Administrative Core

Jay A. Nelson, Ph.D., Oregon Health & Science University

Co-Director: Michael G. Katze, Ph.D., University of Washington

Administrator: Cheryl K. Oliver-Pickett, M.P.A. Oregon Health & Science University

Grant Manager:  Glenda B. Benton, B.A., Oregon Health & Science University

Emergency Response: Kevin L. Winthrop, M.D., M.P.H., & Ellen Stevenson, M.D., M.P.H., Oregon Health & Science University

Career Development: Scott M. Landfear, Ph.D., Oregon Health & Science University

Developmental Projects: Ashlee V. Moses, Ph.D., Oregon Health & Science University

The Director of the PNWRCE will work with the Co-Director and the administrative core to provide leadership, guidance, communication and management of the research projects, scientific cores, emergency response program, and the developmental programs within the RCE.  The administrative core will be in charge of day-to-day management and will be responsible for the infrastructure to communicate, monitor, and store information for the center, interface with NIAID,
create reports and fiscal management.

Bioinformatics & Biostatistics Core

Shannon McWeeney, Ph.D. Oregon Health & Science University

The Bioinformatics & Biostatistics Core (BBC) will provide bioinformatics, mathematical modeling and biostatistics support to the entire PNWRCE. The role of the BBC is as follows:

1. To provide biostatistics support to
RCE research projects as well as the career development and educational training programs.  The BBC will provide experimental design consultation and data analysis support for all animal model and immunology experiments and assist the investigators with data interpretation and manuscript preparation.  Consultations for pilot/development projects and assistance with educational training in biostatistics will also be provided.

2. To provide bioinformatics and mathematical modeling support to RCE research projects, as well as the career development and educational training programs.
The BBC will utilize bioinformatics and systems biology approaches for the analysis of functional genomics data, including the integration of high-throughput and phenotypic data, development of network models, and identification of critical nodes, as well as predictions of system behavior.

3. To provide algorithm and methodological development for emerging technologies and approaches as needed and to disseminate these tools/approaches to the larger RCE community.
The BBC will develop new statistical methodologies and algorithms as needed by RCE investigators, to assist with new data types, lack of existing approaches or to optimize and/or extend existing methods.

Nonhuman Primate Core

Michael K. Axthelm, D.V.M., Ph.D., Oregon Health & Science University

The Nonhuman Primate (NHP) Core is structured to provide the Pacific Northwest Regional Center of Excellence (PNWRCE) with resources for purpose-bred animals and unique facilities, and specialized investigative and technical expertise for infectious disease research that is best conducted using NHPs.  The Core’s performance sites include the Oregon National Primate Research Centers (ONPRC, Beaverton, OR.), and the Integrated Research Facility (IRF) on the Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) campus, Hamilton, MT.  Nonhuman primates are unique, long-lived species that share many physiologic similarities with humans. These similarities include body composition, maturation, reproduction, metabolism and close genetic relatedness.  Of NHPs available for research, Old World monkey species have the closest evolutionary relationship to humans and they are essential surrogates for biomedical research focused on major human diseases that lack suitable alternative animal models.  The organization and function of the NHP immune system closely resembles that of humans and their contribution to understanding the complex interrelationships of the different components of the immune system in the defense against infectious agents is particularly notable.  Nonhuman primates have long been recognized for their value as comparative models for human vaccine development, efficacy testing and safety evaluation, and for the investigation of fundamental questions in basic immunology.  Many of these models have demonstrated merit for pathogenesis research and vaccine development to contain emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, H5N1 and 1918 influenza, Ebola and Marburg viruses, monkey pox virus, West Nile virus, Junin virus, yellow fever virus and Dengue fever virus.  Their research value notwithstanding, NHPs are complex, higher order species that require specialized expertise, infrastructure and staff in a research setting.

Pre-requisites for BSL-3 Training Course

1. Must have at least 6 months of tissue culture experience including work with pathogens.

2. Must have read the CDC’s “Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories”, 5th Edition

3. Must have watched the CDC webcast at :


    Titled:  “Keeping the Genome’ in the Bottle:  Reinforcing Biosafety  Level 3 Procedures”

4. Trainee must have read their own institute’s biosafety manual

Contact Joanne at

PNWRCE BSL-3 Laboratory Training Course

A Biosafety Level Three (BSL-3) laboratory training course will be offered at Oregon Health and Science University’s (OHSU) west campus Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute (VGTI).  The structure of the course will consist of both lecture and hands on training of BSL-3 laboratory techniques.  It will include instruction concerning the following: the review of standard microbiological laboratory practices and the introduction of additional laboratory practices required when working in a BSL-3 laboratory, safety equipment utilized in a BSL-3 laboratory, BSL-3 laboratory facilities requirements and select agent requirements when conducting bio-defense research. Here are some specific examples of topics that will be covered in the training course: working at a biological safety cabinet (BSC), appropriate personal protection equipment, methods of decontamination, BSC and room certifications and HVAC testing, writing an agent specific biosafety manual and standard operating procedure (SOP) and the additional security and records required for select agent bio-defense research.

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