Circle of Giving Grants
Grants from the Circle of Giving at the OHSU Center for Women's Health give investigators at OHSU the funds they need to pursue issues that affect women around the world. Below is a list of previous grantees and their work.
Martha Goetsch, M.D., M.P.H.
Therapy to Prevent Sexual Pain in Menopausal Survivors of Breast Cancer
The 2011 Circle of Giving Grant was awarded to Martha Goetsch, M.D., for research that could lead to better solutions for women who experience sexual pain after surviving breast cancer. Goetsch’s study, which is still enrolling patients, seeks to learn more about where pain occurs, and to understand if a topical lidocaine liquid (numbing medicine) is an effective method of relieving pain.
Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Ph.D. and Paula Amato, M.D.
Correcting Mitochondrial Gene Mutations in Human Oocytes
Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Ph.D. and Paula Amato, M.D. received the fourth Circle of Giving Grant Award for their research into how mutations in mitochondrial DNA, inherited from a mother’s eggs, can cause serious disease.
Just a few years later, their team has developed a new method for preventing certain inherited diseases, the first to be successfully tested in humans.Their breakthrough research findings were published in the journal Nature. The project could not have moved forward without private philanthropy and support from the Circle of Giving, due to federal funding restrictions on human embryo and stem cell research. This study is currently being continued as a clinical trial with support from the LeDucq Foundation.
Philippe Thuillier, Ph.D., Tanya Pejovic M.D., Ph.D. and Nupur Pande, Ph.D.
Defining Molecular Cell Biology of Ovarian Cancer Stem Cells
In 2009 the Circle of Giving invested in Philippe Thuillier Ph.D., Tanja Pejovic, M.D., Ph.D., and Nupur Pande, Ph.D., a team conducting innovative research to define the molecular cell biology of ovarian cancer stem cells. Ovarian cancer is a deadly disease with limited treatment options. Better understanding of what can trigger ovarian cancer is crucial to developing the right tests for detection and treatment.
As an indirect extension of this research, the team received a two-year Ovarian Cancer Translational Award from the U.S. Department of Defense.
SuEllen Pommier, Ph.D.
Assessing Breast Cancer Stem Cells as Predictors of Treatment Failure in Recurrence in Breast Cancer
This grant helped Dr. Pommier’s team find new clues as to why drugs that target mutations in breast tumors aren’t effective in all patients. Their work is shedding light on mutations found in stem cells that could be causing some breast cancers to develop and may be the reason the disease recurs in some patients but not others. The Circle of Giving grant allowed the team to develop the preliminary data needed to secure additional funding, such as a $275,000 grant from the Avon Foundation.
Richard Stouffer, Ph.D. and Judy Cameron, Ph. D.
Menopause and Metabolic Syndrome: Androgen’s Role in Creating Cardiovascular Harm and Ovarian Cancer
The first grant from the Circle of Giving provided researchers with funding to investigate that the many ways menopause affects women’s bodies, including how it may be connected to threats such as heart disease and ovarian cancer.
OHSU leveraged this award into additional pilot money totaling $250,000 from the NIH Specialized Cooperative Centers Program in Infertility and Reproduction and Research. And, because the original grant allowed researchers to gather strong preliminary data, the NIH provided an additional $453,821 to the project between 2010 – 2012.
Additional grants that have been privately funded by Circle of Giving members:
2011 Leo Pereira, M. D.
Rapid Diagnosis of Neonatal Sepsis through Noninvasive Proteomic Profiling of Umbilical Cord Blood at Delivery
2008 Tanja Pejovic, M. D.
Pursuit of Novel Strategies to Prevent Ovarian Cancer
2007 Diana Rinkevich, M.D.
Elucidating the Role of Microvascular Dysfunction in Women’s Cardiac Disease