TTBD Intellectual Property Primer brown bag, April 10

Are you thinking about commercializing an invention? Do you want to learn more about the intellectual property patent protection process at OHSU? Technology Transfer & Business Development (TTBD) patent associate Todd Horne, Ph.D., will lead a discussion in this overview of intellectual property strategies with a focus on effectively pursuing patent protection. In this presentation, we will discuss recent updates and changes to patent protection for inventions involving laws of nature, natural phenomena, natural products, medical activities, and software and how these updates may inform IP strategies. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014
Mackenzie Hall 2201

12:00 – 1:00 pm

This event is open to all OHSU employees, faculty and students. Admission is free and no RSVP is necessary. Join us on April 10th in Mackenzie Hall 2201 from Noon to 1 pm to enjoy complimentary snacks and beverages and a presentation on effectively pursuing patent protection.

Click here to view the IP-Primer-flyer. Contact with any questions.

V Foundation for Cancer Research: Translational Grant and Bladder Cancer Grants

OHSU has been invited by the V Foundation for Cancer Research to submit one application for each of the following programs:

Grants in Translational Clinical Research

Supports cancer research projects that bring together pre-clinical and clinical investigators. This work must not be currently funded by other mechanisms external to your cancer center. The purpose of these grants is to develop novel approaches to the prevention, detection and treatment of human cancer that requires collaboration of investigators from both the lab and clinic. The Translational Grant is a $600,000 award paid in $200,000 installments over a three-year period. Ten percent of the grant annually may be used to offset the indirect costs of the project.  The project team must have a minimum of two scientists from the same facility, and the team must possess basic and clinical research expertise. View more (OHSU login required).

Bladder Cancer Research Grant

The V Foundation is interested in funding a translational research project in the focus area of bladder cancer. They hope to award a two-year grant in August of 2014, with payments to begin in the late fall of 2014.  The grant amount is TBD, but will likely be $300,000 to $400,000 payable over two years.  This grant will support a maximum of 10% indirect costs. View more (OHSU login required).

If you are interested in applying to either of these funding opportunities, please complete the OHSU Limited Submission Form by Friday, March 28, 2014. 

OHSU Research Week 2014 keynote speaker preview

Gary Gibbons, M.D.

Monday, May 5, 2014, 1 to 2 p.m., OHSU Auditorium

Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health, oversees the third largest institute at the NIH, with an annual budget of more than $3 billion and a staff of 917 federal employees. Prior to being named director of the NHLBI, Dr. Gibbons served as a member of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council (NHLBAC) from 2009-2012. Before joining the NHLBI, Dr. Gibbons served as the founding director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute, chairperson of the Department of Physiology, and professor of physiology and medicine at the Morehouse School of Medicine, in Atlanta. Throughout his career, Dr. Gibbons has received numerous honors, including election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences; selection as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Minority Faculty Development Awardee; selection as a Pew Foundation Biomedical Scholar; and recognition as an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association (AHA). Dr. Gibbons’ talk is sponsored by the OHSU Office of the Senior Vice President for Research.

Jeff Lichtman, M.D., Ph.D.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 4 to 5 p.m., OHSU Auditorium

Jeff W. Lichtman, M.D., Ph.D., Jeremy R. Knowles Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Ramon Y. Cajal Professor of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, has been invited to speak at Research Week by the OHSU Graduate Student Organization. Dr. Lichtman did his undergraduate degree at Bowdoin College in Maine and an M.D. and Ph.D. at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. His Ph.D. work with Dale Purves concerned the ways in which connections between nerve cells are reorganized as animals begin to experience the world in early postnatal development. This subject has remained the interest of his laboratory (which he moved from St. Louis to Cambridge in 2004). In order to approach questions related to the fine structure of neural connections he has developed methods for in vivo imaging of synapses, labeling of nerve cells with different colors, and high resolution  mapping of neural connections, a field he calls “connectomics”.

Jim Austin, Ph.D.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 12 to 1 p.m., OHSU Auditorium

Jim Austin is currently the Editor of Science Careers, a publication of Science magazine and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, which he received in 1992. That was followed by several years of post-doctoral work, culminating in a stint with the title Research Professor. In 1987, he earned a master’s degree in the same field. Dr. Austin’s scientific specialty was point defects — molecular-scale imperfections with real-world consequences — in materials of technological interest, including materials used in photographic films and electronic devices. He used nuclear-physics methods to study these tiny imperfections. During his scientific career, Dr. Austin authored or co-authored approximately 20 peer-reviewed scientific articles, all in top-tier journals. He also co-edited a book, Accelerator-Based Atomic Physics Techniques and Applications, with Stephen Shafroth. In the late 1990s, Dr. Austin made a major and abrupt career change, leaving science to pursue a career in writing and editing. Since then, he has published dozens of articles on scientific topics, in print and online, most but not all on career issues. He has run Science Careers, and been responsible for its content, since 2005. This talk is sponsored by the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI).

Chittaranjan Yajnik, M.D.

Thursday, May 8, 2014, 12 to 1 p.m., OHSU Auditorium

Chittaranjan S. Yajnik, M.D., FRCP, director of the diabetes unit, King Edward Memorial Hospital & Research Centre in Pune, India, will lead us in a conversation about the rapidly rising epidemic of diabetes and non-communicable diseases in India, examining conventional explanations and the application of the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) theory, using examples stemming from multi-year intervention studies. Dr. Yajnik is a clinician scientist known worldwide for his groundbreaking research. He is featured in a BBC program, The Nine Months That Made You, which has been shown across the globe. Dr. Yajnik is the recipient of the Hellmut Mehnert Award of the International Diabetes Federation (2009) and the David Barker Medal of the DOHaD society (2011), honoring his contributions to the scientific development and broader leadership of the DOHaD field. This keynote presentation is sponsored by the School of Medicine Research Roadmap Task Force #6 and the Knight Cardiovascular Institute Center for Developmental Health’s David J.P. Barker Memorial Lecture Series.

Learn more about Research Week’s keynote speakers and other program offerings at

OHSU faculty member wins prestigious literary award

He’s published in scientific journals like PLoS ONE and Psychopharmacology, but now, Garet Lahvis, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience in the OHSU School of Medicine, will have a citation in a very different type of journal. Dr. Lahvis recently won first prize in the Curt Johnson Prose Award in Creative Nonfiction for his essay entitledNQR.His essay describes the obstacles to finding the cause for autism as he watches a young boy undergo a clinical evaluation. The essay will be published in the prominent literary journal december magazine.

“Science requires an objective eye. It requires a language written in a passive voice,” Dr. Lahvis said. “And somewhere along the path to a science career, my subjective ‘I’  – you know, me – lost the ability to voice my doubts, my excitement, and my wonder about the science that happens around me. By writing creative non-fiction, I can explore my research experiences and bypass conventional descriptors – the averages, p-values, and sample sizes – to find new ideas and different ways of thinking. And that’s exciting.”

december is known for publishing the early work of writers and artists, many of whom later become major literary figures, including Donald Barthelme, Marvin Bell, Stephen Berg, Rita Mae Brown, Raymond Carver, Stephen Dunn, Donald Hall, Michael Harper, Donald Justice, Ted Kooser, Philip Levine, Joyce Carol Oates, Marge Piercy, William Stafford, C.K. Williams, Charles Wright, and James Wright. december’s writers publishing their first or very early work in the journal include 5 U.S. Poets Laureate, 6 Pulitzer Prize winners
, 8 National Book Award winners
, 3 National Book Critics Circle Award winners
, and many others.

Upcoming Research Week skill development workshops

All OHSU researchers (especially trainees!) are invited to attend these skill-building seminars that are intended to help you prepare for giving an oral or poster presentation at OHSU Research Week, May 5-9, 2014.

Data Visualization

Friday, April 4, 2014 from 12 to 1 p.m. in CROET 3524

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but only if it is well presented. This seminar will cover the basics of visual perception, design and data presentation. Presented by Jackie Wirz, Ph.D., assistant professor, OHSU Library.

Preparing a Poster

Thursday, April 17, 2014 from 12 to 1 p.m. in Mac Hall 1116

You’ve done the research, now you need to pull it together for you Research Week poster! This seminar will present the key tips for creating and presenting a poster that will be memorable for all the right reasons. Presented by Jackie Wirz, Ph.D., assistant professor, OHSU Library.

OHSU researchers develop safer vector for lentivirus gene therapy

Gene therapy, a promising clinical approach to treat patients with a range of inherited diseases, often uses vectors derived from lentiviruses to insert a correcting genetic sequence into the patient’s stem cell chromosomes. While this type of treatment can provide long-term cures for inherited diseases, vectors from these viruses can also inadvertently activate cancer-causing genes because of the way they stitch or “integrate” the therapeutic DNA with human DNA. Avoiding these unwanted integrations while retaining the correcting gene has been challenging.

Researchers at the Papé Family Pediatric Research Institute at Oregon Health & Science University recently developed a new gene delivery vector that safely anchors its DNA within the cell nucleus and remains in dividing cells without insertion within the chromosomes. The floating lentiviral vector episomes are anchored and persist in rapidly dividing tissue culture cells for more than 100 rounds of cell divisions. To do this, the researchers added a human DNA fragment called S/MAR (Scaffold/Matrix Associated Region) to the vector to help it replicate safely during cell division while also remaining in the cell nucleus without integration. Because the vector they created acts like an anchor, they named it “anchored non-integrating lentiviral vector,” or AniLV for short.

The study, recently published in Nucleic Acids Research, by Santhosh Chakkaramakkil Verghese, Ph.D.; a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Peter Kurre; Natalia Goloviznina, a research assistant; and co-authors illustrates the ability of this new anchoring, but non-integrating lentivector to persist in mouse bone marrow stem cells.

What’s next? Dr. Kurre’s team is planning to use this anchoring lentiviral vector to improve gene transfer to stem cells for a Fanconi Anemia mouse model. The goal is to demonstrate the therapeutic approach to genetically correct the hematopoietic failure that affects Fanconi Anemia patients while the episomes safely persist in the rapidly dividing bone marrow stem cell pool.

This project was done in collaboration with Dr. Hans Lipps at the University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany. The research was funded in part through generous support by the Friends of Doernbecher and extends the team’s gene therapy effort under the National Institutes of Health grant (R01HL90765).

Image caption: An illustration and microscopic image of anchoring non-integrating lentiviral vector episome located near chromosomes (blue) within the nucleus. Florescence In situ hybridization (FISH) experiments by Ms. Goloviznina show the episome vector DNA (Green) attachment. Absence of vector DNA within the chromosomes suggests absence of integrated vector DNA in these cells.

Seeking Code of Conduct Reviewers

Greetings from Integrity!

The OHSU Code of Conduct establishes our individual and organizational commitment to the principles of integrity in all of our activities, every day.

It is distributed to every new member of the OHSU community and provides a reference point for ethical behaviors throughout the year. This spring, we are updating the Code of Conduct in order to align with the revised Vision 2020 and the new Core Competencies.

We are seeking reviewers from across the organization to participate in this year’s revision. Here are the details:

  •  Anyone in the organization is eligible – we are looking for a diverse group of reviewers from different departments, mission areas, and levels of the organization.
  • Anticipated commitment is approximately 2-3 hours during the weeks of (approximately) March 31 – April 11.
  • Reviewers will be provided a word document of the draft, revised Code and asked to submit their comments and tracked changes by April 11.

Interested reviewers should send their name & contact information to Kimberly Lee by Friday, March 21. 2014.

Please feel free to share this message with others!

Thank you,

Jennifer Ruocco, Ph.D.

Chief Integrity Officer

Oregon Health & Science University

503.494.7887 Option 3

Expansion of NIH NRSA individual training grants

As of spring 2014, all institutes at the NIH will now support individual Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards.

In response to the 2012 NIH report on the state of graduate education in the U.S., the NIH has signaled that it will take a more active role in education of graduate students, including increasing recommendations around graduate curriculum, career path training and time to degree for students supported on training and on research grants. As a precursor to this role, the NIH has also recognized that more graduate students should be supported on training grants and fellowships vs. on research grants.

If you would like to write an NRSA fellowship, you should begin your application well in advance of the deadlines (April 8, August 8, and December 8). Consider taking the Vollum Writing Course: grantsmanship is extensively covered, and students receive individual help for their applications, especially the research strategy section. The next course starts April 2, and it is offered each term.

You should also be on the lookout for NRSA Application Workshops that specifically cover the training plan and administrative components of these fellowships. These workships are offered 2-3 times per year. The next one will likely be in early June to prepare applicants for the August deadline.

Researchers find gene mutation that may make heart cell regeneration possible


Image of heart muscle cells proliferating

In a paper published March 4 in Nature Communications, coauthored by Lincoln Shenje, M.D., Ph.D, assistant professor at the OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute, researchers describe the first found gene mutation in humans that causes heart muscle cells to proliferate beyond birth. This mutation was discovered in a rare syndrome called ALMS1 that has been reported in less than 70 people in the past 50 years worldwide.

According to Dr. Shenje and colleagues, this discovery goes against widely accepted dogma that we have a finite number of heart muscle cells in our lifetimes. This finite number is especially problematic in post-heart attack patients that have lost enough heart muscle cells to initiate irreversible heart failure. Dr. Shenje began research on this project at Johns Hopkins and continued this line of work when he arrived at OHSU last summer. His laboratory at OHSU aims to study this mutation in order to develop therapies that stimulate heart muscle cells to regenerate after a heart attack in order to prevent heart failure, essentially creating a regenerating heart.

Dr. Mitalipov to lead new OHSU Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy

Oregon Health & Science University has just announced a new Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy to be led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Ph.D., senior scientist at OHSU’s Oregon National Primate Research Center and world leader in embryonic stem cell and gene therapy research.

In May 2013, Dr. Mitalipov and his colleagues received significant attention after publishing a paper in Cell describing a new process for creating human embryonic stem cells from skin cells. The discovery was named a top 10 scientific breakthrough of 2013 by several international publications because of the promise it holds for treating Parkison’s disease, cardiac disease, spinal cord injuries, and other conditions.

Most recently, Dr. Mitalipov traveled to Maryland last week for a highly-publicized Food and Drug Administration hearing that reviewed the potential for moving gene therapy research into human clinical trials. Dr. Mitalipov and his team succeeded in preventing transmission of genetic defects in mitochondrial DNA in the cells of monkeys, in 2009, and in human cells in 2012. The next step, he says, is to test the procedure in humans.

Leaders at OHSU say that the new center will allow for expansion of private funding, which is critical because federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research is restricted.

“This center will give them a new foundation that will boost them to new levels of scientific discovery, and allow them to continue to lead for years to come,” said Dan Dorsa, Ph.D., senior vice president for research at OHSU.

Read more.

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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