Researchers study potential treatment to reduce brain swelling after stroke

Brain swelling resulting from a large, acute stroke event causes further damage and can lead to major disability and death, and there are few effect treatment options. Existing drug regimens do not improve survival or functional outcome. Decompressive craniectomy, a surgical procedure to remove part of the skull, allowing the brain to swell without being squeezed, improves outcomes in some patients but increases survival with major disability in others.

Future treatments are likely to target pathways involved in brain swelling, and several potential candidates have been identified. One of these key mediators is a suphonylurea receptor pathway triggered by ischaemia and hypoxia, that can be inhibited by glyburide, a drug given orally to people with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels. In rodent models of stroke, glyburide, delivered by continuous intravenous infusion, reduces brain swelling. A pilot study involving 10 stroke patients showed the drug is well tolerated, but its efficacy in humans remains unclear.

Holly Hinson, M.D., M.C.R., assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at OHSU, co-authored a paper published on Aug. 23, 2016, in The Lancet Neurology entitled “Safety and efficacy of intravenous glyburide on brain swelling after large hemispheric infarction (GAMES-RP): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2 trial.” The clinical trial involved 77 patients; 41 participants received intravenous glyburide, and 36 received placebo. Outcomes were measured using the modified Rankin Scale from 0-6 where 0 represents no symptoms at all, and 6 represents death. The percentage of people with a score of 0-4 (healthy to moderate disability) at 90 days was not significantly different between the glyburide and placebo groups, and mortality was not significantly reduced overall. However, function outcome measured by the Rankin Scale was improved in patients treated with the active drug.

Though the primary end point was negative, the results are consistent with the preclinical and pilot studies showing the sulphonylurea receptor pathway plays an important role in the formation of brain swelling, and treatment with intravenous glyburide is well tolerated in acute ischemia stroke patients. The study was cut short due to funding issues, resulting in too small a sample size to  provide statistically significant data on efficacy. But the results are encouraging enough to warrant further investigation. A larger phase 3 trial is planned for early 2017.

This research was funded by Remedy Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and was conducted in collaboration with researchers from Yale University School of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, University of Pittsburgh, Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Washington, and University of Maryland.


Effort certification and DHHS salary cap refresher training, Sept. 6

Do you need a refresher for coordinating effort certification or applying the Department of Health & Human Services salary cap? Join the Research Administration Training and Education program for an overview, examples, and discussion.

Effort certification, salary cap refresher training
Tuesday, Sept. 6

1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Center for Health & Healing, room 3181 (1B)
Register in Compass

Topics covered:

  • Review of effort certification process and DHHS salary cap requirements
  • Strategies and tools to ensure accurate, complete, and timely effort statement submissions
  • Opportunity to work through current questions and issues for this effort period

You are welcome to bring any specific questions or issues that need attention.

Questions? Contact the RATE program.

InfoEd, Oracle Grants Accounting training, Sept. 8

Research Administration Training and Education offers a number of courses for the OHSU research community. Next on the calendar are InfoEd and Oracle Grants Accounting.

InfoEd for submissions
Thursday, Sept. 8
8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Biomedical Information Communication Center, room 120
Register in Compass.

InfoEd’s Proposal Development module is required for preparing and submissions that go through the Office of Proposal and Award Management. The electronic proposed project questionnaire is completed within InfoEd for both and submissions.

Course objectives: Walk step by step through the process of creating and routing NIH R01 and non-R01 proposals in this hands-on computer lab course. After building the proposal, you will learn to complete and appropriately route an electronic proposed project questionnaire.

Oracle Grants Accounting
Thursday, Sept. 8
1 to 4 p.m.
Biomedical Information Communication Center, room 120
Register in Compass.

Oracle Grants Accounting is OHSU’s system for managing grants and awards accounts, accessible via the Administration Information System and overseen by the Office of Proposal and Award Management, which offers a wealth of online resources.

Course objectives: Learners are introduced to the Oracle Grants Accounting module functionality. Topics include identification and review of the accounting financial reports, analysis of financial information, and application of financial data as it pertains to sponsor terms and conditions.

Please contact the Research Administration Training and Education program with any questions.

NIGMS funding opportunity for new and early-stage investigators

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences has released a Funding Opportunity Announcement for the Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) for New and Early-Stage Investigators (R35). NIGMS introduced this mechanism last year as a pilot program which represented a new funding strategy focused on supporting PIs rather than specific projects. The rationale behind this novel funding strategy was to improve funding distribution and invest in scientists, thereby providing them with funding stability to explore new, creative directions in their research.

Webinar: Sept. 30, 2016, 12 to 1 p.m.
Letter of intent deadline: Oct. 4, 2016
Application deadline: Nov. 4, 2016

MIRA provides support for the research program in an investigator’s laboratory. Research programs in technology development and computational approaches, as well as basic biomedical sciences, translational, clinical research, and all phases of the scientific process, not only hypothesis testing, are supported.

A notable change from the parent announcement is that New Investigators who are no longer Early-Stage Investigators (as defined by NIH) will not be eligible. The investigator must also have not yet received a substantial independent NIH research award to be eligible.

Still have questions? Save the date for the webinar or check out the FAQs page.

Groundbreaking, gene-editing scientist to present OHSU lecture, Oct. 11

Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D. — co-inventor of what some are calling the biotech innovation of the century, a discovery that could revolutionize how we treat and cure disease — will present the OHSU Foundation’s 2016 Calvin and Mayho Tanabe Address in Portland this fall.

Doudna, a biochemist at the University of California, Berkeley, published research in 2012 that detailed a gene-editing technique showing how scientists can alter any organism’s DNA. The monumental discovery, and further development of the technique, offers scientists hope that they may one day be able to rewrite flawed genes in people. It offers the promise of new drugs, new treatments for disease and possibly even the eradication of some inherited diseases.

But the discovery also comes with profound ethical questions. And Doudna has been a leading figure in encouraging a public scientific debate about further study and development of the technique — called CRISPR-Cas9 — and whether it should ever be used to alter a human embryo. “Through dialogue and sharing of information, we as a society can find a consensus on hoDoudna_200w to use CRISPR technology appropriately for the benefit of all humankind,” Doudna said.

“Rewriting the language of life: Impacts and challenges of DNA editing”

Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016

 7 p.m.
Winningstad Theater
1111 S.W. Broadway in Portland

Tickets are $20, $10 for students. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the OHSU Foundation website.

This is the second Tanabe lecture sponsored by the OHSU Foundation.

The Calvin and Mayho Tanabe Address was established to offer differing perspectives on important topics. The lecture features national and international speakers who can bring diverse ideas to the community and encourage a free exchange of ideas. Calvin Tanabe, M.D., now a retired neurosurgeon, graduated from the OHSU School of Medicine in 1964. He was an associate professor at OHSU until 1980 and received the OHSU Department of Neurological Surgery’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009. Mayho Hung Tanabe, M.D., graduated from the Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo in 1967. She completed a residency at the OHSU School of Medicine in 1970, and practiced anesthesiology at Emanuel and St. Vincent hospitals in Portland.

OHSU researchers elucidate the role of diet in treating people with MS

A first-time controlled clinical trial found that a low-fat, plant-based diet significantly improved the health of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) by reducing both fatigue and weight. Those improvements go hand-in-hand with fighting some of the most debilitating effects of MS, according to the study’s lead author, Vijayshree Yadav, M.D., a MS neurologist with the Oregon Brain Institute at OHSU.

While the new research did not show differences in the MS lesions on the brain imaging, relapse rate or disability in the two study groups, active and control, this likely was in part due to short duration of the study.

The study sheds new light on the role of diet as a treatment for people living with MS. Although practitioners have promoted low-fat diets for decades, the approach had never been subjected to a well-controlled clinical trial, until now. “Low-fat, plant-based diet in multiple sclerosis: A randomized controlled trial” was published July 1 in the science journal Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, an Elsevier publication.

Sixty-one people participated in the study with 32 following the low-fat plant-based diet during the one year of the study and 29 who did not alter their diet. Eight participants withdrew during the study, including six from the diet group and two from the control group.

Key findings:

• Researchers found no difference in MS-related lesions on the brain, relapse rate and disability between the two study groups. Researchers measured these differences for one year.

• The low-fat, plant-based diet did improve important aspects of health for those who followed the diet compared with the control group, including a reduction in fatigue and loss of weight.

• Researchers noted that the benefits of modern FDA approved therapies for treating MS likely outweigh the effects of a plant-based diet in reducing disease activity. Yadav noted that it’s therefore important for a low-fat diet to complement, rather than replace, other therapies.

The study includes additional researchers from OHSU’s Department of Neurology: Gail Marracci, Ph.D., Edward Kim, M.D., Rebecca Spain, M.D., M.S.P.H., Michelle Cameron, M.D., P.T., and Dennis Bourdette, M.D.; the Department of Veterans Affairs; MS/MRI Research Group at the University of British Columbia; The McDougall Research and Education Foundation in Santa Rosa, Calif.; and Louisiana State University.

Research reported here was supported by National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number UL1TR000128. Additional support came from the McDougall Research and Education Foundation, A Gift from the Berger Family.

Meet the inventors: Register for MedTech Alliance Showcase Sept. 14

Richard Wampler, M.D., presenting on behalf of OregonHeart, Inc.

Richard Wampler, M.D., presenting at the 2015 MedTech Alliance event on behalf of OregonHeart, Inc.

The 2016 MedTech Alliance Showcase connects investors, industry partners, and community collaborators with OHSU inventors and technologies. At this event, attendees will have the opportunity to network and learn more about OHSU medical technologies, including early-stage inventions that have a realistic chance for commercialization. The opening address will be given by John Ma, M.D., F.A.C.E.P., professor and chair of the OHSU Department of Emergency Medicine. Four presenters will take the stage to showcase their technologies. The evening will commence with a poster session and reception.

Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Collaborative Life Sciences Building, Room 3A001

The event speakers will include:

  • Ted Hobbs, D.V.M., M.C.R., OHSU inventor
    Product pitch: Blood volume determination device
  • Bill Kelly, M.B.A., Chief Executive Officer, ReelDx, Inc.
    Company pitch: ReelDx, Inc.
  • Greg Jones, Ph.D., Inventor, First Ascent Biomedical, LLC
    Company pitch: First Ascent Biomedical, LLC
  • Xiangshu Xiao, Ph.D., OHSU inventor
    Product pitch: Novel lamin-binding ligands for the treatment of triple negative breast cancer

For speaker biographies, please visit the 2016 MedTech Alliance Showcase webpage.

All OHSU faculty, researchers, students, and staff are invited to attend. The event is free, but space is limited. Register today to attend.

Questions? Please contact Trish Prius at

Funding available for device, diagnostic, and software development

The Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute is now accepting letters of intent for the Biomedical Innovation Program: Device, Diagnostic, and Software Development track.

The objective of the Biomedical Innovation Program is to improve human health by moving innovative technologies from academia to the marketplace. The program focuses on bench-to-bedside technology development and commercialization. Formed in partnership with OHSU Technology Transfer & Business Development in 2013, the program has funded a total of seventeen projects, led by a diverse group of principal investigators including clinicians, scientists, and bio-engineers. Several of these projects have achieved proof of concept as a result of Biomedical Innovation Program funding and have been licensed by TTBD to biomedical companies; others have formed the basis for start-up companies.

Program highlights:

  • Funds up to $80,000 over two years
  • Project management and hands-on support from Biomedical Innovation Program staff
  • Access to project-specific mentors and experts

OHSU faculty and qualified employees outlined in the PI eligibility guidelines are welcome to apply. Download the RFA here or visit the OCTRI Funding Opportunities webpage for more information. Letters of intent are due on Sept. 26, 2016; detailed submission guidelines can be found in the RFA.

OHSU’s Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and the Biomedical Innovation Program staff will host a workshop on Wednesday, Sept. 14, noon to 1 p.m., Mackenzie Hall 3198 to discuss letters of intent and business development planning. Light lunch will be provided.

Questions? Contact Jonathan Jubera.

Registration now open for the 2016 TTBD awards ceremony, Oct. 12

Jeffrey Tyner, Ph.D. accepting the TTBD Business Partnership Award with Brendan Rauw, M.B.A., C.L.P.

Jeffrey Tyner, Ph.D. accepting the TTBD Business Partnership Award with Brendan Rauw, M.B.A., C.L.P.

The 2016 Technology Transfer and Business Development awards ceremony recognizes and honors OHSU community members who have contributed to innovation, entrepreneurship, industry partnership, patenting, and technology commercialization. At this annual event, top honors will be awarded to New Inventor of the Year, Business Development Partnership, Technology Transfer Achievement, and TTBD Appreciation.

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016
4:30 to 8 p.m.
Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Vey Auditorium, 11th floor
Opening reception will begin at 4:30 p.m. Ceremony will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m.

The event will include:

  • Awards and recognition for OHSU innovations and entrepreneurship
  • Reception with complimentary refreshments and hors d’oeuvres
  • Remarks from:
    • Jeanette Mladenovic, M.D., M.B.A., M.A.C.P., executive vice president and provost
    • Andrew Watson, Ph.D., C.L.P., director of technology transfer

All OHSU community members are invited to join us to celebrate OHSU’s inventors and entrepreneurs and learn more about the exciting work coming out of Technology Transfer and Business Development. The event is free, but space is limited. Register today to attend.

Questions? Please contact Karen Boren at

OHSU Library to sponsor two scholarships for OpenCon 2016

OpenConInterested in scientific communication? Want a more open system to share research and data? Then OpenCon 2016 could be the catalyst for you to pursue these passions and the OHSU Library wants to send you to Washington, D.C., where the conference is being held this year, Nov. 12 to 14.

OpenCon is designed to teach scientists and scholars from around the world about open access, open data, and open education, and foster a discussion on key issues surrounding scholarly communications and publications. The conference seeks to empower students and early career academic professionals with the critical skills necessary to create a more accessible and global system for sharing research and data. Keynote speakers, including Philip Bourne, associate director of data science, the National Institutes of Health, and Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, will be featured amid a program of panel discussions and hackathons.

Since the first conference held in 2014, OpenCon has developed into an international community which has continued to support and organize the annual event alongside the sponsorship of scholarly organizations such as the Right to Research Coalition and the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition.

OHSU Library is sponsoring two scholarships to send any OHSU student or postdoctoral researcher to the conference. Scholarships will cover travel costs, lodging, conference registration, and most meals. Applications can be found here.

Application deadline: Aug. 31, 2016

Questions? Contact Robin Champieux for more information.

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