Academic Collaborations

The Horizon Initiative: a cancer prevention and control collaboration between OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and Oregon State University  

The goal of the Horizon Initiative is to facilitate growth of inter-institutional, multidisciplinary research teams and to develop sustainable and innovative research in cancer prevention and control. 


Emily Ho, Ph.D., Professor, Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Linus Pauling Institute, Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health 

Arup Indra, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Oregon State University College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Linus Pauling Institute, OSU; Affiliated Faculty Department of Dermatology, OHSU, Knight Cancer Institute, OHSU

Pepper Schedin, Ph.D. Professor, OHSU School of Medicine Department of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology; Co-Program Lead, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Cancer Prevention and Control Program

Jackilen Shannon, Ph.D., R.D., Associate Professor, OHSU School of Public Health; Associate Director, Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute; Director, OHSU Integrated Program in Community Research; Co-director, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Community Partnership Program

Research Funding

The first round of funding began on January 1, 2016 and required at least one OSU and one OHSU investigator. Collaborative efforts were a major criteria for funding. Six research pilot projects ($50,000 each) and five team pilot projects ($10,000 each) were funded.

Eleven pilot projects were chosen in the second round of funding on June 30, 2017. Five were research pilot projects and six were team pilot projects for a total of 22 projects (52 investigators) funded by the Initiative. Two of the projects were funded by Knight Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research (CEDAR) and the Oregon State University College of Engineering. These projects are indicated with asterisks.

Research Pilot Projects

Round 1

  1. Disparities in CRC screening: a mixed methods multi-level study of Oregon's medicaid population. Melinda Davis (OHSU) and Cynthia Mojica (OSU)
  2. Design and validate synthetic oligonucleotides to selectively suppress mutant CALR (calreticulin) alleles in myeloproliferative neoplasms. Kim-Hien Dao (OHSU) and Patrick Iversen (OSU)
  3. Chemoprevention of prostate cancer: long Non-coding RNAs and sulforaphane. Joshi Alkumal (OHSU), Mark Garzotto (OHSU), David Hendrix (OSU), Emily Ho (OSU), and Jackilen Shannon (OHSU)
  4. Zebrafish as a model for chemoprevention of T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). Bill Chang (OHSU), Linda Stork (OHSU), Robert Tanguay (OSU), and David Williams (OSU)
  5. Function of selenoprotein thioredoxin reductase (TR1) in melanocyte homeostasis. Pamela Cassidy (OHSU) and Arup Indra (OSU)
  6. Bcl-2 converters for breast cancer. Siva Kolluri (OSU), Christiane Loehr (OSU), Shiuh-Wen Luoh (OHSU), and Rosalie Sears (OHSU)

Round 2

  1. Refining circulating tumor cell signatures to facilitate early detection of colorectal cancer. Kevin Billingsley (OHSU), Charles Lopez (OHSU), Skye Mayo (OHSU), Abhinav Nellore (OHSU), Gaurav Sahay (OSU), Conroy Sun (OSU), Gina Vaccaro (OHSU) and Melissa Wong (OHSU)
  2. The Tks5-dependent metabolome. Sara Courtneidge (OHSU) and Claudia Maier (OSU)
  3. Targeting DNA repair as an adjuvant strategy for cancer vaccines. Sudarshan Anand (OHSU) and William Bisson (OSU)

4. *CLOT: Role of platelets in cancer-associated thrombosis. Pallavi Dhagat (OSU), Adam Higgins (OSU), Owen McCarty (OHSU), Terry Morgan (OHSU), Xiaolin Nan (OHSU), Joseph Shatzel (OHSU), Yumie Takata (OSU), Scharri Walker (Tougaloo College) and Craig Williams (OSU)

5. *Photoluminescence-based biosensor for label-free detection of cancer biomarkers. Gregory Rorrer (OSU) and Wassana Yantasee (OHSU)

*Funded by CEDAR and OSU College of Engineering.

Pilot Projects

Round 1

  1. Phytanic acid, a branched-chain fatty acid in dairy, and risk of cancer. Gerd Bobe (OSU), Jackilen Shannon (OHSU), Yumie Takata (OSU), and Zhenzhen Zhang (OHSU)
  2. Role of platelets activation in colon cancer metastasis under coagulation and shear. Pallavi Dhagat (OSU), Albrecht Jander (OSU), Owen McCarty (OHSU), and Travis Walker (OSU)
  3. Early detection of colorectal liver metastases and recurrence to direct hepatic regional therapy. Kevin Billingsley (OHSU), William Bisson (OSU), Charles Lopez (OHSU), Skye Mayo (OHSU), and Melissa Wong (OHSU)
  4. Patient-centered communication to meet the needs of AYA survivors. Diane Elliot (OHSU), Jessica Gorman (OHSU), Brandon Hayes-Lattin (OHSU), Karen Lyons (OHSU), Martin Storksdieck (OSU), and Kerri Winters-Stone (OHSU)
  5. Towards evidence based consensus on breast cancer screening and prioritization of future screening research to delineate lethal from non-lethal disease. Veronica Irvin (OSU) and Pepper Schedin (OHSU)

Round 2

  1. Early detection of AML transformation risk in individuals with familial RUNX1 mutations. Anupriya Agarwal (OHSU), Uma Borate (OHSU), Veronica Irvin (OSU) and Zhenzhen Zhang (OHSU)

  2. An interspecies, systems biology approach to investigate the molecular basis of castration resistance in prostatic adenocarcinoma. Stephen Ramsey (OSU) and George Thomas (OHSU)

  3. Synergizing in vitro cellular and in vivo MRI images for breast cancer using image processing and data visualization methods. Joe Gray (OHSU), Wei Huang (OHSU), Eugene Zhang (OSU) and Yue Zhang (OSU)

  4. Novel nanomedicine-based approach for treatment of hypoxic ovarian cancer tumors. Adam Krieg (OHSU), Tanja Pejovic (OHSU) and Oleh Taratula (OSU)

  5. Intracellular delivery of extracellular vesicles. Thuy Ngo (OHSU) and Gaurav Sahay (OSU)

  6. An integrative approach towards understanding the diet-oxidative stress pathway gene interaction in prostate cancer risk.  Mark Garzotto (OHSU), Emily Ho (OSU), Duo Jiang (OSU), Ryan Kopp (OHSU), Jackilen Shannon (OHSU) and Reid Thompson (OHSU)

Scientific Retreat

The first scientific retreat was held on August 31, 2015 at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center at Oregon State University. Over 80 scientists from OHSU and OSU attended the retreat which included short presentations on research interests, small breakout sessions to encourage collaborations and a poster session.

The second scientific retreat will take place on March 14, 2017 at Oregon State University and included talks by previously funded team and research pilot investigators plus short presentations by other investigators. Over 80 scientists attended at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center at Oregon State University.