Research Hubs

Photo of scientist pipetting

What Is a Research Hub?

Research hubs serve as the intellectual "homes" for graduate education and training at OHSU by bringing together students, faculty, postdocs, and other research staff to enhance research success and develop collaborations. Each of our Research Hubs are built around large concepts that provide an interdisciplinary perspective with multiple levels of analysis.

Individual research hubs offer unique elective courses, journal clubs, seminar series and scientific retreats. PBMS faculty are affiliated with at least one Research hub. When a student joins a laboratory, the faculty mentor, Academic Mentor and student will determine which hub best suits the educational and professional development goals of the student. Students can switch between hubs or participate in more than one.

PBMS Research Hubs

The Biochemical, Molecular and Structural Biology (BMSB) Hub trains graduate and post‐doctoral students interested in the fields of structural, biochemical and biophysical research. Students will obtain theoretical and practical understanding of both how and why biophysical principles dictate observed biological phenomena, at the molecular level. Research training encompass a wide range of topics relevant to human disease, including structural and mechanistic aspects of membrane proteins, metal  binding proteins, enzymes, DNA and RNA. Methods used include classical approaches of biochemical purification and analysis, cutting edge structural methods (X‐ray and single  particle EM), spectroscopic methods (fluorescence and EPR) and computational methodologies. Learn More.

The Chemical Physiology (CP) Hub trains students to think critically and independently, and teaches them how to design and conduct independent research, developing and using small molecules or drugs to study physiological process from cells to organisms. Our students will gain the knowledge, skills, and personal qualities to undertake careers as independent scientists, dedicated teachers and imaginative leaders and scholars in academia, government and industry. Learn More.

The Development, Differentiation and Disease (D3) Hub offers research and training in the mechanisms of cell signaling and development, and how the misregulation of these normal mechanisms leads to a wide variety of diseases. Using a range of model systems, hub-affiliated faculty explore processes that are crucial for the formation and function of tissues, organs, and organisms. Areas of interest include the mechanisms that control cell proliferation and migration; the temporal and spatial regulation of gene expression in cells and organisms; biosynthesis, assembly and function of cellular components; intracellular trafficking and signal transduction; and neurogenesis and neuronal development. Faculty also seek to understand how the misregulation of these normal mechanisms can lead to the onset, progression, and dissemination of a range of important diseases that affect human health, with the long-term goal of identifying new opportunities for therapeutic treatments. Current areas of expertise among the faculty include the molecular mechanisms of homeostasis and metabolic disorders; mechanisms of cellular differentiation and oncogenesis; basic and applied research on musculoskeletal development and repair; and developmental neuroscience, coupled with cellular and molecular mechanisms neurological disorders. Learn More.

The Genome Sciences (GS) Hub offers an interdisciplinary training environment for researchers interested in gaining fundamental insights into the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that influence development, function in complex disease processes, and contribute to clinical therapeutics. As such, this Hub integrates basic science and clinical faculty with trainees from across OHSU who work in disciplines of genetics and genomics, epigenetics, rare disease genetics, genome technologies and computational biology, stem cell and developmental biology, cancer genetics, and gene therapy. In this collaborative research environment, trainees learn how to apply or develop new cutting-edge methods and technologies to answer biologic and clinically-relevant questions. Faculty within the Hub apply multidisciplinary approaches, including single gene and single cell technologies, gene therapies, transcriptional pathway and whole genome analyses, and animal models of disease. Learn More.

The Integrated Cancer Biology (ICB) Hub offers a learning platform that will give the next generation of cancer researchers the knowledge and skills to interrogate the biology of the tumor cell within the context of the host, both micro and macro. A deep understanding of the biological processes driving tumor initiation, heterogeneity, malignant conversion, and metastasis will pair with the tremendous clinical resources of the Knight Cancer Institute to allow opportunities for efficient translation of laboratory results into new preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic methods in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Students in this program learn to use the scientific method for acquisition and evaluation of data, leading to dissemination of new knowledge concerning cancer biology and the host responses to cancer. The Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU is made up of numerous programs centered around cancer prevention and control, hormonal and reproductive malignancies, hematologic malignancies, experimental therapeutics, cancer biology and the physiology of the host response to cancer, all functioning to foster interdisciplinary interactions between basic and clinical researchers. This hub exposes students to all facets of the Knight Cancer Institute and helps promote interdisciplinary research throughout OHSU. Learn More.

The Infectious Disease and Immunology (IDI) Hub broadly investigates the complex interactions between pathogenic microbes and the human host that are fundamental to processes in infection and disease. We capitalize on multiple approaches, including basic studies on the pathogenic microbes, the immune system, and other aspects of host cells and tissues. Learn More