Headshot photo of Tiffani Howard, Ph.D.<span class="profile__pronouns"> (she/her)</span>

Tiffani Howard, Ph.D. (she/her)

  • Research Asst. Dir. Community Outreach & Engagement, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, School of Medicine


As a native Oregonian deeply involved in my community Dr. Howard relishes the opportunity to forge connections between her extensive OHSU network (since 1992) of scientists and executive partners and the people OHSU serves throughout Oregon. As a developmental biologist she focused on gene regulation and silencing in development of neural tube and central nervous system formation.  While raising three children,  maintained a self-owned business creating models and figures for scientists and non-profits expertly translating complicated research concepts into memorable graphics for professional and lay persons.  Dr. Howard's ability to communicate widely with all audiences and elicit trust allows her to build strong, long lasting, bi-directional relationships which has been her focus in recent years.

As liaison between the scientists and design team for the Knight Cancer Research Building, Dr. Howard provided essential continuity throughout the project from pre-programming through move-in (2014-2018) by engagement and inclusion of 450 occupants (principal investigators and all lab staff, executives, and research cores). Leveraging over 15 years of research lab experience and adept at articulating the Knight’s vision, she was tasked with inspiring the Institute to challenge the status quo in academic research culture in 2017.  She assembled a team to innovate and test new institutional cultural Guiding Principles. As a result of co-location and change management, the Knight Cancer Institute measured a 3-fold increase in collegial networking and 86% increase in collaboration through intentional workplace adjacencies and cultural transformation.  Subsequently in 2018, while managing the creation of a five-year comprehensive institutional Strategic Plan to ensure the highest scientific impact towards a reduction in suffering from cancer, Dr. Howard gained unique insight into how important it is for community engagement to thread through all of the scientific programs at the Knight. Starting in 2019 she establish a new Early Cancer Detection Clinical Trials program including recruiting an inclusive and diverse team posed to rapidly launch expedited internal or external clinical trials of which CEDAR now participates in 5 and have 2 in the pipeline. The team has cultivated relationships with high-profile external business partners, academic medical institutions, and small clinics forging collaborations across the cancer community.  This will pave the way for future partnerships with a goal of recruiting from all corners of Oregon.

Through decades of study and relationships with basic science investigators and clinical trial program development and operation, Dr. Howard provides a unique bridge to connect research to the community, where the invaluable experience of both parties will bring relevance and energy to the vital work they each do.

Education and training

    • Ph.D., 1999, Oregon Health & Science University


Selected publications

  • 2014. Journal of Virology, 88(19):11178-11186.
  • 2013. Journal of Virology. 87(1):403-414.
  • 2010. Transgenics Research. 19:121-126.
  • 2001. Journal of Cell Science. 114:2395-2404.
  • 2001. Journal of Cell Science. 114:2383-2393.
  • 1999. Developmental Bio. 215:375-387
  • 1995. J.Neurobiology. 27:535-552.


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