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OHSU Research Funding Reaches New Heights While Fueling Oregon’s Economic Engine

In fiscal year 2010, Oregon Health & Science University researchers obtained more research funding than in any other previous year — $392 million. This figure includes $70 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus) funding. To date, OHSU ARRA funding has generated 519 full- and part-time jobs and brought in $92 million for construction, research and education projects.

OHSU’s total research funding for 2010 topped all previous figures ($307M in 2009 and $299M in 2008). These figures include all funding from the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies, professional societies and associations, foundations, and research contracts with business partners.

“OHSU plays a vital role in Oregon’s economy,” said Ryan Deckert, president of the 330-member Oregon Business Association. “OHSU is a traded sector. It brings millions of dollars of investment into the state, and these dollars fuel other local businesses, and create and sustain jobs.”  

Among the hundreds of health research studies that received funding, the 2010 grants, gifts and contracts will help pay for:

  • A study of the biological markers of Alzheimer’s disease to improve diagnosis of the disease
  • A survey of the availability and effectiveness of cancer screening in rural Oregon.
  • The study of methods for introducing HIV therapies into the human body.
  • Research to develop cell-based therapies aimed at treating degenerative eye diseases in children.
  • A study on genetic interactions that may shed light on a new treatment for breast cancer.
  • Research into the factors that result in the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with the hopes of preventing this disease in the future.
  • A study aimed at engineering vascular tissue for patients with heart disease.
  • The development of shared methods for successfully caring for patients with dementia in assisted living settings
  • A study to assess the neurologic risks for adolescents exposed to certain kinds of pesticides.
  • Studies that will help shed light on the biological factors causing drug-seeking behavior so that improved interventions can be developed
  • The development of a vaccine to prevent yellow fever infections.

“Increased research funding for OHSU expands patient access to cutting-edge treatments through clinical trials,” said Dan Dorsa, Ph.D., OHSU’s vice president for research. “This funding also supports basic research, which lays the groundwork for tomorrow’s treatments and cures. Finally, we are acutely aware of the important role that OHSU research plays in fueling the state’s economy. In addition to ‘spin-off’ companies started by OHSU faculty, local businesses benefit from the products and services we purchase to conduct research. Expanded research at OHSU also results in the hiring of additional employees to conduct these studies.”    
“I'm excited about OHSU’s success in attracting ARRA funding. These dollars help us advance biomedical research and the results directly impact the health of Oregonians and other Americans,” said OHSU President Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A. “Creating and retaining jobs is yet another benefit of that work.”

About OHSU
Oregon Health & Science University is the state’s only health and research university, and Oregon’s only academic health center. OHSU currently employs 13,200 persons in the region. It is the largest employer in Portland and the fourth largest in Oregon (excluding government). OHSU's size contributes to its ability to provide many services and community support activities not found anywhere else in the state. It serves patients from every corner of the state, and is a conduit for learning for more than 3,400 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to every county in the state.

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