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

University of California Launches its First Tool for Data Sharing Among Medical Centers with UC Research eXchange

Announcement for UC Investigators

Gary S. Firestein, MD
Chair, University of California Biomedical Research
Acceleration, Integration and Development (UCBRAID)
Professor of Medicine
Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor, Translational Medicine
Director, Clinical and Translational Research Institute
UC San Diego

Dr. Gary Firestein

Dr. Gary Firestein, UC BRAID Chair

The University of California Biomedical Research Acceleration, Integration and Development (UC BRAID; ucbraid.org) is pleased to announce the launch of the UC Research eXchange (UC ReX) and the UC ReX Data Explorer tool. This system enables exploration of a combined population of over 12 million patients from medical center databases at UC Los Angeles, UC Irvine, UC Davis, UC San Diego, and UC San Francisco.

UC ReX Data Explorer gives researchers and quality specialists access to cohort counts derived from de-identified clinical data collected at the point of care to improve medical care and advance research.

UC ReX was initiated by UC BRAID in 2011 with a 5-year grant of $5 million from the UC Office of the President (UCOP) and developed through a collaboration of the medical campuses and their Chief Information Officers and CTSAs.

An important part of UC BRAID’s mission is to improve UC collaborative research opportunities. UC ReX is a great example of how UC BRAID facilitates integration of research programs, clinical informatics, technology, and resources across University of California campuses.

To start exploring UC ReX with Data Explorer, please go to ucrex.org for more information.  |  See UC ReX Flier

Access UC-ReX via UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute

 

UC Medical Campus Consortium Named Designated Center to Translate Innovations into Improved Health

A consortium of the five University of California medical campuses at UC San Diego, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA and UC San Francisco has been designated a Center for Accelerated Innovations by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The designation, among the first of its kind from NHLBI, recognizes the University of California’s potential to translate its leading-edge discoveries into innovative products that benefit patients. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Gary FiresteinGary S. Firestein, MD, chair of the UC BRAID consortium that will oversee the new UC Center for Accelerated Innovations, is dean and associate vice chancellor of translational medicine at UC San Diego Health Sciences

He led UC San Diego’s successful effort to win a Clinical and Translational Science Award in 2010 and is the founding director of the UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute.

Firestein is professor of medicine and former chief of the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology at UC San Diego. He served as division chief from 1998 until he stepped down in 2010 to devote full time to his activities as dean of translational medicine.

In 2011, philanthropists Lisa and Steve Altman made a major gift to the planned Clinical and Translational Research building on the La Jolla campus of UC San Diego Health System. Construction started in early 2013 and the building, named the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute, is scheduled to open in 2016.

UC San Diego Health System Video: The Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute

More Information:

$5.6 Million Grant Renewal Expands Research in Kidney Failure

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDKD) – part of the National Institutes of Health – has renewed a grant shared by the University of California, San Diego and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Schools of Medicine. The five-year, $5.64 million renewal will extend and expand research into acute kidney failure, or acute kidney injury, which kills 70 to 80 percent of patients in intensive care units who develop the disease.Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Ravindra MehtaRavindra L. Mehta, MD, FACP, UC San Diego professor of clinical medicine and vice chair for clinical research in the Department of Medicine, is associate director of the UC San Diego – University of Alabama at Birmingham O’Brien Center for Acute Kidney Injury Research.

He directs the O’Brien Center’s clinical studies core with co-director Daniel O’Connor, MD. O’Connor is professor of medicine and pharmacology and co-director, UCSD Center for Human Genetics and Genomics.

UC San Diego nephrology faculty members Roland Blantz, MD, and Volker Vallon, MD, are co-directors of the pre-clinical studies core of the O’Brien Center. Blantz is distinguished professor of medicine emeritus and former chief of the Division of Nephrology-Hypertension; Vallon is professor of medicine and pharmacology.

UC San Diego nephrologist Satish RamachandraRao, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, is a co-director of the Bioanalytical Resource Core.

Ravindra L. Mehta is Director of Dialysis Programs and Clinical Nephrology for UC San Diego Health System. In the UC San Diego School of Medicine, Mehta directs the Clinical Research Enhancement through Supplemental Training (CREST) and Master’s Degree in Clinical Research programs.

In 2011, Mehta received the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) Shire Bywaters Award for his lifetime achievements in acute kidney injury.

More Information:

Two Studies Identify Potential New Drug for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Vedolizumab, a new intravenous antibody medication, has shown positive results for treating both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, according to researchers at the University of California San Diego, School of Medicine. The findings, published in two papers, will appear in the August 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

UC San Diego Health System Video:
 

William Sandborn, MD,William J. Sandborn, MD professor of clinical medicine and chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, was lead investigator in the Crohn’s disease study and co-investigator in the ulcerative colitis study. He is director of UC San Diego Health System’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center.

Sandborn joined the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine faculty from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in January 2011. There, he was Dorothy A. Adair Professor of Medicine, vice chair of the Mayo Clinic Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and associate dean of research for Intellectual Property and Industry Relations.

Citations for the study reports:

Sandborn WJ, Feagan BG, Rutgeerts P, Hanauer S, Colombel J-F, Sands BE, Lukas M, Fedorak RN, Lee S, Bressler B, Fox I, Rosario M, Sankoh S, Xu J, Stephens K, Milch C and Parikh A for the GEMINI 2 Study Group. Vedolizumab as Induction and Maintenance Therapy for Crohn’s Disease. N Engl J Med 2013; 369:711-721 August 22, 2013DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1215739. |  Full text (UCSD only)

Feagan BG, Rutgeerts P, Sands BE, Hanauer S, Colombel J-F, Sandborn WJ, Van Assche G,  Axler J, Kim H-J, Danese S, Fox I, Milch C, Sankoh S, Wyant T, Xu J and Parikh A for the GEMINI 1 Study Group. Vedolizumab as Induction and Maintenance Therapy for Ulcerative Colitis. N Engl J Med 2013; 369:699-710 August 22, 2013DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1215734. |  Full text (UCSD only)

More Information:

Non-Invasive Test Optimizes Colon Cancer Screening Rates

Underserved populations need options for colorectal cancer screening if screening rates are to be improved, study finds

Organized mailing campaigns could substantially increase colorectal cancer screening among uninsured patients, a study published in the August 5 online edition of JAMA Internal Medicine reveals. The research also suggests that a non-invasive colorectal screening approach, such as a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) might be more effective in promoting participation in potentially life-saving colon cancer screening among underserved populations than a colonoscopy, a more expensive and invasive procedure. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Samir GuptaLead investigator in the study was Samir Gupta, MD, MSCS, associate professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology.

Gupta specializes in screening for and preventing colorectal cancer and polyps.

Before he joined the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine faculty in January 2013, Gupta was assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases at the UT Southwestern Medical Center. He was a National Institutes of Health KL2 Clinical Scholar there from 2007 to 2010, earning his Masters of Science in Clinical Science (MSCS) degree.

Gupta sees patients at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System and UC San Diego Health System.

Citation for the study report: Gupta S, Halm EA, Rockey DC, et al. Comparative Effectiveness of Fecal Immunochemical Test Outreach, Colonoscopy Outreach, and Usual Care for Boosting Colorectal Cancer Screening Among the Underserved: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;():-. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.9294. |  Full text (UCSD only)

More Information:

  • Gupta’s academic profile
  • Gupta’s clinical profile
  • JAMA Network Author Video: Samir Gupta, MD, MSCS, discusses Comparative Effectiveness of Fecal Immunochemical Test Outreach, Colonoscopy Outreach, and Usual Care for Boosting Colorectal Cancer Screening Among the Underserved: A Randomized Clinical Trial.  |  Watch video  (UCSD only)
  • Gupta is an organizer and speaker at the UCSD Division of Gastroenterology’s 7th Annual Research Symposium on Malignancies of the Digestive System  |  Details

Dr. Jason Bronner Receives Department of Medicine’s Leadership and Innovation in Patient-Centered Systems Award for 2013

UC San Diego Health System primary care physician Jason P. Bronner, MD, is the winner of the Department of Medicine’s Leadership and Innovation in Patient-Centered Systems Award for 2012-2013.

Drs. Francis Gabbai, Jason Bronner, and Daniel Bouland

Drs. Francis Gabbai, Jason Bronner, and Daniel Bouland.

Each year, the award recognizes the clinical program leader who has achieved particular excellence in service of the patient care mission in internal medicine and its subspecialties.

Dr. Jason Bronner

Dr. Jason Bronner

Bronner was chosen the winner this year for his exceptional dedication to the direction and practice of five-star clinical service, said Dr. Daniel Bouland, head of the Clinical Services Committee.

Bouland is vice chair for clinical operations in the Department of Medicine and Health Sciences clinical professor in the Division of Hospital Medicine.

“Dr. Bronner has focused his considerable talents and energy on fostering a patient-centered culture while emphasizing our core values of quality and excellence,” he said.

Bronner, Health Sciences associate clinical professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine, joined the UC San Diego Health System in 2005. He sees patients at the Internal Medicine Group clinic in La Jolla.

Bronner has been named on the “San Diego’s Top Doctors” list every year since 2009.

In the photo above, Bronner is shown with Bouland (right) and Dr. Francis Gabbai (left). Gabbai is executive vice chair and vice chair for VA affairs in the Department of Medicine, chief of the medicine service at the VA San Diego Healthcare System and professor of medicine in the Division of Nephrology-Hypertension.

UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center Listed among Nation’s Best Heart Hospitals

From the UC San Diego Health System Newsroom:

The Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center located at University of California, San Diego Health System has been named among “100 Hospitals with Great Heart Programs” by Becker’s Hospital Review, a business and legal news publication for hospital and health system leadership. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Health System Newsroom

Four Common Antipsychotic Drugs Found to Lack Safety and Effectiveness in Older Adults

In older adults, antipsychotic drugs are commonly prescribed off-label for a number of disorders outside of their Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved indications – schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The largest number of antipsychotic prescriptions in older adults is for behavioral disturbances associated with dementia, some of which carry FDA warnings on prescription information for these drugs.

In a new study – led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, Stanford University and the University of Iowa, and funded by the National Institute of Mental Health – four of the antipsychotics most commonly prescribed off label for use in patients over 40 were found to lack both safety and effectiveness. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Department of Medicine endocrinology and metabolism researchers Robert R. Henry, MD, and Sunder Mudaliar, MD, are coinvestigators in the study of the antipsychotic drugs.Dr. Robert R. Henry

Robert R. Henry, MD, is professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism at UC San Diego. At the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS), he is Chief of the Section of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Diabetes and Director of the Center for Metabolic Research.

Sunder Mudaliar, MD, is health sciences clinical professor in the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism at UCSD. He is extensively involved in medical teaching and clinical care at the VASDHS. As an investigator in the Center for Metabolic Research, he performs clinical research focused on the prevention and treatment of diabetes.

More information:

Citation for the study report: Jin H, Shih PB,Golshan S, Mudaliar S, Henry R, Glorioso DK, Arndt S, Kraemer HC, Jeste DV. Comparison of Longer-Term Safety and Effectiveness of 4 Atypical Antipsychotics in Patients Over Age 40: A Trial Using Equipoise-Stratified Randomization. E-pub ahead of print, November 27, 2012, The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Study Identifies Potential New Class of Drug for Treating Ulcerative Colitis

Oral Drug Shows Clinical Response and Remission in Some Patients

An investigational drug currently under FDA review for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis has now shown positive results in patients with moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis, according to researchers at the University of California San Diego, School of Medicine. The study will appear in the August 16, 2012 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. William J. SandbornThe principal investigator of the study is Dr. William J. Sandborn, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at UCSD.  |  Read his academic profile  |  Read his clinical profile

Read the abstract of the study report in the New England Journal of Medicine

Citation of study report:  Sandborn WJ, Ghosh S, Panes J, Vranic I, Su C, Rousell S, Niezychowski W; Study A3921063 Investigators. Tofacitinib, an oral Janus kinase inhibitor, in active ulcerative colitis. N Engl J Med. 2012 Aug 16;367(7):616-24.