When taking into account a new grant to Oregon Health and Science University and recent NIH and NSF research funding, Oregon Health and Science University is a great market for lab suppliers marketing life science solutions and hoping to generate laboratory sales leads. Oregon Health and Science University was recently awarded $50 thousand in research funding by the National Psoriasis Foundation.
Science Market Update
The National Eye Institute, an NIH agency dedicated to vision research, recently announced the winners of their Challenge to Identify Audacious Goals in Vision Research and Blindness Rehabilitation, or the Audacious Goals Challenge for short. The competition was open to professionals and members of the public and called upon them to think big and bold about vision research goals for the next decades. The prize money was nominal ($3,000) but included an invitation and travel money to attend and present their ideas at the NEI Audacious Goals Development Meeting in Maryland later this month. The real prize, of course, was the opportunity to help set research and funding goals for the next 10-12 years. Of the 500 or so proposals submitted, 10 visionaries were selected as winners.
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The Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland has just announced an important partnership with San Diego-based bioprinting technology company Organovo. Research into the biology of cancer, especially how it metastasizes, has been complicated in the past by the limitations of animal models and cell cultures, which really don't tell us enough about the workings of cancer within a human being. Organovo creates living, 3-D human tissue using their bioprinting device, the NovoGen MMX (below). The partnership between OHSU and Organovo will allow cancer research at Knight Institute labs to much more closely model the complex architecture of malignancy within the human body, using in vitro tissue. Ultimately this will lead to the development of more accurate therapeutics and pre-clinical trials.
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Researchers trying to find ways to help cure children of disease before they are born with it face an uphill challenge, in part because research on human embryos (even research that might result in a human embryo) is limited by the federal government when federal funding is at issue. Yet progress is being made, notably in the case of mitochondrial diseases passed from mother to child. A gene therapy procedure being studied and tested at Oregon Health Sciences University puts the nucleus of an egg cell with the mother's DNA into the scooped-out mitochondrial shell of another, healthier woman's egg cell. Then the egg is fertilized in vitro and gestated in utero. When research on nonhuman primates three years ago was a success (the monkeys are all alive and well), they tested the basic steps of the procedure with donated human eggs. They brought the hybrid eggs to the blastocyst stage, then cultured lines and did testing on them. At least 20% of the fertilized samples would have been viable for placement in utero.
Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) recently received $245,115 in new NIH science research funding for a study of the effectiveness of two drugs commonly used to restore heart function in cardiac arrest victims. Researchers will be determining whether the drugs Amiodarone and Lidocaine actually improve cardiac arrest patients' chance of survival, and if so which is more effective. These drugs are both used to restore the loss of rhythmic and regular heartbeats that is a common cause of cardiac arrest, though their overall effectiveness at improving survival among patients has not been well documented. Typically first responders pick one or the other, but their decisions are not based on hard comparative evidence of the drugs' benefits.
The development of successful vaccinations can be considered among the most important discoveries in medicine. It has caused significant reduction in the occurrence of several major diseases and has virtually eliminated some pathogens such as smallpox. Even with previous developments, there is always the room for improvements.
OHSU life science researcher Jonah Sacha, Ph.D. (photo courtesy of OHSU), recently received $1 million in new funding for HIV research. He will be leading a team of researchers who will be investigating the possibility of developing a new AIDS vaccine.
The NIH has funded a five-year, $21 million Integrative Neuroscience Initiative on Alcoholism grant to support a multi-site consortium led by Oregon Health & Science University researchers Kathleen A. Grant and Betsy Ferguson. The grant represents the second competitive renewal for the INIA consortium (founded in 2001), which is made up of 15 lead investigators from 10 institutions in the United States and Europe. OHSU's share of the current funding is $6.3M. Dr. Grant is the head of neuroscience at the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC), where Dr. Ferguson is an associate scientist. The Division of Neuroscience at the ONPRC conducts research aimed at identifying and defining fundamental aspects of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying nervous system function.
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