BME and OCSSB Welcome New Faculty

02/04/14  Portland, Ore.

Catherine Galbraith

Catherine Galbraith, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering, member of the OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine and a Discovery Engine Investigator in the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, joined the faculty September 1, 2013. Dr. Galbraith trained as both an engineer and a cell biologist. She obtained her Ph.D. in bioengineering at UCSD with Dr. Shu Chien and did her postdoctoral work in cell biology at Duke University with Dr. Michael P. Sheetz. Dr. Galbraith has received several awards in recognition for her work, including the Biomedical Engineering Society Young Investigator Award, a NIH Director’s Challenge Award for high-risk, high-reward research and a NIDCR Special Act Award for her contributions to super-resolution microscopy. She has also served as a judge for the international Olympus Bioscapes Competition and as an editor for The Image Library and the Journal of Optics.

This fall, Dr. Galbraith moved her research program from the NIH to OHSU. Her laboratory uses a combination of cutting-edge microscopy and biophysics to study problems in cell migration. Her approaches have provided new insights into how cells choose specific directions for migration. Most recently her work involving super-resolution microscopy has led her to making measurements at different length and time scales to create a comprehensive picture of molecular dynamics that define the mechanistic rules that underlie cellular motility and signal transmission. She is married to James Galbraith (see below). They are independent investigators who also collaborate with each other.

James Galbraith

James Galbraith, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering, member of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine, joined the faculty on September 1, 2013. Dr. Galbraith trained in bioengineering and neuroscience receiving both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. There he studied cellular mechanisms of brain trauma, developing new approaches to understanding how mechanical forces resulted in disruption of cellular and sub cellular structure and function. These studies resulted in the generation of threshold criteria for safety devices as well as new directions in therapeutic intervention. After a brief postdoc in neuropathology and neuroanesthesia at UCSD, Dr. Galbraith joined the faculty of the UCSD Department of Bioengineering and later Duke University. His focus during this period was understanding how non-damaging levels of mechanical input could be used by cells as guidance cues. After Duke, he joined the NIH where he became interested in movement of cytoskeletal proteins as well as how cells use the local mechanical environment to make decisions regarding migration. Most recently, he has been involved in advancing super resolution microscopy in collaboration with colleagues at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Farm Research Campus in an effort to look at the molecular basis of cellular decision making by imaging and analyzing the movement of individual cytoskeletal and membrane proteins in living cells.

At OHSU, his lab is interested in understanding how molecular dynamics and structure give rise to both normal and abnormal cellular function as well as how changes in molecular patterns engender plasticity and connectivity in the nervous system. The lab uses a variety of microscopy, biophysical and computational assays to further this objective. This information will not only provide fundamental insights into cell function, but will also furnish a jumping-off point to leverage new molecularly specific therapeutic interventions. He is married to Catherine Galbraith. They are independent investigators who also collaborate with each other.


Adam Margolin

Adam Margolin, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering, member of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine, joined the faculty on February 1, 2014. Dr. Margolin has been appointed director of computational biology in the OHSU School of Medicine. As director, Dr. Margolin will lead the institution’s investment in the capacity for computational biology across the basic and clinical sciences. That includes building a new, cross-departmental, multidisciplinary program in computational biology. The program will support the development of innovative computational approaches to a broad range of programs in basic and clinical science, guide the development of leading-edge computational and data storage infrastructure at OHSU and oversee expansion of applied computational and biostatistical support.

Currently, Dr. Margolin is the director of computational biology and co-leader of strategy at Sage Bionetworks, a biomedical research institute in Seattle, with a joint appointment at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. At Sage Bionetworks, he oversees the development of novel computational methods for predicting disease-related phenotypes from genomic data, the development of large-scale data processing and sharing tools and leads several consortium-based projects to leverage cloud-enabled computing technologies for collaborative analysis across distributed networks of investigators.

Dr. Margolin has achieved international recognition for his work in computational approaches for inferring cellular regulatory networks and for developing predictive models linking alterations in cellular networks to clinical cancer phenotypes. His work has been featured in the mainstream press, such as The Wall Street Journal and U.S. News & World Report and published in leading scientific journals, including recent cover articles in Nature and Science Translational Medicine, in addition to recent publications in journals such as Nature Genetics, Nature Biotechnology, PNAS and Cancer Cell. Dr. Margolin received his B.S. in economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002, his M.S. in computer information technology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002 and his Ph.D. in biomedical informatics from Columbia University in 2007. Prior to joining Sage Bionetworks, Dr. Margolin initiated and led an effort at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT to leverage large-scale cancer genomics datasets to infer genotype-specific therapeutics in human tumors. This work led to numerous high-impact demonstrations of the ability to infer clinically relevant tumor biomarkers.