UC San Diego-Human Longevity Inc. Agreement Seeks to Accelerate Medical Science

Thousands of patient genomes expected to fuel diverse medical research, beginning with cancer

The new collaborative research agreement between Human Longevity Inc. (HLI) and the University of California, San Diego, announced today, represents a significant and necessary step in efforts to research and translate the potential of the human genome into novel and real treatments and therapies able to change and improve the human condition.

“This agreement brings together the resources of two entities that, in combination, may ultimately help improve countless lives,” said David A. Brenner, MD, vice chancellor of health sciences at UC San Diego and dean of the UC San Diego School of Medicine. “HLI aims to bring leading-edge thinking in genomics technologies. UC San Diego boasts some of the world’s finest researchers and physicians working at places like the Moores Cancer Center. Together, we will collaborate to marshal the people, the tools and the resources to really make a difference in human health.” … Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center

$100 Million Gift Launches Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center

UC San Diego-based effort will speed discoveries to new drugs and treatments for patients

Dr. Catriona Jamieson

In a bold and singular step toward delivering the therapeutic promise of human stem cells, businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford has committed $100 million to the creation of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at the University of California, San Diego… Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center

Pictured: 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.

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:

Progress: the UC San Diego – Universidade Eduardo Mondlane Medical Education Partnership Initiative

In this official video, Dr. Emilia Noormahomed describes the goals and progress of the UC San Diego—Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) program in Mozambique.

Map of Africa showing location of MozambiqueEmilia Noormahomed, MD, PhD, is UEM principal investigator of the MEPI project, which is intended to strengthen Mozambique’s medical education system by building infrastructure to support medical training, research and technology.

Noormahomed is associate professor in the Parasitology Section, Department of Microbiology, at UEM and associate professor of medicine at UC San Diego.

In their partnership, UEM receives the bulk of the grant funding and UC San Diego provides partners and mentors to help UEM meet its goals.  |  More about UC San Diego’s role

The UC San Diego Internal Medicine Residency Training Program offers a global medicine elective in which residents rotate to the UEM’s Maputo Central Hospital in Mozambique for a four-week period.  |  More about the elective

MEPI is a joint initiative of the United States National Institutes of Health and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

More Information:

Internal Medicine Residency Training Program

Medical Education Partnership Initiative

Global Public Health Division’s Projects Highlighted During Chancellor’s Visit to Tijuana Clinic

University of California, San Diego, Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla’s visit to Tijuana, B.C., on May 3 included a stop at the Health Frontiers in Tijuana (HFiT) Clinic, a free clinic where students and faculty from the UC San Diego Division of Global Public Health team up with their counterparts from the Universidad Autónomo de Baja California (UABC) to provide health care in one of the poorest parts of Tijuana.

Chancellor Pradeep Khosla and Jose Luis Burgos.

Dr. Jose Luis Burgos with Chancellor Khosla outside HFiT Clinic. Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

In the photo above, Chancellor Khosla speaks with Jose Luis Burgos, MD, MPH, outside the clinic. An assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Global Public Health, Burgos is a faculty mentor at the clinic and a specialist in global health and development. His current research project: The Role of Economic Evaluation in Translating HIV/AIDS Behavioral Interventions.

At the HFiT Clinic, faculty mentors from both UC San Diego and UABC direct the medical students, fellows and other medical trainees in caring for patients.  The clinic is now a part of MED 239, an elective course for medical students in the UCSD School of Medicine.

The students and faculty working in the clinic also contribute to global public health division projects investigating prevention of HIV and STD, substance abuse, policing practices and sex trafficking.  |  More about current projects

Dr. Steffanie Strathdee at work in the El Cuete program.

Dr. Steffanie Strathdee during a visit to Tijuana for the El Cuete program, a global public health division epidemiology project tracing HIV, tuberculosis and other infections among injection drug users.

During her presentation on the chancellor’s tour, global public health division chief Steffanie Strathdee said, “We align research, training and service. And we, the professors, learn as much from the students as they learn from us.”

Steffanie Strathdee, PhD, is associate dean of global health sciences, Harold Simon Professor and chief of the Division of Global Public Health and director of the Global Health Initiative at UC San Diego.

Strathdee’s current research projects: Impact of Drug Policy Reform on the HIV Risk Environment Among IDUs in Tijuana (El Cuete, Phase IV) and HIV/STI Risks among FSWs and Their Non-Commercial Partners (Proyecto Parejas).

Jay Silverman, PhD

Dr. Jay Silverman. Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

At left below, global public health professor Dr. Jay Silverman speaks during a presentation about the division’s work in Tijuana.

Silverman is regarded as the world’s leading public health authority on trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation.

He is principal investigator of the first R01 research grant the National Institutes of Health has ever issued on sex trafficking. Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the four-year project is “Epidemiology of Sex Trafficking, Drug Use and HIV at the U.S.-Mexico Border.”

Drs. Kimberly Brouwer (below) and Victoria Ojeda also presented their projects during the tour.

Dr. Kimberly Brouwer

Dr. Kimberly Brouwer during her presentation in Tijuana. Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

Brouwer is an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Global Public Health. Her work focuses on the spatial and molecular epidemiology of infectious diseases.

She is principal investigator of two R01 research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one investigating factors that influence HIV transmission in the U.S. – Mexico border region: Evolving HIV/STI Risk Environments of FSWS on the Mexico/U.S. Border.

Victoria Ojeda (below) is an assistant professor in the global health division. Her project, “Social Incorporation Following Deportation and Implications for Health Status and Access to Care,” is based at the HFiT Clinic.

Dr. Victoria Ojeda

Dr. Victoria Ojeda.

Funding for the project comes from Ojeda’s 2012-2013 University of California Global Health Institute (GloCal) Health Fellowship, one of only three such fellowships awarded last year.

Below, Ojeda is pictured at the HFiT Clinic.

Dr. Victoria Ojeda.

Dr. Victoria Ojeda at the HFiT Clinic in Tijuana, where her GloCal Fellowship project is based.

 


Global public health division faculty with Pradeep Khosla, UC San Diego chancellor.

Chancellor Khosla with members of the Division of Global Public Health.

Sources

Chancellor Khosla’s visit to Tijuana was covered in Kristin Luciani’s UCSD News story, “Cross-Border Connections: Chancellor Visits Tijuana to Learn about Industry, Healthcare and Education,” released May 9. The photos for that story and the images of Drs. Burgos, Silverman and Brouwer and the group shown here are by Erik Jepsen of UC San Diego Publications.

For more information about the global public health division’s projects in the U.S. – Mexico border area and elsewhere in the world, visit the Division of Global Public Health academic website.

UC San Diego Named 15th Best Research University in the World for Scientific Impact

Geisel Library, UC San Diego

Geisel Library, UC San Diego

In a global ranking designed to provide highly accurate measurements of the scientific impact of universities and their contributions to scientific collaboration, the University of California, San Diego is ranked the 15th best research university in the world. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


New Cancer Council Combines Local Centers’ Strengths

UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute come together in novel collaboration

San Diego is a powerhouse for cancer research, home to the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center – the region’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center – and two NCI-designated centers for basic research: the Salk Institute Cancer Center and the Cancer Center at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.

These singular enterprises have now formed a novel collaboration – the San Diego National Cancer Institute Cancer Centers Council, or C3 – to leverage their distinct and combined resources and talents. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center

Dr. Scott Lippman Senior UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center leaders and Department of Medicine professors Scott Lippman, MD, and Barbara Parker, MD, are voting members of the new NCI Cancer Centers Council (C3).

Lippman is director and Chugai Pharmaceutical Chair, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center and senior associate dean and assistant vice chancellor for Cancer Research and Care, UC San Diego.

Barbara A. Parker, MDParker is professor of clinical medicine, UCSD School of Medicine and deputy director for Clinical Affairs, UCSD Moores Cancer Center.

She received her internal medicine residency training, served as chief medical resident and did her hematology-oncology fellowship at UC San Diego.

Lippman is professor of medicine and Parker is professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology.

Bringing Power of Prevention, Diagnosis to the People

“A Mercedes Benz isn’t designed to function in the Sahara Desert,” notes Dr. Eliah Aronoff-Spencer of the University of California, San Diego. “So why are we designing medical equipment for developing countries the same way we do for developed ones?”

It’s a question researchers at the new Distributed Health Laboratory in the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at UC San Diego aim to address, and eventually, to render moot. In collaboration with the UC San Diego School of Medicine and the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) in Maputo, Mozambique, Calit2’s DH Lab is designing low-cost medical devices such as microscopes and wireless sensing devices that can be used by virtually anyone anywhere in the world to prevent and even diagnose illness. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Co-directing the Distributed Health Laboratory is Eliah Aronoff-Spencer, MD, PhD, fellow in infectious diseases at UCSD and informatics coordinator for the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) between UC San Diego and Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) in Maputo, Mozambique.

Eliah Aronoff-Spencer, MD, PhD with Dr. Manuel TomasThe photo at left shows Dr. Aronoff-Spencer with UEM physician Dr. Manuel Tomás (at right) on a patient ward at Maputo Central Hospital.

Dr. Aronoff-Spencer is also an organizer of the Biomedical Research Informatics for Global Health Training (BRIGHT) program, an international collaboration devoted to training the next generation of informatics researchers in partner countries.

The BRIGHT program, a Division of Biomedical Informatics project, is funded by grant D43TW007015 from the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health.

A graduate of the UCSD Internal Medicine Residency Program and Physician-Scientist Training Pathway, Dr. Aronoff-Spencer has completed a fellowship in clinical infectious disease and is now a fellow in research in infectious disease, global health informatics and decision making at UCSD. He is also a staff physician in infectious disease at the VA San Diego Healthcare System.

More information:

SDSC’s “Big Data” Expertise Aiding Genomics Research

Focus on Genomics Medicine is Growing, says SDSC’s Norman

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego, has in the last three years undergone a major reboot, remaking itself into a center of expertise on all aspects of “big data” research including genomics, one of the fastest growing areas of scientific study. …. Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Dr. Lucila Ohno-Machado
Among the current “big data” genomics projects at the San Diego Supercomputer Center is the Integrating Data for Analysis, Anonymization, and Sharing (iDASH) center, led by Lucila Ohno-Machado, MD, PhD, pictured above.

Ohno-Machado is professor of medicine, founding chief of the Division of Biomedical Informatics and associate dean for informatics and technology at UC San Diego.

iDASH is supported by the National Institutes of Health through the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research.  |  Read iDASH project abstract  |  Visit iDASH website  |   Visit San Diego Supercomputer Center website
Photo of Dr. Ohno-Machado: John Hanacek, Calit2 UC San Diego.