Catalyst Award applications due Mar. 31

Applications for the Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Institute (OCTRI) Catalyst Awards are due Mar. 31, 2015. This pilot project funding is designed to facilitate novel, collaborative, multidisciplinary studies that will lead to further research and funding in translational research.

Garet Lahvis, Ph.D.

Catalyst awardee spotlight 2014

Garet Lahvis, Ph.D.
“Oregon Animation Test for Social Reciprocity”

Garet Lahvis, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience at OHSU. Dr. Lahvis’s research has focused on the development of objective assessments of mouse social ability, including social reward and empathy, abilities relevant to autism’s neurobiology. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) feature a variety of social deficits, assessed conventionally in the context of clinical interviews with the child, caregivers, and community. Waiting times for these evaluations can exceed a year, even in regions where services are readily available. They are not ideally suited for assessments of drug and behavioral treatments for ASD, which are undergoing rapid development and demand objective and fine-scale assessment tools.

As a result of OCTRI Catalyst funding, Dr. Lahvis, Dr. Fombonne and their team are developing the Oregon Animation Test for Social Reciprocity (OATS) to evaluate distinct autistic behavioral phenotypes. During the OATS assessment, a child’s responses are analyzed. OCTRI has provided extensive IRB preparation assistance and study coordinator services. This year, as the project nears conclusion, OCTRI will provide biostatistics support. In addition to introducing quantification of key behavioral phenotypes, OATS has the potential to slash wait times for autism diagnosis, develop the basis of a deeper scientific understanding of autism, and to improve clinical care.

The amount of each award is expected to be $75,000 over one year. Applicants may request a budget of up to $100,000, if at least $25,000 is allocated for OCTRI services. These services include support with expertise, equipment, and facilities for every stage of the research process. Please visit the OCTRI funding page for full Catalyst Awards program information and application.

Principal Investigators must fit OHSU eligibility requirements. The Catalyst Award program is a partnership between OCTRI and the School of Medicine Research Roadmap.