We engage the Portland, Oregon scientific and technical community to enhance the health of the scientific research enterprise, provide opportunities for the next generation of scientists and engineers, and promote the public's understanding of science and technology. We are comprised of faculty and students from several colleges and universities in the Portland area, as well as colleagues in local business, industry, federal and state agencies, and medical centers. We focus many of our programs on enhancing the experiences of students at all levels. Many of our members are retired scientists and engineers who have relocated to the Portland area and find a community of interests through the activities of the chapter.

2015 Fall Mixer

Expediting Science and Technology Commercialization: An Introduction to Oregon’s First and Only Bioscience-Specific Business Accelerator

Bringing together the biotech community and Sigma Xi members to meet and greet entrepreneurs in all fields of bioscience and biotechnology.

Thursday, 8 October 2015, 5:30-8:00 PM

at the OTRADI Bioscience Incubator, OBI 4640 SW Macadam Ave. Suite 200, Portland, OR 97239 
Parking is limited to a single row immediately in front of the building, so we encourage riding the Streetcar or bicycling to the event. OBI is an 8-minute walk from SW Lowell & Bond Streetcar stop in the South Waterfront. 

5:30-6:30pm Networking with light snacks and wine

6:30-7:00pm Dr. Jennifer Fox: presentation and discussion

7:00-8:00pm Networking continues

Jennifer E. Fox, Ph.D.

Dr. Fox is Executive Director of the Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute (OTRADI) and the OTRADI Bioscience Incubator (OBI). OTRADI is a state-funded nonprofit that advances bioscience research, commercialization and business incubation in Oregon. Dr. Fox is trained in molecular and cellular biology and has more than 20 years of laboratory research experience. Prior to joining OTRADI, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oregon researching breast cancer drug resistance. Dr. Fox earned her Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from Tulane University in the environmental endocrinology laboratory of Dr. John A. McLachlan, director of the Tulane-Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research.

Student proposal submission deadlines


22-25 Oct 2015: Sigma Xi National Annual Meeting, Kansas City MO.

23-24 Oct 2015Sigma Xi National Student Research ConferenceKansas City MO.

18 November 2015

Ballroom, Smith Memorial Union, Portland State University

Sigma Xi Columbia-Willamette Chapter holds its twelfth annual Symposium of poster papers by undergraduate and graduate students in the sciences, social sciences, mathematics, and engineering on 18 November 2015, at Portland State University in the Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom. The posters-only Symposium is open to students affiliated with colleges and universities in the Portland area. Awards are given for the best undergraduate and graduate posters in several categories.  At the previous event, 35 projects were presented and 15 primary student authors received awards.  The Symposium provides practice for presentations at regional and national meetings in students’ own disciplines.  The Symposium is open to the public, and admission is free.

April 2015 Awards for best posters | Poster Abstracts  Photos 

Chapter winetasting/geology trip, with Scott Burns
Willamina region (McMinnville AVA)
Friday 14 Aug 2015
Chapter members and guests visited three wineries (Anne Amie, Yamhill Valley, and Maysara) and learned their history and the geology of their soils. The trip also visited the Bellevue glacial erratic, deposited on a hill in Yamhill County by the earliest and largest of 40 Missoula floods that inundated the Willamette Valley near the end of the Pleistocene glaciation.
 Anne Amie Vineyards Lunch thumbs up, at AAV
 Yamhill Valley Vineyards
 Serious wine talk at YVV
Bellevue glacial erratic
 Maysara Winery

Jessica Hebert (Portland State University, Biology) won both the overall best (poster and oral) cell and molecular biology section award, and the overall conference best poster award, at the AAAS Pacific Division conference, 14-17 June 2015. The conference, at San Francisco State University, was co-sponsored by Sigma Xi's Northwest and Southwest Regions. There were 106 student presentations.

Back in April, Jessica's poster, Increased maternal angiotensinogen expression and male fetal gender affect placental size and capillary density, earned a first-place award in the biomedical science and cell biology category at the Sigma Xi Columbia-Willamette Student Research Symposium. The C-W Chapter provided partial travel support to enable her to attend the June conference.

Four local students won Grants-In-Aid of Research from Sigma Xi during the 2014-15 academic year: Zecong Fang (Washington State University - Vancouver), Sydney Gonsalves (PSU), Timea Deakova (PSU), and Ariana Chiapella (PSU). Their projects, and the nature of Sigma Xi's GIAR awards, are described in Student research grants.

The Chapter sponsored a 30 April 2015 lecture on exoplanets by Yale astrophysicist Debra Fischer, who is a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer. On 30 September 2015, Dr. Fischer participated in a Google Hangout (online conversation): 20 Years of Exoplanet Discoveries , the first of a series by Distinguished Lecturers.


Tom Hard,
Aug 24, 2015, 2:00 PM