical as the dual lab sets to work on several experiments related to developmental origins of health and disease, as well as stroke, later this year. This new initiative builds on the strong partnership of OHSU and PNNL and builds on work from the School of Medicine and the OHSU Proteomics Shared Resource.

Read the news release in its entirety here.


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