Judges and volunteers still needed for Research Week!

FPP 21469239 Research Week 2017 ART RGBResearch Week 2017 kicks off this coming Monday, May 1, and we’re still in need of a few oral presentation judges. Specifically, we’re looking for faculty, postdocs, or researchers with expertise in:

Cell and molecular biology
• Surgery

Judges play a critical role in giving valuable feedback to trainees on their presentation style and content. Your support is greatly appreciated. Please register as soon as possible.

A few volunteer slots are also still open. We need a few poster wranglers on Monday evening to make sure posters are set up in the right location. We’re also in need of a few moderators and backup moderators for some of the oral presentation sessions. View the schedule and sign up here.

Thank you!

The Research Week Planning Committee

Sign up to have a professional photo taken at Research Week 2017

In this fast-paced digital world we live in, your image is your personal brand and most often the first impression you make. Whether you’re applying for a job and need to spiff up your LinkedIn profile, or promoting your research using social media, having a professional “headshot” is essential.  At this year’s Research Week event, the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research is sponsoring a complimentary “headshot” photo session for OHSU students and postdocs.FPP 21469239 Research Week 2017 ART RGB

Wednesday, May 3
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
OHSU Old Library

Check in at the south entrance – photos will be taken outside weather permitting.

You must sign up for a time as the number of slots is limited!  We’ll be sending students and postdocs out in groups of five to have their pictures taken. For this reason, it’s very important that you show up on time, and ideally five minutes early.

A few tips for your headshot:  

  • Dress professionally, but like yourself (you want to feel comfortable).
  • Don’t wear anything too distracting that might take away from the focus on your face and eyes, solid colors that are medium to dark are a good choice.
  • Don’t tilt your head in your photo.
  • Don’t do a straight on pose, turn your shoulders slightly.
  • Smile!
  • Google some additional tips for taking a good professional headshot.

Questions? Contact us at researchweek@ohsu.edu.

Registration deadline for OHSU’s Three Minute Thesis competition extended to April 27

3MT_FoundedByUQ-411x130It’s not too late to register for this year’s 3MT competition. An 80,000-word Ph.D. thesis would take nine hours to present. In this Research Week favorite, the presentation time is scaled back a bit…presenters have just three minutes to share their work. The 3MT exercise develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills. Any student enrolled in an OHSU graduate program may participate. Email Jackie Wirz, Ph.D. to sign up. Wednesday, May 3, 4 p.m., OHSU Auditorium.

You’re invited to Research Week 2017

We’re sharing the following message from Dan Dorsa, Ph.D., senior vice president for research.

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Dear colleagues,

I would like to invite you to join me in celebrating OHSU Research Week, May 1-3, 2017, our annual celebration of research at Oregon Health & Science University. More than 200 OHSU researchers will be presenting their latest findings throughout the week. I encourage you to show your support by attending talks and poster sessions. Many of the presenters are trainees, the future of the biomedical research workforce.

In addition to OHSU presenters, we have an exceptional lineup of events scheduled. Specific highlights from the Research Week program include:

  • An opening reception and all-OHSU poster session in the BICC, Monday, May 1;
  • Posters and oral presentations on a range of topics, from neuroscience to nursing, beginning Monday at 1 p.m. and continuing through Wednesday afternoon;
  • Keynote addresses by Nicholas J. Strausfeld, Ph.D. and Reshma Jagsi, M.D., D.Phil.;
  • Student day, Tuesday, May 2, will feature a host of panel discussions on topics such as mentor/mentee relationships and non-academic careers. The day will conclude with a CV/resume review mixer. If you’d like to have your CV or resume reviewed by one of our experts, you’ll need to sign up here;
  • OHSU’s 5th annual Three Minute Thesis competition, Wednesday, May 3.

The full schedule can be found here.

The work of our research scientists, students, postdocs, and staff is the foundation underlying OHSU’s success as an academic health center. I hope you will help me celebrate their achievements by attending Research Week events.


Dan Dorsa, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President for Research, OHSU

Career development opportunities at this year’s Research Week

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Research Week 2017 begins next week on Monday, May 1, and will feature several workshops, lectures, and discussions relevant to students, postdocs, and junior faculty who want input on how to build their careers.

Start your week off Monday morning by attending an interactive workshop on “Promoting your research.”  You’ll learn about best practices for promoting your science and the OHSU resources available to assist 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.

Student day is Tuesday, May 2, and will focus on several facets of career development:

  • Mentor/mentee relationship: Hear from a panel comprised of both mentors and mentees on how to navigate this very important, and sometimes tricky, relationship. Panelists will provide a general overview and share their experiences, followed by a Q & A session. If you’d like to ask a question anonymously, you can submit your queries before the event here.
  • Exploring non-academic careers: Listen in on a group of panelists who are finding success outside academia. They’ll speak about the challenges and choices they each made in their specific careers and respond to questions from the audience.
  • CV/resume mixer: Student day will wrap up with this interactive workshop and social mixer. A group of experts will work with participants to create a compelling story on paper that will stand out with prospective employers. Listen in on reviews and critiques and share your own tips on building a strong presentation of your education and experience. Refreshments will be served. You must RSVP to reserve a spot to meet with a reviewer by emailing researchweek@ohsu.edu.

And don’t miss the panel discussion, “Leading by example: A panel on diversity in science” on Wednesday, May 3. Panelists will share their experiences and describe their career trajectories as well as answer questions from the audience about women and underrepresented minorities in science. Submit your questions before the event (coordinated by the Alliance for Visible Diversity in Science student interest group).

Times and locations for all events can be found here.

Lastly, we still need volunteers to make this event successful. Please consider helping out – it’s a great way to meet people across the institution and to learn more about the research going on at OHSU. Sign up today!

Volunteers and judges still needed for Research Week 2017!

FPP 21469239 Research Week 2017 ART RGBResearch Week 2017 is now less than two weeks away, and we still have many volunteer and judging slots to fill. Volunteers play a critical role in making Research Week a success – we couldn’t do it without you! Judges provide valuable feedback to presenters and help select this year’s presentation winners. Anyone at OHSU can volunteer. Faculty, postdocs, and research staff can all serve as judges. It’s a great opportunity to meet people from other areas and gain an understanding of the scope and quality of the research conducted every day at OHSU.

There are a number of ways volunteers can help:

  • Check-in desk
    As a Check-in Desk volunteer, you are tasked with greeting attendees and checking in presenters.
  • Poster wrangler
    It’s the Poster Wrangler’s job to see that posters are put up in the right locations.
  • 3MT ballot collector
    Help collect the audience ballots for the “People’s Choice Award” at the end of the Three Minute Thesis competition on Wednesday, May 3.
  • Moderator/backup moderator
    This is not as scary as it sounds! Moderators are needed to ensure that the pace of the oral presentation sessions are maintained, keeping presenters to their 10-minute time limit.

Volunteers – Go to the Research Week 2017 volunteer page to see what shifts are available and to sign up. Remember, you can choose as many shifts as you’d like!

Judgesvisit the sign up page for a full listing of session dates, times, and research topics that need coverage. To sign up, check the box for the session you’re interested in and click “submit”–once you get into the tool, you’ll be able to see full details.

OHSU scientist Jon Hennebold identifies key pathway in ovulation

LIF and its downstream effectors are induced in the primate periovulatory follicle after an ovulatory stimulus (human chorionic gonadotropin). Endocrinology

LIF and its downstream effectors are induced in the primate periovulatory follicle after an ovulatory stimulus (human chorionic gonadotropin). Endocrinology

Individuals should have the opportunity to have the number of children they want—that is the dogma of the laboratory of Jon Hennebold, Ph.D. To make that possible, Hennebold, chief of the Division of Reproductive & Developmental Sciences at the Oregon National Primate Research Center, focuses on identifying and characterizing the molecular events necessary for ovulation in primates.

Most of what we currently know about the ovulation cycle stems from data generated using rodent models, but there is no doubt there are differences between rodents and primates in the ways reproductive systems are controlled. Hennebold’s recent research with non-human primates has not only identified a new key player in ovulation in primates—it has demonstrated a specific difference in ovulatory processes in rodents and primates.

The Endocrine Society has named the paper, published in the journal Endocrinology, one of the 15 most important papers of the year.

Previous research conducted with mice models proved that Leukemia Inhibitory Factor, a cytokine that affects cell growth, is unnecessary for rodent ovulation. Hennebold’s team has now demonstrated that, for primates, LIF is absolutely required. The findings have implications for the promotion and control of fertility in humans, as well as demonstrating an important difference in the ovarian systems in rodents and primates.

In order to understand primate reproduction physiology and ovarian biology, Hennebold’s team has been applying genomic approaches to characterize all of the pathways that have to work together for ovulation to occur. When the team found that, unlike with rodents, LIF is highly active in the primate ovary, they conducted additional studies in which they blocked the LIF pathway. These studies demonstrated that without LIF, ovulation cannot occur.

The findings have clinical implications. Understanding that LIF is critical in primates but not in rodents moves scientists closer to understanding the mechanisms involved in human ovulation. The physiology and processes of ovulation are extremely similar in humans and non-human primates, and this new knowledge suggests that targeting LIF may lead to therapies that could encourage or interrupt fertility.

Next steps in the research include examining the relationship between this event, ovulatory processes, and fertility. Hennebold’s team has taken us one step closer to their goal—making it possible for women to have the number of children they choose.

Co-authors of the paper include Melinda J. Murphy, Nathan G. Halow, and Pamela A. Royer. This work was supported by the National Institutes for Health Grants OD011092 (J.D.H.) and R21HD072528 (J.D.H.).

OHSU rallies for science

Research funding from the National Institutes of Health has advanced our understanding of the molecular underpinnings of life—and has led to cures and therapies for some of the world’s most devastating diseases. 
Those advances, however, may be in jeopardy if proposed cuts to NIH funding take effect. These cuts—$5.8 billion, or 18 percent of its budget—would be devastating to biomedical research and would threaten the future health not only of people in the United States, but across the world. 
Without funding from the NIH, research in many of our laboratories would grind to a halt. A 20 percent cut could mean years before new grants are awarded. 
OHSU is taking the proposed cuts to science very seriously. The entire OHSU community—from faculty and staff to students and senior administration—are taking action to prevent them. Employees are organizing letter-writing campaigns to Oregon’s congressional delegation, members of the OHSU community are joining the non-partisan March for Science, and OHSU Senior Vice President of Research Dan Dorsa has been getting the word out to the public in multiple media appearances, including with KPTV and KGW.
Advocating for science is critical at this moment. The health and welfare of future generations depends on the life-saving and life-transforming research conducted at OHSU and other institutions across the country. 

Register for OHSU’s Three-Minute Thesis competition by Apr. 25

Think you can describe your research to Tram travelers in the time it takes to reach the South Waterfront?

3MT_FoundedByUQ-411x130Back by popular demand, OHSU Research Week 2017 is excited to host its fifth annual Three Minute Thesis Competition for graduate students on Wednesday, May 3, at 4:00 p.m. in the OHSU Auditorium. The 3MT® is an academic competition developed by the University of Queensland, Australia. The exercise develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills as students explain their research in three minutes in a language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience. Any student enrolled in an OHSU graduate program may participate. View examples of winning 3MT presentations.


  • Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum; competitors exceeding three minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g., no poems, raps, or songs).
  • A single, static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations, or movement of any description, the slide is to be presented from the beginning of oration).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g., sound or audio files) or props are permitted.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  • Presentations will be judged by a panel of faculty and non-faculty.

Judging criteria
Communication style: Was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience?
Comprehension: Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
Engagement: Did the oration make the audience want to know more?

Winner: $300
Runner-up: $200
People’s choice award: $200

Register to participate by Apr. 25 by contacting Jackie Wirz at wirzj@ohsu.edu. Questions about Research Week? Contact researchweek@ohsu.edu.

OHSU researchers moving blood testing from the clinic to the home

TouchSpotOrgan transplants, cancer treatments, and therapies for chronic diseases all require repeated blood tests to monitor levels of drugs and organ function. Frequently drawing blood from a vein becomes increasingly painful, technically difficult, and potentially traumatizing—especially for children. It is also expensive.

In 2016, a record-breaking 33 thousand organ transplants were performed in the United States. An estimated 250,000 recipients of organ transplants performed since 1987 are still living. These individuals will have about 48 tests done in the year following the transplant and about twice a year from then on. These clinic visits total more than 1.3 million each year.

Costs associated with these visits are significant, and not only from a clinical standpoint. Caretakers miss time from work and children accumulate absences at school. A method for collecting blood samples at home could dramatically reduce costs, time, and associated stress. It also could lead to better compliance with drug regimens and reduced rates of rejections of organs. A team of OHSU researchers has developed, tested, and modified a prototype of such a device. The team is preparing for a study on the modified prototype

Amira Al-Uzri, M.D., a pediatric nephrologist in the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, was part of a team that, three years ago, began developing the prototype of a device that could change the landscape of post-transplant blood testing. A number of devices have been introduced to the market, but none have proven to be practical for wide-scale use in children. The goal is a device that is accurate enough to substitute for about 60 percent of clinic visits each year. That’s more than 800,000 clinic visits. The prototype has now been tested, modified, and the team is preparing for a study on the modified prototype.

The team included co-investigator Al-Uzri, principal investigator Dennis Koop, Ph.D., professor of physiology and pharmacology at the School of Medicine, and co-investigator Andrew Chitty, program director of University Shared Resources.

The device, called TouchSpot, uses dried blood spot sampling, a technique in which a small amount of blood from the finger or heel is drawn and then dried before analysis. In order to serve as an alternative to venipuncture, a precise amount of blood must be delivered to filter paper. Collecting a precise quantity of blood and preventing damage to the filter paper are primary challenges to developing a dried blood spot sampling device that can stand in for intravenously collected samples.

The TouchSpot prototype was tested with pediatric oncology patients attending the Survivorship clinic at the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. Al-Uzri’s team worked with children and their families to collect dried blood spots to be used in tests of kidney function. Based on the preliminary results of the study, the team is introducing modifications to the TouchSpot design, including improvements to the structure that will make the filter paper easier to dry and to remove from the device for lab analysis. The modifications also will make the device easier for use in children.

The research team’s concept for a device that could change the lives of pediatric patients—and their parents—has moved from prototype to a more advanced design. The next step is to evaluate the improved design. Al-Uzri expects to then have the data for a strong grant application to the National Science Foundation.

The Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute‘s Biomedical Innovation Program funded development of the prototype. Evaluation of the device was funded by a pilot grant program through University Shared Resources and the Office of the Vice President for Research. The Bioanalytical Shared Resource Pharmacokinetics Core analyzed the samples and the revisions to the prototype were made possible by funding from The Friends of Doernbecher. Other members of the OHSU infrastructure are helping move the device from prototype to commercial use. The collaborative OHSU and industry effort has included the Office of Proposals & Award ManagementTechnology Transfer & Business Development patent team and industry partners Simplexity Product Development and Allegory Venture Partners.

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Welcome to the Research News Blog

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