Doernbecher Receives Gift to Expand Genetic Research Programs

02/08/00    Portland, Ore.

A California-based philanthropic foundation has pledged $750,000 to support genetic research at OHSU's Doernbecher Children's Hospital. The Donald C. and Elizabeth M. Dickinson Foundation will award Doernbecher $150,000 per year for five years. The money will go toward genetic/biomolecular-based clinical and basic research at Doernbecher. A portion will be given in competitive grants to physicians and researchers working on a variety of projects involving the human genome.

"The Dickinson Foundation has planted the seed for a profound new research endeavor at Doernbecher," explained Jonathan Ulsh, director of the Doernbecher Foundation. "There are very few academic medical centers in the world ready to launch pediatric gene-based research. Doernbecher is not only ready, it is already a leader in this area."

Doernbecher scientists are working on a variety of gene-based research projects relating to cancer, growth hormones, inborn metabolic disorders and diabetes, among others. Dr. Sri Nagalla, one of several internationally known researchers at Doernbecher, is targeting the causes of pediatric brain tumors through identification and screening of genes.

"Thanks to incredible strides made recently in mapping the human genome, we want to take genetic research to new heights at Doernbecher," added Ulsh. "We hope the Dickinson Foundation grant will encourage others to join with us in the fight against diseases of childhood."