Cochrane Fertility Regulation group established at OHSU

A new Cochrane review group for fertility regulation is being established at OHSU. The Fertility Regulation Group is charged with assessing the best available evidence on fertility regulation, family size and birth spacing in order to support evidence-based health care decision-making. This is only the second Cochrane Library review group to be based in the U.S.

Jeanne-Marie Guise, M.D., M.P.H., will lead the group as coordinating editor. Guise, a clinician-scientist, is director of the Oregon Institute for Patient-Centered Comparative Effectiveness, associate director of the Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center, and director of the Comprehensive Comparative Effectiveness Research Center. As an R01-funded researcher, she focuses on filling research gaps identified in evidence reviews and, as a clinician, she conducts evidence reviews that are relevant, reliable and actionable to improve health care delivery and the health of the public.

Alison Edelman, M.D., M.P.H., professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the School of Medicine will serve as deputy editor of the Fertility Regulation Group, and Maria Rodriguez, M.D., M.P.H., professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the School of Medicine, will serve as author. Robin Paynter, M.L.I.S., will be Cochrane information specialist and Makalapua L. Motu’apuaka will act as managing editor.

Cochrane is recognized worldwide as a primary source of systematic reviews and evidence in health care. Review groups provide methodologic and editorial support for the reviews that populate the Cochrane Library. The fertility regulation review group was first started in 1997 to address the information people need to regulate their fertility, family size and spacing of births.

Study shines light on mysteries of senility

Stephen BackMillions of Americans above the age of 65 suffer from dementia, a disorder of mental processes associated with loss of memory or perception skills that may impact a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks.  A novel study, conducted at OHSU and published in the Annals of Neurology, provides new insights into the origins of vascular dementia in maturing adults, now recognized as the second leading cause of dementia.

Through the analysis of human blood vessels, the research team – led by Stephen Back, M.D., Ph.D. – determined that aging white matter, or the areas of the central nervous system that affect learning and brain function, has a more vulnerable blood supply than other parts of the brain, making it more susceptible to injury.

Further, the study found that when the brain’s white matter becomes injured and attempts to repair itself, it fails to do so, and instead creates a significant increase in oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, which – typically – give rise to myelin-forming cells critical for the conduction of information across the brain.

These OPCs fail to mature into myelin forming cells, which means that the injured white matter has a block in the pathways that allow myelin to form. This is a potential explanation of why some adults may experience senility as they age.

Additional research, currently underway, works to identify the source of myelin formation block, potentially leading way for future targeted therapy options.


Dieter Brandner, B.A., Phuong Le, B.A., David McNeal, Ph.D., and Xi Gong, M.D., of the OHSU Department of Pediatrics, and Thuan Ngyuen, M.D., Ph.D., of the OHSU Department of Preventive Medicine also contributed to this work in collaboration with investigators at the University of Washington School of Medicine, the Medical College of Georgia and Stanford University School of Medicine.

The research was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging, (AG031892, AG006781, and AG05136), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NS054044), a Huebner Family Post-Doctoral Training Fellowship, and by the Nancy and Buster Alvord Endowment.

— Written by Tracey Brawley

Share Your Science workshop and write-a-thon, register by Feb. 20

The Share Your Science workshop and write-a-thon trains scientists to communicate scientific work to the public. If you want to make your research more accessible, this is a great opportunity. It is open to all researchers: Graduate students, postdocs, research staff and faculty researchers.

Share Your Science features a workshop on science communication followed by a hands-on writing session. Participants will have access to training, on-site coaches and ongoing resources, as well as food and drink. There will be an informal mixer after the event. The mixer is open to all.Share Your Science

Share Your Science

March 3, 2018
1:30 to 5 p.m.: Workshop/writing
5 p.m.: Mixer begins
Lucky Labrador Brew Pub
915 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.

This is an introductory level event open to all researchers: Graduate students, postdocs, research staff and faculty researchers.

Developed by The People’s Science, the event focuses on humanizing researchers, storytelling and science communication best practices. The goal of the national Share Your Science workshop tour? To facilitate a coalition of informed, empowered and motivated researchers prepared to share their science with everyone.

Register by Feb. 20, 2018

Share Your Science is free but space is limited. Registration includes the submission of a draft summary of a research paper that will be workshopped during the write-a-thon.

For more information, contact Andre Walcott at, OHSU’s member of the Portland organizing team responsible for bringing Share Your Science to town.

Training Opportunity for Responsible Conduct of Research

Are you participating in an NIH training grant award or fellowship? Do you need in-person RCR training? The Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute is offering an 8-hour seminar that meets RCR requirements for Ks, Ts, and other career development or individual fellowship grants. This interactive seminar provides practical experience focused on addressing real issues that have arisen in the course of your research. These may be related to ethics, integrity or regulatory matters. Topics range from how you recruit and consent patients to how you keep laboratory methods or determine authorship.

This seminar is also open to training grant faculty who have an RCR requirement — faculty members are needed to serve as small group facilitators. Priority is given to scholars and trainees funded by an NIH K-award or clinical or translational, postdoctoral T-award or any federal or non-federal career development grant.

Schedule – must attend all 4 sessions:
Session 1: Feb. 2, 2 to 4 p.m.
Session 2: Feb. 16, 2 to 4 p.m.
Session 3: March 2, 2 to 4 p.m.
Session 4: March 16, 2 to 4 p.m.

Please contact Karen McCracken for questions and to register.

See the full announcement on the OCTRI website.

Beyond patient vs. care partner health: Karen Lyons’ dyadic theory

Karen S. Lyons, Ph.D. Associate Professor, School of Nursing

Karen S. Lyons, Ph.D., Associate Professor, School of Nursing

The experience of human illness affects not only the patient, but family members and other care partners — that much we know. Investigations of patients and their care partners, or dyads, have brought insights into impacts of illness on the health and wellness of individual members of the care team, but little research has been conducted on the patient/care partner as a team.

How patients and their care partners manage illness together is an emerging area of inquiry. An article published Jan. 20, 2018, in The Journal of Family Nursing articulates a theory that integrates existing dyadic science with current understandings of illness management. In “The Theory of Dyadic Illness Management,” Karen S. Lyons, Ph.D., brings a perspective of illness management that focuses on the dyad as a team and on optimizing the health of the team itself, while simultaneously the health of each member is both considered and held in appropriate balance.

This theory breaks new ground in its explicit attention to the ways in which the dyad engages in illness management behaviors with the strong focus on optimizing the mental and physical health of the patient, care partner and the partnership itself. The theory is based on Lyons’ 18 years of empirical research on the topic, along with the research of her co-author, Christopher S. Lee, Ph.D., R.N., and colleagues and students with whom they have collaborated over time.

A focus on dyadic health recognizes the complexity of roles within dyads and does not hold the health of one member of the dyad as more important than the other. Instead, Lyons proposes greater focus on balancing health within dyads and that even patient- and care partner-specific outcomes must be viewed with a dyadic lens to understand fully the costs, rewards, and meaning associated with illness management.

Based on empirical findings, this theory may help provoke new lines of inquiry, shape the way interventions are designed and evaluated and lead to dyadic approaches within practice settings.


This post is based on the School of Nursing blog post “Karen Lyons, Ph.D.: Dyadic Theory published.”


NIH Loan Repayment Programs that help pay student loans

The NIH Loan Repayment Programs were established by Congress to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals in biomedical and biobehavioral research careers. The programs repay up to $35,000 annually of a researcher’s qualified educational debt in return for a commitment to engage in NIH mission-relevant research.

Ericka Boone Ph.D., NIH LRP

Ericka Boone, Ph.D., Director, Division of Loan Repayment, National Institutes of Health

NIH repays your student loans:
The Loan Repayment Programs

Friday, Feb. 9
2 to 3 p.m.
Richard Jones Hall, lecture hall 4320

The director of the NIH Division of Loan Repayment, Ericka Boone, Ph.D., will be at OHSU to provide an in-depth overview and answer questions about the programs.

Research funding from NIH is not required to participate in the extramural Loan Repayment Programs. Applicants must hold an M.D., Ph.D., Psy.D., Pharm.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.P.M., D.C., N.D., O.D., D.V.M., or equivalent doctoral-level degree (except for the Contraception & Infertility Research LRP).

Contact Mike Matrone at or 503-346-0361 with questions about the event.

OCTRI provides membership to Association for Clinical & Translational Science

Association for Clinical and Translational Science logoMembers of the OHSU community conducting or supporting clinical or translational research may join the Association for Clinical and Translational Science at no cost. This is made possible through an institutional membership purchased by the OHSU Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute.

Select OHSU from the Institutional Member drop-down menu when you sign up for ACTS membership.

Contact OCTRI at for more information.

More information about the changes coming to NIH applications


As you are likely aware, big changes are coming to NIH applications, and the critical deadline of January 25, 2018 is fast approaching. That’s when the new Forms E go into effect. These changes affect the content and format of most PHS applications so all PIs should read the new guide and ensure they are using the correct funding opportunity announcement. But the biggest changes will affect those doing clinical research.

NIH has created a series of initiatives to enhance the accountability and transparency of clinical research, with the goal of supporting the obligation that the burden and risk assumed by research participants leads to scientific knowledge. These initiatives thus target key points along the clinical trial lifecycle, from concept to reporting results.

Beginning with applications submitted on or after January 25, 2018, most funding announcements are being revised to clarify whether they allow clinical trials.  This is true of almost all parent announcements as well as agency-specific opportunities.  Thus, regardless of whether you are including a clinical trial in your application, this change will affect you.

The changes to the funding opportunity announcements are as follows:

  • All funding opportunity announcements will specify the allowability of clinical trials in Section II. Award Information
  • All clinical trial funding opportunity announcements will specify allowability of clinical trials in the  announcement title
  • Funding opportunity announcements that accept clinical trials will incorporate specific review criteria to ensure that reviewers appropriately consider clinical trial-related information  

What are the implications if my study is NOT considered a clinical trial?

  • Submit the application ONLY through a funding opportunity announcements that is specifically for “Clinical Trials Not Allowed” or one shown as “Clinical Trials Optional”.
  • Answer the appropriate questions, and complete the CT/HS form as required. This CT/HS form MUST be completed in each application, regardless of human subject involvement.

 What are the implications if my study is considered a clinical trial?

  • Submit the application ONLY through a funding opportunity announcements that accepts clinical trials, which are specifically designated as either “Clinical Trial Required” or “Clinical Trial Optional”.
  • Provide additional information in the application per NIH and specific agency instructions, which will be subject to different and distinct review criteria for clinical trials. These requirements can be lengthy, and instructions are referenced below.

As a reminder, you must answer four questions if you do human subjects research to see whether your study meets NIH’s definition of a clinical trial:

  1. Does the study involve human participants?
  2. Are the participants prospectively assigned to an intervention?
  3. Is the study designed to evaluate the effect of the intervention on the participants?
  4. Is the effect that will be evaluated a health-related biomedical or behavioral outcome?

NIH has created case studies to demonstrate how the questions are applied. Mike Lauer, deputy director of extramural research at NIH, has clarified the guidance for using these case studies. The clinical trial definition has gotten some pushback (see the comments here) from the extramural research community, and some NIH institutes are issuing their own specific guidance, so it may be wise to consult with your program officer before deciding which funding opportunity announcement to use.

For more OHSU-specific information, see this handout on the RATE site (OHSU log-in required).

We would like to acknowledge our colleagues in the Office of Proposal and Award Management for their contributions in preparing this post.

NRSA Technical Components Workshop, February 13

If you’re planning to apply for a pre- or post-doctoral NRSA fellowship from the NIH in the near future, we encourage you to attend this workshop  to learn about essential, non-research elements of your fellowship application. Topics covered include how to set up your proposal in InfoEd, how to develop a budget, how to manage reference letters, biosketches and PMCID numbers, and elements of a great training plan.

This upcoming workshop is led by Johanna Colgrove, manager of the MD/PhD program, Gavin Hamilton, grants and contracts administrator with the Office of Proposal and Award Management, and Rachel Dresbeck, Ph.D., senior director, OHSU Research Development.

NRSA Application Workshop
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Richard Jones Hall 4340

This workshop is open to applicants but may also be useful for department-based research administrators and faculty. All are welcome!

Workshops will also be held prior to the August and December deadlines, on June 12 and October 16, respectively.

Questions? Write


OMSI looking for volunteer scientists for CRISPR event

OMSI is hosting a public forum on human applications of CRISPR gene editing technology. Participants will learn about genetic engineering and the related ethical and societal dimensions, along with ways scientists are considering using it.

Following the introduction, participants and scientist volunteers will join at tables to talk about the implications of using these medical advancements. The goal is for scientists to provide viewpoints and added background, not lead the conversation.

OMSIEditing Our Evolution: Rewriting the Human Genome

Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
OMSI, 1945 S.E. Water Ave.

To find out more about volunteering for this CRISPR forum, contact Rebecca Reilly at 503-797-4675 or Or, you can sign up on the OMNI website.

This is an NSF funded Multi-Site Public Engagement with Science-Synthetic Biology project. OMSI is a pilot site for this forum, “Editing our evolution: Rewriting the human genome.” The Boston Museum of Science is the lead organization and the developer of the forum.  

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 OHSU. Find updates on events, discoveries, and important funding information.

Participation Guidelines

Remember: information you share here is public; it isn't medical advice. Need advice or treatment? Contact your healthcare provider directly. Read our Terms of Use and this disclaimer for details.