OHSU-UO Collaboration

The OHSU-UO partnership

OHSU and UO faculty have complementary strengths and areas of excellence. The two universities are working together to accelerate innovation. 


In 2017, OHSU and UO leaders called for increased partnerships to catalyze discovery and scientific impact from research in Oregon. In April 2017, 90 researchers from OHSU and UO met to explore new ways to collaborate on research.


Three areas of focus emerged from that meeting: research collaboration, educational programs and administrative policies. 


OHSU and UO are developing major new research facilities that will provide additional sites for joint research. The UO Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact broke ground in March 2018 and the OHSU Knight Cancer Research Building opened its doors in Sept. 2018.

Research collaborations

One of the outcomes of the April 2017 meeting was a new funding opportunity to stimulate joint research projects. The Office of the Senior Vice President for Research at OHSU and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation at UO announced the OHSU-UO Pilot Project in February 2018 and ten recipients were named in June.

The seed program funded projects with a PI from the University of Oregon and a PI from OHSU. Two kinds of projects were eligible:

  • Convening —for example, bringing together teams of UO and OHSU faculty for structured meetings to incubate collaborative ideas likely to lead to applications for external funding, other revenue generation, or other infrastructure development activities designed to prepare the team to be successful in future grant funding.
  • Piloting —for example, pilot studies designed to provide feasibility evidence or preliminary data for joint UO-OHSU grant applications or joint publications to support grant applications.

The funded teams are examining everything from health care-associated infections to carbon nanotubes.

Pilot Project Awards 2018

  • Culturally Adapting and Pilot Testing a Values-Affirmation Intervention to Improve Diabetes Health and Management Indicators among American Indians with Diabetes —Michelle Jacob, UO, and Kelly Gonzales, OHSU.
  • Nanohoops as New Materials for Multiplexed Biological Imaging —Ramesh Jasti, UO, and Xiaolin Nan, OHSU.
  • Vascular mechanisms linking obesity and hypercoagulability following hemorrhagic shock —Belinda McCully, OHSU, and Ashley Walker, UO.
  • Building Translational Bridges between Human and Rodent Models of Development and Mental Health —Cristopher Niell, UO, and Damien Fair, OHSU.
  • Developing Bio-Inspired Fractal Implants to Restore Vision to Patients with Retinal Diseases: In Vivo Studies —Richard Taylor, UO, and Trevor McGill, OHSU.
  • Predicting Healthcare-Associated Clostridioides Difficile Infection Probabilities in Inpatient Units —Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg, UO, and Robert Martindale, OHSU.

Convening Project Awards 2018

  • Oregon Translational Chemical Biology Working Group—Kimberly Beatty, OHSU, and Michael Pluth, UO.
  • Oregon Center for Law, Ethics and Neuroscience —Dennis Bourdette, OHSU, and Colin Koopman, UO.
  • Translational Neuroscience of Substance Use and Behavior Change Across the Lifespan —Sarah Feldstein Ewing, OHSU, and Elliot Berkman, UO.
  • Addressing Disparities in the Assessment and Treatment of Communication Disorders for Young Children from Latino Backgrounds —Katharine Zuckerman, OHSU, and Lauren Cycyk, UO.

Administrative collaborations

OHSU and UO are establishing a number of agreements designed to remove barriers to cross-institution collaboration. These include handling intellectual property for faculty with joint appointments at OHSU and UO and charging internal rates for the research core facilities. More agreements are being developed.

Elinor Sullivan, Ph.D., is the first jointly appointed OHSU-UO faculty member. She is assistant professor at OHSU in the Divisions of Neuroscience and Cardiometabolic health at the Oregon National Primate Research Center and associate professor at UO in the Department of Human Physiology.

Educational programs

The universities are discussing initiatives for new courses and academic programs in several areas of interest. These include internships, data science, and biomedical engineering.