Oregon Health & Science University Receives $1 Million for Biomedical Research

Oregon Health & Science University has announced a two-year, $1 million gift from the W.M. Keck Foundation in Los Angeles to develop applications and workflow processes for a microscope that could advance the science of personalized cancer care.

To be located at the OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine (OCSSB), the microscope will integrate light and transmission electron microscopy — two measurement modes with different advantages in visualizing biological specimens — into one instrument, enabling scientists to better identify the functions of the molecular machines that comprise living systems in normal and diseased tissues. It is also hoped that the technology will help scientists understand how to develop effective, less toxic treatments for individual patients. In 2006, Keck gave the university $1.75 million to equip its advanced imaging research center with state-of-the-art MRI research systems.

The project, which brings together a multinational team of researchers from OHSU, microscope maker FEI, the University of California, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Utrecht University, Portland State University, and biochemical company QVQ, will be housed in the OHSU/Oregon University System Collaborative Life Sciences Building (CLSB), which is under construction on OHSU's Schnitzer Campus.

"The foundation is helping us build the tools that will lead to a more complex, systems-level understanding of how our cells work, how they interact, how they become corrupted, and how they might respond to a particular treatment," said Joe W. Gray, OCSSB director and chair of biomedical engineering in the OHSU School of Medicine and associate director for translational research at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. "This work will improve all aspects of cancer management from detection to treatment, while creating new molecular insights in neuroscience, cardiology, immunology, and other disease-focused research."