Share in the stories that drive OCTRI’s success

Since its inception in 2006, OCTRI has supported thousands of studies and hundreds of investigators with funding, expertise and services. 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. 

Featured story: 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. 

OCTRI's Evaluation Core created a Translational Science Benefits Model (TSBM) case study on this project.  Learn more about TSBM and review the OCTRI report here

OCTRI can help your research succeed

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:

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

Research supported by OCTRI's Clinical & Translational Research Center (CTRC) may lead to treatment of a rare and incurable pediatric disease.  
Licensed by OHSU and winning a Licensing Executives Society Deal of Distinction Award™, the data supported a New Drug Application, which was accepted by the FDA and is now under review.  

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. Patients may experience hypoglycemia and cardiomyopathy during illness, fasting or exercise. 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.  

Triheptanoin may improve energy production from fat in patients with LC-FAODs. 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.

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:

  • Listening to the OHSU Week podcast with the community members and OHSU researchers involved in this project
  • Reading 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. Amira Al-Uzri, M.D., 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 their Biomedical Innovation Program, leading to the creation of a product prototype and initial product testing.
  • The prototype device served as a case study for the University of Oregon’s Technology Entrepreneurship Program, receiving a comprehensive marketing plan as a result. It was also presented at the Oregon Bioscience Conference last September and was featured at the Med Tech Alliance on May 6, 2015.
  • Simplexity Product Development, an engineering firm, aided in the research and development process and also provided capital for the prototype creation.
  • The in-house patent team within OHSU Technology Transfer wrote and filed a patent application on the invention.  The resulting intellectual property is jointly owned with Simplexity Product Development and will be managed by OHSU.
  • Lastly, Allegory Venture Partners provided the OHSU researchers guidance that may turn into a venture capital investment if the technology reaches market viability. 

Dr. Al-Uzri and her team are currently looking for final set of collaborators to license the device and bring their efforts into the hands of patients. Contact OHSU's Tech Transfer Office for more information;

Read the full feature story on OHSU Research News

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 

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Ready to discuss your needs? 

Contact an OCTRI Navigator for guidance and support. 


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Think Out Loud 

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

Listen to her OPB interview