As Oregon’s only academic medical school, OHSU has breakthrough research that leads to new cures, new standards of care, and a better understanding of health and the biomedical sciences. Students have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty researchers who are exploring basic, clinical and applied research frontiers throughout the biomedical, clinical epidemiology and information sciences fields. Our primary research areas focus on Clinical Informatics, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, and Clinical Epidemiology.
Health and clinical informatics transforms medicine and health care by analyzing, designing, implementing, and evaluating systems and interventions to improve patient care, enhance access to care, advance individual and population health outcomes, and strengthen the clinician-patient relationship. Professionals in health and clinical informatics occupy a wide variety of positions in health care, research, government, and other institutions, where they use data and information to improve individual health, health care delivery, public health, and biomedical research.
Bioinformatics is the application of informatics in cellular and molecular biology, often with a focus on genomics. The sub-term translational bioinformatics is used to describe bioinformatics applied to human health.
Clinical epidemiology is the study of the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease in patient populations and the relationships between exposures or treatments and health outcomes. Areas of research include disease screening and prevention, systematic review methodology, comparative effectiveness research, developing evidence-based practice and policy guidelines, implementation of practices and guidelines in health systems, development of patient-centered registries and data marts within health information systems, creating and testing patient decision aids, and using patient data for quality improvement and research projects.
Cross-Area Research Activities
DMICE has many ongoing research projects and activities. Those focused in the three main areas of the departments are described on their respective pages. Some projects, however, span across multiple areas of the department:
National Center for Digital Health Informatics Innovation
Melissa Haendel, Shannon McWeeney, David Dorr, Ted Laderas, Nicole Weiskopf, William Hersh
The National Center for Digital Health Innovation coalesces the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) informatics community together with the open science community to catalyze the next steps in the evolution of biomedical informatics by supporting the creation of collaboratively developed sustainable infrastructure. This is done via the axes of open data, open software, open resources, and through two integrated thematic areas of urgent need: rare disease and human health across the lifespan.
Funder: National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health
Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Institute
Cynthia Morris, Shannon McWeeney, Robert Schuff, Aaron Cohen
DMICE faculty play a variety of roles in OCTRI, which was established in 2006 as now one of 58 academic health centers awarded a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the National Institutes of Health. OHSU was one of the first 12 CTSA awards in 2006. OCTRI focuses its energy and resources on building clinical and translational research at Oregon Health &Science University and regional communities, government, and industry.
Funder: National Center for Advancing Translational, National Institutes of Health
Translational and Integrative Sciences Laboratory
Melissa Haendel, Nicole Vasilevsky, Matthew Brush and Shahim Essaid
The Translational and Integrative Sciences Laboratory (Tislab), led by Dr. Melissa Haendel, uses semantic technologies to integrate data across disciplinary divides. Such systems have been used to leverage model organism data for rare disease diagnostics, to identify new disease genes, and to reveal potential drug targets. The Tislab also develops global standards that aid such integration and data sharing, such as the Phenopackets standard for patient phenotype data sharing, and the Mondo ontology for harmonizing how we define diseases for use in global diagnostic tools. Tislab’s ultimate goal is to weave together basic laboratory research, environmental and dietary, and genomic data along with patient generated data to realize collaborative health.
Funders: National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH, National Cancer Institute (NCI) and NIH Common Fund.