ThinkFirst Oregon, Ed Neuwelt receive national awards

On May 2, in Washington, D.C., ThinkFirst Oregon was honored by the ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation with a national Outstanding Community Involvement Award for its innovative community-based injury prevention initiatives. ThinkFirst Oregon was the only program selected for this award from 154 ThinkFirst chapters in the United States and 36 international chapters.

The ThinkFirst National selected ThinkFirst Oregon for the competitive award in recognition of its fall prevention seminar series for older adults. The award also recognized its concussion education outreach program aimed at coaches, parents and teachers.

Edward A. Neuwelt, M.D., professor of neurology in OHSU’s School of Medicine, and founder of ThinkFirst Oregon, was selected for a Distinguished Service Award for his nearly three decades of advocacy on behalf of injury prevention. This award has been presented only a few times in the last 30 years. Neuwelt currently serves as the director of the Blood Brain Barrier Program and the administrator of the Head and Spinal Cord Injury Prevention Program at OHSU.

About ThinkFirst Oregon
OHSU-based ThinkFirst Oregon is part of a national nonprofit organization working with teachers, educators and community groups to reduce the risk of brain and spinal cord injury through community education and outreach. In the last two years, ThinkFirst Oregon has worked to raise awareness among community members about prevention of brain and spinal cord injury through local events. The program has reached more than 500,000 Oregonians with injury prevention programs and activities.

A concussion is the most common brain injury, and all brain injuries are serious. ThinkFirst Oregon’s outreach efforts strive to deliver the message that the majority of unintentional brain injuries are preventable. The organization works to educate community members about brain anatomy and function to help them realize the importance of protecting our brains from injury.

Targeting older Oregonians
Oregon Health Authority points to fall injuries as one of the leading causes of injury hospitalization in Oregon, and among the leading causes of injury-related death for older adults. To help older Oregonians avoid falls, ThinkFirst Oregon offers fall prevention courses, including The Matter of Balance Fall Prevention – an eight-week course for people 60 and older. Because prevention is often a community effort, seminars typically target family members, caregivers and older adults (50+).

Empowering community members
ThinkFirst Oregon certifies community members to teach fall prevention in their communities as volunteers.  Over the past two years, ThinkFirstOregon provided five fall prevention instructor trainings free to community members. The eight-hour trainings took place at OHSU in Multnomah County, Clackamas County and Lincoln County. Over the past two years, approximately 77 community members participated in the coach training.

Teens and concussions
To foster education about brain injury among student athletes, ThinkFirst equips coaches and teachers across Oregon with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concussion kits. Teen volunteers assist ThinkFirst Oregon at program events to create a culture of prevention among young Oregonians.

About Edward Neuwelt
Neurosurgeon Ed Neuwelt, M.D., has served as sponsoring physician for ThinkFirst Oregon for the past 29 years. Since establishing the chapter at OHSU in 1986 with personal funds, Neuwelt has been deeply committed to injury prevention education, research and advocacy. He continues to identify new research possibilities, secure funding for prevention programs, testify at legislative hearings and identify creative approaches to injury prevention education. His efforts to elevate injury prevention in the public’s consciousness have produced one of the most prolific and respected chapters in the nation.


IRB Notes from the Chair: A new eIRB is coming soon

Anticipated go-live: Summer 2015

The eIRB upgrade project is in final development with go-live anticipated this summer 2015. This new system will provide a simpler, more understandable and streamlined approach for submitting studies for IRB review.

We continue to look to you for your feedback, which has been critical to the success of this project. We have been holding our User Acceptance Testing (UAT) sessions involving close to 100 testing volunteers from the research community who have helped us test key components of the new system’s initial submissions, modifications and continuing reviews process. With their help, we’ve tested more than 250 hours in the new system. Currently, we are meeting with the study team members to test the electronic submission of Reportable New Information (RNI), which is the system’s way of capturing unanticipated problems, adverse events, protocol deviations, updated Investigators Brochures (IBs), etc.

Research community testers have provided feedback by alerting us to any bugs and identifying other possible areas that may require fixes or improvements. We have incorporated many of the suggestions from your testing and thank you again for your assistance. We will continue to have testing opportunities available. Contact Andrew Perluss and David Holmgren to sign up as a testing volunteer, learn about the system hands on,  and help us with your feedback.

At go-live, existing active/closed to enrollment studies will transfer to the new system; any outstanding modifications or continuing reviews will be finished up in the old system prior to transfer. We may be contacting you for clarifications on study details/status. The old eIRB will remain ‘read only’ for access to the review history and archived documents.

To ensure complete/accurate transfer of existing studies to the new system and optimal operability when everyone is living in the new system, please refer to tips from out eIRB Helpdesk article.

IRB Notes: eIRB Helpdesk – Transferring to the new system

As stated in the From the Chair, the new eIRB system will transfer all existing studies (active and closed-to-enrollment) from the current system. We will be looking to you for your help in making the transition as easy as possible. To help the transition to the new system be smooth and accurate, you can help us by:

  1. Archiving all documents no longer being used in your research
  2. Renaming documents with standard naming conventions (e.g., Protocol, Consent Form, Consent & Authorization, Recruitment/Advertisement Flyer, etc.)
  3. Getting your studies and modifications submitted as soon as possible in the coming months
  4. Submitting continuing reviews early for the next few months to ensure no last minute ‘scrambles’ to avoid any lapses
  5. Attending our brown bag sessions. For more information, see our IRB Education page.
  6. Cleaning out any old studies, modifications, continuing reviews, adverse events, protocol deviations, etc., that have been abandoned or need to be withdrawn
  7. Responding quickly to any questions confirming your study status

If you need any assistance or have any questions, please contact David Holmgren, IRB manager, at 503 346-3528 or via email at

We are excited about this project and appreciate all of your in the research community for your patience while we continue to improve our processes. We wouldn’t succeed without your support and active involvement. Thank you!

BIRCWH Northwest women’s health & sex/gender research conference, May 22

Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) Northwest is offering a unique conference experience May 22, when it hosts its annual sex/gender research conference in Portland.

The conference will bring people across Oregon together to devote a day for collaboration, networking, and resource sharing, and hear from researchers with expertise and resources related to women’s health and/or sex/gender issues.

BIRCWH Northwest Women’s Health and Sex/Gender Research Conference
Friday, May 22, 2015
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
OHSU’s Center for Health & Healing

Registration is $25 and available here.

Featuring renowned national speakers, panel discussions with representatives from institutions across Oregon, and plenty of networking time, this year’s event will be interactive for all participants. Panelists will moderate discussions among participants following their presentations that highlight research conducted at their organizations, the potential for cross-institutional collaboration and resource sharing.  Recipients from the 2014 pilot award projects will also have chance to share the research they conducted and their experiences with cross-institutional, collaborative research. Attendees can link with researchers during a poster session and participate in a research “speed-dating” activity that will allow them to network with potential collaborators.

Questions? Email them to

The Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH), in the Director’s Office of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), established the BIRCWH program in 2002 to advance mentored research career development of junior faculty who will be engaged in interdisciplinary basic, behavioral, clinical, or health services research in women’s health. The Oregon BIRCWH program is dedicated to training tomorrow’s leaders in women’s health research.

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

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