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Accolades: Awards, honors and appointments Feb. 20

Celebrating new publications, scholars and excellence
OHSU Accolades: Awards, honors and appointments.
OHSU Accolades: Awards, honors and appointments.

Deborah Cohen, Ph.D., and team earn Commonwealth Memorial funding

Deborah Cohen, Ph.D. (OHSU)
Deborah Cohen, Ph.D. (OHSU)

The Commonwealth Memorial Fund and Healing Works Foundation has awarded a $431,230 grant to OHSU’s Deborah Cohen, Ph.D., vice chair of research and professor of family medicine, and her team to further their research into primary care reforms. The official study is called the “Workforce Configurations and Cost Required to Provide Comprehensive Primary Care.”


Stephan Lindner, Ph.D.
Stephan Lindner, Ph.D. (OHSU)

Cohen’s team includes co-investigators Tamar-Wyte-Lake, D.P.T., M.P.H., senior research associate in the department of family medicine, and Stephan Lindner, Ph.D., associate professor of emergency medicine, and a health economist at the Center for Health Systems Effectiveness.


Leah Gordon, M.P.H. (OHSU)
Leah Gordon, M.P.H. (OHSU)

Leah Gordon, M.P.H., research program manager in the department of family medicine, is the project director. The research is part of a larger effort within the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to implement high-quality primary care, which in turn improves overall population health with better quality and care equity at a lower cost.

OHSU Library features a new book by Qiana Williams

Qiana Williams, Ed.S., ACC, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Qiana Williams, Ed.S., ACC, SPHR, SHRM-SCP (Courtesy)

OHSU Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer Qiana Williams, Ed.S., ACC, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, has recently published her second book, titled: The Lie: An Enchanted Revelation: A Fairytale of Finding Your Voice in a Forest of Fables. The book chronicles a fictional character’s quest to unveil and silence the lies of unconscious bias and impostor syndrome. A copy of the book is now available via request through the OHSU Library:

OHSU Earns Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP) Center of Excellence honors

Lisa Corbett, M.D. (OHSU)
Lisa Corbett, M.D. (OHSU)

OHSU has been selected as a SOAP Center of Excellence. The SOAP designation was created in 2018 to recognize institutions and programs that demonstrate excellence in obstetric anesthesia care, and to set a benchmark of expected care to improve standards nationally and internationally. Designees are recognized by SOAP and peer organizations for their high standards of care and receive a plaque to display in a patient-facing area. OHSU is the only hospital in Oregon with this designation. This prestigious recognition was made possible through an extensive efforts by Lisa Corbett, M.D., medical director of obstetric anesthesia, who submitted the application and worked diligently through the competitive process.

Leah Huey receives inaugural Blau Scholar Award

Leah Huey (Courtesy of Leah Huey)
Leah Huey (Courtesy)

OHSU Ph.D. candidate Leah Huey, graduate program in biomedical sciences, was awarded $60,000 by the Cure Blau Syndrome Foundation (CBSF) for her research on Blau Syndrome, a rare pediatric disease that robs those affected of their vision, mobility and, in some cases, their life. CBSF raised money for Huey’s research, naming her the foundation’s inaugural Blau Scholar.

The funding will pay Huey’s stipend, tuition and other payroll expenses. It will also cover some of the reagents for her experiments. Huey is dedicating her scientific pursuits to Blau Syndrome, working in the Ruth Napier, Ph.D., lab. The lab is home to the only mouse models with Blau Syndrome and rare Blau Syndrome patient blood samples.

Blau Syndrome is caused by mutations in the NOD2 gene, which provides instructions for making a protein involved in the immune system. Blau Syndrome manifests before the age of 3, and there is no cure.

Huey’s doctoral studies will utilize patient blood cells to determine how mutations in NOD2 affect T cell function and cause uveitis and arthritis, two of the largest and most debilitating symptoms of Blau Syndrome. The results of her investigation may find biomarkers of disease or therapeutic targets for future drug development.

Bahareh Ajami receives prestigious Tambourine ALS Breakthrough Research Fund Award

Bahareh Ajami. Ph.D. (OHSU)
Bahareh Ajami. Ph.D. (OHSU)

Bahareh Ajami, Ph.D., assistant professor of molecular microbiology and immunology and behavioral neuroscience, is the inaugural recipient of the Tambourine ALS Breakthrough Research Fund. The fund aims to help change the understanding and treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as ALS, by supporting innovative basic and discovery-focused research globally. The award should help solicit and fund creative, high-risk, high-reward ideas that might not otherwise fit existing grant programs, but hold the potential to generate breakthrough insights. 

Ajami and her team are studying ALS from the angle of cellular immunology, using samples with sporadic cases of ALS. The preliminary data is promising, Ajami said. However, it is high-risk project that has been difficult to get funding. Ajami will receive $600,000 for two years with the possibility of an extension for a third year.

Every 90 minutes, an individual is diagnosed with or dies from ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that has no cure. Motor neurons are the primary cells affected by ALS. However, in both sporadic and familial cases of ALS disease, groups of motor neurons controlling eye movements are spared, making it possible for patients to use eye-tracking devices to communicate until late-disease stages. Previous studies have investigated the motor neurons as the driver of this selective degeneration; however, they have not led to any therapy.

“The Tambourine research fund award will make it possible for my team and I to now study a large number of brain and spinal cord tissues from ALS patients,” Ajami said, “and to investigate the role of molecular pathways that we discover in order to better understand ALS.”

Diana Lozano receives prestigious career development award

Diana Lozano, Ph.D. (ARVO)
Diana Lozano, Ph.D. (ARVO)

Diana Lozano, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Casey Eye Institute, has been awarded the 2024 Genentech Career Development Award for Underrepresented Minority Emerging Vision Scientists by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Foundation. Lozano will receive a two-year grant totaling $100,000 to support research and personnel costs for establishing an independent vision research program.

Lozano is using the Controlled Elevation of IOP model to investigate early intraocular pressure (IOP)-related cellular events in the optic nerve head, the initial site of injury in glaucoma.

"As an early-stage investigator, this award will support the development of my independent research program and help establish my research lab," Lozano said. "Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Elevated IOP is a primary risk factor for the development and progression of glaucoma, and lowering IOP is currently the only effective treatment. However, many patients continue to lose vision despite having IOP within normal range, highlighting the need for new therapeutic interventions for IOP regulation."

As part of the award, Lozano will be matched with an experienced ARVO mentor outside of OHSU to support her career advancement. In turn, she says, the award will allow her to mentor other students — especially those from an underrepresented background.

2024 Gender Equity in Academic Health and Medicine Leadership Conference Awards

GEAHM Award recipients: Clockwise from top left, Leah Reznick, M.D., Caffi Meyer, Ph.D., Laura Chess, M.D., Danielle Moyer, Ph.D., and Mary Marsiglio, Ph.D. (OHSU)
GEAHM Award recipients: Clockwise from top left, Leah Reznick, M.D., Caffi Meyer, Ph.D., Laura Chess, M.D., Danielle Moyer, Ph.D., and Mary Marsiglio, Ph.D. (OHSU)

The Gender Equity in Academic Health and Medicine Leadership Conference celebrates exemplary individuals who support the success of women and gender-diverse individuals in academic health care. The following School of Medicine awardees were recognized this year:

Mentoring Award: Leah Reznick, M.D., associate professor of ophthalmology, OHSU School of Medicine

  • This award recognizes the outstanding record of mentorship of an individual faculty member.
Ana Paula Piovezan Fugolin, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Ana Paula Piovezan Fugolin, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D.

Discovery in Science: Ana Paula Piovezan Fugolin, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., assistant professor of restorative dentistry, School of Dentistry

  • This award recognizes an individual who not only demonstrates outstanding achievements in research, but also presents a model to inspire future generations of women and gender diverse individuals in science through their work. 

Professional In-Training Award: Catherine “Caffi” Meyer, Ph.D., diagnostic imaging physics resident, Diagnostic Radiology, OHSU School of Medicine

  • This award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions in research, clinical care, education, service, or policy while in training.

Emerging Leader: Laura Chess, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine, OHSU School of Medicine

  • This award recognizes an assistant or associate professor faculty member running significant initiatives and fast becoming a prominent and visible leader of the future.

Clinical Excellence: Danielle Moyer, Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, OHSU School of Medicine, and Mary Marsiglio, Ph.D., assistant professor of family medicine, OHSU School of Medicine

  • This award is given to faculty clinicians who have dedicated their careers to excellence in patient care. The recipients will have advanced care provided at OHSU through education and quality improvement, and be recognized as outstanding clinicians by their peers.

OHSU celebrates 2023 Distinguished Faculty Award winners

2023 Distinguished Faculty: From left: Maria T. Thompson, M.S., R.T.(T), Brian Duty, M.D., M.B.A., and Jonathan Snowden, Ph.D. (OHSU)
From left: Maria T. Thompson, M.S., R.T.(T), Brian Duty, M.D., M.B.A., and Jonathan Snowden, Ph.D. (OHSU)

The OHSU Faculty Senate hosted the 2023 Distinguished Faculty Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 10. Finalists are nominated by faculty peers for their exceptional work promoting OHSU's academic mission, and dedication to teaching, research and service to the community.

Affiliated Units and Institutes: Outstanding Teaching Award

Maria Trinidad Thompson, M.S., R.T.(T)
Assistant professor of radiation therapy and assistant program director of clinical education for radiation therapy

School of Dentistry:  Outstanding Excellence Award

Jens Kreth, Ph.D.
Jens Kreth, Ph.D.

Jens Kreth, Ph.D.

Professor of restorative dentistry

School of Medicine:  Outstanding Service Award

Brian Duty, M.D., M.B.A.

Andrew McHill, Ph.D. (OHSU)
Andrew McHill, Ph.D. (OHSU)

Professor of urology

School of Nursing: Outstanding Research Award

Andrew McHill, Ph.D.

Assistant professor

OSU College of Pharmacy: Outstanding Leadership Award

James Lewis, Pharm.D., FIDSA
James Lewis, Pharm.D., FIDSA

James Lewis, Pharm.D., FIDSA

Clinical supervisor for infectious disease

OHSU/PSU School of Public Health:  Outstanding Collaboration Award

Jonathan Snowden, Ph.D.

Associate professor of epidemiology

Thanks to OHSU Foundation support, each finalist receives a check for $500 and the award winner in each category will receive a plaque and check for $3,500. In addition, the names of the award winners will be engraved on a memorial plaque for display.

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