Two Lefts Make It Right: Cardiac Experts Find Novel Approach to Treat Heart Failure

Circulatory assist devices placed on both sides of heart restore normal blood flow —

A teenage girl faced with sudden rapid heart deterioration, a man in the prime years of his life suffering from debilitating heart failure and a former NFL athlete crippled by end-stage heart failure were all successfully treated with a surgical approach pioneered by cardiac experts at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

The work, recently published in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, demonstrated significant benefits of implanting a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) in the right atrium to provide better blood flow through the lungs, giving complete biventricular circulatory support and fully replacing the heart’s function. …Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom

Forty-One Department of Medicine Physicians Named on San Diego’s 2015 “Top Doctors” List

This year’s San Diego Magazine/San Diego County Medical Society Top Doctors list includes 41 Department of Medicine faculty clinicians. View photo gallery

Drs. Mohit Jain and David T. Pride Awarded Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Funding

Two Department of Medicine physician-scientists have received 2015 Clinical Scientist Development Awards from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Both will receive $486,000 over three years to help them transition to independent research careers.

  • Mohit Jain, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine (Cardiology) and the Department of Pharmacology.
  • David T. Pride, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and the Department of Pathology.

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)

Researchers Discover Protein’s Pivotal Role in Heart Failure

Better understanding of molecular mechanism could lead to new drug targets —

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a key piece in the complex molecular puzzle underlying heart failure – a serious and sometimes life-threatening disorder affecting more than 5 million Americans.

In a study published in the March 5 online issue of Cell Reports, Xiang-Dong Fu, PhD, and colleagues explored the heart’s progression from initial weakening to heart failure, and found that a protein, known as RBFox2, plays a critical role in this process. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Ju Chen, PhD

Ju Chen, PhD

A number of Division of Cardiovascular Medicine researchers and affiliates are coauthors, including Kunfu Ouyang, Indroneal Banerjee, PhD; Caimei Zhang, Biyi Chen, Ju Chen, PhD; and Long-Sheng Song.

Dr. Chen is Professor of Medicine, American Heart Association Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Research and Director of Basic Cardiac Research at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

Senior author Xiang-Dong Fu, PhD, is professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and investigator in the Institute of Genomic Medicine at UC San Diego.

See Full Text of Article (open access)

Thomas Savides, MD, Named Chief Experience Officer for UC San Diego Health System

Thomas Savides, MD, has been named as the first Chief Experience Officer at UC San Diego Health System. In the newly created role, Savides will be responsible for the strategy, leadership and implementation of the plan to improve the total health care experience of patients, families, providers and staff. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom

San Diego’s 2014 Top Doctors List Includes 44 from Department of Medicine

Forty-four physicians from the Department of Medicine are among over 100 UC San Diego Health System doctors named to the 2014 San Diego Top Doctors list. See the list for UC San Diego Health System.

Not present on that list are two additional internal medicine physicians who practice at the VA San Diego Healthcare System: Charles Goldberg, MD, and Simerjot Jassal, MD. Dr. Jassal directs the Internal Medicine Residency Program.

The Top Doctors list comes from the annual “Physicians of Exceptional Excellence” survey from the San Diego County Medical Society and San Diego Magazine.

Read the UC San Diego Health System press release

In Memoriam: Daniel T. O’Connor, MD

Dr. Daniel T. O'Connor

Daniel T. O’Connor, MD

Announcement from Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine

Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD

Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Daniel T. O’Connor, MD, a longstanding and beloved member of the faculty of the UCSD School of Medicine. He passed away peacefully at his home on August 6, 2014.

Dr. O’Connor graduated from the UC Davis School of Medicine in 1974 and completed both residency and fellowship at UCSD. He joined the faculty in the Division of Nephrology-Hypertension in 1979, after a productive fellowship with Richard Stone, MD, that focused on the sympathetic nervous system in hypertension.  Dr. O’Connor developed an early interest in the proteins that package neurotransmitters, particularly Chromogranin A.  His work on this molecule led to numerous awards including election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), the Harry Goldblatt Award for cardiovascular Research, a UC Davis distinguished alumnus award, a UCSD Faculty Distinguished Lecturer Award, an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association award and presidency of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET)/ Federation of Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).  His work with Chromogranin A led directly to a blood test for endocrine tumors that is still in use, particularly to diagnose pheochromocytoma.  He discovered that catestatin, a proteolytic product of Chromogranin A, is an important regulator of blood pressure.  Catestatin and congeners are currently in development for clinical use.  Dr. O’Connor’s laboratory was funded by large research grants from the National Institutes of Health, including SCOR in Hypertension and Program Project Grants on the role of adrenergic activity in the regulation of blood pressure.  He published well over 350 original articles in first-rate peer-reviewed journals. Dr. O’Connor’s research spanned basic biochemistry through clinical trials, giving his many trainees invaluable skills across the full spectrum of medical investigation. The fellows and junior faculty that Dr. O’Connor trained have succeeded in academic medicine, pharmacology, biotechnology, and nephrology.  His approach to research was notable for openness, sharing and collaboration with other labs, and this infectious attitude is carried on by his trainees.

Not only was Dr. O’Connor a highly productive researcher at UCSD and internationally, but also a highly involved faculty citizen at UCSD.  He was an excellent teacher involved in both basic science teaching of MDs and PhDs, and a popular and learned educator in the clinical arena.  He was widely recognized as the consummate teacher and always had time to provide needed information to fellows and junior faculty members.

UCSD has grown justifiably proud of Dr. O’Connor’s achievements in clinical, translational and basic research on a national and international scale, particularly in the areas of adrenergic contributions to blood pressure regulation and the complex role of the genetics of hypertension.   All who had the privilege of working with Dan O’Connor will greatly miss his infectious attitude that academic medicine and research are more fun than work.

 

 

Hannah Carter Receives NIH Early Independence Award

CTRI Helps Launch Career of Bioengineer Hannah Carter

November 22, 2013 – With support from UC San Diego’s Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI), bioengineer Hannah Carter, PhD, received the highly prestigious NIH Early Independence Award and recently began began her transition to a junior faculty position at UC San Diego.

Presently she is acquiring a research team and computational resources to delve into her project: Network approaches to identify cancer drivers from high-dimensional tumor data. … Read the full story from CTRI News & Events


Hannah Carter, PhDHannah Carter, PhD, is assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Medical Genetics. Her project is Network Approaches to Identify Cancer Drivers from High-Dimensional Tumor Data.

She is now recruiting postdoctoral fellows for her project, which is funded for five years.

Carter Laboratory website

 

UC San Diego Health System Retains #1 Ranking

US News & World Report Cites Region’s Only Academic Health System Among Nation’s Best 

UC San Diego Health System remains among the nation’s best, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s 2014-15 issue of “America’s Best Hospitals,” released this week. The magazine’s widely cited findings again placed UC San Diego Health System first in the San Diego metropolitan area and fifth in California, with national rankings in 11 specialties, up from 10 last year. This is comparable to the country’s most prestigious health care institutions.  Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Sulpizio Cardiovascular CenterUC San Diego Health System is nationally ranked in eleven medical specialties, including seven in the Department of Medicine:  Cancer, Cardiology, Endocrinology & Diabetes, Gastroenterology, Geriatrics, Nephrology, Pulmonology and Rheumatology.