The Horizon Initiative: a cancer prevention and control collaboration between OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and Oregon State University  

The goal of the Horizon Initiative is to facilitate growth of inter-institutional, multidisciplinary research teams and to develop sustainable and innovative research in cancer prevention and control.


Emily Ho, Ph.D., Professor, Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Linus Pauling Institute, Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health

Arup Indra, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Oregon State University College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Linus Pauling Institute, OSU; Affiliated Faculty Department of Dermatology, OHSU, Knight Cancer Institute, OHSU

Pepper Schedin, Ph.D., Professor, OHSU School of Medicine Department of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology; Co-Program Lead, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Cancer Prevention and Control Program

Jackie Shannon, Ph.D., R.D., Associate Professor, OHSU School of Public Health; Associate Director, Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute; Director, OHSU Integrated Program in Community Research; Co-director, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Community Partnership Program

Research Funding

The first round of funding began on January 1, 2016 and required at least one OSU and one OHSU investigator. Collaborative efforts were a major criteria for funding.

Six research pilot projects ($50,000 each) and five team pilot projects ($10,000 each) were funded.

Research Pilot Projects

  • Disparities in CRC screening: a mixed methods multi-level study of Oregon's medicaid population. Melinda Davis (OHSU) and Cynthia Mojica (OSU)
  • Design and validate synthetic oligonucleotides to selectively suppress mutant CALR (calreticulin) alleles in myeloproliferative neoplasms. Kim-Hien Dao (OHSU) and Patrick Iversen (OSU)
  • Chemoprevention of prostate cancer: long Non-coding RNAs and sulforaphane. Joshi Alkumal (OHSU), Mark Garzotto (OHSU), David Hendrix (OSU), Emily Ho (OSU), and Jackilen Shannon (OHSU)
  • Zebrafish as a model for chemoprevention of T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). Bill Chang (OHSU), Linda Stork (OHSU), Robyn Tanguay (OSU), and David Williams (OSU)
  • Function of selenoprotein thioredoxin reductase (TR1) in melanocyte homeostasis. Pamela Cassidy (OHSU) and Arup Indra (OSU)
  • Bcl-2 converters for breast cancer. Siva Kolluri (OSU), Christiane Loehr (OSU), Shiuh-Wen Luoh (OHSU), and Rosalie Sears (OHSU)
  • Pilot Projects
  • Bcl-2 converters for breast cancer. Gerd Bobe (OSU), Jackilen Shannon (OHSU), Yumie Takata (OSU), and Zhenzhen Zhang (OHSU)
  • Role of platelets activation in colon cancer metastasis under coagulation and shear. Pallavi Dhagat (OSU), Albrecht Jander (OSU), Owen McCarty (OHSU), and Travis Walker (OSU)
  • Early detection of colorectal liver metastases and recurrence to direct hepatic regional therapy. Kevin Billingsley (OHSU), William Bisson (OSU), Charles Lopez (OHSU), Skye Mayo (OHSU), and Melissa Wong (OHSU)
  • Patient-centered communication to meet the needs of AYA survivors. Diane Elliot (OHSU), Jessica Gorman (OHSU), Brandon Hayes-Lattin (OHSU), Karen Lyons (OHSU), Martin Storksdieck (OSU), and Kerri Winters-Stone (OHSU)
  • Towards evidence based consensus on breast cancer screening and prioritization of future screening research to delineate lethal from non-lethal disease. Veronica Irvin (OSU) and Pepper Schedin (OHSU)
  • The second request for applications is tentatively scheduled for Fall 2016. Information will be updated closer to the date and will be provided at the next scientific retreat (see below).

Scientific Retreat

The first scientific retreat was held on August 31, 2015 at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center at Oregon State University. Over 80 scientists from OHSU and OSU attended the retreat which included short presentations on research interests, small breakout sessions to encourage collaborations and a poster session.

The second scientific retreat is tentatively scheduled for November 1, 2016 at Oregon State University and will include a similar program. In addition, funded team and research pilot investigators will give updates.  

Attendance is free and is open to all OHSU and OSU faculty and staff. Registration is tentatively scheduled to open in September 2016, with more information to follow.