OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

college of veterinary medicine

Gut microbes closely linked to range of health issues

CORVALLIS, Ore. –A new understanding of the essential role of gut microbes in the immune system may hold the key to dealing with some of the more significant health problems facing people in the world today, Oregon State University researchers say in a new analysis.

Problems ranging from autoimmune disease to clinical depression and simple obesity may in fact be linked to immune dysfunction that begins with a “failure to communicate” in the human gut, the scientists say. Health care of the future may include personalized diagnosis of an individual’s “microbiome” to determine what prebiotics or probiotics are needed to provide balance.

Appropriate sanitation such as clean water and sewers are good. But some erroneous lessons in health care may need to be unlearned – leaving behind the fear of dirt, the love of antimicrobial cleansers, and the outdated notion that an antibiotic is always a good idea. We live in a world of “germs” and many of them are good for us.

“Asked about their immune system, most people might think of white blood cells, lymph glands or vaccines,” said Dr. Natalia Shulzhenko, author of a new report in Clinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology, and assistant professor and physician in the OSU Department of Biomedical Sciences. “They would be surprised that’s not where most of the action is. Our intestines contain more immune cells than the entire rest of our body.

“The human gut plays a huge role in immune function,” Shulzhenko said. “This is little appreciated by people who think its only role is digestion. The combined number of genes in the microbiota genome is 150 times larger than the person in which they reside. They do help us digest food, but they do a lot more than that.”

An emerging theory of disease, Shulzhenko said, is a disruption in the “crosstalk” between the microbes in the human gut and other cells involved in the immune system and metabolic processes.

“In a healthy person, these microbes in the gut stimulate the immune system as needed, and it in turn talks back,” Shulzhenko said. “There’s an increasing disruption of these microbes from modern lifestyle, diet, overuse of antibiotics and other issues. With that disruption, the conversation is breaking down.”

An explosion of research in the field of genomic sequencing is for the first time allowing researchers to understand some of this conversation and appreciate its significance, Shulzhenko said. The results are surprising, with links that lead to a range of diseases, including celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease. Obesity may be related. And some studies have found relevance to depression, late-onset autism, allergies, asthma and cancer.

In the new review, researchers analyzed how microbe dysfunction can sometimes result in malabsorption and diarrhea, which affects tens of millions of children worldwide and is often not cured merely by better nutrition. In contrast, a high-fat diet may cause the gut microbes to quickly adapt to and prefer these foods, leading to increased lipid absorption and weight gain.

The chronic inflammation linked to most of the diseases that kill people in the developed world today – heart disease, cancer, diabetes – may begin with dysfunctional gut microbiota.

Understanding these processes is a first step to addressing them, Shulzhenko said. Once researchers have a better idea of what constitutes healthy microbiota in the gut, they may be able to personalize therapies to restore that balance. It should also be possible to identify and use new types of probiotics to mitigate the impact of antibiotics, when such drugs are necessary and must be used.

Such approaches are “an exciting target for therapeutic interventions” to treat health problems in the future, the researchers concluded.

The study, supported by OSU, included researchers from both the College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Pharmacy.

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Dr. Natalia Shulzhenko, 541-737-1051

Oregon State University breaks record with $441 million in research grants

CORVALLIS, Ore. –Oregon State University crossed the $400 million threshold in grants and contracts for the first time in the fiscal year that ended June 30, including being awarded a grant to build a $122 million regional research vessel.

Oregon State received $441 million from state and federal governments, businesses and foundations for research on a wide range of projects in natural resources, health, engineering and science across the state and around the world. Federal agencies provided $315 million (71 percent), and additional funds came from state agencies, businesses and foundations.

“OSU research spurs solutions to problems and serves and involves people, communities and businesses across the state and world,” said Cynthia Sagers, OSU vice president for research. “Investment in research affects our daily lives —  the food we eat, health care, the environment — and pays back dividends in economic growth for Oregonians. Researchers are starting new businesses and assisting established companies.”

Altogether, Oregon State’s research revenues leapt 31 percent over last year’s record-breaking total of $336 million. Over the past 10 years, OSU’s research revenues have more than doubled and exceed those of Oregon’s public universities combined.

OSU research totals surged in June with a $122 million grant from the National Science Foundation for a new regional research vessel, which will be stationed at the university’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. It was the largest single grant ever received by the university.

Revenues from business and industry — including technology testing, sponsored contracts and licensing of innovations developed at the university — grew to $34 million last year, up 10 percent from the previous year.

“Our latest success is the result of hard work and strategic decisions by our faculty and partners in business, local and state government and the federal delegation,” Sagers said.

Based on past OSU research, startup companies such as Agility Robotics (animal-like robot motion), Outset Medical (at-home kidney dialysis) and Inpria (photolithography for high-performance computer chips) are attracting private investment and creating jobs. Advances in agricultural crops (winter wheat, hazelnuts, small fruits and vegetables) and forest products (cross-laminated timber panels for high-rise construction) are bolstering rural economies as well.

Since it began in 2013, the Oregon State University Advantage program has provided market analysis and support services to more than 70 local technology businesses and start-up companies. 

Other major grants last year included:

  • Up to $40 million by the U.S. Department of Energy for testing systems for ocean wave energy technologies;
  • $9 million for a next-generation approach to chemical manufacturing known as RAPID, in partnership with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory;
  • $6.5 million from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to make artificial-intelligence systems more trustworthy;
  • A combined $1.15 million in state, federal and foundation funding for a state-of-the-art instrument known as an X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy system. The XPS system brings world-class capabilities to the Pacific Northwest to address challenges in surface chemistry. Partners included the Murdock Charitable Trust, the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI), the Oregon Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center and the National Science Foundation.

 “Whether it’s with the fishing and seafood industries on our coast, federal labs working on energy and the environment or local governments concerned about jobs and education, partnerships with business, government and other research organizations are absolutely vital to our work,” said Sagers. “We care about these relationships, the benefits they bring to our communities and the educational opportunities they create for our students.”

Research has long been a hallmark of graduate education, and undergraduate students are increasingly participating in research projects in all fields, from the sciences to engineering, health and liberal arts. OSU provided undergraduates with more than $1 million last year to support projects conducted under the mentorship of faculty members.

“Research is fundamental to President Ray’s Student Success Initiative,” said Sagers. “Studies show time and again that students who participate in research tend to stay in school, connect with their peers and find meaningful work after they graduate. Research is a key part of the educational process.”

Federal agencies represent the lion’s share of investment in OSU research. That investment has more than doubled in the last five years. The National Science Foundation provided the largest share of funding, followed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Energy. 

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Project summaries and FY17 research totals for OSU colleges are posted online:

College of Agricultural Sciences: http://agsci.oregonstate.edu/our-best/research-awards-2016-17

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences: http://ceoas.oregonstate.edu/research/map/

College of Education: http://education.oregonstate.edu/research-and-outreach

College of Engineering:  http://engineering.oregonstate.edu/fy17-research-funding-highlights

College of Forestry: http://www.forestry.oregonstate.edu/college-forestry-continues-advance-research-efforts#

College of Liberal Arts: http://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/cla-research/2017-research-summary

College of Pharmacy: http://pharmacy.oregonstate.edu/grant_information

College of Public Health and Human Sciences: http://health.oregonstate.edu/research/funding-highlights 

College of Science: http://impact.oregonstate.edu/2017/08/research-funding-continues-upward-trajectory/

College of Veterinary Medicine: http://vetmed.oregonstate.edu/research-highlights

Video b-roll is available with comments by Cindy Sagers, vice president of research, at https://youtu.be/pkGD-lhVTwo.

 

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Cynthia Sagers, vice president for research, cynthia.sagers@oregonstate.edu, 541-737-0664

    

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Summer Veterinary Experience targets high-achieving, underrepresented students

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Two dozen high-achieving high school students from underrepresented populations, including many from low-income families, will spend a week on Oregon State University’s Corvallis campus in mid-August to get a hands-on look at the veterinary profession.

The annual Summer Veterinary Experience feeds the students’ interest in animals while also trying to make the profession more diverse.

“Our faculty work hard to provide interesting, real-world classes that will engage the interest of these talented young people,” says Susan Tornquist, dean of OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “Many past participants came to the program with a vague interest in veterinary medicine, among other fields, but they left with a passion for the profession.”

The selected students, 20 of whom are from Oregon high schools, will work with student mentors from the College of Veterinary Medicine and also take a variety of classes, including equine acupuncture, small animal rehabilitation, and surgery skills. In addition they will work on a research project designed to develop teamwork and leadership during their time on campus, Aug. 13-18.

This is the first year out-of-state applications were accepted, and this year’s students have a mean grade point average of 3.69.

“This program gives many of these students a glimpse into college life they may not have had otherwise,” says Summer Veterinary Experience admissions coordinator Tess Collins. “Our goal is to provide a realistic understanding of the field of veterinary medicine, and to get participants excited about higher education, even if they decide veterinary medicine isn’t for them.”

The program offers scholarships, including housing and meals, to students who meet established criteria. The application cycle will be open again in March 2018. For more information, visit http://vetmed.oregonstate.edu/osu-summer-veterinary-experience.

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Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039

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Jennifer Warnock

Summer Veterinary Experience

Elevated cholesterol’s link with canine cancer includes a better prognosis

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Usually thought of as a health detriment, elevated cholesterol may play a role in longer survival times for dogs with a common form of bone cancer.

In addition to their veterinary significance, the findings by Oregon State University researchers advance the understanding of a type of malignant tumor, osteosarcoma, that’s often diagnosed in humans as well, typically afflicting teenagers and young adults.

“This is one of the first steps into identifying cholesterol as a potential biomarker for canine osteosarcoma,” said Haley Leeper, a veterinary oncology resident at the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. “We don’t have answers as to why high cholesterol is associated with this disease and with a better prognosis, but we’re hoping to advance these findings in future research.”

Leeper and collaborators at OSU and Iowa State University compared 64 dogs with osteosarcoma against two control groups: 30 dogs that had suffered traumatic bone fractures and 31 healthy dogs similar in age and weight to the animals with cancer.

Researchers found nearly half of the dogs with cancer – 29 of the 64 – had elevated levels of total serum cholesterol, a dramatically higher rate than occurred in either control population; just three of the 30 dogs with broken bones, and only two of the 31 healthy animals, showed high cholesterol.

Of the dogs stricken with osteosarcoma, 35 had the cancer in a leg which was subsequently amputated, followed by chemotherapy, which is the standard-of-care treatment; the dogs with elevated total cholesterol had a median survival time of 455 days, more than 200 days greater than the median survival time  for dogs with normal cholesterol.

“When people think of cholesterol they think of cheeseburgers and heart attacks,” Leeper said. “However, cholesterol is involved with many key processes and structures in the body like cell membranes, bone health and the immune system.”

Future studies that follow dogs long term and look at specific lipid content in the blood may shed light on the mechanisms behind cholesterol’s role in enhanced survival, Leeper said.

“There are a lot of things we plan on investigating,” she said. “This is exciting and fascinating, partly due to the comparative medical aspects between human research and our research.”

Collaborators included Craig Ruaux and Shay Bracha, colleagues of Leeper in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, and Austin Viall of the Department of Veterinary Pathology at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Findings produced by this retrospective study were published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice.

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Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039

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Haley Leeper, 541-737-4812
Haley.Leeper@oregonstate.edu

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Canine osteosarcoma

Canine bone cancer patient

OSU veterinary students to treat neglected animals in Nicaragua

CORVALLIS, Ore – A group of veterinary students from Oregon State University will travel to Nicaragua this summer to conduct six days of free clinics on a rural island that has no regular veterinary care.

The contingent, members of the OSU chapter of the International Veterinary Students’ Association, will pay their own way to spend the first week of August on Ometepe Island, home to an estimated 10,000 people and 50,000 animals.

The clinics include physical exams, deworming, vaccinations, spays, neuters and public health education. 

The Ometepe residents rely on pigs, cows, donkeys, horses and chickens for food, transport and work. In addition, there is a large population of stray dogs and cats that can spread disease.

OSU students, under the supervision of volunteer veterinarians, spay and neuter hundreds of dogs and cats on Ometepe every summer. This is the 10th year of the program, and it’s made a difference, said Sue Tornquist, the Lois Bates Acheson Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and a longtime volunteer on the trip. 

“We now see many dogs that come to the clinic and only need preventive care, since so many have been spayed and neutered already,” she said.

In addition to funding their own travel costs, students raise money to purchase veterinary supplies such as vaccines, needles, syringes, gauze and sutures. The total averages about $1,500 per student.

Anyone interested in helping to support the students can “adopt” a Nicaraguan animal for $20.

“In exchange, you will receive a photo and story about the animal that was in our care, including a description of the type of care provided for the animal,” said Kristin Wineinger, co-chair of Oregon State’s IVSA chapter.

For more information or to donate, visit http://stuorgs.oregonstate.edu/ivsa/donate.

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Lyn Smith-Gloria, 541-737-3844

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Treating a cow in 2016

OSU vet college to host popular Pet Day celebration on Saturday, May 6

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The College of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University will host its popular annual Pet Day celebration on Saturday, May 6, at Magruder Hall on campus. The facility is located at 30th Street and Washington Way in Corvallis.

Pet Day is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., though a handful of activities including the Fun Run and Dog Wash have nominal fees. 

The event annually draws more than 3,000 people for tours, activities and education, including numerous activities aimed at children. Among the highlights are a petting zoo, teddy bear surgery, the dog wash, dog agility demonstrations, tours of the veterinary hospital and more.

Numerous booths staffed by vendors and volunteers provide information on animal health and wellness, nutrition, adoption and therapy. Other booths will be selling animal-related products and gifts. 

Also on display will be llamas, goats, greyhounds, reptiles and other animals.

The 5K Fun Run will begin at 9 a.m. Registration information is available online at: http://bit.ly/2oJ344F. Other events include a pet costume contest and a cat photo contest participants can enter via email

Pet Day was created by students in OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and continues to be organized and staffed by students.

Industry partners supporting the event include Banfield Pet Hospital, Hills Pet Nutrition, Nestlé Purina Pet Care Company, Bayer Animal Health, and the Oregon Animal Health Foundation.

For more information on Pet Day, go to: http://vetmed.oregonstate.edu/pet-day

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Lyn Smith-Gloria, 541-737-3844, lyn.smith-gloria@oregonstate.edu

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Natural carbohydrate shows promise as weapon against food poisoning

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Chitosan, a natural carbohydrate derived from crustacean shells, is showing promise as a weapon against a bacterium that annually sickens more than a million people in the United States.

After salmonella poisoning, the second-most common bacterial foodborne illness in the U.S. is Clostridium perfringens food poisoning.

Present in soil, decaying vegetation and the intestinal tracts of vertebrates, C. perfringens typically infects humans when they eat meat that hasn’t been thoroughly cooked or properly stored, allowing the bacteria to multiply.

Symptons of C. perfringens food poisoning include abdominal pain, stomach cramps, diarrhea and nausea; patients often mistake it for a 24-hour flu.

“People aren’t dying, but they’re getting sick,” said Oregon State University researcher Mahfuzur Sarker. “And many times people don’t report it, so there are likely way more people getting infected than we know about.”

Sarker and OSU graduate student Maryam Alnoman were part of an international collaboration that studied the effect of chitosan on C. perfringens. Chitosan is a linear polysaccharide that results from treating the exoskeletons of shrimp and other crustaceans with an alkaline compound.

The tests involved both laboratory growth medium – bacteria in solution – and cooked, contaminated chicken meat left for several hours at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The study looked at the full life cycle of the C. perfringen bacterium, which produces tough, metabolically dormant spores that are able to survive many food processing approaches.

Results were recently published in Food Microbiology.

The researchers found chitosan blocked C. perfringens growth in cooked chicken and also found chitosan inhibits:

  • Spore germination and outgrowth;
  • The spore core from releasing dipicolinic acid, which is associated with an early step of spore germination;
  • The growth of vegetative cells – cells that are actively growing as opposed to producing spores. 

“In lab conditions, low concentrations of chitosan were effective,” said Sarker, professor of microbiology in OSU’s colleges of science and veterinary medicine. “In meat, the concentration needs to be higher because there are a lot of ingredients in the cooked meat that can inhibit the activity of the antimicrobial chemicals.

“But the larger dose of 3 milligrams per gram of food is still a good dose that can be used in making food products. This is the first time chitosan was shown to work consistently both in lab conditions and in chicken meat.”

Sarker said the next steps are researching chitosan’s effectiveness in other types of meat and meat products and optimizing the conditions for using it. It’s possible, for example, that chitosan may work best when combined with other food preservative chemicals such as sorbate and benzoate.

“It could be a combination of multiple agents,” he said “There are options we can try."

The OSU researchers collaborated with scientists at Taibah University in Saudi Arabia and Kasetsart University in Thailand.

Oregon State’s Agricultural Research Foundation supported the study. Funding also came from the U.S. Army Research Office.

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Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039

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OSU Pet Day planned for May 7

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University will hold its 29th annual Pet Day on Saturday, May 7, when the College of Veterinary Medicine opens its doors for tours, demonstrations, displays, a petting zoo, and other family-friendly events.

Pet Day is created, organized and staffed by students in the College of Veterinary Medicine at OSU. It is their way of giving back to the community and continuing a legacy of public service at the college. It is held rain or shine and attracts 3,000-4,000 visitors.

Vendors and volunteers from organizations will staff booths at the event and provide information on animal health and wellness, nutrition, adoption and therapy.  Many also provide free samples and other resources, spanning the four-legged gamut from pet food to shelter medicine.

Among the returning activities will be dog agility demonstrations, live reptiles, a petting zoo, tours of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, a dog wash and nail trim booth, a pet costume contest, and more. Koenig’s Llamas, Cascade Pack Goats, and the Oregon Herpetological Society provide opportunities to meet animals that are not typical pets.

Participants and their pets may join the Fun Run/Walk event at 9 a.m.; online preregistration for that event is requested by April 18.

Pet Day runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Magruder Hall, located on 30th Street in Corvallis just south of Washington Way, and adjacent to the athletic department’s Truax Indoor Center. Admittance and most activities are free, but there is a small charge for a few of the events.

More detailed information on the various events and registration for the fun run/walk and costume contest is available online at http://vetmed.oregonstate.edu/pet-day

Pet Day is sponsored by the Classes of 2018 and 2019 in the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, and supported by Banfield Pet Hospital, Royal Canin, Zoetis, Nestle Purina Pet Care Co., Hills Pet Nutrition, Pet King Brands, and the Oregon Animal Health Foundation.

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Lyn Smith-Gloria, 541-737-3844

lyn.smith-gloria@oregonstate.edu

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Teddy Bear Surgery
Teddy bear surgery

Veterinary hospital managing a case of equine influenza

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Oregon State University will not accept horses for anything but emergency services until at least Monday, Oct. 26, due to a diagnosed case of equine influenza virus at the hospital.

One horse has been tested and found to be infected with this virus, and has been moved to an animal isolation facility for treatment. Other horses at the hospital are being monitored for any signs of infection, and if one or more are found to be infected, it could further delay the opening of the facility, officials say.

Equine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease in horses that typically is not fatal, but is a particular concern to foals and pregnant mares. Other than equine species, the situation will not affect the care of any other small or large animals at the hospital.

Officials wish to emphasize that this is equine influenza virus, not equine herpes virus-1, a far more serious disease that is often confused with the influenza virus.

Equine influenza is endemic in the United States, and outbreak situations occur intermittently. It’s not transferable to humans or other animal species, but can spread rapidly among horses and other equine species. It is the most common contagious respiratory pathogen of horses, and most infected horses show mild clinical signs from which they fully recover. However, young, elderly or pregnant animals are more vulnerable to viral diseases such as equine influenza, which can cause abortion in pregnant mares.

“We acted quickly to diagnose and isolate the horse that was showing signs of the disease, and hopefully no more animals will be found to be infected,” said John Schlipf, a large animal internal medicine specialist in the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. “We will be able to accept emergency cases if needed.”

The first clinical sign of influenza in horses is typically a fever, followed by cough, nasal discharge and lethargy. Horses with a rectal temperature of greater than 102.5 degrees, cough or nasal discharge should be evaluated by a veterinarian.

Infected horses can “shed” or transmit the virus for up to 10 days after incubation, although the peak of shedding occurs three to five days after infection. Horses that show signs of the disease should be isolated from other horses for 10 days after clinical signs first appear. Testing of nasal swab samples can be used to identify influenza infection in horses and to determine when horses infected with the virus are no longer a risk to others.

The influenza virus is easily killed by a variety of disinfectants, and thorough cleaning of stalls and equipment can help prevent the virus from spreading. Vaccination of horses during an outbreak in a training facility or barn can be beneficial, and should be performed in consultation with a veterinarian, since it may have implications for influenza test results.

Anyone with concerns about their animals may contact their veterinarian or the Lois Bates Acheson Veterinary Teaching Hospital at OSU, at 541-737-2858 or http://vetmed.oregonstate.edu

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John Schlipf, 541-737-2858

Oregon State research reaches record, exceeds $308 million

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon State University research funding reached $308.9 million, its highest level ever, in the fiscal year that ended on June 30. A near doubling of revenues from licensing patented technologies and an 8.5 percent increase in competitive federal funding fueled OSU research on a range of projects including advanced ocean-going research vessels, the health impacts of pollution and sustainable materials for high-speed computing.

“This is a phenomenal achievement. I've seen how OSU research is solving global problems and providing innovations that mean economic growth for Oregon and the nation,” said Cynthia Sagers, OSU’s vice president for research who undertook her duties on August 31. “OSU’s research performance in the last year is amazing, given that federal funds are so restricted right now.”

The overall economic and societal impact of OSU’s research enterprise exceeds $670 million, based on an analysis of OSU’s research contributions to the state and global economy that followed a recent economic study of OSU’s fiscal impact conducted by ECONorthwest.

Technology licensing almost doubled in the last year alone, from just under $6 million in 2014 to more than $10 million this year. Leading investments from business and industry were patented Oregon State innovations in agriculture, advanced materials and nuclear technologies.

OSU researchers exceeded the previous record of $288 million, which the university achieved in 2010. Although federal agencies provided the bulk of funding, most of the growth in OSU research revenues over the past five years stems from nonprofit organizations and industry.

Since 2010, total private-sector funding from sponsored contracts, research cooperatives and other sources has risen 60 percent — from $25 million to more than $40 million in 2015. Oregon State conducts research with multinationals such as HP, Nike and Boeing as well as with local firms such as Benchmade Knife of Oregon City, Sheldon Manufacturing of Cornelius and NuScale Power of Corvallis.

By contrast, federal research grants in 2015 were only 0.2 percent higher than those received in 2010, a year in which American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds gave university research a one-time shot in the arm across the country. According to the National Science Foundation, federal agency obligations for research have dropped from a high of $36 billion in 2009 to $29 billion in 2013, the last year for which cumulative figures are available. The Department of Health and Human Services accounted for more than half of that spending.

“We’ve worked hard to diversify our research portfolio,” said Ron Adams, who retired as interim vice president for research at the end of August. “But it’s remarkable that our researchers have succeeded in competing for an increase in federal funding. This speaks to the success of our strategic initiatives and our focus on clusters of excellence.”

Economic impact stems in part from new businesses launched this year through the Oregon State University Advantage program. Among them are:

  •  OnBoard Dynamics, a Bend company designing a natural-gas powered vehicle engine that can be fueled from home
  •  Valliscor, a Corvallis company that manufactures ultra-pure chemicals
  • eChemion, a Corvallis company that develops and markets technology to extend battery life

Altogether, 15 new companies have received mentoring assistance from Oregon State’s Advantage Accelerator program, part of the state-funded Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network, or RAIN. Six new companies are working with the Advantage program this fall.

Additional economic impact stems from the employment of students, post-doctoral researchers and faculty. According to the OSU Research Office, about a quarter of OSU undergraduates participate in research projects, many with stipends paid by grant funds. In addition, grants support a total of 843 graduate research positions and 165 post-doctoral researchers.

The College of Agricultural Sciences received the largest share of research grants at Oregon State with $49.4 million last year, followed by the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at $39 million and the College of Engineering at $37 million. The College of Science saw a 170 percent increase in research funding to $26.7 million, its largest total ever and the biggest rise among OSU colleges. Among the largest grants received in FY15 were:

  •  $8 million from the NSF to the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry (College of Science) for new high-speed information technologies
  •  $4 million from the Department of Energy to reduce barriers to the deployment of ocean energy systems (College of Engineering)
  •  $4 million from US Agency for International Development to the AquaFish Innovation Lab (College of Agricultural Sciences) for global food security
  •  $3.5 million from the USDA for experiential learning to reduce obesity (College of Public Health and Human Sciences)
  •  $2.3 million from the NSF for the ocean observing initiative (College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences)
  •  $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Education for school readiness in early childhood (OSU Cascades)

 

Editor’s Note: FY15 research totals for OSU colleges and OSU-Cascades are posted online.

College of Agricultural Sciences: http://agsci.oregonstate.edu/story/osu%E2%80%99s-college-agricultural-sciences-receives-494-million-research-grants 

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences: http://ceoas.oregonstate.edu/features/funding/

College of Education: http://education.oregonstate.edu/research-and-outreach 

College of Engineering:  http://engineering.oregonstate.edu/fy15-research-funding-highlights

College of Forestry: http://www.forestry.oregonstate.edu/research/college-forestry-receives-near-record-grant-awards-fy-2015

College of Liberal Arts: http://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/cla-research/2015-research-summary

College of Pharmacy: http://pharmacy.oregonstate.edu/grant_information

College of Public Health and Human Sciences: http://health.oregonstate.edu/research 

College of Science: http://impact.oregonstate.edu/2015/08/record-year-for-research-funding/

College of Veterinary Medicine: http://vetmed.oregonstate.edu/research-highlights

OSU-Cascades: http://osucascades.edu/research-and-scholarship 

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Cynthia Sagers, vice president for research, 541-737-0664; Rich Holdren on OSU research trends, 541-737-8390; Brian Wall on business spinoffs and commercialization, 541-737-9058

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Surface chemistry research

Masters students at OSU worked to improve the performance of thin-film transistors used in liquid crystal displays. (Photo courtesy of Oregon State University)

OOI mooring

The Oregon shelf surface mooring is lowered to the water using the R/V Oceanus ship's crane. (photo courtesy of Oregon State University). Wave Energy

The Ocean Sentinel, a wave energy testing device, rides gentle swells near Newport, Ore. (Photo courtesy of Oregon State University) Hernandez3-2

An undergraduate student at the Autonomous Juarez University of Tabasco, Mexico, is working with cage culture of cichlids in an educational partnership with the AquaFish collaborative Support Program. (Photo: Tiffany Woods)