New search tool for tissue samples available for cancer researchers

The biolocator search engine currently contains over 100,000 specimens from about 8,600 patients.

The OHSU Knight BioLibrary recently introduced a biolocator search engine that provides cancer researchers with a new tool for requesting specimens. For the first time, researchers—whether at OHSU or outside institutions—can do an online search of the repositories that are part of the BioLibrary. The eight searchable repositories currently contain more than 100,000 specimens from about 8,600 patients.

Highlights include:

  • Automated process: All specimen requests are now handled directly through the search engine. After each submission, researchers can log onto the biolocator to check the status of their request.
  • Increased search functionality: Researchers can search by disease, anatomic source, sample type, presentation and patient demographic data.
  • New wish list feature: New specimens are added to the database every month. If a researcher can’t find a particular specimen, they can submit a wish list request. A BioLibrary employee will then search the specimen repositories that aren’t yet online and get back to the researcher when a requested sample is available.
  • Remote access: The biolocator is available to researchers working remotely as well as external clients. That means accessing the search capabilities does not require a connection through the OHSU network.

The following collections are currently searchable:

  • Knight Tissue Bank
  • Pancreatic Cancer Registry
  • Esophageal Cancer Registry
  • Colorectal Cancer Registry
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma (LLS SCOR Interface)
  • Prostate Study
  • DNA Bank (Prostate)
  • Molecular Profiling Tissue Resource

While the collections contain cancer-related specimens exclusively, other collections will be added over the coming months. If a tissue collection is not currently searchable online, researchers may contact BioLibrary staff by calling 503-494-9648 or emailing for assistance.

Ignite Health V2: Call for Presentations

Ignite Health is a high-energy evening of 5-minute talks by local people who have a burning idea and the guts to get onstage and share their passions. Presentations are quick, fun, thought-provoking, social, local, global and bursting with innovation. The 2014 Ignite Health will be held October 15, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. in the OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences building.

Ignite Health can include topics like wellness, pharmaceuticals, software, medical devices, healthcare reform, reimbursement, and personal medicine. This event draws a diverse crowd of practitioners, researchers, administrators, entrepreneurs, consultants and healthcare business professionals.

Ignite Health proposals should include a brief written synopsis of your presentation and a brief bio about yourself. Show and tell something cool you’ve invented or found – no sales pitches please!

HOW TO APPLY – Deadline Sept. 10, 2014
Proposals should be submitted online by Sept. 10. Once submitted, your proposal will be reviewed by the Ignite team. Please include your contact information in case the team has questions about your proposal. All presenters will be notified by Sept. 25.

Find complete event details here.

OHSU Contact: Colleen Lay
OCTRI Awards Program Director
503 494-7493

TTBD Inventor Spotlight: Michael P. Hutchens, M.D., M.A.

The office of Technology Transfer & Business Development would like to highlight a particularly innovative or note worthy OHSU inventor and invention at the university. This quarter, our office would like to congratulate Michael P. Hutchens, M.D., M.A., for his work on the “Disinfection device for medical access sites” and the “Anesthetic vapor delivery device” that he has created and submitted to our office.

Dr. Michael Hutchens is an assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University.  He also serves as an attending intensivist in the Cardiac and Surgical Intensive Care Unit. His current research interests involve ischemic renal failure. He is particularly interested in the profound sexual dimorphism in incidence and outcome of ischemic renal failure and the consequential implications for intervention.

Dr. Hutchens originally planned a career as a professor of English, receiving the baccalaureate degree at Oberlin College. While studying for the Master of Arts in literature at Binghamton University, however, he became focused on medicine. He subsequently completed premedical studies at Goucher College and entered the University of Maryland where he earned his medical degree. After finishing a residency in anesthesiology at OHSU, Dr. Hutchens trained as a fellow in critical care medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, before returning to OHSU in July 2005.

Dr. Hutchens is the recipient of a K08 mentored scientist grant to study “Sex Difference in Renal Injury After Cardiac Arrest: Mechanisms of Estrogen Action.”

When he is not at the hospital, Dr. Hutchens enjoys gardening, bird-watching and playing cricket with his family.

Of the nine Invention Disclosures Dr. Hutchens has submitted to Technology Transfer & Business Development since 2007, two of the most recent submissions are of interest.

The “Disinfection device for medical access sites” is a catheter hub closure port device providing targeted application of ultraviolet light ensuring central venous catheters, and other medical access site catheters, are disinfected and clean. The OHSU device aims to reduce central line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) which are caused by healthcare workers, and, as a “never event”, are considered unreimbursable by the Centers for Medicare Services. With a reported mortality of 12-25%, and U.S. health care costs of approximately $2.3 billion yearly, CLABSI reduction is a priority of the World Health Organization, Centers for disease Control, the Joint Commission, and OHSU. This technology is exclusively optioned to a company for evaluation. A U.S. Provisional patent application has been filed.

The second technology of interest is “Anesthetic vapor device,” which is an anesthetic delivery system which digitally controls agent temperature to deliver clinical anesthetic vapor concentrations. The OHSU device works by cooling an anesthetic gas to very low temperatures at which clinical concentrations of vapor are created. The concentration of anesthetic delivered to the patient is controlled by controlling the temperature of the anesthetic liquid rather than flow of the fresh gas as in variable-bypass vaporizers. Currently available variable-bypass anesthetic vaporizers are single-agent specific, require frequent calibration and maintenance, and are heavy and slow to change concentration. This can be challenging in non-operating room circumstances such as animal research laboratories, intensive care units, medical transport, and military field environments. The OHSU device comprises an insulated vessel for the liquid anesthetic, a thermoelectric refrigeration system to cool the vessel, and an electronic controlling device with custom software to set the desired agent concentration and temperature using proportional-integral-derivative algorithms. Advantages include decreased size and weight; can be used as a universal system for a wide variety of liquid anesthetics; and no need for calibration. A U.S. Provisional patent application has been filed.

If you think you have an invention or if you’d like to know more about our office, contact us at (503) 494-8200 or visit the TTBD website.

Funding Focus: Fellowships for First-Year Graduate Students, Aug. 21

Fellowships for First-Year Graduate Students
Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 from 12 to 1 p.m.
Mackenzie Hall 2201

Research Funding & Development Services is holding a short information meeting for incoming graduate students interested in applying the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship. This workshop will feature students who have received graduate student funding awards as well as information about resources to help you prepare your applications.

Questions? Email

Cloud storage now available for OHSU researchers

A new cloud storage option is now available for all OHSU faculty, staff and students. It’s called Box and it works a lot like other cloud storage systems including Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive. These types of services allow you to store your files so you can get to them from anywhere and share them with anyone. Box offers similar functionality, but with added protections in place for OHSU confidential and restricted data or protected health information. OHSU and Box have entered into a Business Associate Agreement that meets all of policy compliance requirements. This represents a first step down a new storage and collaboration path which fits with OHSU’s data protection goals.

Update – Note that this really is a first step: storage size is limited to 10 GB, with no requests for additional capacity accepted.

Get started

If you do not have an existing Box account under your OHSU email address, go to, click Continue and enter your OHSU network credentials.

If you already have a Box account that uses your OHSU email address, you should have received an email notifying you of the coming conversion of your account to an OHSU enterprise account.

Learn more on Staff News.

NIGMS Contest: Tracing basic research to medical advances

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences has announced a challenge to track medical advances stemming from NIGMS-supported basic science.

NIGMS is looking for new ways to identify the connections between a research project and a specific medical advance, so they are soliciting stories that make a clear association between NIGMS-funded research and improvements in health, well-being or other tangible benefits to the public and/or economy. They are also interested in applications in medicine, industry, technology or elsewhere that have their roots in NIGMS-funded research projects, and especially encourage our long-time grantees to share their stories of discovery.

The challenge seeks complete stories that can trace current treatments, therapeutics or diagnostics back to knowledge or insights gained from one or more NIGMS-funded projects. The contest will be run through, and winning stories will receive a $500 prize. Submissions are due to by October 20, 2014.

School of Nursing’s Lyndsey Miller receives F31 award from the NINR

Lyndsey Miller
SON Ph.D. candidate

Lyndsey Miller, R.N., B.S.N., B.A., a Ph.D. candidate at the OHSU School of Nursing, has been selected as one of the eight Ph.D. students nationwide to receive an F31 award from the National Institute of Nursing Research for 2014. She joins a total of 51 students with active awards supported by NINR including SON Ph.D. candidate Julie Bidwell, the only other OHSU nursing student who is currently supported by a F31.

“Receiving the F31 is a great honor because it elevates a student’s status to an independently funded researcher,” says Miller, “It also provides support for additional training opportunities, facilitated by a research team chosen by the student. My research team includes: Karen S. Lyons, Ph.D., F.G.S.A. (Sponsor), Christopher S. Lee, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.H.A., F.A.A.N. (Co-Sponsor), Jeffrey A. Kaye, M.D. (Collaborator), and Carol J. Whitlatch, Ph.D., F.G.S.A. (Consultant).” The title of Miller’s study: “Preparing for Dementia Care Together: A Study of Hospitalized Patient-Family Caregiver Dyads.”

Miller is pursuing an academic research career in order to optimize the lives of persons with dementia and their families, as well as educate future nurses and nurse scientists. In addition to her current NRSA Award, Miller was a 2012-14 National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence Patricia G. Archbold Scholar and a 2010-12 Jonas Hartford Scholar. Prior to entering the Ph.D. program, Miller’s roles included Staff Nurse in acute care for elders and medical-surgical units, as well as Health Policy Analyst for a private family foundation.

Personal Information Verification due Aug. 31 for all OHSU employees

We’re re-posting this important announcement from Staff News.

Earlier this year new federal regulations went into effect related to equal opportunity and affirmative action requirements for federal contractors, such as OHSU. Part of these new regulations requires OHSU to give all current employees the opportunity to voluntarily self-identify veteran status and disability status.

To meet these requirements, OHSU is beginning a new compliance process known as Personal Information Verification, which all employees are required to complete by Aug. 31. This new, periodic check helps ensure OHSU has accurate data on all employees and improves the organization’s affirmative action planning.

Completing the verification involves:

  • Responding to the questions about veteran status and disability status,
  • Reviewing and updating (if needed) additional personal information, and
  • Certifying that you have reviewed the information and that it is correct.

Personal Information Verification is done through Employee Self Service and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete (depending on how much information you need to update).

Disclosing a disability or your protected veteran classification is entirely voluntary, but doing so will help OHSU meet its goals of ensuring diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Even if you choose not to disclose, you must actively select that option in Employee Self Service in order for your verification to be complete.

For more information on why you are being asked for this information and how it is used, see the FAQ.

As an incentive for meeting the deadline, anyone who completes the verification process in August will be entered to win prizes, including movie tickets, water bottles, and one grand prize of an iPad. Drawings will be done weekly, so the earlier you complete your verification, the more chances you have to win.

Need a little more incentive? If you rally your coworkers and reach at least 90 percent completion in your department (determined by org number) by Aug. 31, your department will be entered into a drawing. The winning department gets their choice of an employee recognition award (pizza party, espresso machine for the office, an afternoon of black light miniature golf – get creative!) within a defined budget.

To get started, see the step-by-step instructions for completing the verification.

Training grants class for research administrators, Aug. 14

OHSU’s Research Administration Training and Education is offering a three hour course on Training Grants and Fellowships this month. This 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 & Fellowships
August 14, 1 to 4 p.m.
BICC 124

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 register here.

PancWest Symposium, Sept. 5-6

The OHSU Brenden-Colson Center for Pancreatic Care and the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute are pleased to announce the inaugural PancWest Symposium, an interactive scientific meeting covering the latest advances and current obstacles in pancreatic cancer research and patient care.

 Topics to be covered include advances in clinical patient care, a forum to discuss barriers to further progress, interactive workshops to discuss collaborative research and funding opportunities, and more. View a list of confirmed speakers.

PancWest Symposium
Sept. 5-6, 2014
OHSU Old Library and Collaborative Life Sciences Building

Online registration is open now. Registration is free for students and house officers.

Abstracts due Aug. 15, 2014. For more information or to submit an abstract, contact Cathy Villagomez.

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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