U.S. Congressman Blumenauer meets with OHSU neuroscience leaders
Seeks input in planning for Congressional Neuroscience Caucus
On Friday, Aug. 19, Oregon’s Congressman Earl Blumenauer met with OHSU leaders and investigators in a roundtable discussion at OHSU to gain background on the major neurological/psychiatric problems he will be addressing in the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus which is co-chaired by Congressman Blumenauer.
The Caucus will help to draw attention to neuroscience issues and potentially focus resources on research and other initiati to seek inpouves. Its mission is to “build awareness of the intrinsic role brain research plays in understanding ourselves and our society; to help communicate the progress and the benefits of this research; to help inform federal policy; and to assist Members of Congress at their local and state level with these efforts.”
The OHSU Brain Institute will be an ongoing resource for information and expertise for the Caucus. The OHSU Brain Institute is co-chaired by Dennis Bourdette, MD, Chair, Department of Neurology, and Bob Hitzemann, PhD, Chair, Department of Behavioral Neuroscience.
President Joe Robertson welcomed the Congressman and provided an overview of OHSU’s commitment to neuroscience research, noting that collectively, the OHSU Brain Institute now represents the largest focus of NIH funding at OHSU. In 2009, 220 principal investigators and scientists working under the OBI umbrella garnered $87.5 million in funding. In the same year, OHSU was awarded four highly competitive P30 recruitment awards – all in neuroscience.
Mary Stenzel-Poore, PhD, Associate Dean for Basic Science and Chair, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, spoke about the School of Medicine Research Roadmap and research initiatives on stroke. Dr. Bourdette provided an overview of the OHSU Brain Institute and research on Multiple Sclerosis.
Dr. Hitzemann and George Keepers, MD, Chair, Department of Psychiatry, gave an overview of neurobehavioral/neuropsychiatric research and described OHSU research on addiction and ADHD, as well as autism.
Mary Heinricher, PhD, Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, discussed pain research, and Jeff Kaye, MD, provided an overview of research associated with using technology for in-place aging. Dr. Kaye is a Professor of Neurology and Biomedical Engineering and the Director of the Layton Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Center, as well as Director of the Oregon Center for Aging and Technology (ORCATECH) .
“This was a great opportunity to inform Rep. Blumenauer of OHSU’s many strengths in neuroscience research and exchange ideas about the unique challenges ahead on the path to rapid, accurate diagnosis and effective therapies for diseases of the nervous system,” said Dr. Stenzel-Poore.