The OHSU Brain Institute is a national center for neuroscience research, patient care and outreach. We’re proud of our:
- Many programs with national recognition for excellence.
- Doctors and scientists who are world leaders in their disciplines.
- Leading-edge research, with $124 million in research (fiscal 2021).
- A wide array of clinical trials to test promising new approaches.
- Outreach that includes telemedicine and our popular Brain Awareness lectures.
- State-of-the-art technology and treatments, from robot-assisted epilepsy surgery to “asleep” deep brain stimulation.
Brain Institute Innovations
The OHSU Innovations in Neurosciences 2022-2023 report highlights our groundbreaking work in neuroscience, translational research and clinical studies.
Here’s a look at how we are transforming care for people affected by nervous system disease.
- People with epilepsy could soon have new care options that include a wearable device to help them.
- For people with MS, diet is an effective tool to manage symptoms, and an OHSU researcher is working to learn how.
- Skull base surgery patients are benefiting from a team approach that brings together experts in neurosurgery and otolaryngology to treat the most challenging tumors.
- Alzheimer’s researchers are producing new insights into collagen buildup and its impact on the brain’s white matter. They’re also supporting and educating care partners through a new OHSU telehealth program.
- Neurosurgeons are creating technology to provide high-definition images of the brain that will improve surgical precision and results.
- Patients with spinal tumors are getting higher quality care from the combined expertise of OHSU’s spinal tumor board, one of a couple of dozen in the country.
Neurology and neurosurgery: OHSU is nationally recognized by U.S. News & World Report for neurology and neurosurgery programs that are among the nation's best. We have top scores for nursing staffing, advanced technology and patient services.
Stroke: The OHSU Stroke Program has earned certification as a top stroke program every year since 2011. The program was also the first Comprehensive Stroke Center in Oregon.
Parkinson’s: The Parkinson’s Foundation recognizes OHSU as a Center of Excellence, a designation given to only 45 programs worldwide. The designation recognizes top-quality patient care and advanced research to improve patients’ lives.
Multiple sclerosis: OHSU is one of seven top institutions in the Race to Erase MS Center Without Walls program. Participants from OHSU, Johns Hopkins and others are working together in pursuit of a cure.
Epilepsy: We are recognized by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers as the only Level 4 epilepsy center in Oregon. Level 4, the highest level of care, means we can treat the most complex forms of epilepsy.
ALS: We are an ALS Association Certified Center of Excellence. This recognizes compassionate care that includes a team of specialists for each patient.
Alzheimer’s: We are one of 32 NIH Alzheimer’s Disease Centers in the U.S. This means we offer the highest level of care, including access to clinical trials.
Microscope technology: The National Institutes of Health in 2018 named OHSU one of three national centers for cryo-electron microscopy, or Cryo-EM for short. This advanced imaging gives scientists a stunningly detailed view of molecules. OHSU scientists are already using cryo-EM for promising discoveries.
Research funding: The OHSU Brain Institute is one of the top centers in the U.S. for NIH-funded neuroscience research.
Matt Lattal, Ph.D. (Chair)
Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience
Kathy Grant, Ph.D. (Past Chair)
Director, Division of Neuroscience, Oregon National Primate Research Center
Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience
James C. Anderson, M.D.
Professor of Diagnostic Radiology
Section Chief, Neuroradiology
Stephen Back, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology
Director, Pediatric Brain Injury Research Laboratory
OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital
Selva Baltan, Ph.D.
Professor and Vice Chair of Basic Research of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
Peter Barr-Gillespie, Ph.D.
Chief Research Officer
Professor of Otolaryngology, Oregon Hearing Research Center
Senior scientist, Vollum Institute
Philip Copenhaver, Ph.D.
Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology
Patrick Feeney, Ph.D.
Director, National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research
Portland VA Medical Center
James Frank, Ph.D.
Assistant professor, Chemical Physiology and Biochemistry
Fellow and research assistant professor, Vollum Institute
Kurt Freeman, Ph.D.
Director, Institute on Development and Disability
Susan Hayflick, M.D.
Chair, Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics
Professor of pediatrics and neurology
Mary Heinricher, Ph.D.
Vice chair for research, Neurological Surgery
Professor of Neurological Surgery, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Physiology and Pharmacology
David Huang, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Director and Director of Research, Casey Eye Institute
Professor of Ophthalmology
Jeffrey Kaye, M.D.
Professor of Neurology
Director, Layton Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Center
Martin Kelly, Ph.D.
Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology
Affiliate scientist, Oregon National Primate Research Center
Doris Kretzschmar, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Oregon Institute of Occupational Sciences
Associate Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics
David Morton, Ph.D.
Professor of Integrative Biosciences
Associate Dean for Research, School of Dentistry
Bonnie Nagel, Ph.D.
Vice Chair for Research, Department of Psychiatry
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
Joel Nigg, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
Director, OHSU ADHD Program
Brian O'Roak, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics
Joseph Quinn, M.D.
Director, OHSU Parkinson Center & Movement Disorder Program
Bill Rooney, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist, Advanced Imaging Research Center
Associate Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience
Steven Shea, Ph.D.
Professor and Director, Oregon Institute of Occupational Sciences
Professor, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health
Annette Totten, Ph.D.
Investigator, Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center
Laurence Trussell, Ph.D.
Professor, Oregon Hearing Research Center
Scientist, Vollum Institute
OHSU providers and scientists are world leaders in neuroscience research and treatment innovations. They include:
- Dr. Kim Burchiel, a renowned neurosurgeon who pioneered “asleep” deep brain stimulation surgery. His technique spares patients from being awake during surgery. Dr. Burchiel is also an expert in facial pain, creating a widely adopted classification system.
- Melanie Fried-Oken, Ph.D., an internationally known speech-language pathologist. Her projects include developing brain-computer interface systems to let patients control communication with brain signals.
- Kathleen Grant, Ph.D., a behavioral neuroscientist who is a leading expert in translational animal models to identify, treat or prevent alcohol use disorders.
- Dr. Maria Fleseriu, an endocrinologist whose expertise helps us treat more than 500 patients with pituitary disorders each year.
- Dr. Martha Neuringer is a pioneer in identifying and targeting visual system dysfunctions to cure blindness.
- Dr. Nathan Selden, a pediatric neurosurgeon and OHSU’s chief of neurosurgery, is internationally known for expertise on tethered cord, Chiari malformation, neurosurgical training and other topics. He co-led a landmark study that transplanted stem cells into the brains of six pediatric patients.
The latest technology and treatments
Neurocritical care: Our Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit provides the highest level of care. The unit is staffed by neurointensivists and other specialists 24/7. Technology includes long-term video EEG and intracranial (inside the head) pressure monitoring.
Epilepsy monitoring unit: We offer a state-of-the-art epilepsy monitoring unit, designed for an accurate diagnosis as well as patient comfort and safety.
Robot-assisted surgery: Our Robotic Stereotactic Assistance robot gives us exceptional precision for epilepsy surgery. The robot, paired with intraoperative MRI, makes surgery shorter and safer. It also enables us to use minimally invasive techniques to reach all parts of the brain.
Intraoperative MRI: Our intraoperative (during surgery) MRI, used for both adults and children, glides over a patient in the operating room to give surgeons a detailed view of the brain. This gives us unmatched accuracy. It also helps us make sure surgery is successful, avoiding additional surgery.
Minimally invasive options: Our neurosurgeons are highly skilled in minimally invasive options. This includes using laser probes and tubular retractors, with small incisions.
Telemedicine: Our Telemedicine Network brings OHSU’s expertise in neurology and neurosurgery to communities across Oregon.
Brain surgery simulator: We train neurosurgery residents using a sophisticated brain surgery simulator. It’s part of our neurosurgery “boot camp,” developed by Dr. Nathan Selden, OHSU’s chief of neurosurgery.
Clinical trials: We offer a wide range of clinical trials. These studies give patients a chance to try a new therapy. They also help researchers better understand neurologic conditions so they can improve patient care.
Patients: Find services, a doctor and more information.
Providers: Find information about referring a patient or joining a Continuing Medical Education event.
Researchers: Find published studies or an OHSU Brain Institute researcher.
Students and trainees: Read about the many educational and training opportunities at the OHSU Brain Institute.
Community members: Learn about our joining our: