Faculty & Staff of Neuro-Oncology and Blood-Brain Barrier Program

Edward A. Neuwelt, M.D.

Edward A. Neuwelt, M.D.

Edward A. Neuwelt, M.D. is a Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Oregon Health & Science University and the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. He divides his time between clinical work, primarily in the area of neuro-oncology including both operative neurosurgery and chemotherapy, and directing his research laboratory. 


Dr. Neuwelt attended Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois from 1965 – 1968 and then received his M.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, Colorado in 1972. For his postgraduate Training, Dr. Neuwelt did a surgical internship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas, 1972 – 1973, followed by a Neurosurgical Residency at the same institution from 1973 – 1978. During this time, Dr. Neuwelt also completed two neuro-oncology and neurosurgery research fellowships, first at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (NIH) (1974 – 1976) and then Queen Square Hospital in London, England (1976). While at the NIH, Dr. Neuwelt also completed his military duty as a Clinical Associate (Lt. Commander) in the United States Public Health Service, Neurosurgery and Enzymology Sections in Baltimore, Maryland (July, 1974 - July, 1976). Dr. Neuwelt is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and is a fully trained neuro-oncologist.

Faculty Appointments

In Texas, Dr. Neuwelt was Assistant Professor in both Surgery and Biochemistry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He was also Chief of the Neurosurgery Service at the Dallas Veterans Administration Hospital in Dallas, Texas from 1978 – 1981. Dr. Neuwelt moved his laboratory to Portland Oregon in 1981 where he joined the faculty at the Oregon Health & Science University, both in the Department of Neurology and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He was Chief of the Neurosurgery Service at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Portland, Oregon 1981 – 1989, and he maintains an affiliation with the Portland VA Neurosurgery Service. Currently Dr. Neuwelt is a Professor in the departments of Neurology and Neurological Surgery. He is a member of the Neuroscience Graduate Program and the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate Program at OHSU, and also regularly teaches the neurology and neurosurgery house staff on topics related to brain tumors.

Activities and Organizations

Dr. Neuwelt is the principal investigator of two NIH R01 grants and one VA Merit Review grant. (see Preclinical Research) He has been a regular member of the VA Merit Review Study Section on Neurobiology, and an NIH Study Section (NSP-A) that reviews program project and center grants. Dr. Neuwelt is a regular reviewer of neuroscience-related journals, including Neurosurgery, for which he was a member of the editorial board. He initiated and is director of Think First Oregon, a brain and spinal cord injury prevention program. He has eight approved patents, five of which have been licensed to Adherex, Inc. to investigate thiol agent chemoprotection. In collaboration with Dr. James Rosenbaum and Dr. Richard Rosenbaum, Dr. Neuwelt set up and directs a science class for high school students that introduces young people to laboratory research. With regard to the BBB Program, Dr. Neuwelt has overseen the expansion of the program to eight institutions across the US and internationally including Canada and Israel, as well as the annual Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) Consortium meeting funded by an R13 grant.


Clinical Research Personnel

Nancy D. Doolittle, Ph.D., R.N., Associate Director of Clinical Research

Dr. Doolittle is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at OHSU.  She obtained a M.S. (1981), a Ph.D. (1990), and completed a post-doctoral fellowship (1991) in the Department of Physiological Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco.  She has been involved in the clinical care of neuroscience patients since 1974, and has been Associate Director of Clinical Research in the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) program at OHSU since 1995.  Dr. Doolittle is the first author on several key publications for the BBB program, including a multi-center assessment of BBB disruption chemotherapy, first evaluation of radiolabeled rituximab in primary CNS lymphoma, first large series report describing management and outcomes of patients with isoloated brain relapse of systemic non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and the first clinical trial of sodium thiosulfate (STS) for hearing protection.  Dr. Doolittle supervises clinical protocol implementation, including subject accrual, regulatory compliance, and data management, analysis and reporting.  She is the coordinator for the multi-site Blood-Brain Barrier Consortium.  As such, Dr. Doolittle coordinates multi-site cooperative clinical trials as well as planning the annual Consortium clinical trials meeting in the fall and the international scientific BBB meeting in the spring. 

Clinical Staff

Rose Marie Tyson, ANP
Ms. Tyson received her BSA, M.S. in Nursing, and Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP) nursing credentials from the University of Portland. She joined OHSU in 1990 and then the BBBP in 1994 as a Nurse clinician. Ms. Tyson sees all patients in the BBBP clinics and is known for her excellent rapport with patients and their families. She is in charge of compliance to protocol for many of the BBBP therapy clinical trials.

Jessica Jensen, FNP
Ms. Jensen received her BSN from the University of Portland and her Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from Washignton State University.  She joined OHSU in 2013 and prior to that she worked as an inpatient medical-sugical oncology nurse and in outpatient radiation oncology. She is excited to join the BBBD team as a new FNP and contiue her career in oncology.

Cindy Lacy, RN, BSN
Ms. Lacy received her BSN from the University of Portland.  She has extensive training in neuro-oncology nursing and is a clinical research nurse in the BBBP. She plays a key role in explaining complex clinical trials to patients and their families and overseeing compliance to protocol for all of the magnetic resonance imaging clinical trials.

Tricia White RN, BSN
Ms. White received her BSN from OHSU.  She has extensive oncology experience and is a clinical nurse in the BBBP.  She assists in the angiography suite during blood-brain barrier disruption.  As the Nurse Coordinator for the program, she participates in monitoring and follow-up care of patients.    

Stephanie Green
Ms. Green has been with OHSU since October of 1993 and joined the BBBP in October 2004 as a Clinical Trial Patient Coordinator. She schedules outpatient scans, tests and clinic appointments, and inpatient admissions. Ms. Greene manages and organizes the BBBP clinics, and she handles much of the insurance paperwork.

Erin Aalseth
Ms. Aalseth joined the BBBP in October 2012 as a PAS Specialist and Office Assistant.  She is a core coordinator in OHSU's high school outreach program Partnership for Scientific Inquiry under the Direction of Dr. Neuwelt and Dr. Tammy Martin.

Research Staff

Lisa Muir, MPA: HA, CCRP
Ms. Muir has B.S. in Molecular Biology from Portland State University and received her Masters in Public Health Administration in 2010. She is also a  Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP). Ms. Muir has been with the BBBP for over 15 years, first as a laboratory technician and then for the past 9 years as the Program Administrator. She serves as grant, contract, and financial administrator for the NIH and VA grants and contracts that fund the BBBP preclinical and clinical research. She assists in development, submission and management of clinical research proposals. As a clinical study coordinator, Ms. Muir assures adherence to protocols, assures compliance with IRB, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and FDA requirements, and monitors patients and patient tests for adverse events and outcomes.

Samantha Rolph
Ms. Rolph joined the BBB Program in June of 2012 and currently administers the neuropsychological testing to study participants as well as assisting in multiple different office duties. Ms. Rolph is currently completing a Bachelors in Science of Psychology at Portland State University and plans to pursue a Ph.D in psychology at Portland State University.

Preclinical Laboratory Personnel

Leslie L. Muldoon, Ph.D., Director of Research Operations

Dr. Muldoon is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology, with a joint appointment in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology. She obtained a B.S. in Chemistry (1982) and a Ph.D. in Pharmacological and Physiological Sciences (1986) from the University of Chicago, and completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the OHSU Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy in 1990. She has been in charge of the BBB Program Preclinical laboratory since 1990. Dr. Muldoon has extensive background in tumor and cell biology, magnetic resonance imaging, and histological and immunological methods for assessing neurotoxicity and tumor volumetrics.  She has played a central role in the analysis of chemoprotective agents against chemotherapy toxicity, and the development and imaging of brain tumor models. Dr. Muldoon directs all preclinical aspects of the program, including experimental protocol development, supervision of technicians and Research Fellows, and writing grant proposals and scientific articles.

Ying-Jen (Jeffrey) Wu, Ph.D.

Dr. Wu has a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (1990) from National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, and his M.S. (1994) and Ph.D.(1999) from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. After Post-docs at Louisiana State University and OHSU Molecular Medicine, Dr. Wu joined the BBBP in 2003 as a Research Associate. He has expertise in Cellular and Molecular biology, pharmacology and pharmacodynamics, and tumor biology. His current research projects include chemo-enhancement with acetaminophen in vitro and in vivo, and localization of Q-dot labeled cells in leptomeningeal and hematogenous metastasis tumor models.

Gregory L. Pishko, Ph.D.

Dr. Pishko is a Postdoctoral Fellow. He received a B.S. in aerospace engineering with a minor in physics (2006) and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering (2011) from the University of Florida. Greg's research interests include drug and biofluid transport, tumor microenvironment, DCE-MRI pharmacokinetic modeling, and computational modeling. His current project assesses the vascular effects of bevacizumab in brain tumors by using DCE- and DSC-MRI. 

Michael A. Pagel, B.A.
Mr. Pagel received a B.A. in biology from Kalamazoo College in 1975. He joined Dr. Neuwelt in his first laboratory in Dallas in 1979, then moved to Oregon when Dr. Neuwelt established the OHSU BBBP in 1981. Mr. Pagel is an expert in the osmotic BBB disruption technique and has used this technique to assess delivery chemotherapy, antibodies, and nanoparticles to the brain in multiple animal models. His current projects include evaluating the impact of chemoprotective thiols on chemotherapy toxicity and efficacy, delivery of radiolabeled agents across the BBB in hematogenous brain metastasis models, and assessing the efficacy of novel monoclonal antibody-based therapeutics in multiple animal brain tumor models.

Kathleen A. Beeson, B.A.
Kathleen graduated from Knox College in 2009 with a B.A. in neuroscience and worked in science education before joining the BBB Program Preclinical laboratory in 2012.  As a Research Assistant II, she performs routine work in cell culture, in vitro and in vivo experiments, histology, as well as trains incoming researchers.  Kathleen mentors summer interns and has enjoyed her involvement with the Partnership for Scientific Inquiry outreach program.

Research Fellows

Seymur Gahramanov, M.D.

Dr. Gahramanov is a Neuro-oncology Research Fellow. He obtained his MD degree from Azerbaijan State Medical University in 1999 (Baku, Azerbaijan), finished a residency in Burdenko Neurosurgical Institute in 2005 (Moscow, Russia) and joined the OHSU BBB program in June 2007. Dr. Gahramanov has expertise in MRI of brain, spine, and lymph nodes in animal models, and in dynamic imaging of rat brain tumors. He provides radiological support and image analysis for preclinical and clinical MRI projects. His current projects entail assessing brain inflammatory responses using iron oxide nanoparticles, and characterizing the effects of bevacizumab on dynamic MRI. Dr. Gahramanov is also involved in clinical imaging protocols in patients with different CNS pathologies.