Whiteside Institute for Clinical Research

The Whiteside Institute for Clinical Research: A collaboration of St. Luke’s and the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus

The Whiteside Institute for Clinical Research was created by a generous trust from Muriel Whiteside to St. Luke’s Hospital, Clinics and Foundation and the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus. It was Miss Whiteside’s desire that the two organizations work together to support patient-oriented clinical research with a special emphasis in the areas of cancer, lung and heart disease. Since its inception in 1996, the Whiteside Institute has successfully promoted research in these and other specialty areas by awarding seventy-two Whiteside Grants totaling almost a million dollars and has further supported research through our Whiteside Technical Grants. Together these programs have resulted in 55 peer-reviewed publications, 2 patents, and a total of nearly 9.4 million dollars in leveraged grant money.

The Whiteside Institute is St. Luke's Research Department providing comprehensive research services throughout the institution with staff of more than ten people. Find more information and activities at St. Luke's Hospitals and Clinics.

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Whiteside Lab Services

  • Nanosight: experimental design and analysis using the Nanosight NS300
  • Flow cytometry: experimental design and analysis using the Sony SH800 Flow Cytometer
  • Tissue culture
  • Institutional Review Board (IRB) Application assistance
  • Human subjects study coordination
  • Protocol development for human subjects studies
  • Clinical collaborations
  • Access to patients and clinical samples

Please contact us if you have other scientific needs that you would like help with. We are here to consult with local investigators to support the research at the Medical School Duluth and St. Luke’s.

Whiteside Memorial Lecture

Each year a speaker is invited to present a lecture focusing on their research as it relates to the Whiteside mission and to discuss the potential impact of this research on clinical practice. The goal of the annual lecture is to create an opportunity for collaboration and information exchange between basic science researchers, physicians, medical students, nurses and other clinical scientists. A reception with the speaker takes place during the hour before the lecture.


The Whiteside Institute awards two types of grants: the Whiteside Grant, a financial grant of up to $20,000, and the Whiteside Technical Grant, a grant that supports research by pairing a Whiteside Research Scientist with local investigators.

Whiteside Grants

The Whiteside Institute awards up to $65,000 per year for local clinical research related to preventing or treating cancer, lung or heart disease. Clinical research includes studies of therapeutic interventions including clinical trials of drugs, disease prevention and health promotion; evaluation of diagnostic tests or strategies; behavioral studies; health services research; epidemiologic studies; outcomes research and translational research. Grant awards generally range from $15,000 to $20,000. More information can be found here.

Whiteside Technical Grants

Grant provides technical assistance of a Research Scientist in the Whiteside Molecular Biology Research Laboratory at the Medical School Duluth, 25% full time equivalent for up to 3 months, plus up to $2,000 in supplies to facilitate research in the areas of cancer, heart and lung disease, the mission of the Whiteside Institute. Call outs for proposals to University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus researchers typically happen two times per year.


Research Scientist:
Cara Skon Hegg, PhD
Phone: 218-726-8890
Email: cshegg@d.umn.edu

Cara Skon Hegg trained at the U of Minnesota’s Center for Immunology in the Twin Cities gaining a Ph.D. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology and did her postdoc at Genentech in South San Francisco, CA. She has specific expertise in Immunology and Microbiology, with a focus on flow cytometry, aseptic tissue and cell culture, immune phenotyping, in vivo mouse models, infection models, and genomic techniques.

Program Director:
Marilyn Odean, MS
Email: modean@d.umn.edu

Marilyn Odean has a Master of Science degree in Microbiology from the University of Minnesota and for 20 years managed an Immunology research lab at the Medical School, Duluth, focusing on modulation of the immune response, both in vivo and in vitro, by natural and synthetic molecules under the direction of Dr. Arthur G. Johnson. Since 1997 she has worked to develop and direct the Whiteside Institute for Clinical Research, and maintains a presence at both the Medical School, Duluth and St. Luke’s where she serves as Department Director.

Research Director:
Matthew Slattery, PhD
Email: mslatter@d.umn.edu
Phone: 218-726-7223

Medical Director:
Nils Arvold, MD
Email: nils.arvold@slhduluth.com