People and Labs


The OCSSB was established in 2011 as a joint project between the Knight Cancer Institute and the School of Medicine. Thus, while it is part of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the OCSSB maintains strong relationships with other units within OHSU, particularly the Knight Cancer Institute and the Computational Biology program. Within the Knight Cancer Institute, we collaborate with the Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research (CEDAR) center and Precision Oncology program for many projects. Thus, OCCSB people, including faculty, research staff, collaborators, administrative staff, students, and interns, may have multiple roles or affiliations reflecting the collaborative nature of much of our work. 

Labs of OCSSB Principal Investigators

Gibbs Lab fluorophores have been used for simultaneous nerve and vessel imaging

Summer Gibbs Laboratory

Summer Gibbs' Lab is focused on the development of optimized imaging reagents to expand the capabilities of macroscopic and microscopic cancer imaging. This includes fluorophore development for image-guided surgery, superresolution microscopy, and correlative light and electron microscopy to visualize and characterize cancer from the operating room to the single cell level. Learn more about the Gibbs Lab.

Visualization of Raf dimers and multimers in cells

Xiaolin Nan Laboratory

Xiaolin Nan studies single molecule spatial systems biology, with a particular interest in understanding how oncogenic signaling modules are assembled and operate in their cellular context and seeking their practical use in designing novel cancer therapeutics. His research group takes a multidisciplinary approach that combines biological nanoscopy, biochemistry and bioengineering, and computation to address these challenges. Learn more about the Nan Lab.

microscopy image

Jim Korkola Laboratory

Dr. Korkola works on primarily on breast cancer, with a focus on how interactions with microenvironment impact the phenotype of cancer cells, emphasizing those that alter the way cells respond to therapy. Dr. Korkola’s lab also is interested in understanding the mechanisms of resistance induced by extrinsic and intrinsic factors and developing multidrug combinations to overcome resistance and improve patient outcomes.  Learn more about the Korkola Lab.

mixed resolution modeling

Daniel Zuckerman Laboratory

The Zuckerman group uses physics-based computational methods to study molecular, meso- and cell-scale systems. The group is particularly interested in the conformational behavior of proteins, in drug design for flexible receptors, as well as in molecular machines and their connections to cell behavior. Learn more about the Zuckerman Lab.

Fluorescent and fluorogenic probes are a research focus of the Beatty Lab

Kimberly Beatty Laboratory

The overarching goal of our research is to develop chemical probes that advance our understanding of human diseases.  We are developing innovative approaches to molecular imaging of various targets, from classes of enzymes to multi-protein complexes.  Projects are inherently multidisciplinary as we seek to reveal pivotal events in disease progression. Learn more about the Beatty Lab.

Schematic of Gray Lab research approach (detail)

Joe Gray Laboratory

The Gray Laboratory explores mechanisms by which genomic, transcriptional and proteomic abnormalities occur in selected cancers. Current studies focus on developing: (a) integrated analyses of the spectrum of recurrent abnormalities that influence cancer behavior, (b) mathematical models that describe how cancer-associated molecular abnormalities influence individual responses to therapeutic inhibitors, (c) novel therapeutic approaches to treat cancer subpopulations that do not respond well to current aggressive chemotherapeutic strategies, (d) automated functional assessment of genes deregulated by genomic abnormalities in cancers, (e) molecular imaging for early detection of metastasis prone breast cancer, and (f) spatial systems biomedicine. Research in these areas is typically multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary. Learn more about the Gray Lab.

Methodology schematic detail from Heiser Lab

Laura Heiser Laboratory

Laura Heiser is focused on identifying predictors of drug response and resistance, using novel imaging techniques to identify phenotypic changes associated with molecular aberrations and therapeutic response, and studying the influence of the microenvironment on cancer cells. The Heiser Lab uses well-integrated experimental and computational approaches to understand the complexity of cancer. Because this work is necessarily multidisciplinary in nature, the lab frequently collaborates with diverse teams of scientists, as illustrated by involvement in the NIH LINCS Consortium, NCI Cancer Systems Biology Consortium (CSBC), and DREAM Project. 

Chang Lab image

Young Hwan Chang

The Chang Group is interested in computational and interdisciplinary approaches to deliver scientific advances and clinical innovation for studying cancer. One of our main focuses is to develop quantitative image analysis tools and build spatial systems biology models in order to understand how cancer cells adapt to their microenvironment (ME) and elucidate how tumor cell-ME interactions influence tumor cell physiology and response to therapy. We use and adapt state-of-art machine learning/deep learning techniques for exploratory data analysis by rigorous data integration. Read more about the Chang Lab .