$52M NIH Grant Advances Clinical and Translational Research at UC San Diego

Federal funding will help further on-going efforts to translate discoveries to clinic —

The Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) at University of California, San Diego has received a five-year Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) for approximately $52 million from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science, part of the National Institutes of Health. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center

Medicine Grand Rounds Resumes on August 26

The 2015-2016 season of Medicine Grand Rounds begins on August 26 with the Sixth Annual Nathan J. Zvaifler Lecture in Rheumatology presented by Dr. Lindsey Criswell of UCSF.

Lindsey A. Criswell, MD, MPH, is chief of the Division of Rheumatology at UCSF and a renowned researcher in human autoimmune disease. She will speak on the topic, “Refining Genotype-Phenotype Associations in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.”

Dr. Nathan J. Zvaifler

Dr. Zvaifler

Nathan J. Zvaifler, MD, was a founder and influential leader in the Department of Medicine and former chief of the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology.

The division established the annual Nathan J. Zvaifler Rheumatology Lectureship upon Dr. Zvaifler’s formal retirement in 2008. Dr. Zvaifler passed away in January of this year.

Medicine Grand Rounds takes place on Wednesday mornings at 7:30 a.m. in the Liebow Auditorium on the second floor of the Biomedical Sciences Building on the School of Medicine campus in La Jolla.

Instructions for viewing live streaming and archived video of Medicine Grand Rounds presentations can be found on the Medicine Grand Rounds page.

Daniel T. O’Connor Memorial Award Established to Support CTRI Pilot Project

The UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) has announced the Daniel T. O’Connor Memorial Award, which will add funding to support the top 2015 CTRI project recipient, Julie Bykowski, MD. The award was established by Dr. O’Connor’s widow, Kellie Evans-O’Connor.  Read the story in the UC San Diego Clinical and Translational News & Announcements

High Rates of Violence, HIV Infection for Adolescents in Sex Trade on U.S.-Mexico Border

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that more than one in four female sex workers in two Mexican cities on the U.S. border entered the sex trade younger than age 18; one in eight before their 16th birthday. These women were more than three times more likely to become infected with HIV than those who started sex work as adults. They were also three times more likely to be violently coerced to engage in sex with male clients and seven times less likely to use a condom during their first month in the sex trade.

The study is published August 4 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center


The study comes from the Division of Global Public Health in the Department of Medicine. Jay G. Silverman, PhD, professor of medicine and director of research for the Center on Gender Equity and Health, is lead author.

The senior author is Kimberly Brouwer, PhD, associate professor of medicine and leader in the Scientific Working Group on HIV Prevention at the UC San Diego Center for AIDS Research.

Read the article full text (UC San Diego only)

American Cancer Society Pilot Grants for Junior Investigators

The Moores Cancer Center is now accepting applications from junior investigators for American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grants (ACS-IRG #70-002).

Applicants must be Assistant Professors at UC San Diego, within six years of their first independent faculty appointment. Up to five pilot grants will be awarded, for up to $30,000 per award.

Applications are due electronically by 5 p.m. September 10, 2015. Grants will be awarded in December, 2015.

Researchers Find Key Player in Diabetic Kidney Disease Through Power of Metabolomics

Tapping the potential of metabolomics, an emerging field focused on the chemical processes of metabolism, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a new and pivotal player in diabetic kidney disease.

The study, published online July 22 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, also clarifies a central mechanism of action in diabetic kidney disease that is generating considerable excitement among researchers and the biopharmaceutical community. The mechanism, involving the NADPH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) oxidase (NOX) proteins, NOX1 and NOX4, is now the subject of a phase II clinical trial for the treatment of diabetic kidney disease. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego News Center


Kumar Sharma, MD, FAHASenior author of the study report is Kumar Sharma, MD, FAHA, professor of medicine in the Division of Nephrology and director of the Center for Renal Translational Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Read the study report in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology  (UC San Diego Only)

Researchers Illuminate Key Role of NOX Proteins in Liver Disease

Study adds credence to new treatment approach now in clinical trials —

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have demonstrated a direct connection between two signaling proteins and liver fibrosis, a scarring process underlying chronic liver disease, the 12th leading cause of death in the United States.

The finding adds further credence to a current pharmaceutical effort to create new treatments for diabetic nephropathy, liver fibrosis and other progressive fibrotic and inflammatory diseases, based on blocking these two molecules, both members of the NADPH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) oxidase (NOX) family of proteins. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego News Center


David A. Brenner, MDSenior author of the study report is David A. Brenner, MD, vice chancellor for health sciences, dean of UC San Diego School of Medicine and professor in the Division of Gastroenterology. The report was published online in PLOS ONE on July 29.

Read the article (open access)

New Drug for Blood Cancers Now in Five Phase II Clinical Trials

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have established the safety and dosing of a new drug for treating blood cancers. The findings are published online July 27 in The Lancet Haematology.

The drug is a small molecule inhibitor that suppresses the activity of a signaling pathway believed to contribute to a variety of blood cancers’ eventual resistance to standard chemotherapy treatments. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego News Center


Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD, Catriona H. M. Jamieson, MD, PhD is the senior author of the article reporting the multicenter study. Dr. Jamieson is an associate professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Regenerative Medicine in the School of Medicine.

Read summary of article in The Lancet Haematology

New Drug Combination Treats Hepatitis C Patients Also Infected with HIV

Novel treatment has 97 percent success rate in co-infected patients —

Roughly 20 to 30 percent of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) are also infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV). Both blood-borne viruses share the same modes of transmission, but many HCV medications currently have significant limitations due to adverse interactions with HIV treatments. Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report a new combination that effectively treats HCV in patients co-infected with HIV. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center


David L. Wyles, MD, is lead author of the New England Journal of Medicine article that reports the results of the multi-center study. Dr. Wyles is associate professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases.

Read the article online:

Wyles D.L., Ruane P.J., Sulkowski M.S., et al. Daclatasvir plus Sofosbuvir for HCV in Patients Coinfected with HIV-1. New England Journal of Medicine July 21, 2015, 10.1056/NEJMoa1503153.  Free full text

Nanospheres Safely Deliver High Chemotherapy Doses in Response to Tumor Secretions

Scientists have designed nanoparticles that release drugs in the presence of a class of proteins that enable cancers to metastasize. That is, they have engineered a drug delivery system so that the very enzymes that make cancers dangerous could instead guide their destruction.

“We can start with a small molecule and build that into a nanoscale carrier that can seek out a tumor and deliver a payload of drug,” said Cassandra Callmann, a graduate student in chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego, and first author of the report published in the journal Advanced Materials July 14. …Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center