Meet the keynote speakers for OHSU Research Week 2013

Mace Rothenberg, M.D.

Opening Keynote: Mace Rothenberg, M.D.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 12 to 1 p.m. OHSU Auditorium
*Free boxed lunch available to the first 125 attendees
Title: “Industry-academia collaboration:  Developing novel therapeutics in oncology based on new genetic insights”

Mace L. Rothenberg, M.D., senior vice president of clinical development and medical affairs at Pfizer, will lead us in a conversation about the growing importance of industry-academia collaboration for discovery and drug development, using examples stemming from novel therapeutics in oncology and based on new genetic insights.

Dr. Rothenberg is responsible for overseeing clinical research and development activities as well as post-marketing evaluation and monitoring for all Pfizer oncology products. Dr. Rothenberg came to Pfizer in 2008 after more than 20 years in academia where he focused on early-stage drug development, clinical trial design, and the coordinated laboratory-clinical evaluation of new therapies for gastrointestinal cancers. He is the recipient of the American Cancer Society’s Lane W. Adams Quality of Life Award, honoring him as one of the nation’s top cancer caregivers and the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Statesman Award, honoring him for more than 20 years of service to the organization, the specialty of oncology and cancer patients.

Sponsored by the School of Medicine Research Roadmap Task Force #6. This is a joint lecture with the OHSU 125th Anniversary Lecture Series.


Peter Byers, M.D.

Midweek Keynote: Peter Byers, M.D.

Thursday, May 23, 2013, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., OHSU Auditorium
Title: “Getting to Recessive: Making the Rare Common”

Peter H. Byers, M.D., professor of medicine and pathology, University of Washington School of Medicine, has been invited to speak at OHSU Research Week by the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute.

The wealth of genetic information that has emerged in the last decade poses a challenge for clinicians: How can we synthesize this information with our clinical insights derived from practice? The last decade has introduced many new tools that allow us to quickly understand human disease, especially in those with genetic disorders. The choice of tools to study the genome is critical:  as we study more, we find more genes but we also have the chance to explain the enormous clinical variation that we can see within and among families with the same major mutation.  More than 95 percent of people who have the genetic bone disorder osteogenesis imperfecta have mutations that alter one copy of one of the two genes, COL1A1 and COL1A2, that encode the chains of type I collagen, the most abundant protein in bone (and in many other tissues). But what about the other five percent?  A variety of different approaches–blind luck, analysis of candidate genes, examination of pathway candidates, and exome sequence analysis in small consanguinous families–have identified another 11 genes that fall into several functional categories. These fascinating genes include some that may drive osteoblast differentiation, some that modify collagens or assist in their maturation, and yet others that have still undefined pathways in which they work. Identifying mutations is only the beginning of the journey to complete understanding of how a single nucleotide change in the genome can make the difference between life and death and to unearthing the fundamental biology of our development, growth, and normal function: the discerning clinician must serve as a guide to this journey.

Dr. Byers brings sophisticated molecular genetics to solve important clinical questions. As both a clinical and molecular geneticist, he has devoted his career to understanding the molecular pathogenesis of inherited disorders of connective tissue. He has focused on collagen genes and the enzymes involved in the post-translational modification of collagens that cause rare but dramatic skeletal diseases. His translational insights have transformed the field of inherited connective tissue disease. In addition, he has been the editor of the American Journal of Human Genetics, the president of the American Society of Human Genetics, and the president of the American Board of Medical Genetics.


David Schneider, Ph.D.

Students’ Choice: David Schneider, Ph.D.

Friday, May, 24, 2013, 4 to 5 p.m., OHSU Auditorium
Title: “Fighting Infections by warping disease space”

David S. Schneider, Ph.D., assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at the Stanford School of Medicine, has been invited to speak at OHSU Research Week by the OHSU Graduate Student Organization.

When we suffer from infections, our bodies can fight in two ways. The first is to kill the microbes, and the second is to avoid symptoms. Dr. Schneider’s lab has been concentrating on this second part, trying to determine why we suffer when we are infected. His lab has developed an ecological approach for studying populations, called disease tolerance, to work on individuals. Their goal is to map out the course an individual takes through disease space as they sicken and recover and then to find methods of twisting this space to improve recovery. They use model infections in flies and mice and try to apply their ideas to human diseases like malaria.

Dr. Schneider earned his B.S. in biochemistry at the University of Toronto and his Ph.D. in molecular biology at University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley, he was awarded the Larry Sandler Memorial Award for best Drosophila thesis. At Stanford, Dr. Schneider focuses on innate immunity and microbial pathogenesis utilizing a variety of pathogens, and mouse and insect hosts.

Dr. Schneider has received numerous awards. In 2002, he was awarded the New Scholar in Global Infectious Disease Award from the Ellison Medical Foundation (EMF). In 2008, he received the Senior Scholar Award in Aging from the EMF. In 2011, he was given the National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award for his project, “Mapping the road to recovery: Does the way we get better differ from the way we get sick?”


For more information about OHSU Research Week, visit