Spring Vollum Writing Class starts Apr. 1

The Vollum Writing Class is a 6-week professional science writing course open to OHSU graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty.

This class uses short lectures, class discussion, and workshop-style writing assignments to help researchers learn to write better papers and grants. Topics include:

  • The basic elements of good scientific writing style, including sentence and document structure
  • Insight into scientific conventions regarding grammar, punctuation, and usage;
  • Strategies for revising
  • Dealing with writer’s block and time management
  • Best practices for writing introductions, results, discussions, and grant proposals

The class runs for six weeks, 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Wednesdays, beginning Apr. 1, 2015. Six individual tutorials with the instructor are included. There are no prerequisites for this non-credit professional development course, but you should not take the class unless you have enough data to write about.

The course carries a fee of $500 per student (unless you are in a Vollum lab or part of certain graduate Ph.D. programs). Questions? Contact funding@ohsu.edu.

Access Compass to register for the Vollum Writing Class. (If you are having trouble accessing Compass, just write us directly at funding@ohsu.edu and we will sort it out.)

Apply now for Pilot Project Funding for catalyzing translational research

The Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Institute (OCTRI) is now accepting applications for Pilot Project Funding for projects designed to support new clinical and translational research initiatives at OHSU.

OCTRI will award between 4 to 6 awardees ($400,000 total) to facilitate novel, collaborative, multidisciplinary studies that will lead to further research and funding in translational research. The funding is specifically intended to enable the development of subsequent grant applications that will sustain the awardees’ research activity and/or the dissemination of an impactful novel research methodology.

Applications that are responsive to any one of the following three areas will be accepted:

  • Development of Large, Interdisciplinary Grants
  • Development of Novel Research Methodologies
  • T1 Translational Research/First in Human Studies

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.

Applications are due Mar. 31, 2015.

OCTRI Research Forum: Creating a budget for individual research, Feb. 24

Join the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute, OCTRI, in a monthly research forum that addresses all things clinical and translational research.

Don’t miss February’s topic: Creating a budget for individual research
Learn best practices in preparing a budget for grant application. Presenters: Kathryn Krages, pre-award administration, Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology;  Neil Unger, grants and contracts analyst, OPAM; and Bridget Adams, manager, Investigator Support and Integration Services.

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015
12 to 1 p.m.
Mackenzie Hall 2201

Click here for more information about the OCTRI Research Forum.

OCTRI invites all faculty and staff to discuss issues and solutions to common obstacles in conducting clinical and translational research. Do you have a clinical or translational research question? Let us know, and we’ll do our best to help during these events! Please submit questions and topic requests to Colleen Berreta.

Save the date!
March OCTRI Research Forum: Survey Design and Tools Part 2
Mar. 12, 2015
12 to 1 p.m.
DCH 11600 Vey Auditorium

TTBD Lunch & Learn: Licensing case study presentation, Feb. 26

Are you curious about the licensing and commercialization process at OHSU? Would you like to hear from an inventor who has gone through the process to provide some insight? Join us for a TTBD Lunch & Learn presentation on “An OHSU Licensing Case Study: Discovering New Human MR Imaging Biomarkers.”

Professor and MRI co-inventor Charles Springer, Jr., Ph.D., and TTBD Technology Development Manager, Arvin Paranjpe, M.S., J.D., will walk through an OHSU intellectual property licensing case study. The presentation will introduce an OHSU MRI breast cancer technology and its progression through the invention disclosure review, patent protection, licensing and commercialization processes.

Thursday, Feb. 26
12 to 1 p.m.

Mackenzie Hall 2201

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


Susan Tolle, M.D., publishes article in NEJM on end-of-life care

Susan Tolle, M.D., a professor of medicine at OHSU and director of the OHSU Center for Ethics in Health Care, is one of the founders of the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) movement. As the recipient of the 2014 MacLean Center Prize in Clinical Ethics and prominent POLST researcher and advocate, Tolle was recently invited by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) to write an article on the topic of how best to ensure that people with serious illness or frailty receive the treatments they want and avoid those they do not want. The article entitled “End-of-Life Advance Directive,” appears in the Feb. 12, 2015 online edition of NEJM and is written as a clinical decision in response to a case vignette. Tolle makes a strong case for primary care physician involvement in the POLST process.

Tolle, along with co-researcher and -author Erik Fromme, M.D., a palliative care specialist with the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU, published results of a study in July 2014, showing POLST is highly effective at helping patients have control over end -of-life care including limiting hospitalizations for patients who prefer to die at home. This narrative is critical given that less than 10 percent of Americans report they want to die in the hospital, and yet, without predefined medical orders, many do.

OHSU’s Massively Parallel Sequencing Shared Resource receives new equipment

The Massively Parallel Sequencing Shared Resource (MPSSR) has been operating since 2009, providing sequencing services for OHSU investigators who examine genetic profiles as part of their research. Recently, the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust provided funding for a major expansion of the MPSSR. Among the items funded are:

1) a new Illumina HiSeq 2500;
2) an upgrade of the current Illumina HiSeq 2000 to permit runs with two-lane rapid run flow cells; and
3) a new Illumina NextSeq 500.

The HiSeq 2500 and the NextSeq 500 were delivered on Dec. 22 and installed in mid-January. The upgrade of the 2000 is expected sometime in February.

The addition of the new equipment triples the overall throughput for the core, thus providing long-needed support for small projects and for rapid turnaround for grant and paper deadlines.

Questions about the new equipment can be directed to the core director, Bob Searles.

How to write an abstract workshop, Feb. 11

Prepare for OHSU Research Week by attending this lunchtime workshop on “How to Write an Abstract,” presented by Allison Fryer, Ph.D., associate dean for Graduate Studies in the School of Medicine. All students, faculty, fellows, and staff are welcome to attend.

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015
12 to 1 p.m.
OHSU Hospital, 8th floor auditorium

Download a copy of the event flier to post in your area.

This event is sponsored by Research Week, OHSU’s university-wide celebration of research, May 4 – 8, 2015. The Call for Abstracts for Research Week presentations is now open. Questions? Contact researchweek@ohsu.edu.

OHSU Stroke Conference registration deadline Feb. 28

The fourth annual OHSU Stroke Conference will take place this year on Saturday, Mar. 7, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Collaborative Life Science Building (CLSB). This one-day annual conference brings together OHSU clinicians and scientists interested in stroke, cerebrovascular disease and traumatic brain injury to share their expertise, report on scientific progress, and discuss research collaborations.

This year’s event is hosted by Nabil Alkayed, M.D., Ph.D., professor and vice chair, Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, Knight Cardiovascular Institute. The keynote speaker this year is Costantino Iadecola, M.D., Anne Parrish Titzell Professor of Neurology and director of The Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute, Weill Cornell Medical College. There will also be short presentations followed by discussions, and a poster session with wine and cheese.

The conference is open to employees, faculty, students, and other members of the OHSU community. Registration for all attendees and speakers is $75, which includes all meals and meeting materials. Register by Saturday, Feb. 28, and please indicate if you will be bringing a poster to display. If so, please email Maria Heruela the title of your poster by Friday, Feb. 20.

Special Characters in Grants: Not Yet

A note from the OHSU Office of Proposal and Award Management director, Deborah Golden-Eppelein:

On January 30, 2015, NIH published the following in the NIH Guide:  Expanding Support of Unicode Character Set in Grant Applications Submitted after February 17, 2015

In this notice, the NIH announced that Unicode characters such as Greek letters will be functional in Grants.gov after February 17. But OHSU investigators should NOT use these codes yet. Grants.gov might be able to handle them now, but most other systems still can’t.

While we recognize that many investigators are eager to begin using Unicode characters, many system-to-system software programs, such as InfoEd, as well as other federal grant submission systems and reporting databases, such as usaspending.gov and other post-award federal systems, are not yet able to support special characters.

Using Adobe forms may seem to be a viable option, since InfoEd cannot support Unicode characters.  But this would place extra burden on PIs and administrative staff, because you would need to create a generic InfoEd record and thoroughly check on the back end in agency-specific submission systems to ensure translation of these special characters occurred accurately. At this time, no other federal sponsors are ready to make the translation happen.

OHSU is not alone in delaying the use of special characters. Other academic medical centers using system-to-system solutions for grant submission (e.g., Duke) have decided to defer characters until there is wider adoption by federal agencies and federal reporting tools in addition to the NIH Commons.  We agree that waiting is wise and believe this will alleviate any disadvantage that might occur when your grant is being reviewed because of inconsistency or inability among federal agencies to accept special characters.

This code enhancement is in the queue to be implemented by InfoEd when significant adoption is realized at the federal level. Please contact your OPAM grant administrator if you have questions.


IRB Brown Bag Special Series: eIRB Upgrade Mods & CRQs

IRB Brown Bag

eIRB Upgrade: Mods & CRQs

Presented by Dave Holmgren, IRB manager

Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
OHSU Hospital, 8th floor auditorium


This Brown Bag will provide an overview and demonstration of the modification and continuing review submission processes in the new eIRB system. You will see the new modification and continuing review questionnaires and learn how the new system improves upon the current process.

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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