Background of the series
- The lectures are free and open to the public, though registration is requested by clicking the link included with each lecture below.
- Free parking is also available, in the Schnitzer Lot for lectures at the Robertson Life Sciences Building on South Waterfront and in the Auditorium Lot for lectures at the OHSU Auditorium on Marquam Hill. Signage will direct guests.
The Marquam Hill Lecture Series is one of the most popular and long-standing lecture series about science by scientists in Oregon. The series honors the memory of Mrs. Elizabeth Gray, co-founder of the Marquam Hill Steering Committee, a group of community leaders who advocate for the public missions of OHSU throughout the state. In addition to oversight of the Marquam Hill Lectures, the Committee selects and maintains the extensive collection of art in OHSU buildings, and curated Art on the Hill, a book of works from the OHSU collection.
2018–19: Revealing unseen forces to improve health
Small blood vessels may hold key to treating cardiovascular disease
Oct. 18, 2018 | View recording
Imagine the blood flow in your body: Big arteries and veins are the fuel lines for your major organs. Blockages and narrowing in these vessels cause serious health conditions such as hypertension, dementia, diabetes, heart attack and stroke. We know a lot about the large vessels and how to clean them out and prop them open. But most of our blood vessels are the small dripper lines in our vast circulatory system, and Dr. Alkayed and his team believe that they are in fact the key to treating these conditions. Come learn about their efforts to target small blood vessels to make a big impact on cardiovascular health.
Cancer costs: Marketing and myth busting
Nov. 15, 2018 | View recording
Patients with cancer and their physicians urgently seek treatment for the disease, but how much of their hopes are based on insufficient evidence or aggressive marketing goals? The costs of many cancer drugs can be astronomic, even without solid evidence that they are effective. Dr. Prasad puts a microscope on which drugs work, which don't and why costs for cancer drugs continue to increase. His research shows that cost doesn't correlate to cure, and that many high-priced medications are simply recycled and repackaged versions of older, ineffective therapies. Be prepared for a clear-eyed, dispassionate review of the forces influencing cost and outcomes of cancer treatment.
Understanding trauma: When the fear switch is always on
Feb. 21, 2019 | View recording
Can experiencing a traumatic event affect the biology in your brain? How does persistent fear affect brain and physical health? Dr. Moreland Capuia will discuss significant advances in our understanding of the role that fear plays in trauma and how this is leading to new evidence-based practices for effectively recognizing, treating and managing the impacts. Substance misuse, for example, contributes to, and is often symptomatic of, trauma. A trauma-informed approach can help the brain heal effectively and support the capacity for recovery and resilience. Learn more about the science and practice of healing from trauma.
Being who you are: The case for gender-affirming health care
March 21, 2019 | View recording
Born one way, but knowing there is more to who you are. Transgender people are faced with infinite choices and challenges as they transition to their affirmed gender identity. Access to gender-affirming health care, medications and surgeries can be critical to their wellbeing. Learn how research is informing our understanding of gender identity from two physician leaders with the OHSU Transgender Health Program, one with expertise in gender-affirming hormonal therapy and the other a national leader in gender-affirming surgeries. Drs. Milano and Berli will share the hurdles individuals face and the services available and why living authentically is foundational to good health.
Secrets of the brain: The science of implicit bias and its impact on health
April 18, 2019 | View recording
Our brain receives millions of pieces of information about our surroundings at any one time. To cope, we take mental shortcuts based on social norms, life experiences and stereotypes. While such shortcuts serve to keep us safe, they can also lead to unintended harm. Dr. Guise combines her research with national literature to show how recognizing and managing our implicit biases is key to positive relationships, professional effectiveness and good health.
Machine-made human organs? On the frontier of 3D bioprinting
May 16, 2019 | View recording
What if a patient in need of a new organ could receive one right away, without the uncertainty and slow deterioration of waiting on a long list? At any given time in the United States, approximately 12,000 people are hoping their number comes up for an organ transplant. Even though we have the techniques to save lives, the shortage of organs remains a great challenge in modern medicine. Instead, what if a surgeon could order a living organ when needed by having it 3D printed? It's not science fiction, but investigative science as Dr. Bertassoni and his team use stem cells to explore the engineering of tissues and organs. They've already had success creating functioning blood vessels and tissues. Learn about the frontier of 3D printing organs for transplantation.
Sweat Smart: What Sports Medicine Science Tells Us about Effective – and Safe – Exercise | Douglas B. McKeag, M.D., M.S., F.A.C.S.M. (Oct. 19, 2017)
Whether you're an athlete, a weekend warrior or an active retiree, sports medicine science has come a long way in discovering the do's and don'ts of injury-free fitness. Douglas B. McKeag M.D., M.S., F.A.C.S.M., adjunct instructor of Family Medicine, OHSU School of Medicine, shares insights on such current topics as concussion risk on the playing field;high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and how to keep your knees going as long as you do. Dr. McKeag, a pioneer in primary care sports medicine, founding director of the Indiana University Center for Sports Medicine and longtime chair of family medicine at IU School of Medicine, is an OHSU-affiliated instructor who has served as a consultant to the 2000 Sydney and 2008 Beijing Olympic Committees and an expert source for such publications as Sports Illustrated and ESPN, Dr. McKeag is known for his factual and informative presentations.
The promise of early cancer detection | Sadik Esener, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute data shows that cancer patients' five-year survival rate approaches 99 percent if the disease is detected at stage 1. The challenge: many cancers detected early are not actually lethal – yet current detection approaches can't tell us which are or aren't, so patients too often get unnecessary, sometimes risky, therapies that impact their quality of life. Sadik Esener, Ph.D., is building a multidisciplinary team to reveal the evolutionary biology of cancer to develop low-cost screening, determine which cancers to aggressively treat and leverage precision therapies to minimize toxicity. The Wendt Family Chair professor of biomedical engineering in the OHSU School of Medicine and director of the Knight Cancer Institute Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research Center (CEDAR), Dr. Esener and his team's goal is to find and eliminate lethal cancers at the earliest stage with little harm to the patient.
Your zip code/your health: Understanding and overcoming the social determinants of health | David Bangsberg, M.D., M.P.H.
David Bangsberg, M.D., M.P.H., founding dean of the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, takes us on his personal and scholarly journey from Lincoln High School Class of 1981 in Portland to medical school in Baltimore, residency in New York City, fellowship in San Francisco, professorship in Cambridge, MA and visiting professorship in rural Uganda. Caring for people suffering from HIV/AIDS, addiction and homelessness, he learned the extent to which where you are born and the social climate around you determines your health. For Dr. Bangsberg, returning to Portland to lead the new OHSU-PSU School of Public Health is making good on his commitment to change that paradigm.
Holding Fast to Dreams: Creating a Climate of Success for All Students in STEM and Beyond | Freeman Hrabowski, President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Mark O. Hatfield Lecture – Co-Sponsored by Marquam Hill Steering Committee
Rapid and dramatic demographic and technological changes present our nation with enormous challenges for educating students and preparing them for successful careers, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Freeman Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), leads a campus widely recognized for its culture of embracing academic innovation to help students of all backgrounds succeed. He will draw on UMBC's experiences, along with three decades of studying minority student achievement nationwide, to discuss approaches for promoting inclusive excellence, academic innovation, and ultimately student success.
Cracking the code of advanced prostate cancer | Joshi J. Alumkal, M.D.
Prostate cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer-related death in men in the United States. Not all prostate cancers are the same, and we now know more than ever about how the blueprint –or code –of prostate cancer cells differs from normal cells. Understanding which differences in this blueprint are most important for cancer aggressiveness and treatment decision-making will be the focus of Dr. Joshi Alumkal's lecture. Dr. Alumkal is an associate professor of medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine and co-leader of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Prostate Cancer Research Program. In this lecture, Dr. Alumkal will discuss how engaging patients as partners has significantly improved our ability to understand the blueprint of advanced prostate cancer and to develop new treatments to control advanced prostate cancer more effectively.
The Impact of Diabetes | presented by Jessica Castle, M.D.
October 20, 2016
Since 1990, diabetes in Oregon has increased 118 percent, according to the Oregon Health Authority. What's behind the trend and how is research contributing to a better understanding of this chronic metabolic disease? What do clinical studies tell us about the importance of exercise and nutrition in managing diabetes? Dr. Jessica Castle has devoted her career to answering such questions. Dr. Castle sees patients at the Harold Schnitzer Diabetes Health Center and conducts research on the promise of artificial pancreas technology to improve the lives of people with diabetes. Attendees learned about the latest advances in type 1 and type 2 diabetes research which could impact the approximately 278,000 adult Oregonians who have diabetes.
Pancreatic Cancer: America's #2 Cancer Killer | presented by Brett Sheppard, M.D., F.A.C.S.
November 17, 2016
Recent data from the American Cancer Society projects that pancreatic cancer will be the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths by 2020. How can you reduce your risk of pancreatic cancer? What do you do if it strikes? Dr. Brett Sheppard is leading a transformative approach to cancer treatment. He and colleagues have created a patient-centric hub for clinical and research programs that focus on three main areas: early detection, advanced therapy and quality of life. Dr. Sheppard also created the Oregon Pancreatic Tissue Registry –giving patients an opportunity to participate in a long-term research registry with a special focus on the hereditary causes of pancreatic tumors. This event was on World Pancreatic Cancer Day and helped support the effort to raise awareness and find new treatments.
What Goes Wrong with Brain Control of Balance? | presented by Fay Horak, Ph.D.
March 16, 2017
Worried about falling? The ability to stand and take a step without falling involves complex brain processes that can be disrupted by neurological disease, sensory problems and aging. Dr. Fay Horak conducts research on how the brain operates to make standing and walking possible. Her laboratory conducts studies on how exercise helps patients with neurological disease reduce their risk of falls. Dr. Horak and colleagues are working on new wearable, digital tools that could change the way patients monitor their own mobility. Attendees learned about this fascinating OHSU research and came away with a new understanding of the brain.
Inside the Developing Brain | Damien Fair, Ph.D., P.A.-C.
April 20, 2017
How do images from inside the brain help guide future therapies for neuropsychiatric disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism? Dr. Damien Fair seeks answers to such questions. He and OHSU colleagues are taking part in a landmark study funded by the National Institutes of Health to understand the effects of adolescent substance use on the developing brain: the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study. Attendees learned about the ABCD study and about Dr. Fair's work to understand one of the most influential aspects of growing up: the development of the brain.
Advance Care Planning for Everyone: Science and Practical Advice | presented by Erik Fromme, M.D.
May 18, 2017
Have you and your family had the conversation? If an unexpected injury or illness prevented you from communicating, would your family or your health care providers be confident they understand your values and feel prepared to make the best decisions possible? Dr. Erik Fromme and colleagues developed a framework called Caring Wisely to help ensure doctors understand and honor patients' health care wishes. The goal? When patients and families –and the health professionals caring for them –reach the point where difficult treatment decisions need to be made, those present feel well prepared. Attendees got practical steps on how to begin advance care planning.
Beyond Genetics: The Role of Nutrition in Health and Disease | Presented by Susan Bagby, M.D. (November 19, 2015)
Chances are, you know someone with high blood pressure. Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure was associated with 38.9 million doctor visits in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What if we could prevent this, and other chronic diseases, by changing how we eat? It turns out your DNA is not a rigid blueprint for future health.
Head and brain trauma are two of the most common mechanisms of injury on the battlefield. Medical professionals must act quickly with the best available guidelines to treat injured war fighters. How do advances in military trauma care influence the way civilian trauma care is delivered? Martin Schreiber, M.D., professor of surgery in the OHSU School of Medicine, has served in Iraq and Afghanistan and is a leader in the trauma community. His research and experience in military theater has saved lives and is being incorporated into trauma care at OHSU and around the country. Results of his studies have wide-reaching implications for situations we all hope to avoid, but are critical when patients are the most vulnerable.
The 24-Hour Clock and Human Health | Presented by Steven Shea, Ph.D. (March 17, 2016)
Did you know heart attacks occur most frequently in the morning? And asthma is generally worst at night? What's behind this connection between the 24-hour clock and the body clock? Steven Shea, Ph.D., director and senior scientist at the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences, seeks to uncover why the severity of many diseases varies across the 24-hour period. If scientists can understand the biological basis behind these changes, it may provide insight into the underlying cause of the disease and could lead to better therapy. Dr. Shea's research also includes studies of sleep and circadian rhythms as they relate to accidents and the overall health of shift workers and people suffering from sleep disorders.
What is a rare disease? The National Institutes of Health define it as a disease that generally affects fewer than 200,000 people in the United States. However, about 7,000 such disorders have been identified, affecting an estimated 25-30 million Americans! Cary Harding, M.D., professor of molecular and medical genetics in the OHSU School of Medicine, studies inborn errors of metabolism (IEM), which are rare genetic disorders in which the body cannot properly turn food into energy. Sometimes people are born with the disorders and sometimes they develop them as adults. Existing medical options, such as a restricted diet, are less than ideal. Gene therapy is a promising new approach for people with IEM. Dr. Harding and his colleagues are on the cutting-edge of developing gene transfer therapies for the treatment of IEM.
Cancers are caused by mutations in a person's DNA. These mutations cause tumors to grow. New technology gives researchers mountains of data about cancer, but how can this information be turned into the right therapy for the right tumor? The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is using big data analysis to advance precision cancer care. Christopher Corless, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pathology in the OHSU School of Medicine and chief medical officer of OHSU's Knight Diagnostic Laboratories, is an expert in personalized diagnostics. Dr. Corless and colleagues take millions of fragments of DNA from a single sample and use high-end computing tools to sequence them at the same time. This next generation sequencing helps scientists identify the weak points in many types of cancer, and helps health care providers create personalized treatment plans for patients.
Secrets of the Developing Brain | Presented by Bonnie Nagel, Ph.D. (October 16, 2014)
Bonnie Nagel, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience in the OHSU School of Medicine, is an expert on adolescent neurodevelopment. Dr. Nagel and colleagues have been studying brain development in healthy and at-risk youth for years. Their work reveals secrets of the developing brain, including developmental differences between the sexes, and how experiences (both positive and negative) impact the brain.
Exercise is known to prevent and help manage chronic diseases like diabetes or heart disease. Can exercise also help cancer survivors live longer and better? This question is at the heart of a compelling body of research led by Kerri Winters-Stone, Ph.D., research professor in the OHSU School of Nursing.
Dr. Winters-Stone and colleagues want to know more about the healing power of exercise. Can it slow cancer progression? Can exercise help both patients and family members affected by cancer? Early results have revealed unexpected benefits for patients who exercise with their spouse.
When Louis Picker, M.D., and his colleagues described in 2013 how their HIV vaccine candidate worked, the world took notice. Dr. Picker, associate director of the OHSU Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute, developed a vaccine that prevents a virus similar to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
For the more than 35 million people around the globe living with HIV, this research may signal the end to a decades-long battle to end the disease. With new support, including a $25 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Picker is moving forward to test the safety of a human version of the vaccine that may someday prevent or cure HIV infection. Attendees learned first-hand how OHSU research could transform the way physicians, researchers and public health advocates fight against HIV.
One in every four deaths in the United States is caused by heart disease. Coronary heart disease – the most common type – accounts for 380,000 deaths annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sanjiv Kaul, M.D., pioneered a powerfully effective screening test for the early detection of coronary heart disease. Used more than five million times in patients around the world, myocardial contrast echocardiography combines microbubbles and ultrasound technology to create images of the heart. Dr. Kaul, who is also co-director of the OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute, talked about how these tiny bubbles will someday help detect and treat other ailments, including cancer.
Watch out, melanoma. We're teaming up to get you. Those words capture the sentiment of OHSU's aggressive campaign to prevent, detect and treat melanoma. Sancy Leachman, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of dermatology in the OHSU School of Medicine, is a world-renowned melanoma researcher who is determined to find answers and reduce deaths caused by melanoma.
Oregon consistently has one of the highest rates of melanoma incidence and death in the nation, particularly for women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Why is melanoma so common in a state that is known more for rain than sunshine? A team of researchers at OHSU, in collaboration with patients, their family and friends, have created the Melanoma Community Registry – a first step in the "war" to make melanoma the victim. Attendees gained practical information about melanoma and to learn what's on the horizon for this type of cancer.