CIRM Approves New Funding to UC San Diego Researchers Fighting Zika Virus and Cancer

Grants focus on re-purposing drugs to treat Zika infections and using anti-cancer natural killer cells —

The Independent Citizens Oversight Committee of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has approved a pair of $2 million awards to University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers to advance studies of new treatments for Zika virus infections and the use of stem cell-derived natural killer (NK) cells to target ovarian cancer and other malignancies. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. Dan Kaufman and his laboratory received one of the two $2.1 million CIRM grants. The normal immune system contains natural killer (NK) cells; Dr. Kaufman and coworkers are using induced human pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to produce NK cells that can target specific tumors, such as ovarian cancer, with high specificity.

Dan Kaufman, MD, PhD, is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Regenerative Medicine and Director of Cell Therapy at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

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

UC San Diego Named Stem Cell “Alpha Clinic”

Designation will help speed development of emerging drugs and therapies —

In a push to further speed clinical development of emerging stem cell therapies, Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at UC San Diego Health System was named today one of three new “alpha clinics” by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state’s stem cell agency.

The announcement, made at a public meeting in Los Angeles of the CIRM Governing Board, includes an award of $8 million for each of three sites. The other alpha grant recipients are the City of Hope hospital near Los Angeles and University of California, Los Angeles.

“A UC San Diego alpha clinic will provide vital infrastructure for establishing a comprehensive regenerative medicine clinical hub that can support the unusual complexity of first-in-human stem cell-related clinical trials,” said Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine, deputy director of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center, director of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center stem cell program and the alpha clinic grant’s principal investigator. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Health Newsroom

Novel Drug Targeting Leukemia Cells Enters Clinical Trial

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have launched a phase 1 human clinical trial to assess the safety and efficacy of a new monoclonal antibody for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common form of blood cancer in adults. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


A team led by Dr. Thomas Kipps developed the new antibody, known as cirmtuzumab or UC-961. The work was conducted and supported by a California Institute for Regenerative Medicine HALT grant to co-principal investigators Dennis Carson, MD, and Catriona Jamieson, PhD, MD.

Dr. Thomas Kipps

Catriona H. M. Jamieson, MD, PhDDennis Carson, MD

L to R: Drs. Kipps, Jamieson and Carson.

Dianne McKay Receives CIRM Basic Biology Grant

Eight stem cell scientists at the University of California, San Diego have been awarded a total of $8.165 million to fund research tackling significant, unresolved issues in human stem cell biology. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center


Dianne McKay, MDDianne B. McKay, MD, professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Nephrology-Hypertension, is one of the eight UC San Diego researchers to receive a Basic Biology V Award from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine this week.

McKay is medical director of the Kidney Transplant Program at UC San Diego Health System.

Researchers Block Pathway to Cancer Stem Cell Self-Renewal

NOTCH1 Signaling Promotes T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Initiating Cell Regeneration

Research suggests that patients with leukemia sometimes relapse because standard chemotherapy fails to kill the self-renewing leukemia initiating cells, often referred to as cancer stem cells … A team of researchers – led by Catriona H. M. Jamieson, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and director of Stem Cell Research at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center – studied these cells in mouse models that had been transplanted with human leukemia cells. They discovered … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Catriona JamiesonThe senior investigator of the study described in the press release is Catriona H. M. Jamieson, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and director of stem cell research at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

In the study, the investigators successfully block leukemia stem cell self-renewal. Their work was funded in part by a California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Development of Highly Active Anti-Leukemia Stem Cell Therapy (HALT) Leukemia Disease Team Research grant for which Dr. Jamieson serves as co-principal investigator with Dennis A. Carson, MD, former director of the Moores Cancer Center.

The overall goal of the HALT project is to develop six drugs – three monoclonal antibodies and three small molecules – to destroy leukemia stem cells.

Funding also came from the Ratner Family Foundation and the Leichtag Family Foundation. Antibody development was performed by Pfizer.

In her research, Dr. Jamieson focuses on translational studies to develop new treatments for myeloproliferative disorders and leukemia. In 2010, she received a $3.34 million grant from CIRM to support her efforts to develop treatments that reduce the risk of relapse in leukemia.  More about this funded project

Dr. Jamieson was named to the “San Diego’s Top Doctors” list for 2010 and 2011.

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UC San Diego Researchers Receive New CIRM Funding

Stem cell grants covers heart failure, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS and spinal cord injuries

Five scientists from the University of California, San Diego and its School of Medicine have been awarded almost $12 million in new grants from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to conduct stem cell-based research into regenerating spinal cord injuries, repairing gene mutations that cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and finding new drugs to treat heart failure and Alzheimer’s disease. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Eric AdlerDr. Eric Adler is one of the five UC San Diego scientists who received a new grant award from CIRM.

Eric David Adler, MD, is associate clinical professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.

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Nearly 30 Percent of New CIRM Awards go to UC San Diego Stem Cell Researchers

UC San Diego scientists garnered 8 of the total 27 of Basic Biology III awards announced today by the Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee (ICOC) of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state agency created by California voters to pursue the promise of stem cells in science and medicine…. Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Dr. Farah Sheikh

Among the awardees is Farah Sheikh, PhD (pictured above), Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology and faculty member in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program. She was awarded $1.43 million to further her research in the molecular mechanisms that underlie human cardiac cell junction maturation and disease.

Dr. Catriona Jamieson Receives $3.34 Million CIRM Grant for Leukemia Research

Dr. Catriona Jamieson

Dr. Catriona Jamieson has received a $3.34-million Early Translational II award from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

Dr. Jamieson, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology, is Director of Stem Cell Research at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center. The new CIRM award will support her efforts to develop treatments that reduce the risk of relapse in leukemia.

Dr. Jamieson is one of two UCSD researchers to receive CIRM grants this week.

Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom.

Read a 2008 interview with Dr. Jamieson about her leukemia research.

Drs. Catriona Jamieson and Benjamin Yu Awarded CIRM New Faculty Grants

Drs. Catriona Jamieson and Benjamin Yu are among four UCSD researchers to receive New Faculty II grants from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

Catriona Jamieson, M.D., Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and Director of Stem Cell Research at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center.

Dr. Jamieson investigates stem-cell treatments for myeloproliferative diseases (MPD), with the goal of preventing MPD from developing into leukemia.  |  Read the public abstract for Dr. Jamieson’s research project

Benjamin D. Yu, M.D., Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Dermatology.

The CIRM grant will support Dr. Yu’s work to uncover the mechanisms that regulate the proliferation of pre-existing adult stem cells in the body.  |  Read the public abstract for Dr. Yu’s research project

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