Graduate Studies Faculty

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Shawn Westaway, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Admin Unit: SOM-Neurology Department
Phone: 503-494-4362
Lab Phone: 503-494-5646
Fax: 503-494-7499
Cell & Developmental Biology
Research Interests:
Preceptor Rotations
Dr. Westaway has not indicated availability for preceptor rotations at this time.
Faculty Mentorship
Dr. Westaway has not indicated availability as a mentor at this time.


1984, B.A. in Biology, Summa cum laude, California State University, Northridge, CA
1993, PhD in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
            Thesis title:  Structure and Function of Yeast tRNA Ligase


My research interests center around the genetic variation associated with Alzheimer disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. I am currently funded as Principal Investigator to carry out a research project directed at identifying the genetic variation seen in two alternatively spliced isoforms of the ITSN1 gene which may be responsible for the upregulation in gene expression seen in Alzheimer brain.

I also have research interests which encompass 1) the genetics of Alzheimer disease, common neurological disorders, and rare inherited neurodegenerative diseases as studied by OHSU’s Alzheimer Disease Center and the Rare Disorders Research Consortium; 2) SNP discovery, transcriptome analysis, linkage mapping, and an inflammatory phenotype project in the Rhesus macaque; 3) linkage mapping and causative genes in primary open angle glaucoma; and 4) the genetics of congenital heart defects, sudden cardiac death, long QT syndrome, coronary artery disease and other conditions related to the studies carried out at OHSU’s Cardiac Arrhythmia Center and the OHSU Heart Research Council. My interests in each of these fields extends to the genomics of the causative genes for these disorders or characteristics, including mouse models, human and mammalian SNP genotyping, gene expression microarray experiments and software analysis; other human mutation, polymorphism and SNP studies; human and model organism gene expression, biochemistry and enzymology; and fly and yeast genetics and metabolism as related to human disease.