Part of our ‘They Chose OHSU’ blog series. They could have gone anywhere, and chose OHSU. These accomplished scientists, promising students and leading clinicians were convinced they could do their best work at OHSU. Here, according to each of them, is why.
Hisham Mohammed, Ph.D., is an associate scientist at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research (CEDAR) center, one of the largest initiatives in the world focused on research to enable the detection of cancers at an earlier, more treatable stage. At the University of Cambridge, UK, while working as a Ph.D. student, Mohammed invented a method to analyze and understand protein complexes more efficiently — a method now being used in labs across the world. Importantly, this method allowed him to discover a pivotal role for the hormone progesterone in regulating breast cancer.
Before arriving at OHSU in 2018, Mohammed was a postdoctoral research associate at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 2013. He was born in India and earned his undergraduate degree there.
"When I began talking to leaders at CEDAR (the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research center), I noticed they had a very different and refreshing mentality. Some universities I was considering, the notion was that junior researchers had to fit into existing systems, ones that haven’t changed for decades. In contrast, OHSU’s attitude was, ‘We need to build a new system and we want everybody to be a part of it. And we will take the best ideas no matter who it’s from.’ That was very attractive.
“Traditionally, researchers must spend a lot of time writing grants. And if you don’t get grants, you don’t get research funding and you can’t get published in scientific journals. And if you don’t get published, you don’t receive grant funding. CEDAR was designed to change that. When they were recruiting me, they said: ‘You come up with the research ideas. We have the funding covered.’
“As part of CEDAR, I can come up with new ideas and technologies, get the research up and running quickly and produce groundbreaking results.
“Coming here was a no-brainer — even though I wasn’t too keen on the long flights from India!”
"As part of CEDAR, I can come up with new ideas and technologies, get the research up and running quickly and produce groundbreaking results."