Fall Vollum Writing Program starts Sept. 24

The Vollum Writing Program is a 6-week professional science writing course open to OHSU graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior 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, from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Wednesdays, beginning September 24, 2014. Six individual tutorials with the instructor are included. There are no prerequisites for this noncredit, 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 select graduate Ph.D. programs). Questions? Contact Taylor St. Clair.

Register for the Fall Vollum Writing Program.

OHSU startup Orexigen earns FDA approval

The office of Technology Transfer and Business Development is happy to announce that a drug from  Orexigen Therapeutics Inc., called Contrave, has been approved by the FDA. This drug helps with weight management, along with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity, in adults with an initial body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or greater (obese), or 27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) who also have at least one weight-related comorbid condition.

Contrave has two components: naltrexone, an opioid antagonist, and bupropion, a relatively weak inhibitor of the neuronal reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine. Nonclinical studies suggest that naltrexone and bupropion have effects on two separate areas of the brain involved in the regulation of food intake: the hypothalamus, which regulates appetite, and the dopamine circuit,  which serves as a reward system.

Orexigen is an OHSU startup company.  The FDA’s approval of Contrave represents a significant milestone for both Orexigen and OHSU.  Sales through Orexigen’s North American partner, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, are set to begin this fall.

RAIN is back from summer break

The Research Administration Information Network (RAIN) is back from its summer hiatus, with the latest announcements, updates, and news from research administration at OHSU.

RAIN is a forum for research staff across the university who take part in aspects of research administration. At RAIN meetings, we deliver the latest information on NIH updates, award administration, learning opportunities, RDA staffing, and any other notable activity in research administration.

Meetings are held the third Thursday of each month at 9:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend either in person in UHS 8B60, via west campus videoconferencing, or through the live stream at the usual meeting time.

To join the RAIN distribution list, send your request to the meeting administrator.

IRB Notes From the Chair: A New Electronic IRB


eIRB Upgrade Coming summer 2015!


The new eIRB will help us support the rapidly growing research community at OHSU and maintain our high standards of compliance as a world-class research institution. We expect this new version will provide a much simpler, understandable and streamlined approach for submitting your studies for IRB Review.


The eIRB Upgrade project has been divided into two phases: Phase 1 –  Design & Phase 2 – Development and Implementation. Phase 1 was completed at the end of June and Phase 2 is underway. We have divided Phase 2 into Sprints which gives us the ability to do more frequent review and testing of key stages. This is important for us in order to identify any problem areas to resolve early on throughout.


At the end of each sprint we conduct User Acceptance Testing (UAT) sessions. We have completed UAT for Sprint 2 – Initial Submission Smart Form content. We had an outstanding response from the research community who volunteered to be testers and we received an amazing amount of feedback. We are doing our best to incorporate whatever suggestions possible into this upgrade.


We will need current and additional volunteers to test upcoming key upgrade components and provide feedback by alerting us to any bugs or identifying other possible areas that may require fixes or improvements for additional sprints. Sprint 3 – Initial Submission Workflow – is coming up toward the end of September so keep an eye out for more information coming soon.


If you are interested in signing up to participate in this testing, please contact Andrew Perluss and David Holmgren to sign up as a testing volunteer.




IRB Notes from the Manager: IRB Billing Tips

We have recently received a few questions about the billing for industry sponsored studies. Below is a reminder of the types of modifications that are “billable” and “not billable” on these studies.


As a reminder, including “no charge” or similar language in the title of your modification does not serve as a trigger for whether items are billed. If you have questions or concerns about IRB billing, please email Dave Holmgren, IRB Manager.

OCTRI Design Studio: Get feedback on your project from senior faculty

Are you submitting a Career Development K award?

Or your first R01? A similar major grant?

The Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute has an opportunity for basic and clinical scientists to present their research and get constructive feedback from OHSU scientists to improve their chances of success. The OCTRI Design Studio has helped many OHSU researchers improve their aims and identify important areas of improvement before submitting awards.

The Design Studio has openings at four scheduled meetings for this
winter and spring:

*   Friday, September 19, 11 am to 1 pm
*   Monday, October 20, 1 to 2 pm
*   Tuesday, November 18, noon to 2 pm
*   Monday, December 15, 1 to 3 pm

OCTRI’s Design Studio has been a great opportunity for basic scientists as well as clinical scientists at all levels of training. Learn more about Design Studio, or contact Karen McCracken about presenting.

OHSU-led research team first in gibbon DNA sequencing

Lucia Carbone, PhD

Dr. Carbone

A team led by Oregon Health & Science University researcher Lucia Carbone, Ph.D., has sequenced and annotated the genome of the only ape whose DNA had yet to be sequenced — the gibbon, an endangered small ape that inhabits the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. Gibbons, together with the other apes — orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos — are the closest relatives to humans.

Like the DNA sequencing of other apes and non-human primates, the team’s work gives science new insight into the human genome. Unraveling primate genomes is vitally important as researchers try to understand the genetic factors in human health and disease. Their work also gives scientists new insight into the evolution of the gibbon genome and its extraordinary number of chromosomal rearrangements. These rearrangements are often problematic in other species, including causing cancer in humans.

The team’s work has been published in the September 11 edition of Nature.

Additional new faculty join OHSU School of Dentistry

The OHSU School of Dentistry welcomes a number of new faculty members this month. Dean Phillip Marucha, D.M.D., Ph.D., with the support of the provost’s office, is increasing the number of dental faculty, with the goal of having a six-to-one student-to-faculty ratio on the predoctoral clinic floor.

“Our faculty needs are very important right now,” said Dr. Marucha. “We want to take care of the full- and part-time faculty we have currently, by rewarding them for their hard work and ensuring they have the training and development they need, as well as bringing on new faculty to ensure excellent patient care and education.”

Please help us welcome the following individuals:

Amit Punj, D.M.D., B.D.S., has joined the faculty as an assistant professor of restorative dentistry. Dr. Punj recently received his certificate in prosthodontics from Montefiore Medical Center. Prior to advanced education, Dr. Punj was managing clinical director at Aspen Dental in Machesney Park, Illinois, and managing clinical director at Allcare Dental and Dentures in Rockford. Dr. Punj received his doctor of dental medicine from the Tufts University School of Medicine in 2005, and a bachelor of dental surgery from K.L.E. Society’s Institute of Dental Sciences in Karnataka, India.

Craig Robbins, D.M.D. `04, is an assistant professor of restorative dentistry, after having joined the school as an affiliate faculty member earlier in the year. Dr. Robbins owns Harmony  Family Dentistry in Vancouver. Prior to opening his private practice, Dr. Robbins was an associate at Grin & Bear It Family Dental Center, Dental Care Today, and Permanente Dental Associates. Dr. Robbins received his bachelor of science in urban planning from Brigham Young University, and was a history minor.

Ying Wu, D.D.S., M.S.D., Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the department of pathology and radiology. Dr. Wu was most recently an assistant professor of oral diagnosis and oral medicine in the department of general dentistry at Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine. She completed her doctor of dental surgery at Harbin Medical University in China, a master’s degree in periodontology from Capital University of Medical Sciences in Beijing, a doctoral degree in oral biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a master’s degree in oral medicine from the University of Washington. Her research interest is orofacial pain.

Specimen Retrieval opportunity with Kaiser NW Biobank, meet with Kaiser Investigator deadline Oct. 23

The Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Institute (OCTRI) is now accepting proposals for Specimen Retrieval with the NW Biobank at Kaiser Permanente. With this announcement, we are inviting investigators to submit a proposal for specimen retrieval and use.

Meet with Kaiser Investigator deadline: October 23, 2014
Proposal deadline:
November 3, 2014
Eligibility: Principal investigators must fit OHSU eligibility requirements.

Grant applications often fail because investigators lack access to the needed biological samples or because the cost of acquiring samples is prohibitive. A researcher taking advantage of this opportunity could be in the position to submit a very compelling application. Similarly, researchers with existing programs of funded research could benefit significantly by augmenting their existing sample resources with a new collection.

Learn more about this and other OCTRI funding opportunities.
Learn more about the NW Biobank at Kaiser Permanente and associated data resources.

2014 Oregon Bioscience Conference, Sept. 15-17

The Oregon Bio 2014 Annual Conference highlights exciting trends and opportunities that are emerging in Oregon’s bioscience community. The overarching mission of the Oregon Bioscience Association is to promote the growth and quality of the bioscience industry in Oregon through community, collaboration and commercialization. The conference will be held at Marylhurst University; the keynote dinner will be at the Collaborative Life Sciences Building.

Conference schedule:

Day One explores Oregon’s best bioscience research and ideas for industry growth, highlighted by keynotes from Thomas Fogarty, M.D. and William Goldstein, Ph.D.

Day Two brings together stakeholders and keynotes who examine recent successes and explore future needs to cultivate a thriving bioscience industry.

Day Three, Biosensor Day, profiles exciting developments shaping the emerging biosensor market, strategies for analyzing biosensor data and efforts driving consumer adoption.

The Oregon Bio 2014 Keynote Dinner promises world class wine tasting, a spectacular setting and keynotes from Brian Druker, M.D. and Sean Robbins.


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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