Who’s new at OHSU? Sergio Fazio, M.D., Ph.D.

Meet Sergio Fazio, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine and director, Center for Preventive Cardiology in the Knight Cardiovascular Institute. He is board-certified in clinical lipidology, and his studies focus on the role of cholesterol in cardiovascular disease. His clinical interest is the management of patients with abnormal amounts of lipids in the blood (dyslipidemia), which includes examining lipid-lowering drugs and identifying genetic mutations causing altered lipid levels in humans. His NIH-supported research focuses on the pathogenesis of genetic dyslipidemias, early cellular events in arterial plaque formation, and gene therapy approaches to treat hardening of the arteries.

Sergio Fazio

Sergio Fazio

Let’s start with where you grew up,
I grew up in a small city called Rome. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? I never planned to leave. My family is from Rome and they are all still there. I was the first to move away.

How did you find your way to this career?
I knew I wanted to be a scientist of some kind. My first love was for geology, but I learned that if I became a geologist, I would need to leave Italy to find work and this is not what I wanted. So I settled on becoming a doctor. And then of course I ended up leaving anyway to pursue research.

What were the circumstances that led you to move to the U.S.?
I started out by earning my M.D. degree and received training as a doctor in Italy. Shortly after I completed my training, around 1985, I saw there was a revolution of molecular genetics in progress. Researchers were sequencing DNA; a brand new language was being developed. As a young doctor, I felt I wasn’t part of the conversation, but wanted to be. So I went to back to school to get my Ph.D. and that changed things. As a doctor, I never felt the need to leave Rome, but as a scientist you need to go where good researchers are clustered together and where there is money to support the research.

Read more…

2015 EURAXESS scientific communication competition now accepting submissions

The EURAXESS Science Slam North America is back! Five researchers will compete for the title of North America’s best science communicator in Chicago, Oct. 17-21. The champion will join the winners of other Science Slams held around the world for a unique networking trip to Europe in 2016.

What is a science slam? It’s a scientific talk where researchers present their work in 10 minutes or less to a non-expert audience. The presentations are judged by the audience so the focus is on teaching current science to a diverse audience in an entertaining way. This competition also gives researchers the chance to showcase their projects to their peers and the public in a relaxed atmosphere.


In North America, the competition is open to participants from all nationalities and all scientific disciplines. Candidates must be enrolled in a graduate program or working as a professor or researcher at a recognized university (or equivalent entity) in the U.S. or Canada, and be proficient in English.

To enter, candidates must complete this registration form and then either:

  • Send a video introducing or showcasing your performance. The video must not exceed three minutes in length.
  • Introduce or showcase your performance in a 3-minute Skype interview with EURAXESS Links North America representatives.

The top five submissions will receive round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations to attend the competition in Chicago this fall.

Registration open for the NIH Regional Seminar Oct. 14-16

eNIH_OER_Master_Logo_2ColorbAn NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration for 2015 will be held at the Bayfront Hilton in San Diego, CA, October 14-16. Registration is now open for this two day seminar designed for the NIH extramural community that will cover such topics as compliance, peer review, grant writing for success, pre- and post-award issues, human subject research, and electronic application preparation & submission. The event includes a session track designed for administrators as well as a redesigned track for new investigators that will focus on career mapping and the fundamentals of the funding process up to the time of award. Special interest sessions will also be held on topics such as research integrity, data sharing, training awards, and more.marina-distric-condos-san-d_720

This is a great opportunity to gain a better perspective of NIH policies and programs, network with peers, and gather helpful NIH contacts. Take a look at the agenda and register here. You can get a flavor of the presentations by checking out the seminars and presentations from the 2010 meeting, when it was held here in Portland.

CRCN meeting tomorrow, July 1: eIRB Upgrade demo

Please join the Clinical Research Coordinator Network in a special IRB presentation on the new eIRB upgrade, Wednesday, July 1. This demonstration of the new eIRB system will include a presentation of the new processes for initial submissions, modifications and CRQs, and the new Reportable New Information (RNI) system. This presentation will be followed by a Q&A session and networking.

CRCN Quarterly Meeting: eIRB Upgrade demo
Wednesday, July 1
11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Mackenzie Hall 1168

The Clinical Research Coordinator Network fosters networking, professional development, and learning opportunities for clinical research coordinators at OHSU and associated institutions by acting as a platform for sharing information, ideas, and best practices among coordinators and other research staff.

If you have questions about this presentation or would like to get involved, please visit the CRCN Bridge Site or contact the Clinical Research Coordinator Network at askastudycoordinator@ohsu.edu.

New VA undersecretary for health appointed

Last week the Senate approved President Obama’s nominee, David Shulkin, M.D., current president of Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey, to oversee the health care arm of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Shulkin will assume the role of managing a troubled health care system responsible for 9 million veterans in nearly 1,000 VA facilities nationwide.

David Shulkin, M.D.

David Shulkin, M.D.

Carolyn Clancy, M.D., has been serving as interim undersecretary for health since Robert Petzel, M.D., stepped down in the wake of a 2014 scandal that exposed improper scheduling practices. These practices resulted in over year-long waits  for veterans seeking care at various sites and records were falsified to make it appear patients were receiving treatment in a timely manner. These long wait times contributed to as many as 40 patient deaths, according to VA officials. Public outrage over these revelations eventually led to the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Shulkin is a nationally recognized authority on hospital management with specific expertise in integrated delivery systems, quality and safety, error reduction, patient/physician satisfaction improvement, and strategic issues in healthcare.



InfoEd upgrade July 20; booster sessions offered for current users

OHSU’s grant proposal and submission system, InfoEd, is getting a welcome upgrade this summer! System downtime is scheduled for July 20, after which, you’ll see significant improvements concerning the budgeting and personnel sections.

To help current users adjust to these changes, we are offering InfoEd Booster sessions. One of these sessions will be recorded and posted online via Echo360 for anyone who isn’t able to join us on the following dates.

InfoEd booster sessions:

  • Tuesday, July 14, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., OHSU Hospital, 8th floor auditorium
  • Thursday, July 16, 2 to 4 p.m., OHSU Hospital, 8th floor auditorium
  • Wednesday, July 22, 12 to 2 p.m., OHSU Hospital, 8th floor auditorium
  • Thursday, July 23, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Montagna Auditorium at West Campus

Danny Stockdale will be leading these sessions and is available at infoedfaq@ohsu.edu to answer any questions or concerns about the upgrade.

Enroll in an InfoEd Booster Session in Compass or simply come on by.

Research administration: Introduction to subawards, July 14

Does your department subcontract with third parties for research projects or programs? Are you curious to learn about subawards and subrecipients?

Consider joining Office of Proposal and Award Management’s in-house experts as they provide a general overview on OHSU’s recently updated processes in handling outgoing subaward agreements.

Overview of the subaward process
Tuesday, July 14
12 to 1 p.m.
Mackenzie Hall, room 2201

Thursday, July 30
12 to 1 p.m.
West Campus, VGTI seminar room

This will be an informal introduction with OPAM’s subaward team walking you through the basics, introducing you to forms and then answering any questions regarding the how, what, why, who, and when of subawards.

Enroll via Compass or just come on by.

The subaward team hopes to continue this as a series and address related topics based on your interest. This might include subaward budgets and payment schedules, developing a subaward scope of work, subawardee risk assessment, and other topics. For feedback and questions, contact Jen Michaud, subaward grants and contracts administrator.

eIRB Upgrade demo, July 20; live streaming available!

IRB Brown BageIRB Upgrade demo

Presented by Kelly Kidner, IRB analyst

Monday, July 20
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 presentation of the new initial submissions process, the modifications and CRQs and the new Reportable New Information (RNI) system. This brown bag session will be open for questions and answers.

Not able to attend in person? You can stream the session live here. You may log in up to 15 minutes before the session begins. The session will also be recorded for viewing later.

New online platform for submitting limited submission applications and more

OHSU has a new online Competitive Application Portal (CAP) for managing applications and review. Sponsored by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, in collaboration with the Knight Cancer Institute and OCTRI, this platform streamlines the process of applying for the following types of funding:

  • Limited Submissions
  • AwardsCapture
  • Bridge Support
  • Pilot Grants
  • Other OHSU-sponsored funding

Who will be using it? You will, if you apply for limited submissions, OHSU bridge funding, and several other OHSU-sponsored awards (e.g. pilot funds from OHSU institutes or centers, fellowships). You will also use it if you’re reviewing for these opportunities. Finally, if you yourself are an OHSU sponsor–let’s say you have a T32 program and you want to make it available to OHSU applicants and even those outside the institution–you may want to use this tool.

CAP allows applicants to see upcoming funding competitions, track deadlines, access application materials, and receive automatic notifications on application status. It also provides automatic routing to reviewers, streamlined communications, and tracking of award information (e.g. success rates, number of  applicants per competition) through its reporting function.

Please note: CAP is not in any way connected to, or a replacement for, InfoEd. (It’s licensed by InfoReady, which is a different company.) All grant applications will continue to be submitted through existing channels.

Please contact funding@ohsu.edu with questions or if you would like to set up a competition.

Who’s new at OHSU? Meet Larisa Tereshchenko, M.D., Ph.D.

Members of the lab, from left to right: Muammar Kabir, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow; Elyar Ghafoori, M.S., research assistant; Larisa Tereshchenko, M.D., Ph.D.; Lauren Hawkins, B.S., research assistant; Charles Henrikson, M.D., M.P.H., director of  Clinical Electrophysiology program, KCVI

Members of the lab, from left to right: Muammar Kabir, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow; Elyar Ghafoori, M.S., research assistant; Larisa Tereshchenko, M.D., Ph.D.; Lauren Hawkins, B.S., research assistant; Charles Henrikson, M.D., M.P.H., director of the clinical electrophysiology program, Knight Cardiovascular Institute

Meet Larisa Tereshchenko, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, cardiac electrophysiology, School of Medicine, Knight Cardiovascular Institute. She’s a new faculty member at OHSU, heading up a lab focused on prediction, prevention, and treatment of sudden cardiac death.

Where were you before coming to OHSU?
I was born and raised in Omsk, a small town in southwestern Siberia, where my parents were physicians. For me, there was no question but that I would go to medical school. At Omsk and Novosibirsk Medical School in the industrial city of Novosibirsk, Siberia, I studied math, science and engineering and got an M.D. Ph.D. degree, completed a clinical fellowship in cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology, and then worked as an assistant professor of medicine at Tyumen Medical School. My first mentor in cardiology died suddenly from ventricular fibrillation at age 51, which inspired me to focus on sudden cardiac death prediction and prevention. I look at the electrical side of things.

I came to the U.S. in 2004 as a visiting research associate at Washington University in St. Louis, and then became a postdoc in electrophysiology at Johns Hopkins in 2007. I conducted studies to build on the technology of implantable cardioverter defibrillators—to make these devices smarter and better able to predict and respond to irregular heartbeats. The same year I came to the U.S., in 2004, Hungarian soccer player, Miklos Feher, suffered sudden cardiac death during a game and died instantly. It’s a dramatic example of why we need to do this work. How can we predict how deaths like this happen? How can we tell if someone is at risk when they have none of the traditional markers of cardiac arrest? Much research has been done to trace cardiac arrest from its obvious origins: plaque buildup in the arteries, a history of stroke or heart attack, or genetics. But who’s at risk for sudden cardiac death in the general population? There’s no way to save them unless we know who’s at risk. In 2013, I received an R01 to look at who’s at risk for sudden cardiac death in the general population.

What brought you to OHSU?
I joined the Knight Cardiovascular Institute that same year to grow and expand my program in order to advance prediction, prevention and treatment of the cardiac arrhythmias. At the Knight Cardiovascular Institute, we work closely together with the clinical electrophysiology group under director Charles Henrikson, M.D. Close collaborations with Dr. Henrikson help us to work on clinically important questions and implement the results of our research findings in clinical practice, to improve patient care. I am working to identify the risk factors that lead to sudden cardiac death and underlying cardiac arrhythmias: ventricular arrhythmia, paroxysmal atrioventricular block, and atrial fibrillation.

What specific avenues of research are you exploring?
I am aiming to redesign the electrocardiogram analysis approach, developing a method to reveal and quantify unapparent ventricular conduction, variability in repolarization, and other electrical abnormalities. I am using non-invasive mapping to engineer models that display the body’s electrical activity, measure arrhythmia and ultimately identify predictors of cardiac arrest. We study the risk of arrhythmia in different groups of patients: heart failure patents, kidney failure patients on dialysis, and those who have rare diseases with a high risk of arrhythmias.

So far, our work has yielded two patent-pending inventions designed to measure and map electrical activity. We are looking at these measurements of heart function, overlapping them with other organ functions, to show more detail than an electrocardiogram ever could. We have three-dimensional bodies, so we should be looking for three-dimensional answers.

I am also conducting two ongoing clinical studies at OHSU that are actively enrolling patients. I am the principal investigator of a randomized controlled trial, called “aCRT ELSYNC,” which has the goal of determining the best treatment approach for heart failure patients. Another study is observational: we try to find the best way to record and analyze electrocardiograms to determine if subcutaneous defibrillators would be a suitable treatment option for those patients who might need it.

Also, recently I initiated and organized an electrophysiology patient council, a group of patients with cardiac arrhythmias who advise us how to conduct clinical research, which questions they consider important, and how they would like us to address those questions. This is a completely novel approach that put patients at the center of clinical research. The Patent-Centered Outcome Research Initiative (PCORI) inspired this revolutionary clinical research, and I am glad to be part of this effort.

Tell us something about your career that’s not on your CV?
I want to grow my team! I am looking for M.D.-Ph.D. students, postdocs, residents, cardiology and electrophysiology fellows, and, specifically, anyone with an electrical or biomedical engineering background. The work in my lab is translational research. Our lab-generated information is helping answer some very important clinical questions.

What do you like to do for fun?
I like to travel. This summer, I am going to Iceland to go snorkeling with my son. He’s an M.D.-Ph.D. student at the University Of Iowa Carver College Of Medicine.

More information
Tereshchenko’s team’s paper –Electrocardiographic Deep Terminal Negativity of the P Wave in V1and Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study” – was  published in the Journal of the American Heart Association in November 2014.


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