Oregon Health And Science University has announced a new collaboration with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington.

The two organizations will study the variations an individual brings to a disease — like their genes, the environment they live in, and their lifestyle.

Dr. Joe Gray thinks the partnership will work well because OHSU can provide expertise in solving real-world medical problems, while the national laboratory brings the technology needed to push the science forward.

Dr. Joe Gray thinks the partnership will work well because OHSU can provide expertise in solving real-world medical problems, while the national laboratory brings the technology needed to push the science forward.

Kristian Foden-Vencil/OPB

OHSU Dr. Joe Gray thinks the partnership will work well because his organization can provide expertise in solving real-world medical problems, while the national laboratory brings the technology needed to push science forward.

“One of the nice things about the national laboratories is that they have been built to bring high technology to complex problems,” he said. “It started off in the physics world, but now it’s increasingly being applied in biology and medicine.”

The two organizations have been working together for years. But OHSU recently received a $1.8 million grant to study substances formed during a cell’s metabolism.

“This effort brings together the unique and complementary strengths of Oregon’s only academic medical center, which has a reputation for innovative clinical trial designs, and a national laboratory with an international reputation for basic science and technology development in support of biological applications,” said OHSU President Joe Robertson.

“Together, OHSU and PNNL will be able to solve complex problems in biomedical research that neither institution could solve alone.”

PNNL Director Steven Ashby said the biomedical research and clinical work performed at OHSU pairs well with PNNL’s world-class expertise in data science and mass spectrometry analyses of proteins and genes. 

“By combining our complementary capabilities, we will make fundamental discoveries and accelerate our ability to tailor healthcare to individual patients,” said Ashby.