focus areas: early detection, advanced therapy, quality of life

The Brenden-Colson Center's research mission focuses on three three distinct, but complementary areas:

Early detection –We are working to develop minimally invasive tests and clinical imaging methods to detect early stage disease in all patients.

Advanced therapy –Our goal is to develop innovative surgical and medical therapies for benign and malignant pancreatic diseases.

Quality of life –We want to improve our understanding of the sequela of pancreatic diseases that undermine quality of life and resiliency, thus enabling us to develop effective therapies that improve patient quality of life.

Much of our research is directed towards pancreatic cancer, but our Center is also interested in understanding the mechanisms and progression of other pancreas diseases as well. Our researchers work closely with our doctors, identifying clinical needs and integrating patient data into their work, on many levels, including via our Pancreatic Translational Tumor Board.

The Atlas Project forms the backbone of research at the Brenden-Colson Center: We are creating a database to link molecular and genetic level events to patients' actual response to treatment and everything in-between. We also manage the Oregon Pancreatic Tissue Registry of human tissue and blood specimens and make it available for research projects. All our researchers contribute to and benefit from these patient samples and the Atlas analyses we do on them.  And patients benefit from our Pancreatic Translational Tumor Board.  Those outside OHSU can get involved by joining OHSUPancreas, our community registry.

Atlas is just one way Brenden-Colson Center researchers collaborate to share their findings and insights. The Center also funds collaborative projects among its researchers, who are based in many different departments of OHSU and have a wide range of expertise. And we support early-stage investigators or those moving their research into the pancreas area with training fellowships for a career in research related to hereditary, inflammatory or malignant pancreatic disease. The BCCPC also offers competitive travel awards to allow researchers to present their work and learn from others at national and international research conferences.

Our Center also has developed many important partnerships outside of our own university, with scholars and companies all over the world. Our work with the Swedish company Immunovia has led to an international clinical trial to validate a potential blood biopsy test for pancreatic cancer.