Faculty and Staff

Jeffrey T. Jensen, M.D., M.P.H.; Principal Investigator and Center Director

Dr. Jensen is a Leon Speroff Endowed Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of OB/GYN, OHSU and a Professor for Division of Reproductive and Developmental Sciences, ONPRC. Dr. Jensen brings considerable clinical expertise in contraception and family planning, including that from serving as P.I. (2004-present) of the OHSU site within the NICHD Contraceptive Clinical Trials Network.  Dr. Jensen involvement in translational research in contraception at ONPRC begin in the late 1990s, and included serving as co-PI of the NICHD-funded U54 Contraceptive Development Research Center at ONPRC (2007-17). Most recently, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has funded studies of polidocanol foam and other approaches to nonsurgical permanent contraception, and WEE2 kinase inhibitors for reversible contraception. As OPERM Center Director, Dr. Jensen is the primary point of contact between the Center, the BMGF Program Officer, the OPERM SAB, outside investigators, and the media.  

Jeff Jensen

Ov D. Slayden, Ph.D.; Co-Principal Investigator and Scientific Director

Dr. Slayden is a Professor in the Division of Reproductive and Developmental Sciences, ONPRC. He is an international expert in reproductive tract biology. In addition to his NICHD-funded research, he has developed multiple contracts with pharmaceutical companies evaluating the effects of novel chemical entities on the reproductive tract.  Drs. Jensen and Slayden have been close collaborators NICHD funded studies including  Project 3 of a U54 CDRC, and also on Gates-funded studies on permanent contraception. The OPERM Center leadership combines Dr. Slayden's basic/nonhuman primate expertise with Dr. Jensen's applied/human clinical expertise to facilitate translational research on novel methods for permanent contraception in women. As OPERM Scientific Director, Dr. Slayden assists external investigators with research plans and animal models. Dr. Slayden also provides day-to-day oversight of the OPERM Nonhuman Primate Core. 

OV Slayden

Carrie Hanna, Ph.D.; Scientific Support Manager

Dr. Hanna is a Research Assistant Professor and the Director of the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Core lab at the ONPRC. She has worked with Dr. Jensen developing non-hormonal contraceptive alternatives for women since 2012, and has been a key contributor to the polidocanol foam research team. Dr. Hanna is experienced in using animal models for studying reproductive physiology and oversees all facets of the projects underway in the OPPEM center at any particular time. She works closely with investigative P.I.s in the design and implementation of funded research, monitors the day-to-day activities related to projects that are underway in the center, and communicates with ONPRC Division of Comparative Medicine Staff to ensure adequate animal availability and housing. In addition, Dr. Hanna provides supervision of the OPERM Histology and Animal Resource Cores.

Carrie Hanna

Shan Yao, M.D.; Senior Research Assistant

Shan works with project P.I.s to ensure successful collection and processing of biological specimens. Area of expertise include specimen processing (preparation of frozen and paraffin embedded specimens, laser capture, RNA/DNA/protein isolation), histology, immunohistochemistry, and microscopy (standard light and confocal methods). She directly communicates with individual project P.I.s and their staff routinely to ensure successful completion of the research objectives and to aid in teaching relevant techniques to trainees. She also works closely with DCM Pathology staff to verify/confirm findings based on histological and morphological endpoints. A member of the Jensen Lab since 2009, Dr. Yao performed all of the histology and cell biology experiments for the nonsurgical permanent contraception project investigating polidocanol foam.  Her expertise is available as a resource for OPERM-funded investigators.

Shan Yao

Philberta Y. Leung, Ph.D., PMP; Project Manager

Dr. Leung manages OPERM’s project funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) on developing a lead candidate for female non-surgical permanent contraception. Trained as a neuroscientist, she first joined OHSU as a postdoctoral fellow working on stroke and mechanisms of neuroprotection in Dr. Mary Stenzel-Poore’s lab but then decided to cross the bridge to work in industry. Before joining OPERM, Dr. Leung was a scientist and project manager at Omniox, an IND-stage biotherapeutics company in the Bay Area, and managed in-house projects as well as collaborations with other research entities. As OPERM’s Project Manager, Dr. Leung is responsible for a process which aims to have at least one lead candidate reach Investigational New Drug (IND) submission. This includes coordinating activities with various collaborators and partner research organizations, suggesting and managing resources and vendors, organizing experimental data and background information, and preparing meeting slide decks, progress reports, financial summaries, as well as documents for submission to BMGF and FDA.

Phil Leung

Emily Mishler, M.S.; Senior Research Assistant

Mrs. Mishler has a master’s degree in Animal Science from Oregon State University and over 10 years of experience using various animal models for reproductive research. Mrs. Mishler is the interface between the Scientific Support Manager and the surgical, clinical, and husbandry staff, while overseeing all logistical components involving the nonhuman primate research animals. She performs tasks including, but not limited to, ultrasonography, phlebotomy, drug administration, cycle monitoring, preparing and assisting with imaging studies, and scheduling of all procedures and research endpoints. 

Emily Mishler

Tanner Grenz, B.S.; Senior Research Assistant

Tanner joined the OPERM team in 2017 after graduating from Oregon State University with a bachelor's degree in Biology. He provides critical support for animal experiments and has direct responsibility for managing the OPERM guinea pig core. He assists Mrs. Mishler with essential activities for nonhuman primate experiments. Tanner has experience with  performing blood draws, processing samples for steroid/protein hormone analyses through the ONPRC Endocrine Technologies Support Core, drug administration, monitoring menses, preparing and assisting with imaging studies, scheduling surgical procedures or animal necropsies, and coordinating sample procurement. In the laboratory, Tanner performs experiments using advanced molecular biology and cell culture techniques. Together with other OPERM staff, he provides 365 day per year coverage of animal protocols.

Tanner Grenz

Mackenzie Roberts, M.S.; Senior Research Assistant

Mackenzie received her Master's in Reproductive Science and Medicine from Northwestern University in 2020. She joined the Jensen lab shortly after graduation in July 2020. As part of the OPERM team, she provides support in regards to bench model testing, primate model testing, and assists in Guinea Pig procedures. 

Mackenzie Roberts