Promotion and Tenure

Congratulations to Drs. Catherine Morgans and Francis Valiyaveetil on their promotion to full professor, in the Department of Chemical Physiology and Biochemistry.

Congratulations to Dr. Michael Cohen on receiving indefinite tenure, in the Department of Chemical Physiology and Biochemistry,

Welcome new faculty

Steve Mansoor standing in lab

Steven E. Mansoor, M.D. Ph.D. Our research interests are in the structure and function of proteins, especially complex cell surface receptors. What is it about receptor structure that allows discrimination of one ligand from another? Why is an empty receptor unable to signal and how does the receptor structure change upon ligand binding and subsequent activation to initiate cell signaling? The structure/function paradigm of proteins sits at the heart of these questions. This paradigm is more than just intellectually and scientifically interesting – it is fundamentally important to pharmacology and thus for a majority of medicines used daily to treat patients with cardiovascular disease. Understanding the structure of drug targets and how ligands influence that structure allows for the rational design of small molecule pharmaceuticals, making them more potent, more efficacious and with less side effects. The overarching goals of our research are to use techniques in structural biology (X-ray crystallography and single particle cryo electron microscopy) and techniques in electrophysiology to study the molecular structure, function and signaling of ion channels and G-protein coupled receptors to identify and develop novel, high-affinity, subtype-selective small molecule agonists and antagonists for the treatment of cardiovascular conditions such as angina, hypertension and platelet aggregation.

Tear protein biomarkers of refractive surgery pain

Sue Aicher, Ph.D. (Professor of Chemical Physiology & Biochemistry, OHSU) and Anat Galor, M.D., MSPH (University of Miami) were recently funded by a new R61/R33 grant from the National Eye Institute. Drs. Aicher and Galor will lead a diverse and collaborative team of scientists to identify biomarkers of ocular pain after refractive surgery in tear fluids. Refractive eye surgery, including photoreactive keratectomy (PRK) and laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK), lead to persistent pain in some individuals, and these studies will identify whether tear fluid proteins can serve as predictive and diagnostic biomarkers for persistent corneal pain after eye surgery. The OHSU team includes Julie Saugstad, Ph.D. (Professor of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine), an expert in human biomarker discovery, Larry David, Ph.D. (Professor of Chemical Physiology & Biochemistry), an expert in proteomics, and Jodi Lapidus, Ph.D. (Professor, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health), an expert in biomarker discovery and will lead the bioinformatics analysis. The clinical collaborators at the OHSU Casey Eye Institute are Richard Stutzman, M.D and Winston Chamberlain, M.D., Ph.D. and who have extensive expertise with ophthalmic clinical trials.

Beth Habecker named Co-Director of Precision Medicine Innovation Co-Laboratory

Beth Habecker headshot

OHSU School of Medicine has appointed Beth Habecker, Ph.D., professor of chemical physiology and biochemistry, co-director of the OHSU-PNNL scientific partnership, PMedIC, effective July 1. Read more.

Highlighted publication

Congratulations to Julia Huey and Kaya Keutler on their co-first authored paper:

Huey, J and Keutler, K et al. “Chemical Biology Toolbox for Studying Pancreatic Islet Function – A Perspective” Cell Chem Bio, 27, no. 8, P1015-1031 (August 20, 2020)

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Dean's Research Scholar Program

The Dean's Research Scholar Program (DRSP) was developed to recruit top interdisciplinary postdoctoral researchers to OHSU to catalyze novel interdisciplinary research. DRSP is a distinctive opportunity to start a research career pursuing a state-of-the-art project at the cross-section of disciplines.