Howard J. Jacob to Deliver Daniel T. O’Connor Memorial Lecture February 23

Dr. Howard J. Jacob will present the Daniel T. O’Connor 2nd Annual Memorial Lecture on Thursday, February 23, 2017, at UC San Diego School of Medicine. His topic is “From Hypertension to Genomic Medicine.”

Dr. Jacob’s lecture will take place in the Leichtag Auditorium (Room 107), with a reception immediately following on the patio.

Dr. Jacob is Executive Vice President for Medical Genomics, Chief Medical Genomics Officer, and Faculty Investigator at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. His UC San Diego hosts are Bruce A. Hamilton, PhD, and Nicholas J. Schork, PhD.

Dr. Hamilton is Professor, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Department of Medicine; Director, Genetics Training Program; and Associate Director, Institute for Genomic Medicine. Dr. Schork is UC San Diego Adjunct Professor, Psychiatry, Family and Preventive Medicine and Director of Human Biology, J. Craig Venter Institute.

The lecture is presented in conjunction with the UC San Diego CTRI Seminar Series and the Genetics, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Colloquium Series.

New Professor Makes Forbes Short List of Top Scientists Under 30

In her first year as an assistant professor at the University of California San Diego, Melissa Gymrek is already bringing honor to the institution. In its 2017 roster of top-notch young scientists, Forbes magazine included Gymrek among its top 30 researchers in the Science category under age 30. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom

New Bioinformatic Analysis Reveals Role of Proteins in Diabetic Kidney Disease

MDM2 emerges as key; Software could expose metabolomic information of other diseases —

A new bioinformatic framework developed by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine has identified key proteins significantly altered at the gene-expression level in biopsied tissue from patients with diabetic kidney disease, a result that may reveal new therapeutic targets. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Kumar Sharma, MD, FAHADr. Kumar Sharma is lead investigator of the team that published the study report in JCI Insights.Kumar Sharma, MD, is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension.

He directs the Institute for Metabolomic Medicine and the Center for Renal Translational Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Study Report (full text UC San Diego only)

Active Genetics Goes Global

Tata Trusts & University of California San Diego partner to establish Tata Institute for Active Genetics and Society (TIAGS) —

UC San Diego has received a $70 million commitment from the India-based philanthropic Tata Trusts, which includes the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, the Sir Ratan Tata Trust and the Tata Education and Development Trust, to establish the Tata Institute for Active Genetics and Society (TIAGS), a collaborative partnership between the university and research operations in India. UC San Diego, which will be home to the lead unit of the institute (TIAGS-UC San Diego), will receive $35 million in funding, while the remainder of the committed funds is anticipated to support a complementary research enterprise in India (TIAGS-India). … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Anita Raj, PhD

Anita Raj, PhD

Anita Raj, PhD, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Global Public Health, is one of the UC San Diego researchers who will contribute to the TIAGS.

Researchers ID Cancer Gene-Drug Combinations Ripe for Precision Medicine

Yeast, human cells and bioinformatics help develop one-two punch approach to personalized cancer therapy —

In an effort to expand the number of cancer gene mutations that can be specifically targeted with personalized therapies, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center looked for combinations of mutated genes and drugs that together kill cancer cells. Such combinations are expected to kill cancer cells, which have mutations, but not healthy cells, which do not. The study, published July 21 in Molecular Cell, uncovered 172 new combinations that could form the basis for future cancer therapies.

“Oncologists here at Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health and elsewhere can often personalize cancer therapy based on an individual patient’s unique cancer mutations,” said senior author Trey Ideker, PhD, … Read the Full Story by Heather Buschman from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Trey Ideker, PhD

Trey Ideker, PhD

Senior author of the study report in Molecular Cell is Trey Ideker, PhD, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Medical Genetics and Professor of Bioengineering at UC San Diego.

Gene Mutation “Hotspots” Linked to Better Breast Cancer Outcomes

Genetic phenomenon associated with low tumor invasiveness and longer patient survival could inform prognosis and help identify patients who would best respond to immunotherapy and other treatments —

Kataegis is a recently discovered phenomenon in which multiple mutations cluster in a few hotspots in a genome. The anomaly was previously found in some cancers, but it has been unclear what role kataegis plays in tumor development and patient outcomes. Using a database of human tumor genomic data, researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center have discovered that kataegis is actually a positive marker in breast cancer — patients with these mutation hotspots have less invasive tumors and better prognoses. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego News Center


Dr. Jill Mesirov

Dr. Jill Mesirov

The study coauthors included Department of Medicine faculty researchers Pablo Tamayo, PhD, and Jill P. Mesirov, PhD. Both are Professors of Medicine in the Division of Genetics.

Read the Full Text (UC San Diego Only)

HIV Infection Prematurely Ages People by an Average of Five Years

Epigenetic changes also associated with 19 percent increased risk of mortality —

Thanks to combination antiretroviral therapies, many people with HIV can expect to live decades after being infected. Yet doctors have observed these patients often show signs of premature aging. Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the University of Nebraska Medical Center have applied a highly accurate biomarker to measure just how much HIV infection ages people at the cellular level — an average of almost five years.

The study is published April 21 in Molecular Cell. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Trey Ideker, PhD

Trey Ideker, PhD

Trey Ideker, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Professor of Bioengineering, is co-corresponding author of the study report in Molecular Cell (article access for UC San Diego only).

Other Department of Medicine authors include Andrew M. Gross, Philipp A. Jaeger, Jason F. Kreisberg and Katherine Licon.

New Computer Program Can Help Uncover Hidden Genomic Alterations that Drive Cancers

Tested on large tumor genomics database, REVEALER method allows researchers to connect genomics to cell function —

Cancer is rarely the result of a single mutation in a single gene. Rather, tumors arise from the complex interplay between any number of mutually exclusive abnormal changes in the genome, the combinations of which can be unique to each individual patient. To better characterize the functional context of genomic variations in cancer, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the Broad Institute developed a new computer algorithm they call REVEALER. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. Jill Mesirov

Dr. Jill Mesirov

Co-senior authors on the REVEALER study report are Jill P. Mesirov, PhD, and Pablo Tamayo, PhD. Dr. Mesirov is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Medical Genetics and Associate Vice Chancellor for Computational Health Sciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Dr. Tamayo is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Medical Genetics and Co-Director of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center Genomics and Computational Biology Shared Resource.

Genetic Changes that Cause Autism Are More Diverse Than Previously Thought

Researchers find that the genetic causes of autism consist of a wide variety of genetic changes —

The types of gene mutations that contribute to autism are more diverse than previously thought, report researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in the March 24 online issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics. The findings, they say, represent a significant advance in efforts to unravel the genetic basis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). …Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Keith Vaux, MDDr. Keith Vaux, Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Medical Genetics and Professor of Neurosciences, is a coauthor of the study report.

He conducts neurodevelopmental research with particular interest in rare diseases, epilepsy and autism.

Dr. Vaux did his internship and received his pediatrics residency training at the Naval Medical Center, San Diego. In his fellowship work in dysmorphology and medical genetics, Dr. Kenneth Lyons Jones was his mentor.

Dr. Vaux is Clinical Chief of Medical Genetics for UC San Diego Health.

Altman Clinical and Translational Research Building Makes Its Debut

New structure will be campus hub for advancing basic science to clinical applications —

Rising above Interstate 5 on the east campus of UC San Diego, the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute Building (ACTRI) officially opened its doors Friday in a ribbon-cutting ceremony under blue skies.

The new seven-story building of steel, glass and grooved concrete is home to the Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) at UC San Diego, established in 2010 as part of a national consortium of 60 medical research institutions created to energize bench-to-bedside efforts. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom