OCTRI can help your research succeed

Since its inception in 2006, OCTRI has supported thousands of studies and hundreds of investigators with funding, expertise and services. We are continually looking for new ways to help faculty at OHSU and our partner institutions succeed in their clinical and translational research efforts. 

OHSU Physician-Scientist Metrics Program

Line graph showing the type and number of research project grant awardees at OHSU from 1998 to 2019. The number goes up for PhDs but is stagnant for MDs and MD/PhDs.

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. OCTRI continues to provide substantial support for the development of physician-scientists and for their research endeavors. 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

Logo for the Translational Science Benefits Model, which includes clinical, community, economic, and policy factors.

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.  Their case studies were recently published on the TSBM website. Review the full case study reports below.

SOLACE: An Early Warning System for Adolescent Suicidality

Improving Community Health by Reducing Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes

Share in the stories that drive OCTRI's success

Our success stories are a testament to our impact and passion for the work, and we’re happy to share a few of them with you here. 

Album art for OCTRI's podcase series, Rooted in Oregon.

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: octri@ohsu.edu.

OCTRI scholar leads NIH botanical research center

Headshot of Amala Soumyanath

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

Picture of Melanie Gillingham, Ph.D, R.D.

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. 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 recently received FDA approval for review. Approval of the drug could mean better disease management and fewer deaths among the 2500+ children and adults nationwide who suffer from these disorders.  

Learn more about Dr. Gillingham on her OHSU Profile.

Development of an early warning system for adolescent suicidality

Head shot of David Sheridan, MD

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

Picture of Chris Tobias; Dr. Amira Al-Uzri, OHSU; Colleen Lay, OCTRI; Dorota Shortell, Simplexity discussing their partnership around developing a technology for remotely collecting & monitoring patient blood samples.

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

Logo for tillamook county year of wellness campaign.  Orange stick figure of a human with purple letters stating: tillamook county year of wellness. healthy bodies, healthy minds.

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:

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. 

Join Us 

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


Lisa Marriott, Ph.D. 
Associate Director 
Let's Get Healthy! 
Oregon Health & Science University 

Navigator icon that is a blue avatar with short hair, glasses, and a blue sweater.

Ready to discuss your needs? 

Contact an OCTRI Navigator for guidance and support. 



Multiple people in foreground of icon depicting house structures

Think Out Loud 

OHSU oncologist and OCTRI KL2 awardee, Dr. Amanda Bruegl, studies HPV in Native American women. 

Listen to her OPB interview