OCTRI is continually looking for new ways to help faculty and trainees at OHSU and our partner institutions succeed in their clinical and translational research efforts. We use formal evaluation and data to drive our approach.
OHSU Physician-Scientist Metrics Program
To help address the nationally-perceived decline in physician-scientists as members of the research workforce, OCTRI has been collating data on the demographics of physician-scientists at OHSU. These data are updated annually and have been used to make programmatic decisions at OCTRI and at OHSU in support of physician-scientists.
In the graphs provided here, we have merged publicly available data from NIH and the Department of Veterans Affairs with data from OHSU's Office of Proposal & Award Management to gain insights into OHSU’s performance over time. We published our initial evaluation several years ago. You can read updates on outcomes since then in this brief report.
Implementing the Translation Science Benefits Model at OCTRI
The CTSA hub at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) developed the Translational Science Benefits Model (TSBM) as a framework for public health and clinical scientists to demonstrate the impact of their work in the real world. Dr. Adrienne Zell and the OCTRI Evaluation team used this model to develop case studies on the impact of two real world clinical projects that OCTRI has supported. Review the full case study reports below or on on the TSBM website.
Share in the stories that drive OCTRI's success
Our success stories are a testament to our impact and our passion for the work. We’re happy to share a few of them with you here.
OCTRI KL2 scholar puts Autistic Burnout on research map
OCTRI KL2 scholar and BUILD EXITO Round 1 Pilot Project recipient, Dora M. Raymaker, PhD, used a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach to conduct the first-ever study on Autistic Burnout. This resulted in a landmark paper characterizing autistic burnout and defining it as a phenomenon distinct from occupational burnout or clinical depression. Dr. Raymaker and mentor-collaborator, Christina Nicolaidis, MD, MPH, were featured in Science for their CBPR model.
Learn more about Dr. Raymaker's work in this summary.
This podcast series intends to share stories that illustrate our mission: Supporting the translation of research ideas into tangible results and expediting effective treatments to people who need them. OCTRI strives to be a leader in scientific innovation in Oregon, and beyond.
- Episode 1 introduces two of OCTRI’s executive leadership team, Dr. David Ellison, Director, and Dr. Cynthia Morris, Senior Associate Director. They explain what OCTRI is and which services we provide to clinical and translational investigators. Listen now.
Episode 2 introduces Dr. Rebecca Spain, a neurologist at OHSU, who has utilized multiple OCTRI resources and services to advance her research on multiple sclerosis. Listen now.
Rooted in Oregon is hosted by Madeline Cresswell, an OCTRI Navigator. Feel free to contact the Navigator team to learn more about OCTRI: firstname.lastname@example.org.
OCTRI scholar leads NIH botanical research center
Dr. Amala Soumyanath, a former OCTRI Scholar, will establish and lead a botanical research center to study the properties of herbs traditionally used in dietary supplements to improve sleep and mood, and delay cognitive decline in aging. The research will inform high-quality clinical trials by increasing knowledge about the active compounds and required doses, which will lead to safer and more effective supplements. Dr. Soumyanath utilizes OCTRI's Clinical and Translational Research Center, informatics, and regulatory services to support her work. Read more about Dr. Soumyanath and the botanical research center on OHSU News and the Portland Business Journal.
Research supported by CTRC may lead to treatment of a rare and incurable pediatric disease
Long‐chain fatty acid oxidation disorders (LC‐FAODs) are rare inherited disorders that prevent the body from converting fat into energy. Symptoms include muscle weakness and pain, fatigue, and sometimes muscle cells degrade or rupture. If untreated, these symptoms can lead to early death.
OCTRI Scholar and NIH career development awardee, Dr. Melanie Gillingham, heavily utilized CTRC research support services to investigate the role of dietary protein and medium-chain triglyceride supplements to treat LC-FAODs and established the methods used to study a novel treatment, Triheptanoin.
Dr. Gillingham and her team, along with researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, conducted the largest investigator-initiated clinical trial in LC-FAODs and the only double-blind randomized trial in the field, to look at the effectiveness of Triheptanoin.
They found that heart-lung function improved in treated patients. Their published findings won the Garrod award for best 2018 manuscript from the Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease. In 2019, study data were licensed in an award-winning deal brokered by OHSU Technology Transfer, the University of Pittsburgh, and Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical, thus combining the assets of academic medical centers and a biomedical company.
Ultragenyx used the dataset to support a New Drug Application, which received FDA approval in 2020 (read press release here). This drug could mean better disease management and fewer deaths among the 2500+ children and adults nationwide who suffer from these disorders.
In 2021, Dr. Gillingham recently received a RareGenomics BeHEARD award from the Rare Genomics Institute. Read the interview about her work here.
Koala Kushion to improve acid reflux in infants
In 2020, OCTRI awarded Jessica Grant, an OHSU speech therapist, and David Sheridan, MD, an OCTRI Scholar and OHSU associate professor of emergency medicine, a Biomedical Innovation Program award for their device called the Koala Kushion. In fall 2021, the duo was interviewed for OHSU's Innovator Spotlight series. Read more about their progress in the OHSU Tech Transfer Sept 2021 newsletter or view Ms. Grant's 2021 OHSU Innovation Showcase presentation.
Early warning device alerts to sepsis, saves lives
OCTRI Scholar Dr. David Sheridan and Dr. Matthew Hansen, both OHSU Emergency Medicine physicians, were awarded OCTRI Biomedical Innovation Program (BIP) funding and project support in 2018 to develop a new bedside technology for quickly detecting sepsis using an accurate and objective measure of capillary refill time (CRT).
In the last 3 years, Drs. Sheridan and Hansen leveraged their work from the OCTRI BIP to obtain additional grant funding to refine a prototype for their technology, conducted a clinical trial, and co-founded a company called Promedix to continue developing the device. Initial findings, published in Frontiers in Medicine, highlight the device's significant advantages. Read more about their device.
Development of an early warning system for adolescent suicidality
Dr. David Sheridan and his team are developing a wearable device that assesses and reports the physiological measures associated with stress dysregulation and worsening suicidality. The goal is to help adolescents identify these symptoms and therefore allow time for interventions that can help prevent emergency department visits and suicide attempts. Read the Translational Science Benefits Model case study on this project.
OHSU inventors collaborate with local community on a better way to monitor medication levels
Monitoring medication levels after transplant procedures requires patients to visit laboratories for blood draws monthly, or even weekly. Dr. Amira Al-Uzri, Pediatric Nephrologist, and her team wanted to reduce the number of clinic visits for these patients. To accomplish this, they developed a user-friendly dried blood-spot collection device that can be applied in-home to obtain an accurate and precise blood sample. The development of this technology required Dr. Al-Uzri and her team to build an extensive collaboration across Oregon. OCTRI provided funding, mentoring, educational opportunities and project management through the Biomedical Innovation Program, leading to the creation of a product prototype and initial product testing. Read the full feature story on OHSU Research News.
The OCTRI Community Research Hub is working to improve the health and wellness of all Oregonians. They engage researchers, community members and local organizations to include a community voice in research. The Hub partnered with Tillamook County to evaluate and develop next steps for the Tillamook Year of Wellness. You can learn more about outcomes by:
- Listening to the OHSU Week podcast with the community members and OHSU researchers involved in this project
- Reviewing the Translational Science Benefits Model case study on this project
- Reading about a pivotal new partnership with Adventist Health
Interactive exhibit won the 2015 SOPHE Technology Award
Let’s Get Healthy! is an interactive education and research exhibit available for use at health fairs, schools, and community events.
Attendees of Let's Get Healthy! are invited to enroll as research participants so they can learn about the research process and the quality of their own diet and body composition. Participants can contribute their anonymous health information to a population database that researchers can use to the scientific relationships among diet, body composition, genetics and chronic disease.
Visit the website to explore all of the summary data for yourself and check out a brief video about the exhibit:
Let's Get Healthy! was created by OCTRI's Community Research Hub. The exhibit debuted at OMSI in summer 2007 and was hugely popular. More than 16,700 people have participated at 107 sites (including four states outside of Oregon), with an additional 700 participating in two longitudinal cohort studies. The project is funded by a NIH Science Education Partnership Award and won the Society for Public Health Education Technology Award in 2015. From launch to success, Let's Get Healthy! has received extensive support from OCTRI Informatics and OCTRI study coordinators.
For more information about volunteering with Let’s Get Healthy!, upcoming events, requesting an event, funding and support for the program and much more, please see our website!