National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week, Sept. 21-25

In honor of the sixth annual National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week, Sept. 21 to 25, 2015, OHSU will host a week’s worth of events in recognition of its 294 postdoctoral scholars. OHSU joins nearly 100 institutions in the U.S. and Canada in holding activities that honor postdocs and recognize the contributions they make to research and development.

This year marks the first time OHSU will celebrate National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week, recognizing the vital contributions its postdoctoral scholars make to the research enterprise and positioning OHSU as a leader in basic biomedical and clinical research. Through the week’s activities, OHSU aims to raise awareness of its vibrant postdoctoral community and its importance to the OHSU community as a whole.

Here’s the line up of events, which are open to postdocs and all members of the OHSU community:

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Open House
Monday, Sept. 21
9 to 11 a.m.
Baird Hall 1027


Insight to industry: Preparing for professional careers
Tuesday, Sept. 22
8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Collaborative Life Sciences Building, Learning Studio 1S040


RIPSS Postdoctoral Association kickoff meeting
Wednesday, Sept. 23
12 to 1 p.m.
Vollum Institute, seminar room M1441


Marquam Hill: Preparing your academic job search package
Wednesday, Sept. 23
3 to 5:30 p.m.
Mackenzie Hall 2201


West Campus: Preparing your academic job search package
Friday, Sept. 25
9 to 11 a.m.
ONPRC administration building, ABC conference room


West Campus: Postdoctoral Appreciation Luncheon
Friday, Sept. 25
12 to 1:30 p.m.
ONPRC administration building, ABC conference room


National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week finale happy hour
Friday, Sept. 25
5 to 7 p.m.
Scout Beer Garden, The Gantry at Zidell Yards

Questions? Contact Michael Matrone, postdoctoral affairs officer, at or 503 346-0361.

A postdoctoral scholar (“postdoc”) is an individual holding a doctoral degree who is engaged in a temporary period of mentored research and/or scholarly training for the purpose of acquiring the professional skills needed to pursue a career path of his or her choosing.

About the National Postdoctoral Association
The NPA is a nonprofit, 501(c) (3) educational association headquartered in Washington, D.C. Founded in 2003, the NPA seeks to provide a national voice for postdoctoral scholars, to facilitate positive change for postdocs and thereby to advance the research enterprise in the U.S. The NPA serves the postdoctoral community, including more than 2,800 individual members, some 190 institutional members, and the more than 60,000 postdoctoral scholars at these institutions. The NPA provides support to the postdoctoral community through resources, toolkits, professional development, and networking opportunities.

For information on events across the country, visit the NPA website. 

HHMI research fellowship for international pre-docs, internal deadline Oct. 17

The Howard Hughes Medical Inhhmi logostitute (HHMI) has invited OHSU to nominate one predoctoral student to the 2016 International Student Research Fellowships program. HHMI is a science philanthropy whose mission is to advance biomedical research and science education for the benefit of humanity. Their fellowship is designed to support outstanding international predoctoral students studying in the U.S. who are ineligible for fellowships or training grants through U.S. federal agencies. HHMI will award three-year fellowships to international students to support years three, four, and five of a Ph.D. program. The chosen fellows will each be awarded $30,000 per year plus allowances.

Eligible biomedical-related fields include biology, chemistry, physics, math, computer science, engineering, and plant biology as well as interdisciplinary research. Applicants must:

  • have demonstrated exceptional talent and innovation in research,
    and be in their second (or third) year of graduate study;
  • have entered a laboratory in which they will conduct their dissertation research; and
  • are not U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, or permanent residents of the U.S.

Note that this opportunity requires internal coordination as OHSU can submit only one application; therefore, limited submission guidelines apply. If you are interested in applying, submit an application via the Competitive Application Portal (CAP) by October 16, 2015. The external deadline for the final application to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute is November 17, 2015.

K12 career development opportunity in women’s health and/or sex/gender differences research


The BIRCWH (Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health) K12 program announces a special funding opportunity for OHSU junior faculty members. The BIRCWH program provides salary support and fringe benefits, limited research funding, and an infrastructure to support mentored career development for those interested in interdisciplinary basic, translational, behavioral, clinical, population, and/or health services women’s health and/or sex/gender differences research. OCTRI anticipates one opening for a K12 scholar in Winter of 2016. Deadline for applications is October 26, 2015.

Award information: Scholars will receive salary and fringe benefit support for .75  FTE, up to $95,000 (including benefits), and up to $25,000 per year for research, supplies, and travel. You will be appointed as an OCTRI scholar, which will give you access to core OCTRI services including statistics, IRB, regulatory compliance etc. (Some limitations will apply to these services.) This is an interdisciplinary research training program, so scholars must have multiple experienced research mentors who represent different disciplines.

Eligibility: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or non-citizen nationals, or individuals lawfully admitted for permanent residence (by January 1, 2016), who hold a clinical or nonclinical doctoral degree or its equivalent, can commit a minimum of 75% full-time professional effort to conducting women’s health research, have identified mentors with extensive research experience, and must NOT be or have been a PI on an R01 or K award. The applicant’s Department must agree to commit at least $10,000 per year in discretionary funds to the scholar, if appointed, which is matched by the institution with $15,000 per year toward the scholar’s research projects and training.

Log in with your OHSU credentials to view application instructions.

For questions or for more information, please contact BIRCWH Program Director Jeanne-Marie Guise, MD, MPH.

IRB brown bag special series: eIRB Upgrade demo, Sept. 24

IRB Brown BageIRB Upgrade demo

Presented by David Holmgren, IRB manager

Thursday, Sept. 24
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
OHSU Hospital, 8th floor auditorium

Are you involved with human subjects research? Come to the eIRB Upgrade demo! During this brown bag we will be giving an overall demonstration of the new eIRB system. You can see a quick overview of the differences and the initial applications, a presentation on modifications and CRQs and the new Reportable New Information (RNI) system. This brown bag session will be open for questions and answers.

In case you missed it: Updates from the Knight Cancer Institute

Testing the impact of reference pricing on cancer care

More than 15 million colonoscopies are performed in the U.S. each year as a routine cancer-prevention service, but did you know that the price for this procedure can vary by more than tenfold within a metropolitan area? David Lieberman, M.D., discusses the impact of reference pricing for colonoscopy services in a commentary in JAMA Internal Medicine. Find out more on Knight News.

MicroRNA as an early biomarker of leukemia

A preclinical study led by Peter Kurre, M.D., may point the way to more effective tests for recurrence of acute myeloid leukemia. Kurre and colleagues examined the efficacy of using exosomes in blood to reveal the presence of the disease before leukemia blast cells begin to circulate without the need to perform a marrow biopsy. Read more about this study — and the OHSU collaboration that made it possible — here.

Did you miss the Knight Challenge: Next Steps meeting?

Not to worry. Stay tuned to Knight News for an event recording and an online Q&A where you can get answers to any questions you have left.

Update on NIH Voluntary Cost Sharing at OHSU

PIs are sometimes tempted to ask for institutional commitment for NIH grants when it’s not required–they may believe that such pot-sweeteners improve their chance for funding success. But OHSU recently changed its policy regarding cost-sharing:  As of July 1, 2015 the new OHSU policy no longer allows voluntary cost-sharing.

Why did we make this change? Because NIH itself has changed  how cost-sharing is reported on the cover page of your proposal for funding.  They did this for several reasons, many of which have to do with the new Uniform Guidance for use of federal funds, as well as a change in the climate for how federal agencies view cost sharing–for example, viewing it as unfair to institutions or PIs with fewer resources. The NIH change means we can no longer include the cost-sharing amount in the total project costs.  This instruction creates a scenario that could legally bind OHSU to cost-sharing without our having knowledge of doing so. Hence, OHSU has changed the policy.

Mandatory cost-sharing is still permitted, of course, as is cost-sharing considered to be a merit review factor in the evaluation of a proposal when explicitly stated by the RFA.  When mandatory cost-sharing is included, OPAM will require that a cost-sharing account be set up along with your project and expenses claimed as cost-sharing will need to be moved into that account. You can see the whole policy here. Please contact your OPAM Grants & Contracts Administrator (GCA) with any questions–and we’ll be posting answers to frequently asked questions in the near future.

SBIR/STTR Phase I, Phase II and fast-track application support program: Solicitation for Phase 0 proposals

Business Oregon and the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute’s (OCTRI) Biomedical Innovation Program (BIP) are pleased to announce the continuation and expansion of their pilot program to help Oregon small businesses access federal funding through successful Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant applications. As of Sept. 8, 2015, Oregon small businesses in the health care technology industry that meet the federal SBIR/STTR guidelines are eligible to apply.

The specific goal of the Phase 0 program is to improve the competitiveness of SBIR/STTR applications and lead to award funding. The Phase 0 program provides expert reviews of draft SBIR/STTR grant proposals, as well as support for proposal development.

Grant review benefits include:

  • Strategic advice from experienced translational scientists
  • Writing guidance and feedback on grant structure, based on NIH review criteria
  • Identification of potential scientific consultants or advisors
  • Recommendations for additional preliminary studies or data analysis
  • Application weaknesses highlighted prior to submission

In addition to the services provided by reviewers, Phase 0 program applicants can request up to $3,725 for SBIR/STTR grant application preparation services. Please see the complete request for applications for allowable expenses.

The program thus far has supported four Oregon companies submitting SBIR or STTR applications. Becky Voorheis, CEO of Quickbeam and an SBIR Phase 0 awardee, said about the program: “I can’t overstate how valuable the Phase 0 grant was to us in the grant preparation. We received extremely high quality feedback and support from our reviewers.”

Apply now! Phase 0 submissions must be received a minimum of nine weeks prior to SBIR/STTR due date (Nov. 3, 2015 for the NIH SBIR/STTR; Jan. 5, 2016 deadline).

Please direct program inquiries to:
Jonathan Jubera, OHSU Biomedical Innovation Program
Phone: 503-805-8179
Mark Brady, Business Oregon
Phone: 503-689-5638

TTBD industry spotlight: Welch Allyn engineering rounds

Updated on 9/15 to reflect the origins of the program.

The Welch Allyn-OHSU engineering rounds is a new platform at OHSU that allows medical equipment design engineers the chance to engage with doctors and patients. The long-term goal of this platform is to translate medical needs into focused innovations and eventually products. This platform was designed to allow both parties to utilize their respective expertise. OHSU offers the clinical expertise necessary to identify patient care problems and provide feedback on the practical applications of new innovations, while Welch Allyn offers the engineering expertise necessary to create physical solutions to the identified problems.

Three Welch Allyn engineers – Steve Baker, Ph.D., Rick Weitzel, and Cory Gondek – and Soundharya Nagasubramanian, director of software and systems architecture, participated in the pilot round of this program. They worked closely with OHSU’s Matthew Hansen, M.D., M.C.R., assistant professor of emergency medicine, and David Sheridan, M.D., pediatric emergency medicine fellow, to create the current program. The highly successful program stems from a strong partnership between Welch Allyn, TTBD, and the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute at OHSU,  with essential scientific leadership from OCTRI’s past director Eric Orwoll, M.D. It provides evidence of how much can be accomplished when multidisciplinary OHSU teams form working relationships with business partners.

In the earlier stages of the program, the primary goal for the engineers was to gain an understanding of the clinical context surrounding shared projects that were currently in development. Though after several meetings, the engineers saw that their goals expanded and became more open ended. “By the time we came around to kick off the engineering rounds, the goals became two-fold,” said Nagasubramanian. “One was getting more insight into our current projects, and the other was blue sky. ‘What are the other problems they are facing in the clinical area and what can we help solve?’”

By allowing engineers to ask questions and connecting them with physicians who are willing to steep them in a patient care environment, it opens the door to a wide variety of opportunities to improve medical care. “We see problems, but we’re not engineers,” says Hansen. “Engineers have a completely different background training and come at problems with such a different frame of reference, which to us is outside of our box. That allows us to find solutions to problems that we couldn’t have figured out on our own.”

The chance to observe, ask questions, and receive feedback is essential to engineers in any industry, but is typically difficult in the medical industry. Often times, engineers are granted access to “shadow” clinicians but are not allowed to interact with the physician or the patients. “I’ve shadowed before, but you’re pretty much a fly on the wall,” says Welch Allyn engineer Steve Baker. “In this program, we have active management. We have two doctors who are there helping us see the cases that are most relevant to our projects, helping make sure that we understand what’s going on, and that we understand the issues that the clinicians are facing at that instant.”

By structuring the program based on the clinicians needs, the doctors are more passionate about seeing the innovations succeed and the engineers can gain a better understanding of the products that need to be developed. “I think the reason that this worked out so well was that Welch Allyn came to our department and asked ‘What ideas do you guys have?’ rather than ‘here are our ideas, can you help us with them?’” says Sheridan.

When asked how their respective institutions or departments will be impacted by this collaboration, Hansen said, “Hopefully we’re creating a model that other people can follow. I hope our department, through this collaboration, can become a leader in technology development. It’s not a very common theme for people in our specialty to do technology development, but there’s an incredible need. There’s a mismatch between what we do on a day-to-day basis and how we’re involved in finding solutions to the problems.” He said, “To me, the ultimate success is when something we’ve worked on goes into the hands of a doctor and makes the care of that patient better.”

For questions regarding the Welch Allyn-OHSU engineering rounds, please contact Trish Pruis, TTBD alliance manager, at

Register now for the 2015 TTBD awards, Oct. 19

The office of Technology Transfer & Business Development invites the OHSU community to attend the 2015 TTBD Awards Ceremony. Awards will be presented to OHSU community members for their collaborations and efforts in licensing, sponsored research, patenting, and entrepreneurship. In addition, top honors will be awarded in the categories of New Inventor of the Year, Business Development Partnership, Technology Transfer Achievement, and TTBD Appreciation.


Joe Gray, PhD and Dan Dorsa, PhD

Monday, Oct. 19, 2015
5 to 8 p.m.

Collaborative Life Sciences Building,  room 3A001

Free drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served at the opening reception starting at 5 p.m. Ceremony will begin promptly at 6 p.m. 

Please join us for this special event to support your friends and colleagues and to learn more about innovation and entrepreneurship at OHSU. Register here to attend 2015 TTBD Awards ceremony. Feel free to invite your colleagues and family members to attend the celebration!

NRSA application workshop: Technical components, Oct. 5

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 elements needed for an InfoEd proposal, how to develop a budget, how to manage reference letters, biosketches and PMCID numbers, and elements of a great training plan.

This workshop is led by Johanna Colgrove, M.D., Ph.D., program coordinator; Jerry Robertson, grants and contracts administrator; and Rachel Dresbeck, Ph.D., director of research development.

NRSA Application Workshop
Monday, Oct. 5, 2015
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Vollum Institute 4M

Open to both researchers and administrators. Registration now available on Compass.

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