News & Events

Headlines

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

"When Jared Fischer, Ph.D. [a postdoctoral fellow in Mike Liskay's laboratory in the department of Molecular & Medical Genetics], first heard about the Knight Cancer Institute's Ted R. Lilley Cancer CURE Program two years ago, he was immediately drawn to the opportunity to become a mentor. The eight-week internship gives students from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds the chance to work with faculty and graduate students in an OHSU research setting. Fischer saw the program as a chance to make a difference. 'Not very many minorities go into science,' he said. 'A program like this will help change that.' Having recently wrapped up the 2014 summer session, Fischer discussed his experience mentoring two high school students—Jazmin Muñoz and Edgar Hernandez—and what he learned."

See the full article original published in the "Knight News" here.

Alaska Native Research

Professor David Koeller, M.D. of MMG has recently had a story published in the Alaska Dispatch surrounding his research on an Alaska Native genetic variant that may be related to the traditional Arctic diet. See the full article here.

Autism Breakthrough

A study published online yesterday [10.29.14] in Nature identifies genes that, if mutated, either result in autism or contribute to its risk. Brian J. O'Roak, Ph.D., first author on the study… worked on the study for the past three years in collaboration with scientists at three other institutions. The study looked at 2,500 families with autistic children and compared siblings with autistic characteristics to those without the disorder. The 27 genes identified represent a small but significant number of genes correlated with autism. Dr. O'Roak will be working with fellow OHSU colleagues to build a research program designed to identify the full spectrum of these genes, believed to number approximately 400.

Recently Published

Penny Hogarth, M.D. has recently had a paper published with the Journal of Movement Disorders. Her research surrounds neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation (NBIA); "a group of inherited disorders that share the clinical features of an extrapyramidal movement disorder accompanied by varying degrees of intellectual disability and abnormal iron deposition in the basal ganglia." Check out the full article to learn more. 

Lauriel Earley, fourth year graduate student of the Nakai Lab, was recently listed as the first author in a paper published in the March 2015 Issue of the Journal of Virology. Other authors of the paper include, Kei Adachi, Ph.D., Xiao-Xin Sun, Ph.D., Mu-Shui Dai, Ph.D., and Hiroyuki Nakai, Ph.D.. Their paper, "Identification and Characterization of Nuclear and Nucleolar Localization Signals in the Adeno-Associated Birus Serotype 2 Assembly-Activating Protein" can be found here.

Awards and Recognition

MMG Neurogeneticist Brian J. O'Roak, Ph.D., was one of a select group of researchers in the United States and Canada to be honored with a 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. The highly sought-after award honors early-career scientists whose achievements and potential identify them as "rising stars." Click here to see more.

Recently Awarded Grants

May 2016

Brian J. O'Roak, PhD, received a Simons Foundation Undergraduate Summer Research Program award. The goal is to provide a rigorous summer research program for a talented and motivated undergraduate student with a strong interest in pursuing a career in autism spectrum disorder research.

March 2016

Cary Harding, PhD,received a National PKU Alliance award for his project titled "CRISPR-Cas9-mediatedgene correction in a PKU mouse model." The goal of this project is to evaluate the efficacy of CRISPR-Cas9 genecorrection in the treatment of a mouse model of human phenylketonuria (PKU).

January 2016

Susan J. Hayflick, MD, received a Sponsored Research Agreement award from Clene Nanomedicine, Inc.,for her project titled "The effect of CNM-Au8 on mitochondrial function and viability". The goal of this project is to test the efficacy of the company's drug on recovering mitochondrial viability.

Brian J. O'Roak, PhD, received a Multi-PI Simons Foundation award with Eric Fombonne, MD, titled "Oregon SPARK: National Autism Cohort 50k". The goal of this project is to recruit 50,000 subjects with autism in the US whowill provide saliva samples, will be invited to participate to future research projects, and will provide yearly data updates on their clinical status.

December 2015

Rosalie Sears, PhD, received an OHSU/OSU Cancer Prevention and Control Initiative Research Pilot Award for her project titled "Bcl-2 functional converters for cancer prevention". The goal of this project is to test the efficacy of two BFCs in preventing primary and metastatic mammary and pancreatic tumors in pre-clinical models.

October 2015

Penny Hogarth, MD, received a Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research Clinical Study award titled "Systemic Synuclein Sampling Study (S4)". The primary objective in this study is to characterize the distribution of alpha-synuclein pathology in multiple tissues and body fluids in individuals with PD as compared to HC and to evaluate the alpha-synuclein markers as potential surrogate markers for patient selection/enrichment that would be useful in future clinical trials.

September 2015

Hiroyuki Nakai, MD, PhD, received a Sponsored Research Agreement award from Takara Bio, Inc. for his project titled "Development of novel parvovirus-based vectors". The goal of this project is to develop novel classes of parvovirus-based vectors with biological properties much more desirable than the currently available AAV vectors.

David Koeller, MD, received a NIH U01 award with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory titled "Pacific Northwest Metabolomics Core for the Undiagnosed Diseases Network". His roles in this project will include providing clinical expertise in the interpretation of the metabolomic data generated by the scientists at PNNL. 

August 2015

Cary Harding, MD, received a Sponsored Research Agreement award from Cydan Development, Inc. for his project titled "Enteral phenylalanine dehydrogenase treatment in murine PKU". Dr. Harding's laboratory will conduct a series of pharmacology studies in the mouse model of phenylketonuria.

July 2015

Brian J. O'Roak, PhD, received an award from the Ester A. & Joseph Klingenstein Fund, Inc., for his project titled "Genomic approaches to uncovering somatic mosaicism in neurodevelopmental disorders". The goal of this project is to perform a systematic evaluation of the role of somatic mosaicism in human development and risk for developing ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

May 2015

Suh Jeong, PhD, received a NBIA Disorders Foundation award for her project titled "Mitochondrial dysfunction and hypoxia induce unused iron accumulation in PKAN". The goal of this project is to understand the mechanism of iron accumulation caused by mitochondrial malfunction.

Brian J. O'Roak, PhD, received a Simons Foundation Undergraduate Summer Research Program award. The goal is to provide a rigorous summer research program for a talented and motivated undergraduate student with a strong interest in pursuing a career in autism spectrum disorder research.

Paul Spellman, PhD, received a NIH U01 award with Harvard University titled "Intratumor heterogeneity underlying treatment resistance in HER2+ breast tumors". The goal of this project is to study heterogeneity in tumor responsiveness associated with distinct genetic heterogeneity.

Melanie Gillingham, PhD, received a Sponsored Research Agreement award from Ultragenyx, Inc. for her project titled "Anaplerotic effects of Triheptanoin in murine very long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (VLCAD) deficiency". The overall goal of this proposal is to further probe the interrelationships between energy supply and demand, FAO capacity, and CACi pool size focusing upon the phenotype of exercise in tolerance.

April 2015

Melanie Gillingham, PhD, received a NIH R01 grant award titled "Role of Fatty Acid Oxidation Defects in Insulin Sensitivity". The goal of this study is to determine the relationship between defective mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation, buildup of cellular intermediates, and insulin signaling.

Andrew Adey, PhD,received a MRF New Investigator award for his project titled "Tissue-of-origin identification of circulating cell-free DNA". The goal of this project is to investigate the tissue of origin contributions of circulating, cell-free DNA by use of cell type specific DNA methylation marks.

Paul Spellman, PhD, received an award titled "In-Silico Identification and Experimental Verification of Candidate Cancer Biomarkers Based on "Omics" Data" from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The goal of this project is in silico identification, ranking and PCR validation of breast cancer biomarker candidates from existing RNA sequence datasets.

March 2015

Brian J. O'Roak, PhD, received an award from the Brain &Behavior NARSAD Research Foundation for his project titled "Massively Parallel Functional Evaluation of All Possible PTEN Variants". The goal of this project is to evaluate function of all possible PTEN mutational variants.

February 2015

Melanie Gillingham, PhD,received an award from the Marcello's Miracle Foundation for her project titled"Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorders Research". The goal of this project is todevelop a treatment for Retinopathy of LCHAD Deficiency.

Brittany Allen-Petersen,PhD, received a NIH Fellowship award for her project titled "MYC is a criticaldownstream effector in KRAS-driven pancreatic cancer". The overarching goal of these studies is todetermine the contribution of KRAS-mediated MYC activation to pancreatic celltransformation and yield new insights into the molecular basis of PDAC.