About the Jungers Center

Frank and Julie Jungers, casual photo
Frank and Julie Jungers

The Jungers Center for Neurosciences Research is a collaborative effort of the Department of Neurology and the Vollum Institute at OHSU.

The Center is housed on the 4th floor of the Lamfrom Biomedical Research Building, which is dedicated to accelerating the pace at which promising discoveries move from the laboratory to the patient’s bedside. The Jungers Center is also home to the Jungers Imaging Facility, which provides the high resolution light microscopy needs of the Jungers Center faculty and the OHSU neuroscience community.

A generous gift from Frank and Julie Jungers and Gary and Mariellen Jungers made the Jungers Center possible. Established in 2006, the Center has broad goals to enhance understanding of neurological diseases with a focus on neurodegeneration and neuroregeneration through research in Center laboratories and training programs in disease-oriented neuroscience research.

Director’s message

Vivek Unni, posed outdoors
Vivek Unni, M.D., Ph.D.

Treatments for some neurologic diseases are ready for immediate testing, but for many diseases, we don’t even know the right questions to ask yet. The philosophy of the Jungers Center is to create an interactive group of investigators who are searching for the knowledge keys to new treatments for neurological diseases. The uniqueness of the Jungers Center is its strong set of collaborative ties between the Department of Neurology, with well-established clinical programs in neurological disease, and the Vollum Institute, with its internationally renowned molecular & cellular neuroscience research programs. In our view, the bridging of fundamental science with clinical problems is the most promising path forward for developing durable treatments for neurological diseases. New discoveries in fundamental neuroscience research provide opportunities that can cross disease boundaries and allow us to develop better ways to protect the brain from injury, facilitate its repair, and replace damaged brain and nerve cells. A better understanding of why nerve cells die will improve treatments for people afflicted with a host of diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), frontotemporal dementia, Dementia with Lewy bodies, and traumatic injury of the brain and spinal cord. The Jungers Center faculty includes both investigators in the Center in the Lamfrom Biomedical Research Building at OHSU and affiliate members in the adjacent Vollum Institute.

The goals for the Center extend beyond the research activities of the Jungers faculty and include establishing bridges to other investigators at OHSU and elsewhere. In this regard, the Jungers Center has established a lecture series, including an annual Symposium, to increase the awareness of all neuroscientists of disease-oriented research. To promote research and training in disease-oriented research, investigators in the Center organize graduate courses, such as the Neurobiology of Disease to provide training to the next generation of scientists. We have also worked with the OHSU Brain Institute and the OHSU Foundation to obtain donor support for research projects for faculty and fellowships for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to promote the future of neurological disease research. The Center also houses the Jungers Imaging Facility that provides state-of-the-art light microscopy imaging support for investigators in the neuroscience community at OHSU.

If you are a patient, donor, graduate student, postdoc or prospective faculty, we welcome your involvement in our effort to understand and develop lasting treatments for neurological and psychiatric disease. We hope that you will browse the site and become familiar with the personnel and projects. If you are interested in working with a particular lab, please feel free to contact the lead investigator directly. If you are interested in donating to support the efforts of the Jungers Center, please visit our Foundation Giving page or contact Maddy Abulencia at the OHSU Foundation.

Vivek K. Unni, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Jungers Center for Neurosciences Research

Associate Professor, OHSU Parkinson Center & Department of Neurology

Founding co-Directors (2006-2020)

Drs. Westbrook and Bourdette, collage
Gary Westbrook, M.D. (left) and Dennis Bourdette, M.D. (right)