Binational Police Program in Tijuana Targets HIV Reduction

Effort also aims to improve safety of officers —

Research consistently shows that policing practices, such as confiscating or breaking needles, are key factors in the HIV epidemic among persons who inject drugs. Police officers themselves are also at risk of acquiring HIV or viral hepatitis if they experience needle-stick injuries on the job — a significant source of anxiety and staff turn-over.

A binational team from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission, Mexico Section has launched a new research project aimed at promoting prevention of HIV and other blood-borne infections. The effort is led by Steffanie Strathdee, PhD, professor and director of the UC San Diego Global Health Initiative, Leo Beletsky, JD, MPH, associate professor, and Gudelia Rangel, PhD, deputy general director for migrant health and executive secretary of the Mexico Section of the Mexico-United States Border Health Commission, in partnership with the Tijuana Police Department and Police Academy. The binational team will offer and evaluate Proyecto ESCUDO (Project SHIELD), a police education program designed to align law enforcement and HIV prevention in Tijuana. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Resident Research Symposium: 34 Residents Present Work, Six Chosen to Speak at Medicine Grand Rounds

2015 Resident Research Symposium Winners

From left: Drs. Kevin Shah, Noel Lee, Nanu Das, Julie Chen, Michele Pham and Darrin Wong.

The Internal Medicine Residency Program presented its first annual Resident Research Symposium to a full crowd on Thursday, May 7, with presentations from 34 residents who have taken part in the program’s research block in the last two academic years.

“The 2015 UCSD Internal Medicine Resident Research Symposium was an incredible success,” said program director Simerjot Jassal, MD. “It was a terrific opportunity to showcase the amazing scholarly work our residents have been doing under the outstanding mentorship of our committed faculty,” she said.

Of the 34 residents taking part in the symposium, six were selected to present at Medicine Grand Rounds on June 3 and June 10. Pictured above, they are (from left) Drs. Kevin Shah, Noel Lee, Nanu Das, Julie Chen, Michele Pham and Darrin Wong.

More than 80 residents and faculty members attended.

“I was thrilled with the turnout,” Dr. Jassal said. “The enthusiasm in the room was palpable.”

Dr. Schafer Boeder presenting his research.In the photo at left, Dr. Schafer Boeder discusses his research project.

The Department of Medicine and Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair Wolfgang Dillmann, MD, supported the event. Its purpose is to inspire future projects and create more mentorship opportunities.

“I am so proud of our residents,” Dr. Jassal said.

Dr. Tyler Woodell and Dr. Lawrence Ma Receive Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Resident Awards

Dr. Tyler Woodell

Tyler Woodell, MD

Tyler Woodell, MD, left, a senior categorical internal medicine resident, and Lawrence Ma, MD, a fourth-year medicine-pediatrics resident, will receive the Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Resident Award in a ceremony at the UC San Diego School of Medicine on May 15.

The award recognizes Dr. Woodell and Dr. Ma as role models for others in their compassion, dedication and humanism in their approach to patient care.

Dr. Lawrence Ma

Lawrence Ma, MD

“The Gold Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Resident Award is one of the greatest honors that can be bestowed upon a resident,” said internal medicine residency program director Dr. Simerjot Jassal. “Tyler is a beacon of professionalism. I think this is the most important quality a physician can possess.”

Simerjot K. Jassal, MD, MAS, FACP, is clinical professor in the Department of Medicine.

“This is a great honor that is given to only a handful of UC San Diego housestaff each year. Congratulations to both Lawrence and Tyler!” said Lori Wan, MD, director of the Combined Medicine/Pediatrics Residency Program. She is clinical professor of medicine and pediatrics.

Drs. Woodell and Ma were selected in a vote by third-year medical students and each is one of six recipients this year.

After graduating from the UC San Diego Internal Medicine Residency Training Program in June, Dr. Woodell will begin fellowship training in nephrology at Oregon Health and Science University.

Dr. Ma will start a fellowship in geriatrics at Stanford University in July, with the ultimate goal of practicing primary care across the age spectrum.

As award recipients, Dr. Woodell and Dr. Ma become lifetime members of the UC San Diego Gold Humanism Honor Society. One of their first actions as awardees is to speak to the rising third-year medical students at UC San Diego during Clinical Transition Week.

How to Reset a Diseased Cell

In proof-of-concept experiments, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine demonstrate the ability to tune medically relevant cell behaviors by manipulating a key hub in cell communication networks. The manipulation of this communication node, reported in this week’s issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, makes it possible to reprogram large parts of a cell’s signaling network instead of targeting only a single receptor or cell signaling pathway. …Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Novel Approach Blocks Amyloid Production in Alzheimer’s Mouse Model

Promises potential early therapeutic intervention —

Offering a potential early intervention for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Cenna Biosciences, Inc. have identified compounds that block the production of beta amyloid peptides in mice. The study is reported April 29 in PLOS ONE.

If the results ultimately translate to human treatment, the most promising compound – a peptide dubbed P8 – could be administered to individuals at high risk of developing the disease, long before the tell-tale signs of dementia occur and perhaps with few side effects, due to the compound’s highly specific mode of action. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom

UC San Diego Health System, Scripps Health Partner in Hospice Care, Training and Research

UC San Diego Health System and Scripps Health are partnering to provide improved continuity of patient care, fellowship training and research in hospice and palliative medicine. Under a new five-year agreement, Scripps will work with UC San Diego to provide outpatient and inpatient hospice care for UC San Diego patients, allowing UC San Diego physicians to better coordinate post-acute care for patients with chronic illness. The joint fellowship program is the only physician training program of its kind in San Diego County …

… The hospice and palliative medicine training program is an extension of a fellowship that was previously offered through San Diego Hospice. Gary Buckholz, MD, UC San Diego, and Holly Yang, MD, Scripps Health, co-direct the joint fellowship program, which will be housed at UC San Diego beginning in July 2015. The program will engage faculty from both organizations, exemplifying the teamwork required to meet the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of palliative care and hospice patients and their families. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Golgi Trafficking Controlled by G-Proteins

A family of proteins called G proteins are a recognized component of the communication system the human body uses to sense hormones and other chemicals in the bloodstream and to send messages to cells. In work that further illuminates how cells work, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered a new role for G proteins that may have relevance to halting solid tumor cancer metastasis.

The study is reported online April 9 in Developmental Cell.

“Our work provides the first direct evidence that G proteins are signaling on membranes inside cells, not just at the cell surface as has been widely believed for several decades,” said Pradipta Ghosh, MD, associate professor and senior author. “This is significant because the G-protein pathway is a target of at least 30 percent of all current drugs on the market.” … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Pradipta Ghosh, MDDr. Pradipta Ghosh, is associate professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology.

Visit the Ghosh Laboratory website

See Full Text of Article in Developmental Cell (UC San Diego only)

Global Public Health Division Video Wins 2nd Prize in Video Challenge Competition for UC Global Health Day

A video made by doctoral candidate Jaime Arredondo and other members of the Division of Global Public Health has won second prize in the Video Challenge Competition for UC Global Health Day.

The video, “The Forgotten: Clinica del Bordo,” takes viewers to the San Diego-Tijuana border, where Arredondo and many other members of the global public health division provide wound care, HIV testing and other basic health services to people who live in the Tijuana River Canal.

Canal Wound Clinic, or Clinica del Bordo, is an outreach effort of UC San Diego’s NIDA-funded Proyecto el Cuete IV program, Impact of Drug Policy Reform on the HIV Risk Environment Among IDUs in Tijuana.

“This brief video embodies our division’s philosophy of integrating research, training and service to improve the health of our border community,” said Division of Global Public Health chief Steffanie Strathdee, PhD.

“I am very proud that our work is upheld by our students, as they are our next generation of health providers and prevention scientists.”

Dr. Strathdee is Harold Simon Professor, Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences; Chief, Division of Global Public Health and Director of the UC San Diego Global Health Initiative.

Jaime Arredondo is an AIDS International Training and Research (AITRP) fellow.

The video is here:

Some Atrial Fibrillation Patients Receive Unnecessary Blood Thinners

Researchers believe cardiology specialists may be unaware of risk —

About one quarter of all atrial fibrillation patients at the lowest risk for stroke receive unnecessary blood thinners from cardiology specialists, according to a new study by researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and University of California, San Francisco, and these health care providers must be made aware of the resulting potential health risks. The findings are published online April 13 by JAMA Internal Medicine.

“Clinicians who prescribe blood thinners need to be diligent about weighing the risks and benefits of these medications,” said lead author Jonathan C. Hsu, MD, cardiologist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at UC San Diego … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. Jonathan C. Hsu

Dr. Jonathan C. Hsu

The lead author of the study report is Jonathan C. Hsu, MD, MAS, assistant clinical professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.
See Full Text of Article (PDF) (UCSD only)

More Anti-inflammatory Genes Mean Longer Lifespans for Mammals

Mammal species with higher copy numbers of siglec receptor genes have longer maximum lifespans —

We age in part thanks to “friendly fire” from the immune system — inflammation and chemically active molecules called reactive oxygen species that help fight infection, but also wreak molecular havoc over time, contributing to frailty, disability and disease. The CD33rSiglec family of proteins are known to help protect our cells from becoming inflammatory collateral damage, prompting researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine to ask whether CD33rSiglecs might help mammals live longer, too. …Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom