Research Day Honors VA Scientists - VA Portland Health Care System
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Research Day Honors VA Scientists

Group photo of researchers at VA Portland Health Care System.

Left to right: Curtis Billings, PhD; Samuel Edwards, MD; Marina Guizzetti, PhD; Sonemany Salinthone, PhD; Michael Heinrich, MD; Michael Davey, MD, PhD.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

VA Portland Health Care System (VAPORHCS) held its annual Research Day in the Portland VA Medical Center auditorium on April 9, 2019. The event honors and recognizes VA staff who work in research to improve the lives of Veterans through health care discovery and innovation.

“This is a great opportunity for all of us to pause and really think about the research mission at the VA and to celebrate the accomplishments of some of our fabulous scientists” said Darwin Goodspeed, Director of VAPORHCS.

VAPORHCS ranks in the top 10 among all VAs nationwide in total research funding. Additionally, VAPORHCS is home to nine Centers of Excellence including the Portland Alcohol Research Center, National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR), Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center, Parkinson’s Disease Research Education and Clinical Center, Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence, Hepatitis C Virus Resource Center, Methamphetamine Abuse Research Center, VA Health Services Research and Development Center of Innovation, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Evidence Based Practice Center.

“Research is part of our ethos. It makes us inquisitive. It spills over into everything we do at the medical center. We will get problems. We ask questions, we look for innovative solutions, and we collect data – this all part of being a learning health care organization. The VA will continue to change. We will always have challenges. Research will always be part of our mission and we are better for it,” said Michael Davey, MD, PhD, Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Development, VAPORHCS.

During the event, five research scientists presented their findings from their programs including:

Samuel Edwards, M.D., Staff Physician, VAPORHCS and Assistant Professor of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)
“Burnout among health care providers and staff in primary care practices”

Sonemany Salinthone, Ph.D., Research Scientist, VAPORHCS and Assistant Professor of Neurology, OHSU
“Therapeutic potential of lipoic acid in multiple sclerosis: How does it work?”

Michael Heinrich, M.D., Staff Physician, VAPORHCS and Professor of Medicine, Knight Cancer Institute, OHSU
“Precision therapy to treat cancer”

Marina Guizzetti, Ph.D., Research Scientist, VAPORHCS and Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience, OHSU
“Epigenetic changes associated with alcohol exposure”

Curtis Billings, Ph.D., Research Audiologist, NCRAR, VAPORHCS, and Associate Professor of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, OHSU
“Diagnosing/treating hearing difficulties when the audiogram is normal”

Dr. John Crabbe, Senior Research Scientist at VA Portland Health Care System.

During the event Dr. John Crabbe, a Senior Research Scientist at VA Portland Health Care System was lauded for his efforts. Crabbe established the Portland Alcohol Research Center and is retiring this year after 40 years of dedicated service.

Also, during the event, Dr. John Crabbe, a Senior Research Scientist at VA Portland Health Care System was lauded for his efforts. Crabbe established the Portland Alcohol Research Center and is retiring this year after 40 years of dedicated service. He is the recipient of the VA’s highest honor in biomedical research, the Middleton Award, and was recently named an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow.

“John is responsible for the recruitment of at least eight additional independent scientists to the Portland VA and has made substantial contributions to the growth of the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience at Oregon Health and Science University, which today is recognized as one of the most successful departments in the university. A recent assessment of our research portfolio found that 40 percent of the grants at the Portland VA were from faculty with appointments in behavioral neuroscience, roots that no doubt trace back to John. He’s had a lasting impact on the Portland VA,” said Davey.

For more information about VA research please visit the following sites:

https://www.portland.va.gov/Research/about/index.asp
https://www.research.va.gov/about/default.cfm.

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