Previous studies identified the Hippo pathway kinases LATS1/2 as a tumor suppressor, but new research led by University of California San Diego School of Medicine scientists reveals a surprising role for these enzymes in subduing cancer immunity. The findings, published in Cell on December 1, could have a clinical role in improving efficiency of immunotherapy drugs. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom
There is a critical shortage of practicing doctors and medical educators in Mozambique, where the life expectancy is less than 42 years and the rate of HIV infection in adults is 16%. UC San Diego is teaming with the nation’s flagship medical school to create a long-term solution.
Mozambique’s Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) and UCSD have won a five-year, $12.5-million award from the U.S. Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI). The project will strengthen the nation’s medical education system by building infrastructure in several ways.
“We hope this will be a demonstration project for the rest of Africa.”
— Dr. Robert Schooley
UEM’s principal investigator is Emilia Virginia Noormahomed, MD, PhD, a former dean of the UEM School of Medicine. Dr. Noormahomed (pictured at left) is now Assistant Professor of Parasitology at UEM and Assistant Professor of Medicine at UC San Diego.
Sam Patel, MD, Professor of Medicine at UEM and UC San Diego, is a co-investigator. In the photo below, he is pictured on the right.
MEPI is a joint initiative of the National Institutes of Health and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Under the MEPI program, UEM receives the bulk of the funding and uses it to build capacity in medical training, research, and technology.
A smaller amount of funding comes directly to UC San Diego, supporting time and travel for the partners and mentors who will help UEM meet its goals.
“This is an experiment in medical education for UEM and for the U.S. government,” said Robert “Chip” Schooley, MD, who is coordinating the UC San Diego side of the project. “It puts the funding into the hands of the African universities and allows them to invest it in ways that are beneficial to them.”
“I’m hopeful this will become a model for other kinds of aid,” he said.
Dr. Schooley and colleague Constance Benson, MD, have long experience in partnering with Mozambique and other African nations, and they have collaborated with Dr. Noormahomed in research projects for several years. Dr. Benson is Professor of Medicine, Director of the UC San Diego Antiviral Research Center, and Director of the Fellowship Program in Infectious Diseases.
UC San Diego’s visiting faculty and residents have helped UEM adopt academic medical practices such as morning report and teaching conferences that strengthen the educational program.
MEPI biomedical informatics team members at October conference at UEM in Maputo.
The MEPI partnership relies heavily on biomedical informatics to accomplish its goals. This component of the program is led by Lucila Ohno-Machado, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Chief of UC San Diego’s Division of Biomedical Informatics. The division will provide expertise for the partnership’s information technology projects.
Dr. Kathy Promer, a 2013 graduate of the UC San Diego Internal Medicine Program, is the current infectious diseases fellow at UC San Diego on rotation at UEM’s Maputo Central Hospital. In the photo below, she is standing, second from the right.
Smartphones and iPad mobile digital devices have been deployed on the wards at Maputo Central Hospital, UEM’s primary teaching hospital and the only tertiary care center in Mozambique. With these devices, the Mozambican doctors are able for the first time to consult online medical literature at a patient’s bedside. Soon they will have immediate access to data generated by the hospital’s clinical laboratories.
“These efforts really have changed the character of the residency program at Maputo Central Hospital,” said Dr. Schooley.
Through training and partnership with UC San Diego, UEM will also increase its capacity to do operational, epidemiological, translational and clinical research. Another program goal calls for UEM to set up a biomedical informatics infrastructure and connect with SEACOM, the new fiber optic broadband internet service in South and East Africa.
UEM will also take steps to enhance its support of two new medical schools recently established by the Mozambican government in Nampula and Tete. These two new medical schools were launched in the past 3 years to address the profound shortage of physicians in the country.
Another key UC San Diego figure in the project is Stephen Bickler, MD, who will work to improve the nation’s surgical capacity in rural areas via a linked MEPI project, “UEM-UCSD Surgery Partnership.” Dr. Bickler is Associate Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics.
A number of other UC San Diego faculty members will contribute to the MEPI effort as well.
Above left, a medical school class at Universidade Eduardo Mondlane. Right, Dr. Bethany Karl on rotation at UEM’s Maputo Central Hospital. Dr. Karl graduated from the UC San Diego Internal Medicine Program in 2010 and is currently a nephrology attending. Photo courtesy of Robert T. Schooley, MD
Project leaders expect to double the number of graduating doctors in Mozambique in the next 10 years. They also hope to inspire more doctors to devote their careers to medical education.
With a greater number of highly-trained doctors and a better infrastructure to support them, Mozambique will increase its capacity to deliver health care to its citizens and to fill the faculties of two new medical schools in Nampula and Tete.
The doctors training today in Mozambique will be the specialists, medical school faculty members, and government Ministry of Health policymakers of the future.
“We hope this will be a demonstration project for the rest of Africa,” Dr. Schooley said.
Dr. Emilia Virginia Noormahomed, co-principal investigator on the UC San Diego-UEM MEPI project. Photo courtesy of William M. Detmer, MD, MSc.
Dr. Bill Detmer, left, demonstrates iPad mobile digital device preloaded with medical programs for doctors’ use in the hospital. Dr. Manuel Joaquim Tomás is at center and Dr. Sam Patel at right. Sam Patel, MD, co-investigator on the MEPI project, is Professor of Medicine at UEM and UC San Diego. William M. Detmer, MD, MSc, a MEPI project consultant, is Assistant Adjunct Professor of Clinical Informatics at the University of Virginia and President and Chief Executive Officer of Unbound Medicine. Photo courtesy of Dr. Detmer.
M. Wilson Tilghman, MD, UC San Diego’s on-site faculty member in Mozambique, consults with a UEM internal medicine resident at a patient’s bedside. Instituting the use of wirelessly-accessed medical reference material in the hospital is one of the UC San Diego-UEM project goals. Photo courtesy of Robert T. Schooley, MD.
MEPI biomedical informatics team members at October conference at UEM in Maputo. From left: Lucila Ohno-Machado, MD, PhD; Eli Aronoff-Spencer, MD, senior postdoctoral fellow in infectious diseases at UC San Diego; Eng. David Bila, Network Director for the Informatics Center at UEM; Heimar de Fátima Marin, RN, PhD, Professor of Health Informatics at Universidade Federal de São Paulo; and Eng. Francisco Mabila, Director of the Informatics Center at UEM. Photo courtesy of William M. Detmer, MD, MSc.
Dr. Kathy Promer (standing, second from the right), is a 2013 graduate of the UC San Diego Internal Medicine Program and is the current infectious diseases fellow at UC San Diego on rotation at UEM’s Maputo Central Hospital.
Students in a medical school class at UEM. Photo courtesy of William M. Detmer, MD, MSc.
A medical school class at UEM. Photo courtesy of William M. Detmer, MD, MSc.
UC San Diego internal medicine resident Dr. Bethany Karl on rotation at UEM’s Maputo Central Hospital. Photo courtesy of Robert T. Schooley, MD.
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Findings point to new approaches in targeted therapies so that what works for arthritic hands may not be the same for ailing hips —
Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in Pennsylvania and China, report that not only are there distinct differences in key cellular processes and molecular signatures between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) but, more surprisingly, there are joint-specific differences in RA. The findings help explain, in part, why drugs treating RA vary in effect – why, for example, a treatment that might work in arthritic knees isn’t effective in an arthritic hip – and provide a potential new template for precisely targeting treatment for each and every ailing joint. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom
Gary S. Firestein, MD, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology, is co-corresponding author of the study report with Wei Wang, PhD, professor in the departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Medicine at UC San Diego.
Dr. Firestein is Director of the Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) and Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor of Translational Medicine for UC San Diego.
A Department of Medicine faculty coauthor of the report is David L. Boyle, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology and Co-Director, Translational Research Technology, CTRI.
Read the study report (UC San Diego Only)
Researchers will examine 300 Italian residents, all over 100 years old —
The average life expectancy in the United States is approximately 78 years old. Americans live longer, with better diets and improved health care, than ever before, but only 0.02 percent will hit the century mark.
To understand how people can live longer throughout the world, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have teamed up with colleagues at University of Rome La Sapienza to study a group of 300 citizens, all over 100 years old, living in a remote Italian village nestled between the ocean and mountains on the country’s coast.
“We are the first group of researchers to be given permission to study this population in Acciaroli, Italy,” said Alan Maisel, MD … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom
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
This year’s San Diego Magazine/San Diego County Medical Society Top Doctors list includes 41 Department of Medicine faculty clinicians. View photo gallery
US Hereditary Angioedema Association and four corporate partners endow center to treat rare hereditary swelling disease —
It is rare for an “orphan” disease (typically a condition that affects fewer than 200,000 people nationwide) to have a specific center dedicated to providing treatment and research. And it is even more unusual for big pharmaceutical companies to invest in an endowment to fund this type of center. Fortunately, the US Hereditary Angioedema Association (HAEA), a nonprofit patient advocacy organization, along with four pharmaceutical companies—Shire Human Genetics Therapies Inc., ViroPharma Incorporated (which merged with Shire), Dyax Corp. and CSL Bering—pledged a total of $4.6 million to help make the US HAEA Angioedema Center at UC San Diego Health System a reality. A number of individuals, including those with the disease, also provided private support. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center
Dr. Bruce Zuraw is director of the US HAEA Angioedema Center at UC San Diego Health System and inaugural recipient of the US HAEA Endowed Chair at UC San Diego. He is professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology.
Marc Riedl, MD, MS, associate professor of medicine, is clinical director of the center.
An announcement from Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine
Emeritus professor Nathan J. Zvaifler, MD, former chief of the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology and a founder and influential leader in the Department of Medicine, passed away on January 28 at the age of 87.
Dr. Zvaifler was internationally known for his research and academic leadership. Here at UC San Diego, he was also beloved for his generosity in teaching and mentorship. Although he retired to emeritus status officially in 2008, he remained active in his instructional activities for years later.
Dr. Zvaifler left his stamp not only on the successful growth of the academic division he led for two decades but also on the character of the Department of Medicine and the School of Medicine.
In 1970, he was recruited from Georgetown University, where he had led the Arthritis Unit since 1961, to head the rheumatology division in the new medical school at UC San Diego.
From 1972 to 1974, he served as acting chair of the Department of Medicine after founding chair Eugene Braunwald left to take a position at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital of the Harvard Medical School.
This was a period that subsequent Department of Medicine Chair Dr. Helen M. Ranney later described as “a crucial two years in the development of the new School of Medicine at UCSD.”
Dr. Zvaifler spent his entire career at UC San Diego.
A lectureship, the Rheumatology Lectureship Fund, was established in Dr. Zvaifler’s name by the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology in 2008. Its purpose is to bring internationally recognized investigators to UC San Diego for seminars and teaching activities. More detail can be found at http://raidivision.ucsd.edu/About/giving/Pages/give-zvaifler.aspx.
Contributions in Dr. Zvaifler’s memory can be made to the Rheumatology Research Foundation of the American College of Rheumatology.
The American College of Rheumatology conducted a 75th Anniversary Interview with Dr. Zvaifler in 2009.
With molecular target found comes possibility of new therapies for millions of Americans —
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, with collaborators in Korea and Scotland, have identified a novel signaling pathway critical to the immune response of cells associated with the initiation of allergic asthma. The discovery, they say, could point the way to new therapies that suppress the inflammatory allergic response, offering potential relief to millions of Americans with the chronic lung condition and potentially other allergic diseases.
The results are published in the January 19 online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. . … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom
First author of the report is Jihyung Lee, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Raz lab.
Coauthors include David H. Broide, MB, ChB, professor of medicine and director of the division’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-funded T32 training program in molecular and cell biology of allergy; Paul Insel, MD, professor of pharmacology and medicine; Maripat Corr, MD, professor of medicine; project scientist Jongdae Lee, PhD; all in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology; and Nicholas Webster, PhD, professor of medicine and chief of the UC San Diego Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect 1 to 2 percent of children in the United States. Hundreds of genetic and environmental factors have been shown to increase the risk of ASD. Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine previously reported that a drug used for almost a century to treat trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, reversed environmental autism-like symptoms in mice.
Now, a new study published in this week’s online issue of Molecular Autism, suggests that a genetic form of autism-like symptoms in mice are also corrected with the drug, even when treatment was started in young adult mice. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom
Dr. Naviaux is co-director of the Mitochondrial and Metabolic Disease Center at UC San Diego.