OCTRI Impact

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.

Implementing the Translation Science Benefits Model at OCTRI

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

The Translational Science Benefits Model was developed as a framework for public health and clinical scientists to demonstrate the impact of their work in the real world. 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.

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 used to make programmatic decisions at OCTRI and at OHSU in support of physician-scientists.

We published our initial evaluation several years ago. You can read updates on outcomes since then in this brief report.

Share in the stories that drive OCTRI's success

Learn about the successes and accomplishments of the researchers that we support.

OCTRI Biomedical Innovation Program awardees, in their own words

Picture of Dr. Kim Hutchison explaining her technology idea that was funded by the OCTRI Biomedical Innovation Program. Click image to watch the video on YouTube.
Video features BIP awardees, Drs. David Sheridan, Kim Hutchison, and Stephen Lloyd.

KL2 Scholar developed nanotechnology that may better identify, treat ectopic pregnancy

Professional portraits of Dr. Olena Taratula of Oregon State University and Dr. Jessica Hebert of Oregon Health and Science University.
Dr. Olena Taratula (left) and Dr. Jessica Hebert (right) collaborated with Dr. Leslie Myatt (not pictured) on nanoparticle technology.

Nanotechnology may offer a better, safer way to diagnose and treat ectopic pregnancies. Research jointly led by Leslie Myatt, PhD, at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), and Olena Taratula, PhD, at Oregon State University (OSU), shows that an approach involving nanoparticles, photoacoustic imaging, and infrared light works in mice.  

Dr. Taratula is a former OCTRI KL2 Scholar, who is now an Associate Professor in the College of Pharmacy at OSU. Her work as a KL2 scholar advanced the collaborative partnership between the two universities. Additionally, the study team for the work featured here included a current OCTRI TL1 fellow, Dr. Jessica Hebert, a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Myatt’s lab at OHSU.    

Their study was published in November 2022 in the journal Small

Read more about this collaborative team and their work on OHSU News

OCTRI KL2 scholar puts Autistic Burnout on research map

Drs. Dora Raymaker and Christina Nicolaidis holding the new journal, Autism in Adulthood, that their work was published in.
Dr. Raymaker (left) with mentor and collaborator Dr. Nicolaidis (right). They published their landmark work on Autistic Burnout in the journal Autism in Adulthood.

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.

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.

OCTRI Scholar and NIH career development awardee, Dr. Melanie Gillingham, heavily utilized CTRC research support services to investigate the role of dietary supplementation in treating long‐chain fatty acid oxidation disorders (LC‐FAODs), which prevent the body from converting fat to energy. 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, a medium-chain triglyceride. 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.

Learn more about Dr. Gillingham on her OHSU Profile.

Vitamin C improves health for children of pregnant smokers

Dr. Cynthia McEvoy and the study team that worked on the vitamin C supplementation for pregnant smokers study.

Researchers at OHSU found that vitamin C supplementation to pregnant women unable to quit smoking significantly improves airway function and respiratory health in their offspring at 5 years of age. 

Dr. Cindy McEvoy, Professor of Pediatrics in the OHSU School of Medicine, led the team that conducted this work and collaborated with Dr. Cindy Morris, Senior Associate Director of OCTRI and Director of OCTRI Workforce Development. Dr. McEvoy’s work has been supported by several OCTRI pilot awards in the last decade, including an OCTRI Catalyst award in 2014 for the project featured here. 

This study published in November 2022 in JAMA Pediatrics and was featured in MedPage Today

Read more about the team and this work on OHSU News

Fluorescent nerve dyes that improve surgical outcomes

Summer Gibbs, Ph.D., Connor Barth, Ph.D., and Broderick House, Ph.D., working on fluorescent nerve contrast agent development.

OHSU startup, Inherent Targeting, improves surgical outcomes with high contrast, nerve-specific fluorescent dyes that help surgeons visualize buried nerves and distinguish them from surrounding tissue. This reduces patient pain, loss of function, and long-term physical impairment. Researchers in the lab of Summer Gibbs, PhD, developed the novel dyes that are the basis of this technology.

In 2018, the Inherent Targeting team graduated from OCTRI's BIP Corp, an I-Corps commercialization readiness course, and, in 2019, were awarded an OCTRI Biomedical Innovation Program pilot award. Since then, Inherent Targeting has been featured in elite research publications (Science Translational Medicine) and startup competitions. They were awarded a $2.25M NIH Small Business Innovation Research grant earlier this year. Read more on OHSU Now.

Koala Kushion to improve acid reflux in infants

Head shot of Jessica Grant, OHSU speech therapist and OCTRI innovator.

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

Diagram of how a capillary refill measuring device connects to a human finger and sends data to a smart phone.

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

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.

Dr. Amira Al-Uzri, an OHSU pediatric nephrologist, and her team wanted to reduce the number of follow-up clinic visits for patients who had received a transplant procedure. 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

Tillamook Year of Wellness tackles diabetes

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:

Let’s Get Healthy! helps communities thrive

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. 

Let's Get Healthy! was created by OCTRI's Community Research Hub with support from OCTRI Informatics and OCTRI study coordinators. The exhibit debuted at OMSI in summer 2007. Since then, more than 16,700 people have participated at 107 sites, and the exhibit won the Society for Public Health Education Technology Award in 2015. 

Visit the website to explore all of the summary data for yourself and check out a brief video below about the exhibit. 

Questions? Contact Lisa Marriott, PhD, marriott@ohsu.edu 

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

Contact an OCTRI Navigator to connect with research resources


Icon of a white document with an orange award ribbon.

OCTRI Innovation Programs & Awards Report

Check out our achievements and outcomes from the last 5 years!

Read the report