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OHSU announces Marquam Hill Lecture Series for 2013-14


Oregon Health & Science University's Marquam Hill Lecture Series features nationally recognized OHSU faculty experts who present in lay terms the latest research findings and treatment options in their specialties. All lectures are free, but seating is limited and reservations are requested.


Thursdays at 7 p.m.


OHSU Auditorium (Old Library building)
3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239
(Except for the May 15 lecture; location TBA)


Oct. 17, 2013 – Where Does Disease Come From? Revealing the Secrets of Epigenetics

Kent Thornburg, Ph.D., director, OHSU Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness; and professor of medicine (cardiovascular medicine), OHSU School of Medicine

When you think about malnutrition, you might picture impoverished children experiencing famine. But a pregnant woman in Oregon who does not have access to wholesome foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains will have a baby who suffers from malnutrition to the same degree, born with a greater risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Thornburg is an internationally recognized leader in epigenetics, the research field known as the developmental origins of health and disease. In his presentation, Thornburg will explain the vital connection between maternal diet, the quality of fetal growth and how adult onset diseases are “programmed” in the womb.

Nov. 21, 2013 – Nerve Remodeling After a Heart Attack

Beth Habecker, Ph.D., professor of physiology and pharmacology, OHSU School of Medicine

During a heart attack, the body’s “electrical system” seizes up and nerves become damaged. Then, the body quickly starts repairing itself, but scar tissue can make the process of nerve remodeling difficult. If clinicians and scientists can better understand the remodeling process, they can develop more appropriate treatments and prevention methods for the 715,000 Americans each year who have a heart attack. Habecker has been studying the body’s physical remodeling following a heart attack for more than a decade. Her lab has also uncovered surprising new evidence that may contain answers to other perplexing nerve injuries, such as those in the spinal cord.

Feb. 20, 2014 – Unlocking the Secrets of Cancer Growth

Lisa Coussens, Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, OHSU School of Medicine; and director of basic research, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

If we can understand how and why a cancerous tumor grows, we can stop it. Scientists are learning more about tumor growth with each new clinical trial and lab study, but it will take researchers working in multiple disciplines to unlock the secrets of cancer growth. Coussens is building an interactive and innovative environment for cutting-edge biomedical research at OHSU. She is world-renowned for her work exploring how cells that surround a tumor fuel its growth and affect its response to treatment. Coussens’ presentation will focus on what’s on the horizon for cancer research and treatments.

April 17, 2014 – Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body: the Link Between Gum Disease and Diabetes

James Katancik, D.D.S., Ph.D., associate professor and chair, Department of Periodontology, OHSU School of Dentistry

Diabetes rates are soaring. A closer look shows a surprising fact: gum disease is commonly associated with diabetes. Does this mean gum disease is a cause, a symptom or an early indicator of diabetes – or something else entirely? Answering this question has enormous implications for the treatment of diabetes. So far, research shows that periodontitis – another name for gum disease – affects more than just the mouth. It’s a whole body infection that also impacts our ability to normally process glucose. Katancik’s nationally prominent work focuses on the scientific search for answers to treating gum disease and diabetes. His presentation will focus on the latest information in this intriguing line of research and the results from a national study that has implications for millions of American adults.

May 29, 2014 – Fixing What’s Broken: OHSU’s Role in Health Reform and Evidence-based Medicine

Roger Chou, M.D., director, Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center; and John McConnell, Ph.D., director, Center for Health Systems Effectiveness at OHSU

Right now, America’s health care system is expensive and complicated, and it doesn’t always prevent illness. Surely, we can do better. All eyes are on Oregon for the state’s trailblazing approach to health care reform, including the coordinated care organizations focused on Medicaid transformation. At the same time, clinicians, employers and health care associations look to federal and state agencies when making decisions about health services. OHSU researchers and physicians are working behind the scenes on both fronts. McConnell is leading a study that will inform the nation on what works – and what doesn’t work – in health reform. Chou heads up systematic reviews of health care topics that inform groups like the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. During this presentation, find out how this revolutionary period of health care reform will usher in changes for patient care everywhere.

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