Welcome to the Vollum Institute/OHSU Neuroscience Graduate Program

Founded in 1992, the Neuroscience Graduate Program (NGP) at OHSU has 53 predoctoral students and more than 140 faculty in a broad range of subdisciplines. The program is intended for students planning a career in academic or industry research, but we encourage student to explore the career path that matches their ambitions and expertise. The program is particularly strong in cellular neuroscience, neuronal signaling, gene regulation, biophysics of channels and transporters, sensory systems, and neuroendocrinology with increasing strength in developmental neuroscience and disease-oriented neuroscience research. Faculty members are located within research institutes at OHSU including the Vollum Institute, the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC), Oregon Hearing Research Center, Jungers Center and the Oregon Institute for Occupational Health Sciences; as well as the basic and clinical departments in the OHSU School of Medicine.

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Kylie McPherson, NGP grad student (right), is a Research Leadership ScholarKylie McPherson (right), currently a third-year NGP graduate student, has been named as one of the Research Leadership Scholars, a program that provides School of Medicine graduate students with opportunities to develop leadership skills by participating in OHSU research planning and discussion. As a Research Leadership Scholar, Kylie will participate in monthly OHSU Research Roundtable meetings with faculty and research leaders and will share her important perspectives as a future biomedical scientist.

Taylor Michell, NGP grad student, receives the C.W. Cotterman AwardTaylor Mighell, NGP graduate student in Brian O'Roak's lab, was presented with C.W. Cotterman Award at the American Society of Human Genetics meeting in October. Each September, the editorial board of The American Journal of Human Genetics selects two articles published in the journal in the previous year that best represent outstanding scientific contribution to the field of human genetics. Taylor's award is in recognition of his manuscript that was published in May entitled, "A Saturation Mutagenesis Approach to Understanding PTEN Lipid Phosphatase Activity and Genotype-Phenotype Relationships." Great work, Taylor!

Women in Science PDXRecently, Women in Science (WIS) PDX sat down with directors, Drs. Marc Freeman and Kelly Monk, to talk about the Vollum Institute's support of WIS and commitment to increasing the number of women scientists as part of a sponsor spotlight for their upcoming 1st Annual Fundraising Gala on Thursday, September 20, 6-9pm. Read the full interview and learn more about the gala here.

Graduate Student Marc Meadows at FENSMarc Meadows was 1 of 15 trainees to receive a $2,000 award to attend the biannual Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) Forum held in Berlin, Germany in July 2018.  He presented his research on exo- and endocytosis at an inhibitory synapse in the retina. The scope of Marc's work has broad impacts on our understanding of inhibitory synaptic vesicle dynamics and the pre-processing of visual information. Congratulations, Marc!

Danielle and Daniela eLifeNGP alumna, Danielle Robinson and current NGP student, Daniela Saderi are attending the first  eLIFE innovation Sprint in Cambridge, UK.  It's a two-day intensive hackathon, in which technologists, researchers, developers, science communicators and more are working together to innovate in scholarly communication. Daniela is personally working with a team of technologists from eLife and other researchers to develop PREreview 2.0 and write a short proposal for a Sloan Foundation grant.  Have a great time you two! 

YoderCongratulations to NGP student, Nate Yoder on his new paper in Nature

For the first time, researchers in the Vollum Institute have determined the atomic structure of an acid-sensing ion channel (ASIC) in a resting state at high pH.  ASICs are expressed in neurons throughout the nervous system and contribute to a variety of neurological processes including pain sensation and fear memory formation. ASICs populate three functional states, existing in a resting state at high pH, opening in response to low pH and desensitizing within milliseconds. In their manuscript, published recently in the journal Nature, Yoder, Yoshioka and Gouaux used a combination of x-ray crystallography and single-particle cryo-electron microscopy to determine the structure of the resting channel. Additionally, the authors were able to determine the molecular mechanisms that allow the channel to respond to changes in pH by comparing the structure of the resting channel with those of the channel in open and desensitized states published in 2014 and 2009, respectively. These findings improve our understanding of how the nervous system responds to pH and provide a blueprint for the design of molecular agents to aimed at targeting these channels.