Three Questions

What are the most interesting clinical and research developments happening at OHSU? How do faculty thrive at OHSU and where can improvements be made? What big dreams do faculty have for solving the seemingly insolvable?

The Three Questions series sheds light on the life and work of today’s School of Medicine faculty. So, read on. Dig deep. Get to know us.

Featured Faculty

Dr. Brian O'Roak

Brian O'Roak, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics

What’s been the most interesting development in your area in the last two years?

We study the genetic basis of complex neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism. In just the past few years, we have gone from virtually no high-confidence risk genes for autism to over 50 utilizing innovative cohorts and high-throughput sequencing! (Learn more in this webinar I recently gave.) Importantly, while these genes are each disrupted in only 0.1-1 percent of individuals with autism, they are “common” enough to study shared characteristics and develop targeted treatments. Already we have found many of these new risk genes, when disrupted, lead to recognizable autism “subtypes” with shared (but sometimes subtle) physical characteristics and common co-occurring problems. This is particularly exciting as these features may help kids get help earlier. Despite this complexity, many of these new risk genes are falling into a handful of common biological pathways/mechanisms. This makes me hopeful about the development of common therapeutic targets that can be matched to one’s personal genetic profile. Read more

A - H

Sudarshan Anand, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology

Amela Blekic, M.D.
Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry

Nicole Deiorio, M.D.
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Professor of Emergency Medicine

Honora Englander, M.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine

Brian Frank, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Family Medicine

Melanie Gillingham, Ph.D., R.D.
Associate Professor of Medical and Molecular Genetics

Juliana Hansen, M.D.
Professor of Surgery and Division Head of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

I - P

Daniel Karr, M.D.
Professor of Ophthalmology

Matt Latall, Ph.D.
Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience 

Evan Lind, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

Marian McDonagh, Pharm.D.
Professor of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology

Timur Mitin, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Radiation Medicine

Brian O'Roak, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics

Karen Oh, M.D.
Associate Professor of Diagnostic Radiology

Georgiana Purdy, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

Q - Z

Martina Ralle, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics

Sandra Rugonyi, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Andrey Ryabinin, Ph.D.
Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience

Show-Ling Shyng, Ph.D.
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Reid Thompson, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Radiation Medicine

Xiangshu Xiao, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology

Tom Yackel, M.D., M.P.H.
Vice President and Chief Clinical Integration Officer for OHSU Healthcare
and Associate Dean for Clinical Practice, OHSU School of Medicine