Research in the School of Medicine

Discovery by leaps and bounds

The OHSU School of Medicine's 27 basic science and clinical departments, as well as numerous centers and institutes, are together awarded more than $250 million in research funding annually.

Research at the School of Medicine attracts leading scientists and top students who share the drive to collaborate together as they explore the unknown and expand our knowledge.

Above all, the school is dedicated to rapidly translating those discoveries into better health.

Find a research lab (listed alphabetically by name)

Why we're different

The school is known for its collaborative spirit among researchers and synergistic partnerships with regional institutions to prime biomedical discovery in the Northwest.

Longtime partners include Oregon State University, Portland State University, University of Oregon and the VA Portland Health Care System.

  • OHSU partnered with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to become one of three national centers established by the National Institutes of Health in cryo-electron microscopy. Researchers in the Pacific Northwest Center for Cryo-EM on the OHSU campus will study cells at the atomic level using four new powerful microscopes and train scientists nationwide.
  • A multi-institution team of researchers led by Jeff Tyner, Ph.D., associate professor of cell, developmental and cancer biology, OHSU School of Medicine, published the largest cancer dataset of its kind in Nature to accelerate the search for new AML treatments.
  • Physician-scientists and basic scientists led by Matthew Drake, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, OHSU School of Medicine, developed a new imaging technique using OHSU’s state-of-the-art confocal microscopes to link airway nerve density with asthma symptoms of greater severity. Now researchers are investigating whether these changes are preventable or reversible, offering fresh hope to the 235 million people worldwide living with asthma.

Student ingenuity propels advances

The School of Medicine’s more than 360 graduate students are an integral part of the research enterprise. They train in the latest methods and contribute in significant ways to research projects as they pursue their Ph.D. and master’s degrees. Top Ph.D. students receive highly competitive ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Foundation financial awards.

Among many examples, Ph.D. student Daelyn Richards researches improved treatments for PKU, or phenylketonuria, a rare metabolic disorder, and has raised more than $180,000 toward PKU research. Her mentor, Cary Harding, M.D., professor of molecular and medical genetics, OHSU School of Medicine, led the development of a life-changing treatment for people with PKU, which received FDA approval in 2018.

Meet some of the scientists of OHSU