TTBD Lunch & Learn: Patentable subject matter, Apr. 2

Recent Supreme Court cases have reshaped the landscape of what is and is not patentable subject matter in the United States – particularly in the fields of natural products, diagnostic testing, and software.

C. Rachal Winger, of the law firm Lee & Hayes in Seattle, will discuss some of the recent changes. Winger and Jeff Jackson, senior patent associate at OHSU, will then have an informal discussion and answer audience questions about these changes and what they mean for OHSU inventors.

Thursday, Apr. 2, 2015
12 to 1 p.m.
ackenzie Hall 2201

This event is open to all OHSU employees, faculty and students. Admission is free, no RSVP is necessary, and snacks and beverages will be provided.

New equipment and environment monitoring will soon be available for research labs

OHSU Research Development and Administration has been engaged in a year-long project to improve the equipment and environment monitoring in research labs: They’ve been working with lab staff and managers of departments, centers and institutes, Environmental Health and Radiation Safety, ITG, and Facilities to test three different systems. They are now ready to deploy a reliable, tested, and flexible system that you can tailor to the needs of your lab. Even better: they are determined to keep it affordable for the labs–OHSU Facilities will pay for all ongoing annual maintenance fees, the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research will pay for infrastructure and shipping fees. Your lab will only need to purchase the actual “tags” that you place on your –80 freezer or nitrogen tank. This system is manufactured by AeroScout, which has been used by OHSU Hospital since 2007 to monitor everything from baby incubators, refrigerators, and freezers to tracking the physical locations of mobile equipment. Features include:

  • Monitors that are about the size of a cell phone and connect wirelessly from virtually every nook and basement cranny on campus; they run on AA batteries and need new batteries approximately every three years.
  • Data captured wirelessly, then transmitted and stored on a centralized database every five minutes
  • Battery-powered monitors and wireless communications link that continue to monitor if there is a power outage
  • Automatic alerts to trigger when environmental conditions reach a specific threshold
  • Alert notifications sent via email, text messages and phone calls, within five minutes of a breach and multiple tiers of contacts
  • Temperature monitoring range of -200°C to +140°C

In addition to new monitoring requirements and installations, AeroScout will replace all equipment and environment monitors connected to OHSU’s Fire and Safety system.

More information about how you can purchase the monitors is coming soon – stay tuned. Questions? Contact Craige Mazur or visit O2.

Funding Focus: DoD funding and insights from the Military Health Systems Research Symposium, Mar. 19

The Department of Defense funds research across the spectrum, from very basic science to social and behavioral studies. But how do you take advantage of these funds? Come to March’s Funding Focus, hosted by Research Funding & Development Services, to learn about what the DoD is currently interested in, the importance of networking, and how you can get support to attend the most important DoD biomedical research conference of the year, the Military Health Systems Research Symposium. Abstracts for this meeting are being accepted through Apr. 3, and you will be notified by May 8 whether your abstract was accepted.

DoD Funding and Insights Gleaned from the Military Health Systems Research Symposium
Thursday, Mar. 19, 12 to 1 p.m.
Mackenzie Hall 2201

The Military Health Systems Research Symposium brings together all the branches of the armed forces, this joint symposium provides a collaborative environment of exchange among military medical care providers with deployment experience, DoD scientists,  industry, and academic scientists like you, OHSU researchers!  This is a highly interdisciplinary meeting. Areas of interest include combat casualty care, military operational medicine, clinical and rehabilitative medicine, and military infectious disease. The 2015 MHSRS includes new topic sessions on genitourinary injuries and humanitarian emergency response–as well as a special track dedicated to infectious disease.

As with the extremely popular 2014 meeting, this year, the office of the Senior Vice President for Research will pay for meeting-related travel expenses for OHSU researchers whose abstracts are accepted for presentation (you have to actually be presenting to take advantage of this offer). We can also help review abstracts for military relevance and other important details prior to submission, but don’t delay: the deadline is rapidly approaching.

The meeting is usually held the third week of August in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. If your abstract is accepted and you want to take advantage of the travel support, we will ask you to fill out a very easy and short application (coming soon).

This presentation is one of a series of workshops that Research Funding and Development Services offers throughout the year, designed to share advice, tips, and general information on funding for the OHSU research community. It’s free; no need to register. Questions? Contact

Scheduled power outage to impact Richard Jones Hall, Mar. 14

To make improvements to the emergency power electrical distribution system, Richard Jones Hall will experience some power outages Saturday, Mar. 14, from 7 to 11 a.m.

Impacts include:

  • Egress exit signs will not be illuminated.

  • Stairwell lighting will be replaced with temporary lighting during the outage.

  • The freight elevator will not be functional.

All other normal and emergency power will not be affected. Questions or concerns? Contact Carl Gioia via email.

GRADE Approach workshop for practice guideline development, Apr. 23-24

The West Coast branch of the US Cochrane Center, along with OHSU and the US GRADE Network, is sponsoring a two-day training in GRADE guideline development methodology.  The program, Guideline Development Workshop – The GRADE Approach, will be held Apr. 23 and 24, 2015, at OHSU’s Center for Health & Healing in Portland, Ore.

This course will be led by founders of the US GRADE working group, with special guest presenter Holger Schünemann, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D., co-chair of the international GRADE working group. They will teach the principles, techniques, and tools for developing guidelines in accordance with GRADE methodology, including the GRADEpro software.

Learning how to use GRADE is important if you or your colleagues are (or want to be) involved in the development of practice guidelines within your specialty society or health system. A list of professional societies and other organizations that use the GRADE system to develop clinical practice guidelines can be found here. The training is also valuable for people who prepare or want to prepare systematic reviews for organizations that use GRADE.

More information is available at and registration is open here. Questions? Please contact the West Coast branch at

Training grants class for research administrators, Mar. 24

Research Administration Training and Education (RATE) is offering a three-hour course on Training Grants and Fellowships this month. The course offers a practical understanding of pre- and post-award project management and processes involved in supporting training grants and fellowships, from preparing tables to processing a termination notification and including a brief tour of eRA Commons xTrain. Instructors include staff from RDA units as well as a representative of the T32 Administrators group.

Training grants and fellowships course
Tuesday, Mar. 24
1 to 4 p.m.
Center for Health & Healing, 3181 1B

The course is designed for departmental administrative staff who assist in the submission of NIH training grant and fellowship proposals and/or manage these types of awards.

Use your network credentials to enroll through Compass.

Catalyst Award applications due Mar. 31

Applications for the Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Institute (OCTRI) Catalyst Awards are due Mar. 31, 2015. This pilot project funding is designed to facilitate novel, collaborative, multidisciplinary studies that will lead to further research and funding in translational research.

Garet Lahvis, Ph.D.

Catalyst awardee spotlight 2014

Garet Lahvis, Ph.D.
“Oregon Animation Test for Social Reciprocity”

Garet Lahvis, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience at OHSU. Dr. Lahvis’s research has focused on the development of objective assessments of mouse social ability, including social reward and empathy, abilities relevant to autism’s neurobiology. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) feature a variety of social deficits, assessed conventionally in the context of clinical interviews with the child, caregivers, and community. Waiting times for these evaluations can exceed a year, even in regions where services are readily available. They are not ideally suited for assessments of drug and behavioral treatments for ASD, which are undergoing rapid development and demand objective and fine-scale assessment tools.

As a result of OCTRI Catalyst funding, Dr. Lahvis, Dr. Fombonne and their team are developing the Oregon Animation Test for Social Reciprocity (OATS) to evaluate distinct autistic behavioral phenotypes. During the OATS assessment, a child’s responses are analyzed. OCTRI has provided extensive IRB preparation assistance and study coordinator services. This year, as the project nears conclusion, OCTRI will provide biostatistics support. In addition to introducing quantification of key behavioral phenotypes, OATS has the potential to slash wait times for autism diagnosis, develop the basis of a deeper scientific understanding of autism, and to improve clinical care.

The amount of each award is expected to be $75,000 over one year. Applicants may request a budget of up to $100,000, if at least $25,000 is allocated for OCTRI services. These services include support with expertise, equipment, and facilities for every stage of the research process. Please visit the OCTRI funding page for full Catalyst Awards program information and application.

Principal Investigators must fit OHSU eligibility requirements. The Catalyst Award program is a partnership between OCTRI and the School of Medicine Research Roadmap.

Professional kitchen now available for cooking classes, demonstrations

For the first time in OHSU history the OCTRI kitchen is now available to rent by OHSU departments and institutes. Usually reserved for research studies, this professional-grade kitchen includes a gas stove, commercial dishwasher, high-quality kitchen scales, food processor, blender, professional mixer, walk-in refrigerator and freezer, coffee maker, and complete standard cooking equipment. This facility is part of the new Clinical & Translational Research Center that was completed spring of 2014.

Andrew Nelson teaching in the OCTRI kitchen.

Who would need a professional kitchen?

Don Kain, a diabetes education and outreach program manager with the Harold Schnitzer Diabetes Health Center, taught three Saturday morning hands-on cooking classes and shared his experience. “We really appreciated using the OCTRI kitchen. It has a lot of working counter space and is stocked with state-of-the-art equipment, including an industrial-grade dishwasher. The dishwasher washes dishes in less than five minutes, which allowed us to wash dishes as we moved through our cooking class rather than being faced with a gigantic pile of dishes at the end.”

Another kitchen customer, Andrew Nelson, a chef with OHSU’s Food & Nutrition Services, hosted a demonstration for OHSU Professionalism Week. Andrew also commented on his experience, “I loved using the OCTRI kitchen and look forward to having the opportunity to use it again in the future. It’s an intimate, state-of-the-art facility that lends itself perfectly to demonstrations and small groups.”

Kitchen Information

  • Rate: $75 per hour
  • Location: Hatfield Research Center, 10D34
  • General availability: Weekdays, 3 to 9 p.m., and weekends, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Other hours as available; please contact for information.

The kitchen is open to all OHSU-related projects and departments, which includes team-building exercises with possible outside guest instructors. Assistance with any portion of class, including set-up and clean-up, is available for an extra fee. OCTRI research dietitians are also available to design and teach cooking classes for research studies. Contact Jessica Gutgsell for availability and cost or call 503 494-0160.

ACMG issues new joint guidelines

The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) this week issued new joint guidelines for determining the disease-causing potential of DNA sequence variations in genetics in medicine.  In an effort to standardize interpretation and reporting of genomic test results, the ACMG, together with colleagues from the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) and the College of American Pathologists (CAP), has developed an evidence-based gene variant classification system and accompanying standard terminology. The new system, published online in ACMG’s flagship journal, Genetics in Medicine, is designed to assist genetic testing laboratories and clinical geneticists in the critical task of assigning the disease-causing potential to the many different genetic variants that individuals have in their DNA. OHSU’s Sue Richards, Ph.D., is the lead author.

NCI director Harold Varmus to step down

In case you haven’t heard, Harold Varmus, M.D., announced yesterday that he will be stepping down from his position as director of NIH’s National Cancer Institute, effective Mar. 31, 2015. Varmus has led the NCI for nearly five years, and is leaving to pursue scientific work in New York City. In a letter to NCI staff, he outlines some of  NCI’s accomplishments during his tenure, advancements in cancer research, and his future plans.

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 Oregon Health & Science University. Visit often for updates on events, discoveries, and important funding information.

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