Sneak peek: OHSU Research Week headliners, highlights

Research Week

April 19, 2013


May 20-24 | OHSU Old Library | 154 orals and 206 posters | three keynotes | food, drink, conversation and awards

With OHSU Research Week just over a month away, preparations are ramping up quickly as organizers flesh out scientific sessions, presenters sharpen their speaking skills and schedules get nailed down.

The university-wide event, May 20-24 in the OHSU Old Library, will showcase the diversity and excellence of research across all schools, centers, institutes and education programs. Researchers of all ranks – students to senior faculty investigators – will participate.

Mark your calendars now to attend, support colleagues and meet new ones, and socialize during receptions throughout the week.

Opening Keynote

Mace RothenbergTuesday, May 21, noon
OHSU Auditorium

Mace L. Rothenberg, M.D., senior vice president of clinical development and medical affairs, Pfizer

Title: “Industry-academia collaboration:  Developing novel therapeutics in oncology based on new genetic insights”

Mace L. Rothenberg, M.D., will lead us in a conversation about the growing importance of industry-academia collaboration for discovery and drug development, using examples stemming from novel therapeutics in oncology and based on new genetic insights.

Dr. Rothenberg is responsible for overseeing clinical research and development activities as well as post-marketing evaluation and monitoring for all Pfizer oncology products. Dr. Rothenberg came to Pfizer in 2008 after more than 20 years in academia where he focused on early-stage drug development, clinical trial design, and the coordinated laboratory-clinical evaluation of new therapies for gastrointestinal cancers. He is the recipient of the American Cancer Society’s Lane W. Adams Quality of Life Award, honoring him as one of the nation’s top cancer caregivers and the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Statesman Award, honoring him for more than 20 years of service to the organization, the specialty of oncology and cancer patients.

Sponsored by: the School of Medicine Research Roadmap Task Force #6. This is a joint lecture with the OHSU 125th Anniversary Lecture Series.

Midweek Keynote

peter byersThursday, May 23, 4 p.m.
OHSU Auditorium

Peter H. Byers, M.D., professor of medicine and pathology, University of Washington School of Medicine

Title: “Getting to Recessive: Making the Rare Common”

More than 95 percent of people who have a genetic bone disorder, osteogenesis imperfecta, have mutations that alter one copy of one of the two genes, COL1A1 and COL1A2, that encode the chains of type I collagen, the most abundant protein in bone (and in many other tissues).  But what about the other 5 percent?  In the last decade a variety of different approaches — blind luck, analysis of candidate genes, examination of pathway candidates, and exome sequence analysis in small consanguinous families — have identified another 11 genes that fall into several functional categories. These fascinating genes include some that may drive osteoblast differentiation, some that modify collagens or assist in their maturation, and yet others that have still undefined pathways in which they work. There are more genes to come and perhaps at the end of this journey, we will have better diagnostic and treatment tools.

Sponsored by: Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute

Closing Keynote — Student’s Choice

david schneiderFriday, May 24, 4 p.m.
OHSU Auditorium

David S. Schneider, Ph.D., assistant professor of microbiology and immunology, Stanford School of Medicine

Title: “Fighting infections by warping disease space”

When we suffer from infections, our bodies can fight in two ways. The first is to kill the microbes, and the second is to avoid symptoms. Dr. Schneider’s lab has been concentrating on this second part, trying to determine why we suffer when we are infected. His lab has developed an ecological approach for studying populations, called disease tolerance, to work on individuals. Their goal is to map out the course an individual takes through disease space as they sicken and recover and then to find methods of twisting this space to improve recovery. They use model infections in flies and mice and try to apply their ideas to human diseases like malaria.

Dr. Schneider earned his B.S. in biochemistry at the University of Toronto and his Ph.D. in molecular biology at University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley, he was awarded the Larry Sandler Memorial Award for best Drosophila thesis. At Stanford, Dr. Schneider focuses on innate immunity and microbial pathogenesis utilizing a variety of pathogens, and mouse and insect hosts.

Dr. Schneider has received numerous awards. In 2002, he was awarded the New Scholar in Global Infectious Disease Award from the Ellison Medical Foundation (EMF). In 2008, he received the Senior Scholar Award in Aging from the EMF. In 2011, he was given the National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award for his project, “Mapping the road to recovery: Does the way we get better differ from the way we get sick?”

Sponsored by: OHSU Graduate Student Organization

New This Year, Three-Minute Thesis Competition for Doctoral Students

OHSU will hold its first Three Minute Thesis Competition for graduate students. Think “tram pitch,” not “elevator pitch.” The challenge: describe your research to a lay person in the time it takes to complete one trip on the tram.

3MT® is an academic competition developed by the University of Queensland, Australia. The exercise develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills as students explain their research in three minutes in a language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience. Any student enrolled in an OHSU Ph.D. program may present research they are conducting toward completion of a thesis or terminal project. View examples of 3MT presentations or search “3MT” on YouTube.

Other Highlights

There will also be career development workshops, receptions with food and drink at the end of each day and an awards ceremony.

The final day of OHSU Research Week will be Students’ Day – a student-organized day of student programming that will include career and postdoc panels, student-only presentations, a full food and drink student reception and even an “ugly data” competition!

News, Updates

SoM Research Voice will be sharing details as they become available.

Also check back frequently on the OHSU Research Week website for additional information.

We’re also getting the word out through social media. Check out OHSU Research Week on Facebook.