Lisa Coussens PhD

The overarching mission of the OHSU Department of Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology is to advance the understanding of problems relevant to human health and disease. To accomplish this mission, research groups in the department have historically focused on questions regarding cell structure, organelles, life cycle, differentiation, and regulated communication between cells and extracellular signals and cues. An ultimate application of knowledge gained from these studies has been to understand important cell physiologic processes that effect human biology. These issues directly link to problems of interest to developmental biologists, including molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating tissue morphogenesis, tissue polarity and patterning. Read full welcome message here.


Upcoming events

Featured Stories

2024 SDDS attendees
Attendees of the 2024 Stanford Drug Discovery Symposium, held in Stanford, CA on April 29-30, 2024.

Dr. Sanjay Malhotra co-organized the 2024 Stanford Drug Discovery Symposium, an annual event that Dr. Malhotra co-founded in 2016. Notable attendees were a Nobel laureate, the FDA commissioner and leaders of large pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

Cachexia Keystone Symposia, 2024
Attendees of the Keystone Symposia Cachexia and Wasting Syndrome in Cancer and Chronic Diseases that Dr. Teresa Zimmers co-organized this year.

Dr. Teresa Zimmers successfully co-organized the recent Keystone Symposia Cachexia and Wasting Syndrome in Cancer and Chronic Diseases. It was held at the Buck Institute in Novato, CA from May 5-7. Congratulations on a successful symposia and for engaging many new labs and investigators!

Drs. Lisa Coussens, Robert Eil, Alex Bartlett_2024 OHSU Innovation Awards.jpg
(Left-to-right) Drs. Robert Eil, Lisa Coussens, Alex Bartlett following the 2024 OHSU Innovation Awards ceremony.

Two CDCB members are recipients of 2024 OHSU Innovation Awards:

  • Dr. Robert Eil, Assistant Professor jointly appointed in CDCB and Surgical Oncology, is the recipient of this year’s New Innovator of the Year for his work on a new approach to make CAR T-cell therapies useful to more patients.
  • Dr. Alex Bartlett, postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Eil’s, is the recipient of this year’s Early Career Innovator for her work with Dr. Eil and co-founding the start-up company VertaBio, Inc.

Drs. Eil and Bartlett were honored at the ceremony held on March 14th, 2024. Read more here.

B-BRITE and STEM-Prep Interns joining us this summer

This is the 10th anniversary of the Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology Summer Research Internship,  now known as the Biomedical & Bioinformatics Research Internship and Training Experience, or B-BRITE, to better reflect the breadth of experiences available to college students at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.  Founded by Lisa Coussens and Melissa Wong, Chair and Co-Chair of the Department of Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology, this summer internship has provided hands-on research experiences to 187 college undergraduates since it launched in 2014.  The program is welcoming 27 interns this summer and 14 CDCB faculty are hosting B-BRITE interns in their research groups.

CDCB faculty are also hosting interns from other programs, such as the Ted R. Lilley CURE Program which offers hands-on research experiences to Portland-area high school students.

Overall, B-BRITE, STEM-Prep and CURE are hosting 47 high school and undergraduate interns in Knight labs this summer. 

Recent Accolades & Funding

Trainees from the Maxson lab has received multiple awards this past month:

Two CDCB faculty have received grants from the Concern Foundation Conquer Cancer Now Award:

  1. Dr. Katelyn Byrne, "Reprogramming suppressive regulatory T cells in the tumor microenvironment"
  2. Dr. Megan Ruhland, "Antigen sorting by dendritic cells impacts anti-tumor immunity"

Congratulations to Kasidy Brown, graduate student in the Ruhland lab, who was selected as a trainee on the PBMS T32 training grant.

Drs. Hatun Duran Cete (postdoc in the Schedin lab) and Abby Liberty (WRHR Scholar working with the Schedin lab) both presented at the 2024 Gordon Research Conference in Mammary Gland Biology earlier this month held in Barga, Italy:

  • Dr. Cete gave two oral and one poster presentation titled "Effects of Childbirth on Clinical Findings of Breast Cancer Metastasis"
  • Dr. Liberty presented a poster titled "A protocol to prospectively study the effect of androgenic progestins on mammary tissue in people assigned female at birth: sampling, histologic and molecular strategies".

Congratulations to Michelle Ozaki, graduate student in the Schedin lab, who has received the GSO Student Engagement Award for her exceptional engagement in furthering the welfare of graduate students at OHSU. Michelle has served as a GSO vice president and president two times. Alongside her sidekick Ben, Michelle reinvigorated GSO to be a thriving program as students were dispersed through the pandemic. She is a leader who has built community, engaged students in rectifying union contracts, recruited students to OHSU both virtually and in-person, she has built trust with administration, and is never afraid of tackling the hard stuff.

Congratulations to two of graduate students who won Best Poster awards at the OHSU Student Research Week: Ashley Anderson (Wong lab) and Kaelan Byrd (Moran lab).

Ashley Anderson (Wong lab) and Amara Pang (Maxson lab) will be attending the Physician Scientist Trainee Diversity Summit in June. The summit was created to discuss the important topic of diversity in the physician scientist community, as well as enable individuals from diverse backgrounds to support one another across various stages of training.

Dr. Ranish Patel, surgical resident in the Wong lab, won the Department of Surgery Fletcher Award which was created to fund the presentation of cancer research at international conferences.

Dr. Sanjay Malhotra co-organized the 2024 Stanford Drug Discovery Symposium, an annual event that Dr. Malhotra co-founded in 2016. Notable attendees were a Nobel laureate, the FDA commissioner and leaders of large pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

Dr. Naoki Oshimori has recently received an American Cancer Society Research Scholar Grant for his project titled, "Large oncosome-mediated immune interaction in the cancer stem cell niche".

Congratulations to Dr. Joshua Moreau for receiving the Melanoma Research Alliance Young Investigator Award for his work titled, "Harnessing tissue-resident lymphocytes as a melanoma biomarker".

Recent Publications

The Malhotra lab has two publications to announce:

  1. "Inhibition of protein translational machinery in triple-negative breast cancer as a promising therapeutic strategy" in Cell Reports Medicine.
  2. "Guanylate-binding protein 1 modulates proteasomal machinery in ovarian cancer" in iScience.

The Thomas lab has published, "Single-cell transcriptomic analyses reveal distinct immune cell contributions to epithelial barrier dysfunction in checkpoint inhibitor colitis" in Nature Medicine.

The Schedin lab in collaboration with Dr. Zhenzhen Zhang has published "Postpartum Breast Cancer and Survival in Women With Germline BRCA Pathogenic Variants" in JAMA Network Open.

The Grossberg lab has several publications to announce:

Respect For All Flowchart

Respect For All Flowchart

CDCB labs recruiting

Careers with an emphasis on preclinical and translational science

CDCB welcomes

Molly Thomas

CDCB is pleased to announce that Molly Thomas, M.D., Ph.D., will be joining us as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology, with a joint appointment in the Division of Gastroenterology. Dr. Thomas is an inflammatory bowel disease specialist and mucosal immunologist. Her lab will focus on understanding gastrointestinal and hepatic complications of immune checkpoint blockade and how these immune related adverse events inform our understanding of tissue-resident memory T cells in these organ systems. Welcome, Dr. Thomas!

Joshua Moreau

CDCB is please to welcome Joshua Moreau, Ph.D., who will be joining us as a joint faculty along with the Division of Oncological Sciences, Department of Dermatology, and a member of CEDAR. He aims to explore the earliest interactions between cancer and the immune system, within the tissues where cancer cells arise. Welcome, Dr. Moreau!

Megan Burger

CDCB is excited to welcome Megan Burger, Ph.D. who will be joining us as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology, with a joint appointment in the Division of Hematology Oncology. Dr. Burger's research program will initially be investigating the interplay of anti-tumor T cell responses in thoracic malignancies with the goal of identifying targets for new therapy. Welcome, Dr. Burger!