Research Topics

The PCCM faculty at OHSU and VAPORHCS are engaged in a wide range of preclinical and clinical studies in areas and diseases that are  of interest to pulmonary and CCM physicians.

Asthma

Image showing a lung with asthma
innervation by tissue compartment using 3D model

We are engaged in work to elucidate the mechanisms by which airways respond to pathogens and toxins to develop asthma. Our studies combine classical physiological in-vivo and in-vitro approaches with cutting edge live cell or high resolution structural imaging approaches. Our structure-function studies include the interactions between the airways, peripheral neurons, and the immune system. Faculty: Drs. David Jacoby, Allison Fryer, Matt Drake, Jane Nie.

Airway Inflammation

Chart showing airway inflammation research
graph showing cytokine release following interruption of CFTR by cigarette smoke

Cytokine release following interruption of CFTR by cigarette smoke or other toxins precipitates an inflammatory cascade that is positioned to damage the airways. Understanding this pathway is key to identifying new therapeutic targets for COPD and other chronic lung diseases. Faculty: Drs. Suil Kim, Stephen M. Smith

Surfactants

pccm research surfactants
image showing how pulmonary surfactant lowers surface tension in the lung.

Pulmonary surfactant lowers surface tension in the lung. Our goal is to understand how this protein-lipid complex regulates surface tension under a range of conditions. Faculty: Dr. Stephen Hall

Bacterial Infection

pccm research Bacterial Infection
image showing how T cells can detect intracellular infection

To combat intracellular bacterial infection, the immune system must recognize that the cell is infected. The laboratories of Drs. Lewinsohn, Harriff and Karamooz are focused on understanding how T cells can detect intracellular infection. This work is of direct relevance to the development of improved diagnostics and vaccines against mycobacteria. Within OHSU, there is also a strong group of researchers focused on TB as well as non-TB mycobacteria. These interests range from epidemiology and clinical management (Winthrop), to microbiology (Purdy), to macrophage biology (Tafesse), to pediatric TB (Drs. Deborah Lewinsohn and Chris Lancioni).

Neuronal Signaling in the CNS

Altered brain function is a harbinger of poor outcome in a large range of illnesses affecting the ICU patient but our understanding and therapeutic armamentarium remains inadequate in a number of conditions. We are attempting to identify novel mechanisms impacting specific forms of neuronal signaling at the cellular and circuit level that may be used to regulate acute pathological disturbances of the brain. Faculty: Drs. Stephen M. Smith, Miranda Lim.

PCCM Research Neuronal Signaling in the CNS
image showing differences and similarities between an excitatory synapse and an inhibitory synapse

Sleep and Circadian Rhythms

Disturbed sleep and circadian rhythms are associated with many diseases. Our focus is on how sleep modulates neurological, psychiatric, and pulmonary disorders. Faculty: Drs. Miranda Lim, Jonathan Emens, Steven Shea

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) 

PCCM Research ARDS
Petal Network logo

Clinical research studies include our role as a major contributor to the studies undertaken by the PETAL clinical trials network. In addition to these studies on ARDS, we are developing and evaluating simulation tools to determine the optimal mechanism of training physicians to deliver best ventilator care in patients with respiratory failure. Faculty: Drs. Akram Khan,Stephanie Nonas, Jonathan Pak 

COPD

We are exploring alternative methods for delivery of pulmonary rehabilitation and of models chronic illness care to optimize outcomes for patients wit COPD and multi-morbidity. Faculty: Drs. Katie Artis, David Coultas.

Lung Cancer

PCCM Research Lung Cancer
image showing how we study lung cancer

We study mechanisms at multiple levels of health care delivery, including patient-clinician relationship, health care system, and policy, that are associated with patient-centered outcomes for people the and at-risk for lung cancer. We utilize several different methodologies to provide a robust understanding of these mechanisms including prospective trials, "big data" with advanced bio statistical analyses, survey-based research, and qualitative methodologies. Faculty: Drs. Chris Slatore, Don Sullivan

Critical Care Outcomes Research

PCCM Research outcomes
charts showing how organization of ICU processes impacts outcomes.

We have a strong interest in effective and appropriate healthcare delivery  in ciritcal care settings. We have developd an ICU outcomes research group that is currently working on how organization of ICU processes impacts outcomes. Faculty: Drs. Kelly Vranas, Chris Slatore

Electronic Health Record

PCCM Research EHR
chart showing differences between pharmacists, physicians, and nurses as it relates to their daily workload in an EHR

The widespread introduction of the electronic health record (EHR) has provided opportunities for us to objectively study optimal use of patient data in real and simulated patient care environments. Our group leverages high-fidelity simulation to understand factors associated with safe and effective use of EHRs, and use this data to both inform training and EHR redesign. We are currently working to determine how physicians and other health care workers might use the EHR to minimize medical errors in the ICU and improve data communication during daily rounds, to use simulation to develop a curriculum for training of medical scribes in safe and effective EHR use across a variety of ambulatory and inpatient specialties, and to leverage EHR simulation to redesign the EHR training system wide. . Faculty: Drs. Jeff Gold, Katie Artis

See the OHSU Medical Scribes program