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.

Jungers Center plenary lecturer, Mortiz Helmstaedter, Ph.D., to speak during Research Week

Please join the Jungers Center for Neurosciences Research for a presentation by its plenary lecturer,  Moritz Helmstaedter, Ph.D,. as part of the 2015 Jungers Symposium and OHSU Research Week.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015
11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
OHSU Auditorium
Lecture title: “Connectomics: The dense reconstruction of neuronal circuits”

Moritz Helmstaedter is the director of the Department of Connectomics at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, Germany. His research is focused on deciphering how the cerebral cortex stores sensory experience and uses it to detect objects in the current environment.  To this end, the Helmstaedter Department develops and applies methods for measuring communication maps of neuronal circuits, connectomes.

This lecture is one of many events open to the OHSU community during this year’s Research Week, May 4 through 8.


IRB Brown Bag Special Series: eIRB upgrade RNI

IRB Brown BageIRB Upgrade: Reportable New Information (RNI)

Presented by Andrea Seykora, assistant research integrity officer

Tuesday, Mar. 10, 2015
2 to 3 p.m.
OHSU Hospital, 8th floor auditorium


The new eIRB system will handle reporting of Unanticipated Problems and Protocol Deviations through a single pathway called “Reportable New Information (RNI).” In addition, the OHSU IRB is revising its policy on what items will require investigators to submit a report. This brown bag session will introduce you to the new reporting requirements and the process for submitting Reportable New Information via the new eIRB system.

How Jeffrey Jensen is working to improve women’s health around the globe

Over the past 20 years, Jeffrey T. Jensen, M.D. and his team at Oregon Health & Science University have been working on innovative family planning research, from improving existing contraceptive methods to the development of novel non-hormonal approaches. Jensen’s latest work is centered on research that could ultimately lead to a safe, effective and accessible nonsurgical permanent contraception for women around the world using polidocanol foam, an FDA.-approved treatment for varicose veins.

The need for better contraception options is an important global health challenge of our time.  Options are especially lacking for women who have achieved their desired family size. Current approaches to permanent contraception for this group involves surgery, which is expensive and risky in low-resource settings. In October of 2014, Jensen’s team was awarded a $5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a center to advance this research.

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 222 million women in developing countries would like to delay or stop childbearing but are not using any method of contraception. The WHO cites tubal sterilization as a popular contraceptive choice in many developing countries and at least 100 million women in developing countries may undergo sterilization in the next two decades.

Jensen is collaborating with Ov Slayden, Ph.D., and his team at the Oregon National Primate Research center’s team to develop the Oregon Permanent Contraception Research Center. OPERM will provide grant funding, scientific expertise, a nonhuman primate animal resource, laboratory and procedural infrastructure, and administrative support to selected investigators who want to evaluate different novel nonsurgical contraceptive methods.

Jensen and Slayden’s larger objective is to complete preclinical studies of one or more promising approaches in a nonhuman primate model and then move a method into early-phase clinical trials in women, with the ultimate goal of developing a low-cost, highly effective non-surgical method with an appropriate delivery technology for voluntary family planning programs in low-resource settings.

While polidocanol foam is the current lead technology, Jensen and Slayden expect that OPERM will identify several new approaches to non-surgical permanent contraception.  The Center will administer funds for research projects of various scales and a request for research proposals will be available in late March 2015 (more details to come) for both ONPRC and external investigators.

PCORI adopts peer-review process

On Feb. 24, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Board of Governors adopted a process for primary research peer-review and results-posting as a key part of a broader dissemination and implementation plan. The process is designed to balance the challenges of ensuring the timely release of research results while also assessing their scientific integrity.

Key elements of the new process include:

  • Study registration guidelines
  • Clinical trial study results submission guidelines
  • Final report requirements and composition
  • Composition guidelines for peer-review teams
  • Requirements for preparing and posting results summaries

No information on an implementation timeline is available at this time. Stay tuned.




Brain Fair 2015: Celebrate the adaptive power of the brain, Mar. 14

Learn about the amazing adaptive power of the brain at this cerebral celebration that includes interactive exhibits, real brains, crafts, demonstrations, prizes, a Brain Fair Passport and OHSU neuroscientists explaining their groundbreaking research.

OHSU Brain Institute Brain Fair 2015
Saturday, Mar. 14, 2015
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI) auditorium
1945 SE Water Ave.

Museum admission is not required to attend.

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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