Marquam Hill Lectures Share This OHSU Content


Since 1981, the Marquam Hill Lecture Series has brought together leading members of the OHSU faculty with the public to feature innovative and cutting edge biomedical research and clinical advances that will form the basis of tomorrow's cures and treatments. The Marquam Hill Lecture Series is one of the most popular and long-standing lecture series about science by scientists in Oregon.

The series honors the memory of Mrs. Elizabeth Gray, co-founder of the Marquam Hill Steering Committee. The Marquam Hill Steering Committee is a group of women community leaders who advocate for the public missions of OHSU throughout the state. In addition to oversight of the Marquam Hill Lectures, the Committee also selects and maintains the extensive collection of art in OHSU buildings, and curated Art on the Hill, a book of works from the OHSU collection. The Committee meets regularly with key faculty research leaders, innovators and OHSU leadership to identify engaging speakers for the public lectures series.

Are you on the Marquam Hill Lectures email list? If not, please contact the School of Medicine Dean's office to sign up. Don't forget to view past lectures by watching the videos below.


Video archives

In the interest of serving all Oregonians, each Marquam Hill Lecture is recorded. You can watch/listen to previous lectures in the archives below:


Fixing What's Broken: OHSU's Role in Health Reform and Evidence-based Medicine

Presented by: Roger Chou, M.D., and John McConnell, Ph.D.

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John McConnell, Ph.D.Roger Chou, M.D. All eyes are on Oregon for the state's trailblazing approach to health care reform, including the coordinated care organizations focused on Medicaid transformation. At the same time, clinicians, employers and health care associations look to federal and state agencies when making decisions about health services.

OHSU researchers and physicians are working behind the scenes on both fronts. John McConnell, Ph.D., director of the Center for Health Systems Effectiveness at OHSU, is leading a study which will inform the nation on what works – and what doesn't work – in health reform. Roger Chou, M.D., director of the Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center, heads up systematic reviews of health care topics which inform groups like the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Attendees of the May 29 lecture heard about how this revolutionary period of health care reform will usher in changes for patient care everywhere. Watch video of the lecture online.


Where Does Disease Come From? Revealing the Secrets of Epigenetics

Presented by: Kent Thornburg, Ph.D.

Kent Thornburg, Ph.D.Watch video

Kent Thornburg, Ph.D., director of the OHSU Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness, and professor of medicine at OHSU, is an internationally recognized leader in the research field known as the developmental origins of health and disease. He studies the vital connection between maternal diet, the quality of fetal growth and epigenetics – how adult onset diseases are "programmed" in the womb.

Attendees of this lecture on October 17, 2013, came away with new information about how to eliminate chronic disease where it starts. Watch video of the lecture online.



Nerve Remodeling After a Heart Attack

Presented by: Beth Habecker, Ph.D.

Beth Habecker, Ph.D.

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Beth Habecker, Ph.D., has been studying for more than a decade the body's physical remodeling following a heart attack. Her research aims to understand why changes in this process – which can trigger arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death – sometimes occur. Dr. Habecker is professor of physiology and pharmacology at OHSU, and her lab has uncovered surprising new evidence which may contain answers to other perplexing nerve injuries, such as those in the spinal cord.

If clinicians and scientists can better understand the remodeling process, they can develop more appropriate treatments and prevention methods for the 715,000 Americans each year who have a heart attack. This lecture was held November 21, 2013. Watch video of the lecture online.


Unlocking the Secrets of Cancer Growth

Presented by: Lisa Coussens, Ph.D.

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Lisa Coussens, Ph.D.If we can understand how and why a cancerous tumor grows, we can stop it. Scientists are learning more about tumor growth with each new clinical trial and lab study, but it will take researchers working in multiple disciplines to unlock the secrets of cancer growth.

Lisa Coussens, Ph.D., chair of the OHSU Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and director of basic research for the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, is building an interactive and innovative environment for cutting-edge biomedical research at OHSU. She is world-renowned for her work exploring how cells that surround a tumor fuel its growth and affect its response to treatment. Her research found that during the early stages of cancer, white blood cells – normally used by the body for healing – sometimes help tumors grow.

Attendees of this lecture on February 20, 2014, got an exciting glimpse into what's on the horizon for cancer research and treatments. Watch video of the lecture online.


Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body: The Link Between Gum Disease and Diabetes

Presented by: James Katancik, D.D.S., Ph.D.

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James Katancik, D.D.S., Ph.D.Diabetes rates are soaring. A closer look shows a surprising fact: Gum disease is commonly associated with diabetes. Does this mean gum disease is a cause, a symptom or an early indicator of diabetes – or something else entirely? So far, research shows that periodontitis – another name for gum disease – affects more than just the mouth. It's a whole body infection that also impacts our ability to normally process glucose. James Katancik, D.D.S., Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Department of Periodontology in the OHSU School of Dentistry, was involved in a national study which sought definitive scientific evidence for the relationship between gum disease and diabetes.

Attendees of this lecture on April 17, 2014, learned the surprising results of the study and left with recommendations applicable for  millions of American adults with diabetes. Watch video of the lecture online.