About the OHSU Brain Institute

Allison Lindauer, Ph.D., is a nurse practitioner and researcher at our Layton Aging and Alzheimer’s Center. Her areas of expertise include aging, caregiving and dementia.
Allison Lindauer, Ph.D., is a nurse practitioner and researcher at our Layton Aging and Alzheimer’s Center. Her areas of expertise include aging, caregiving and dementia.

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 $136 million in funding (fiscal 2018).
  • 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

2017 Brain Institute annual report

Download our 2018 annual report, Innovations in Neuroscience, to learn more about the groundbreaking work being done at the OHSU Brain Institute.

We are charting new paths in:

  • Patient care, including introducing new surgical techniques.
  • Research, including harnessing brain-to-computer links for communication.
  • Education, including training on the clinical use of cannabis.  

Meet Gregory Bieker, a consultant with locked-in syndrome who is working with OHSU Brain Institute researchers on a system that reads brain signals for communication.

National recognition

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 the American Heart Association’s Gold Plus Achievement Award 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.

Kathy Grant, Ph.D. (Chair) 
Director, Division of Neuroscience, Oregon National Primate Research Center
Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience

Nabil Alkayed, M.D., Ph.D. 
Professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine
Director, Vascular Biology Center, Knight Cardiovascular Institute

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

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

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

Robert Hitzemann, Ph.D. 
Professor of behavioral neuroscience

Jeffrey Kaye, M.D. 
Professor of neurology
Director, Layton Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Center
Director, ORCATECH

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

Jeanne Link, Ph.D. 
Professor of diagnostic radiology
Director, Radiochemistry Research Center

Owen McCarty, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering

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

Robert Peterka, Ph.D. 
Associate professor of biomedical engineering

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

Shandiz Tehrani, M.D., Ph.D. 
Assistant professor of Department of Ophthalmology

Annette Totten, Ph.D. 
Investigator, Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center

Miriam Treggiari, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of anesthesiology
Director, APOM Research

Laurence Trussell, Ph.D. 
Professor, Oregon Hearing Research Center
Scientist, Vollum Institute

Jan van Santen, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Spoken Language Understanding

Eric Gouaux, Ph.D., is using a next-generation cryo-electron microscope to make breakthrough discoveries about how the brain works. OHSU Brain Institute (OBI)
Eric Gouaux, Ph.D., is using a next-generation cryo-electron microscope to make breakthrough discoveries about how the brain works.

Leading experts

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.
  • Dr. Dennis Bourdette, a neurologist and multiple sclerosis expert. His research includes a study showing early promise in reversing the nerve damage at the root of MS.
  • Dr. Maria Fleseriu, an endocrinologist whose expertise helps us treat more than 500 patients with pituitary disorders each year.
  • Eric Gouaux, Ph.D., a scientist with an international reputation for brain insights at the molecular level. His breakthroughs involving a brain protein, for example, could light the way to better treatments for addiction
  • 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.

Learn more

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:

Donors: Learn how your gift can help us transform brain health.

Stay informed

Blog: Find news, events, tips and more on OHSU’s On the Brain blog.

News: Read about research breakthroughs, patient care and many other topics on the OHSU News site.