Posts Tagged ‘Discoveries’

Eric Gouaux’s serotonin transporter research featured by NIH

Recent findings by Vollum Institute senior scientist, Eric Gouaux, Ph.D., and team that reveal the molecular structure of the human serotonin transporter, are getting a lot of attention from the biomedical community and the media. Gouaux’s study was featured in NIH Research Matters, the online publication that highlights groundbreaking NIH-funded discoveries. The article, “Serotonin transporter structure revealed,” discusses the innovative technique developed by the team that allowed them to use X-ray crystallography to capture a 3-D image of the … Read More

Study confirms mitochondrial mutations increase with age, impact stem cell treatments

A team led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Ph.D., director of the Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy at OHSU, has confirmed that mutations in mitochondrial DNA accumulate with age and can limit cells’ ability to create energy and function properly. The study examined induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells derived from patients’ skin or blood cells and identified faulty DNA, with each cell having potentially different types and percentages of mutations. These defects could undermine the … Read More

Researchers demonstrate the impact of obesity on emergency contraception

OHSU clinical researchers Alison Edelman, M.D., M.P.H., and Jeffrey Jensen, M.D., M.P.H., published a study that examined why emergency contraception isn’t as effective in obese women, and how to potentially increase its effectiveness in this population. The findings, published March 19 in the journal Contraception, show how obesity adversely impacts circulating levels of emergency contraception, and that doubling the dose appears to correct obesity-related interference in the drug’s efficacy. Roughly half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended. Single-dose emergency … Read More

Lattal lab identifies mechanism that may suppress memories associated with PTSD and addiction

A group of researchers in OHSU’s Lattal lab has discovered that targeting a specific dopamine receptor can promote the suppression of invasive memories in models of PTSD and substance abuse, with implications for treating both disorders. The findings of graduate student Antony Abraham, Kim Neve, Ph.D., and Matthew Lattal, Ph.D., appear in a paper entitled “Activation of D1/5 Dopamine Receptors: A Common Mechanism for Enhancing Extinction of Fear and Reward-Seeking Behaviors,” published in the February 10 edition … Read More

OHSU study sheds light on risks of giving birth in and out of a hospital setting

The out-of-hospital birth rate in Oregon is the highest of any state (4%) and nationally, more and more women are choosing to give birth at home. This national trend has drawn increased attention to an ongoing debate over whether it’s safe to give birth in an out-of-hospital setting. A new study published the Dec. 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine by OHSU researchers provides detailed answers to shed light on the issue. The … Read More

OHSU researchers find cognitive dysfunction resulting from obesity, diabetes can be treated

Brief Reduction in Dietary Fat Improves Cognitive Dysfunction in Mice with Obesity and Type II Diabetes OHSU researchers, led by Jacob Raber, Ph.D., have discovered that the cognitive dysfunction that that often results from obesity and type II diabetes can be treated.  The study reveals that even a brief reduction in dietary fat content in mice that are fed a high-fat diet for a substantial period of time led to a complete rescue of cognitive function. … Read More

Researchers discover a network of genes that control when puberty begins

Researchers at OHSU and the University of Pittsburgh have identified members of an elaborate superfamily of genes that regulate the timing of puberty in highly evolved nonhuman primates. The Zinc finger, or ZNF, gene family comprises approximately 800 individual genes. A handful of genes in this network serve as a “neurobiological brake” that delay the activation of hypothalamic genes responsible for launching puberty until the end of childhood, thereby preventing the premature awakening of the process. The … Read More

OHSU researchers identify enhanced functional connectivity in the brain after methamphetamine exposure

Damien Zuloaga, Ph.D., a former post-doctoral fellow in the Raber lab, and colleagues at OHSU published results of a study examining the effects of methamphetamine (MA) on the sleep-wake cycle. The article, “Enhanced functional connectivity involving the ventromedial hypothalamus following methamphetamine exposure,” appearing in the 23 September, 2015, edition of Frontiers in Neuroscience, identified MA-induced alterations in coordinated activity in the brain, particularly connectivity involving the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH). The VMH is the portion of … Read More

Eric Gouaux to Receive 2016 Anatrace Membrane Protein Award from the Biophysical Society

Eric Gouaux, Ph.D., senior scientist at the Vollum Institute and Howard Hughes Medical Investigator, will receive the 2016 Anatrace Membrane Protein Award from the Biophysical Society. The award recognizes outstanding investigators who make a significant contribution to the field of membrane protein research. Gouaux was selected for his work on the atomic structure of neurotransmitter transporters and ion channels that has revolutionized our understanding of the molecules underlying synaptic transmission in the brain. Gouaux will accept this award at … Read More

von Gersdorff team sheds light on how diabetes triggers blindness

A new study published in Neuron,  led by Henrique von Gersdorff, Ph.D., is the first characterization of a group of specialized synapses in the retina, the part of the eye that captures and transmits visual signals. These specialized synapses are inhibitory synapses that reduce the activity (or normal ‘chatter’) between neurons connected by multiple excitatory synapses. von Gersdorff and his team–Veeramuthu Balakrishnan, Theresa Puthussery, Mean-Hwan Kim, and W. Rowland Taylor–from the Vollum and Casey Eye … Read More

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