Career Dev. Opportunity for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research K12 Scholars

Applications are currently being accepted for the third class of patient-centered outcomes/comparative effectiveness research (PCOR/CER) K12 scholars (beginning Aug. 1, 2017). If you are a clinical, behavioral, health services, policy, public health, or applied junior faculty researcher interested in pursuing a research career in comparative effectiveness research applied to patient-centered outcomes, you may be eligible for this mentored K12 career development program.

The program provides 75% protected time for mentored research career development and includes training in patient-centered outcomes research, applied experience and training in research synthesis methods, as well as a significant mentored research experience. Scholars will receive salary support plus fringe benefits, and will be appointed as an OCTRI scholar.

See the Request for Proposal for details.

Please submit all application materials via OHSU’s Competitive Application Portal (CAP) by March 6, 2017.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Daniel Johnson or Jeanne-Marie Guise, M.D., M.P.H.

OHSU researchers develop new model to study S. mutans behavior at protein level

Isolation of utricle hair bundles from Peter Barr-Gillespie's analysis of the proteome of hair-cell stereocilia. Ferracane’s new model draws on Barr-Gillespie's technique.

Isolation of utricle hair bundles from Peter Barr-Gillespie’s analysis of the proteome of hair-cell stereocilia. Ferracane’s new model draws on Barr-Gillespie’s technique.

Breakthrough innovation doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen without money. OHSU Core Pilot Grants provide OHSU researchers with funds to develop new concepts or methods and to strengthen extramural grant proposals. The program is made possible by University Shared Resources, the School of Medicine, and the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research.

In 2016, the University Shared Resources pilot funds provided more than $200,000 for early research by 22 OHSU researchers. With this funding, a project by Jack Ferracane, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Restorative Dentistry, was made ready for a competing continuation grant application to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Lead author of the study, Kirsten J Lampi, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Dentistry, will present a poster of the research at the 2017 International Association for Dental Research meeting.

Ferracane’s work focuses on the structure, function, and clinical performance of dental restorative materials and his team has been developing antimicrobial and remineralizing dental materials containing bioactive glass to enhance the durability and longevity of dental restorations. The vast majority of adults and 60–90 percent of children are affected by tooth decay, making it a significant public health issue.

Until now, the rate of bacterial colonization in gaps in dental restorations compared to colonization on the surface of the same type of material has not been shown. Ferracane used a model that has never before been presented or tried to conduct novel experiments on the behavior of Streptococcus mutans bacteria on the surface of a restoration and within a small gap space. S. mutans is the main cause of dental decay and the challenge here was to collect enough protein to study differences in bacterial behavior at the protein level.

Ferracane, and his collaborators Kirsten Lampi, Ph.D., professor of Integrative Biosciences, and Justin Merritt, Ph.D., associate professor of Restorative Dentistry, worked closely with Larry David, Ph.D., and Ashok Reddy, Ph.D., director and associate director, respectively, of the Proteomics Shared Resource facility, to develop and test a methodology to recover and digest the small amounts of proteins present in the recovered bacterial biofilm. The team used the high-resolution Thermo Scientific™ Orbitrap Fusion™ mass spectrometer in the Proteomics Shared Resource to measure relative changes in protein abundance. Using Tandem Mass Tagging™ technology, the technique allows 10 individual samples to be simultaneously analyzed, increasing the speed and accuracy of the analysis.

Reddy and David worked closely with Ferracane, Merritt, and Lampi to develop and test a methodology to recover and digest the small amounts of protein present in the recovered bacterial biofilm. Their developed methodology used a combination of shearing the bacterial biofilm by intense shaking in the presence of glass beads (bead beating), followed by digestion with trypsin with the aid of ultrafiltration membranes.

Establishing the protocol took some trial and error, but demonstrated why having core facilities on campus is essential when establishing a new protocol like this. In this particular case, the use of ultrafiltration membranes to assist protein digestion was a technique borrowed from Peter Barr-Gillespie, Ph.D., professor of otolaryngology and associate vice president for basic research, who uses it when digesting extremely small samples of hair bundle proteins for proteomic analysis in the PSR facility. Reddy realized that combining the bead beating technique from Ferracane’s lab and the digestion method from Barr-Gillespie’s lab was the perfect solution to analyze very small samples of bacterial biofilms.

The new model successfully demonstrated that the rate of colonization was lower in the gap than on the surface of the restorative material. Additionally, the model was able to show that certain dental composites with ionreleasing properties show some inhibiting effect on bacterial colonization of gaps.

The University Shared Resources pilot funds, along with scientists and technology at the PSR, allowed Ferracane’s team to collect preliminary data sufficient to begin writing the NIH grant application and a manuscript for publication.

The pilot funds, launched in 2016, have supported 45 scientists with more than $360,000. University Shared Resources intends to begin the application process later this year for 2018 funding. If you have worked on a project made possible by the pilot funds, contact Andy Chitty to share your experience.

AstraZeneca open innovation seminar, Jan. 26

Academic researchers interested in partnering with industry are invited to an informational seminar hosted by OHSU Technology Transfer and Business Development with members from AstraZeneca. Information will be presented on AstraZeneca’s Open Innovation Program and future collaboration opportunities with OHSU.

OHSU researchers involved in the Open Innovation Program will enjoy access to resources ranging from optimized compounds and compound libraries to specialized technologies and know-how.

astrazeneca-oi-h3Thursday, Jan. 26
3–4 p.m.
Mackenzie Hall 3198

All are welcome to attend and no registration is required. For more information, contact Abby Dotson at

Applying for foundation funding? Check out the President’s List!

Just a friendly reminder that if you plan to submit a grant to a foundation or corporation on the OHSU President’s List, you are required to submit a Notice of Intent form to the OHSU Foundation. The purpose of the President’s List is to ensure that OHSU maintains coordinated communication with these organizations. Additionally, some organizations are reserved for top institutional priorities as determined by senior OHSU leadership.

Things to keep in mind:

  • If you’re interested in applying to one of these organizations, please submit a Notice of Intent form. The Notice of Intent Form is only required for organizations on the list.
  • If Office of Proposal & Award Management needs to contact one of these organizations or receives communications from them, please let someone on the Office of Foundation Relations team know.
  • The OHSU President’s List is updated about once a year.

Questions? Contact the OHSU Foundation.

OHSU researchers identify complex required for healthy brain

Brain phenotypes of Rcor1 and Rcor2 knockouts at E18.5.

Brain phenotypes of Rcor1 and Rcor2 knockouts at E18.5.

The intricately orchestrated series of events in nervous system development begins with the formation of neuroepithelial stem cells. These cells proliferate, creating progenitor cells that ultimately form neurons and the glia that provide support and protection for neurons. The balance of neurons and glia is fundamental to the development of a healthy brain.

Achieving the optimal neuron–glia balance depends on a delicate relationship between the proliferation of progenitors and the differentiation of neurons and glia. While it is thought that repressors and the corepressors that bind to them affect this relationship, repressor/corepressor complexes have not been shown in vivo.

A team of researchers from OHSU’s Vollum Institute has now identified, in embryonic brains of mice, a repressor/corepressor complex consisting of Insulinoma-associated 1 (INSM1), which halts the cycle of cell division, and the RE1 Silencing Transcription factor (REST) corepressors RCOR1 and RCOR2. The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Jan. 3, 2017.

The research, led by Gail Mandel, Ph.D., senior scientist at the Vollum Institute, with OHSU graduate student Caitlin Monaghan as first author, identified for the first time a repressor complex required for these critical transcription events that lead to the cessation of neural proliferation and therefore enable the production of proper numbers of differentiated neurons and glia. The findings demonstrated that an INSM1/RCOR1/2 complex controls the balance of proliferation and differentiation during brain development. Eliminating either INSM1 or both RCOR1 and RCOR2 in the brains of mice significantly increased neural proliferation over differentiation of neurons and glia oligodendrocytes. The resulting abnormal brain morphology was restored when REST levels in the RCOR1/2-deficient brain normalized.

This research was supported by NIH grants NS022518, ULITR000128, NS093066, and DK09949. Other OHSU authors include Tamilla Nechiporuka from the Mandel lab, as well as Sophia Jeng and Shannon McWeeney from the Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology in the OHSU School of Medicine.

New NIH font guidelines go into effect Jan. 25

NIH has updated their recommended font list for applications submitted on or after Jan. 15, 2017. Following is a summary of guidelines that will apply to text in PDF grant application attachments:

  • Text color: Perhaps the most notable change, text in PDF attachments is no longer restricted to the color black. Though not required, black or other high-contract colors are recommended. Read: no fuchsia comic sans.  
  • Font size: Must be 11 points or larger. Smaller text in figures, graphs, diagrams, and charts is still acceptable as long as it’s legible when the page is viewed at 100%.
  • Type density: Must be no more than 15 characters per linear inch (including characters and spaces).
  • Line spacing: Must be no more than six lines per vertical inch.
  • Recommended fonts:  Arial, Georgia, Helvetica, Palatino Linotype. Other fonts are acceptable if they meet the above requirements. See the Font FAQs for additional guidance.

Still have questions? Learn more about formatting attachments here.

Nominate an OHSU colleague for Impact Awards: deadlines Jan. 1 and Jan. 16

Nominations for Impact Awards are being accepted now. You may nominate OHSU individuals or teams who are using innovative approaches to generate positive social or environmental change. Each year at the Elevating Impact Summit, PSU presents the awards to people behind breakthrough innovations. Teams can be an entire organization, a unit within an organization, or a less formal affiliation working together to achieve a similar goal. The 2017 Summit will be held on Feb. 13.

Health Innovation Award — Nomination deadline, Jan. 1
The Health Innovation award recognizes the achievements of an entrepreneur or entrepreneurial team working to address a health or healthcare related problem through the innovative application of business tools and approaches. Submit your nomination today.

Impact Invention Award — Nomination deadline, Jan. 16
The Impact Invention Award recognizes the achievements of an entrepreneur or entrepreneurial team working to address a social, environmental, or economic problem through an invention-based enterprise creating a new physical product or products. Inventions include novel devices or products created to solve a problem. Submit your nomination today.

Questions? Please contact Daphne Emerson Peters for more information.


LOIs for Circle of Giving funding due Friday, Jan. 6

This is a reminder to submit your letters of intent for the following funding opportunity: The OHSU Center for Women’s Health Circle of Giving is now accepting submissions for its 2017 Women’s Health Research Funding Opportunity. Prior to submitting an application, a letter of intent is first required. The letter of intent is due Jan. 6, 2017, and the application is due Jan. 20, 2017. Circle of Giving funding is intended to support new or established investigators interested in developing innovative directions in women’s health research.

Applications will be accepted from faculty at the rank of lecturer, assistant, associate, or full professor. Applications may be in basic science, clinical investigation, population health, or behavioral research. The pilot project conducted using these seed funds is expected to lead to additional research funded by federal and non-federal sources. The proposed research must be intended to produce a tangible improvement in women’s health.

The Circle expects to award $125,000 to support one project for one year. There may be opportunity for a second award this year.

Please view the full RFP for additional information. Applications must be submitted via OHSU’s Competitive Application Portal (CAP).


OHSU addiction researchers find opportunity for intervention

Honora EnglanderPatients with substance use disorders often suffer from and are hospitalized due to chronic illnesses that cause medical conditions such as abscesses and cardiovascular disease. Hospitalization temporarily disrupts drug use and can bring patients an increased awareness of mortality, the harmful effects of substance use, and its costs on relationships, including parenting.

Some evidence also suggests that initiating medication-assisted treatment during these hospitalizations can increase the likelihood of patients engaging in substance use disorder treatment after discharge. However, these interventions have shown high rates of attrition in treatment. Little research has been conducted on factors associated with these individuals’ readiness to change.

Now, a team of OHSU addiction medicine researchers has published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine findings that provide insights into the patient, provider, and health system factors that can be used to initiate and coordinate addiction care.

Addiction medicine specialist Honora Englander, M.D., associate professor in the School of Medicine Division of Hospital Medicine and medical director of the OHSU Community & Clinical Integration Medicine Teaching Service, led the research, which was designed to better understand factors that impact readiness to change.

The study used patient perspectives to identify influences on their motivation to change and to engage in treatment during hospitalization. Researchers interviewed hospitalized adults admitted to OHSU medical or surgical units who reported as high-risk for alcohol or drug use. The team found that while many participants were interested in treatment, the participants also saw significant barriers to obtaining care after discharge, including homelessness and trauma. Patients suggested higher success rates could be influenced by improved care coordination and more timely transition from inpatient to outpatient treatment. Participants valued providers who understood substance use disorders and the importance of treatment choice.

The research found that hospitalization provides an excellent opportunity for treatment of substance use disorders, and that understanding patient perspectives on treatment options might improve the outcomes of these interventions. The researchers reported that the patient’s voice is critical in shaping system improvements and best practices.

As part of the Springer Nature SharedIt initiative, the paper is available to the public.
In addition to Englander, the study was conducted by Todd Korthuis, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health and in the School of Medicine Division of Internal Medicine; Christine Velez Klug, M.S.W., instructor in Community & Clinical Integration and the PSU School of Social Work; and Christina Nicolaidis, M.D., M.P.H., professor and senior scholar in the PSU Social Determinants of Health Initiative and associate professor in the School of Medicine Division of Internal Medicine and OHSU-PSU School of Public Health.

Join us for today’s Funding Focus: Promoting your science

In the modern information economy, it can be hard to get attention for your science—whether it’s from traditional media, social media, or even with tools like Research Gate. Join this panel discussion to learn about best practices for promoting your science and the OHSU resources that can help you. Find out how to work with OHSU’s media relations and social media departments—and what you can do to promote your research yourself.

Panelists include Tamara Hargens-Bradley, associate director, OHSU Media Relations; Kathryn Peck, social media manager, OHSU Brand Strategy; and Robin Champieux, scholarly communications librarian.

Monday, Dec. 19
noon to 1 p.m.
Vollum Institute M1441

This discussion will be followed up with an intensive workshop during OHSU Research Week, May 1-3.

Funding Focus is a series of workshops that Research Funding and Development Services offers throughout the year to share advice, tips, and general information on funding for the OHSU research community. Faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and administrators are all welcome to attend. No registration is required.

Questions? Write

Welcome to the Research News Blog

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