Welcome!

Vollum Institute at OHSU (OHSU/Kristyna Wentz-Graff)

The Vollum Institute is a privately endowed research institute at Oregon Health & Science University dedicated to basic research that will lead to new treatments for neurological and psychiatric diseases. Vollum scientists have broad-ranging interests that coalesce around molecular neurobiology and cellular physiology. Their work has transformed the field of neuroscience and, in particular, has provided important advances in the study of synaptic transmission, neuronal development, neurotransmitter transporters, ion channels and the neurobiology of disease.

Learn more about the Vollum's mission

In memoriam — Leonard Laster, M.D.

Former OHSU president Leonard Laster in front of the Vollum Institute

The Vollum Institute owes its existence to a bold idea from a visionary leader, Dr. Leonard Laster, OHSU’s second president.

Researchers, postdoctoral and graduate trainees, and staff pay our deep respects to Dr. Laster. With his proposal to create a new center of excellence to jump-start research at OHSU — and his persistence to make it reality — he contributed to making Portland a hub for biomedical research. His commitment to advancing basic scientific research and promoting the role of medicine to change lives continues to have impact.

We extend our heartfelt sympathy to Dr. Laster's family, and offer our gratitude for his vision that established this incredible place to do research.
(Photo from the OHSU Archives)

Read more about Dr. Laster's lasting legacy at OHSU News

Work-in-Progress Talks

Friday | October 30 | 12–1 pm

Bone marrow-derived Lipocalin 2 as a mediator of appetite suppression during cancer cachexia

Brennan Olson, Graduate Student, Daniel Marks Lab

Intrinsic and extrinsic determinants of excitability in songbird upper vocal-motor neurons

Benjamin Zemel, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Henrique von Gersdorff Lab

Learn more about the Friday WiP Seminars Series and get the webinar link

Eric Gouaux elected to National Academy of Medicine

Eric Gouaux in front of the Titan Krios at the PNCC

Congratulations to Eric Gouaux on his election to the National Academy of Medicine! The academy recognized Gouaux for providing unprecedented insight into the molecular structure and mechanism of the chemical synapses of the brain, showing how “signals” are passed from one nerve cell to another, and how important therapeutic and illicit drugs alter the molecular structure and activities of crucial neurotransmitter receptors and transport proteins.

Gouaux is a senior scientist in the Vollum Institute and the Jennifer and Bernard Lacroute Endowed Chair in Neuroscience. He is also an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and was previously elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2010. (Photo courtesy OHSU/Kristyna Wentz-Graff)

Read the press release at OHSU News
Learn more about the National Academy of Medicine

Antoinette Foster recognized for efforts to create change

Antoinette Foster, PhD

Antoinette Foster, Ph.D., is the recipient of the inaugural Elevate Award from the Alliance for Visible Diversity in Science at OHSU.

Foster was nominated and selected independently by members of the AVDS Board for her critical role in founding and shaping AVDS structure and function, as well as her tireless effort to catalyze positive change toward a more equitable and inclusive community at OHSU.

This annual award recognizes an OHSU community member who has contributed significantly to racial equity and inclusion, and provides $500 in recognition of their service. AVDS acknowledges the emotional labor and personal sacrifice, often without compensation, that all too often falls on the shoulders of minoritized and oppressed individuals in order to actualize racial equity in our institutions. Read the full article →

Learn more about AVDS or make a contribution to support the Elevate Award

Recognition for our early career awardees

Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are usually supported by research grants to individual faculty or by institutional training grants from the NIH. However, a sought-after perk for trainees is to obtain an individual fellowship from federal sources or foundations. Such awards are an honor and also provide important financial support for the trainee and their lab. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the Vollum Institute have been remarkably successful in obtaining these awards over the past few years. This is a credit to the quality of the trainees and the support the receive from their mentors. Congratulations to all.

Congratulations to the Neuroscience Graduate Program researchers — Ali Pincus, Prashant Rao and Petra Richer — who received 2020 N.L. Tartar Trust Fellowships. The $2,000 grants are awarded annually by the OHSU School of Medicine as a means to support research endeavors and career development. Keep up the great work!

Congratulations to all of our graduate researchers in the Vollum/OHSU Neuroscience Graduate Program who received ARCS Foundation Scholar Awards from the ARCS Oregon Chapter!

First Year: Teva Bracha and Kim Engeln
Second Year: Sweta AdhikaryAmelia CulpMakayla Freitas and Sierra Smith
Third Year: Gregory Hamersky and Jennifer Jahncke

Learn more about these scholars and the ARCS Foundation Oregon

Sweta Adhikary, Williams Lab
NIDA F30 Predoctoral Fellowship (MD/PhD): “Adaptations following chronic opioid treatment and withdrawal”

Sarah Clark, Ph.D., Gouaux Lab
NIDCD F32 Fellowship: "Elucidating the architecture and composition of the hair cell mechanotransduction complex"

Alec Condon, Williams Lab
NIDA F31 Predoctoral Fellowship: "Desensitization and recovery of D2 autoreceptors"

Alejandra Fernandez, Ph.D., Wright Lab
NINDS K01 Postdoctoral Career Development Award: "The role of Pten on primary sensory neuron development"

Alexandra Houser, Baconguis Lab
National Science Foundation, Graduate Research Fellowship

Farzad Jalali-Yazdi, Ph.D., Gouaux Lab
NIMH F32 Fellowship: "Elucidating the structural mechanism of NMDA receptor modulation by cryo-electon microscopy"

Taylor Jay, Ph.D., Freeman Lab
NINDS F32 Fellowship: "Glial regulation of neuronal physiology in response to local injury"

Yunsik Kang, Ph.D., Freeman Lab
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fellowship: "Molecular mechanisms regulating phagaocytosis of neurons"

Patrick Kerstein, Ph.D., Wright Lab
NEI F32 Fellowship: "Gbx2 regulates the development of an atypical amacrine cell"

Katy Lehmann, Freeman Lab
National Science Foundation, Graduate Research Fellowship

Jiaxing Li, Ph.D., Monk Lab
National MS Society Postdoctoral Fellowship: “Investigating synapse assembly and disassembly in oligodendrocyte precursor cells”

Dan Miller, Wright Lab
NINDS F31 Predoctoral Fellowship: "Mechanism of dystroglycan function at inhibitory synapses"

John Sinnamon, Ph.D., Mandel Lab
Rett Syndrome Research Trust Award: "Using site-directed RNA editing to repair Rett Syndrome mutations in vivo"

Janelle Tobias, Frank Lab
National Science Foundation, Graduate Research Fellowship