Brian J. O’Roak, Ph.D., selected as Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Neuroscience

Brian J. O’Roak, Ph.D., has been chosen for a 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. Sloan Fellowship recipients are nominated by fellow scientists and selected by an independent panel of senior scholars based on independent research accomplishments, creativity and potential to become a leader in his or her field. O’Roak studies the genetic basis of neurodevelopmental disorders, including groundbreaking research into the underpinnings of autism.  Check out OHSU’s media release.

Research courtyard: Crane dismantled, work continues into April

The third phase of the North Campus Utility Plant project behind Richard Jones Hall, which began in early November, hit a significant milestone earlier this month. The crane, which was positioned in the research courtyard to lift materials and equipment for the cooling tower replacement project on the backside of RJH and the Vollum Institute, has been dismantled.

The project will be ongoing through the end of April, but the contractors’ presence will be primarily behind Richard Jones Hall, for the installation of the cooling towers. The towers are beyond their useful life; their replacement will result in better cooling for RJH as well as more reliable power.

The construction team would like to thank the researchers on the 7th floor of RJH for their cooperation in the evacuation process while the crane crew flew the heaviest items over the building to the jobsite. The construction team would also like to thank the animal holding folks for their cooperation and patience during the crane operations and tunnel shoring.

The crane team made more than 200 lifts over the building in the last two months with no safety incidents or unplanned impacts to the building occupants. Overall, more than 10,000 crew member hours have been dedicated to this project thus far.

The construction team is pleased to reach this milestone and move one step closer to a very successful project thanks to the patience and cooperation of everyone involved.

2015 Community Conversation series begins Feb. 24

Join the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research for its 2015 series launch of Community Conversations: What would you do? Personal and community ethics in disease outbreak. The conversation will take an engaging and intimate look at the science, duties and implications of a potential disease outbreak in our local community.

Tuesday Feb. 24
5:45 to 7:30 p.m.
The Lucky Labrador Pub (North Tap Room), 1700 N. Killingsworth St.
$5 in advance or at the door*
Register now

Community Conversations are informal discussions that explore a topic in biomedical science and its relationship with ethics, medicine, research and society, and connecting people to the biomedical research community. Contact Jen Wroblewski for more information.

* includes discussion and one pint or glass of wine, if 21+

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has a new name

NIH’s NCCAM has been renamed the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). The name change, included in the Congressional omnibus budget, is meant to reflect the reality that most people don’t use ‘alternative medicine.’ It’s more common to bring together conventional and complementary approaches to health care. The new name speaks to the importance, according to NIH director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., of bringing a scientific approach to the health and wellness practices in which people actually engage. The mission of the institute has not changed–just what we’re calling it.

New NIH Biosketch Format workshop being held today, Feb. 19

Research Funding and Development Services is resuming monthly Funding Focus workshops every third Thursday. Please join us for today’s Funding Focus workshop to discuss the new NIH Biosketch format requirements from 12 to p.m. in Mackenzie Hall 2201.

School of Dentistry Dean’s Seminar Series, Mar. 2

The OHSU School of Dentistry welcomes Andrew F. Russo, Ph.D., professor of molecular physiology and biophysics at the University of Iowa. Russo’s presentation will focus on two very common trigeminal-mediated pain states: temporomandibular disorder (TMD) and migraine.

Monday, Mar. 2, 2015
12 p.m. welcome reception / 12:30 p.m. seminar
Collaborative Life Sciences Building, CLSB 3A003A/B

In a presentation titled “Trigeminal-Mediated Pain: Clues from mice,” Dr. Russo will share his lab’s recent findings on the role of the neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in inflammation-mediated TMD and in cortical spreading depression in migraine. For more information about the speaker series, call 503-494-8874 or visit

Results from vibration tests in research courtyard

Note: Q&A session on test results available to researchers Feb. 19 at 1 pm in Richard Jones Hall 4340.

OHSU Design & Construction has received the results from the noise and vibration test for the planned Center for Radiochemistry Research that took place on Feb. 11. The test was performed between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m, and test activities included drilling and hammering in the courtyard (for geotechnical testing), roto-hammer drilling into the MRB façade, coring into the MRB façade, and soil compaction by “jumping-jack” compactor.

The team monitored resulting vibration and noise levels at 11 locations in six rooms across the building. The rooms were 125, 171, 227, 219, 621, and 921. Additionally, ultrasonic sound was measured in room 327.

In summary, the results showed no “egregious” impacts from those activities that will be necessary to construct the facility. The noise testing revealed that the associated sound levels are manageable. All of the activities were audible; however, while noise levels were elevated from some activities, they were similar to the levels that occur with normal use of the laboratories (talking, opening and closing doors, etc).

Little to no impact was seen from the geotechnical exploration from either drilling or test hammering. A careful examination of the data reveals some degree of impact, but not significantly different from the existing background conditions. Similar results were seen from the roto-hammer drilling and coring into the facade. Again, the impact appeared to be similar to background conditions.

Unlike the two above activities, the jumping-jack compactor caused significant impact. This was identified within minutes after it started, and the work was immediately terminated. The compactor caused vibration levels to breach the “1,000uin/sec” limit commonly accepted as a warning level for sensitive research, even at distant locations (171) and at the very top of the building (921). This is a clear impact that would be felt by both people and research subjects and would likely interfere with many kinds of benchtop research. It was determined that this and similar methods cannot be used for actual construction work.

Data from the full set of results are available. Interested OHSU faculty and staff can email Dan Van Brabant at in order to receive the login credentials to access the online portal.

A Q&A session has been scheduled with the noise and vibration consultant for Thursday, Feb. 19 at 1 p.m. in Richard Jones Hall, room 4340 to discuss the full results of the test and answer any questions researchers might have regarding impacts during construction. All are invited to attend.

Don’t miss upcoming INVENT seminars and Michael Baker keynote, Mar. 11

The INVENT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Keynote and Seminar series has just wrapped up its sixth week, with three more seminars and a concluding keynote address still to come. Entrepreneurs, lawyers, educators and scientists from Portland’s bioscience and entrepreneurship communities have contributed insight into pitching a concept, intellectual property rights, regulatory requirements, collaboration, and seeking funds.

INVENT: Seminar Series and Keynote, Winter 2015
When: Every Wednesday from Feb. 18 through Mar. 11 – 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Where: OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building (CLSB), South Waterfront, Room 3A001

Next seminar topics

  • Feb. 18: Building collaborations
  • Feb. 25: Building the business model and plan
  • Mar. 4: Getting started

Keynote presentation
Mar. 11: Michael Baker, The Baker Group: “From Sketch to Launch – The Pathway to Commercialization of Innovations”

This educational series is truly a collaborative event and is brought to you, in part, by the Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Institute, the School of Medicine, Knight Cardiovascular Institute, the Division of Management and Technology Transfer & Business Development. Various attendees have given their feedback on INVENT via an anonymous survey. After the seminar on seeking funds, a survey participant said, “All panelists offered unique and helpful insight into the process of finding funding, [which created] a great comprehensive overview of funding sources.” INVENT also provides lasting networking opportunities and attendees and speakers are encouraged to stay and connect after the event.

Please visit the Biomedical Innovation Program for details and registration information.

NIH S10 funding for high-end instrumentation

The Shared Instrument Grant Program (S10), which provides groups of NIH-supported investigators funds to purchase or upgrade shared equipment costing up to $600,000) was announced in late January.  A new S10 opportunity will open for applications on April 29, 2015. The High-End Instrumentation (HEI) Grant Program is specifically designed to fund instrumentation that costs at least $600,000. The maximum award is $2,000,000. Types of instruments supported include, but are not limited to, X-ray diffraction systems, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometers, DNA sequencers, biosensors, electron and confocal microscopes, cell-sorters, and biomedical imagers.

OHSU is not limited in the number of applications we may submit, provided that the applications are for different types of equipment; however, internal review is required. A minimum of three major users who are PIs on active NIH research grants must be identified.

NOTE – INTERNAL COORDINATION REQUIRED: To apply, you must submit a brief 1-3 page preliminary proposal to Dr. Sue Aicher, who is coordinating the review process, by Friday, March 27, 2015. The external application is due May 29, 2015. Your email should include the following:

1. What instrument will be requested, and why it is needed
2. Cost of the instrument, including vendor quote
3. Cost of maintenance contract
4. Where the instrument will be located
5. Major user group info (group of at least 3 scientists with qualifying federal funding at time of the award)
6. Institutional support

Proposals will be evaluated based on whether the instrument will enhance the proposal research, whether there is a good match between the proposal science and the requested instrument, the justification of need, the organization of the project, continuing commitment to the instrument, and the benefit to the overall research community.

NIH wants your input

NIH is seeking time-sensitive input on various initiatives within four separate Institutes:

National Library of Medicine (NLM): NIH Director Working Group deliberations
In order to chart the course for the future of the world’s largest biomedical library, the NIH Director established a working group to review the current state of the NLM as well as to articulate a strategic vision for its future as an international leader in biomedical and health information. Comments are being sought regarding the current value of and future need for NLM programs, resources, research and training efforts and services. Responses must be submitted electronically and will be accepted through March 13, 2015.

Core Centers for Clinical Research: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
NIAMS invites comments from the community (researchers, members of scientific organizations, and more) to provide their perspective on core centers for clinical research in arthritis, musculoskeletal and skin diseases. This input is intended to inform NIAMS about critical aspects related to the structure and function of future core centers in support of this clinical research. Responses must be submitted by email and will be accepted until March 27, 2015.

Whole Genome Sequencing Project: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
The NHLBI seeks feedback to help guide the creation of a resource and to stimulate discovery in Precision Medicine of heart, lung and blood (HLB) disorders as part of the Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) Project.  This Project is envisioned to encompass deep phenotyping from the molecular to the environmental level which will be shared widely with the scientific community through a data/scientific commons. Responses must be submitted via email by April 20, 2015.

Fertility Status and Overall Health: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
As a preliminary effort in planning a scientific research workshop and for other potential future uses, NICHD seeks comments and suggestions about research on the use of fertility status as a marker of overall health, including information on the current state of the science, the highest priorities moving forward, and potential conceptual or technical barriers to overcome. All comments must be submitted by email by March 20, 2015.

By providing input you have the opportunity to influence NIH policy at the federal level and help direct programs that may be of benefit to your research and to OHSU as a whole.

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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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