Live Long and Measure: Quest to Create Real-World Tricorder

XPRIZE teams will test Star Trek-inspired medical devices at UC San Diego —

Seeking to boldly go where medical science has not gone before, the Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) at the University of California, San Diego has been named the official testing site for the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, a global competition sponsored by the Qualcomm Foundation to develop a consumer-friendly, mobile device capable of diagnosing and interpreting 15 physiological conditions and capturing vital health metrics.

The XPRIZE competition is inspired by the tricorder medical device that debuted in the original 1966 Star Trek TV show and was frequently featured in subsequent series and movies. …Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. Gary FiresteinGary S. Firestein, MD, is director of the CTRI and dean and associate vice chancellor of translational medicine at UC San Diego.

He is professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology and served as division chief from 1998 until he stepped down in 2010 to focus on his growing responsibilities as dean of translational medicine and director of the CTRI for UC San Diego Health Sciences.

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

 

UCSD Health Sciences Partners with Pfizer to Speed Drug Delivery

Research agreement could represent more than $50 million over five years for development of new therapies to benefit major medical needs

In an innovative collaboration designed to speed the process of drug discovery, Pfizer, Inc. and the University of California, San Diego Health Sciences announced today that UC San Diego has joined the ranks of other top-tier life science research institutions across the country as part of Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI)…. Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

UC San Diego Health Sciences Receives Gift for Translational Research Building

$10 million from San Diego residents Steve and Lisa Altman will support the Clinical and Translational Research Institute

UC San Diego Health Sciences today announced that San Diego philanthropists and long-time residents Steve and Lisa Altman have pledged $10 million to the planned Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) building… Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Dr. Gary Firestein, director of the Clinical and Translational Research Institute, is dean and associate vice chancellor of Translational Medicine for UC San Diego Health Sciences. He is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology.

UC Board of Regents Gives Approval for New Clinical and Translational Research Institute Building on UC San Diego’s La Jolla Campus

The University of California Board of Regents on Tuesday approved the budget for capital improvements and external financing for the Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) building, to be constructed on the medical campus of UC San Diego in La Jolla. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Dr. Gary Firestein
Gary Firestein, M.D. (pictured above), Professor of Medicine and Dean of Translational Medicine for UC San Diego Health Sciences, is director of the CTRI.  Visit the CTRI website.

Dr. Gary Firestein Honored with 2010 Jane Wyman Humanitarian Award

Dr. Gary Firestein

Gary S. Firestein, MD, Professor of Medicine, Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor of Translational Medicine and Director of the Clinical and Translational Research Institute at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has been named the 2010 recipient of the prestigious Jane Wyman Humanitarian Award from the Arthritis Foundation, Pacific Region.

This award recognizes Firestein’s “affiliation with the Arthritis Foundation and its mission, and his extraordinary leadership in rheumatology and philanthropy in the community.”

The award will be presented at the foundation’s Commitment to a Cure Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills on November 1. Past recipients of the Jane Wyman Humanitarian Award have included Victoria Principal; Sarah Purcell; Kathy Ireland; William Friedkin, Academy Award winning director of “The French Connection” and “The Exorcist;” Los Angeles Dodger Manager, Joe Torre; and Academy Award winning legend Al Pacino.

Firestein is considered the leading expert in the field of rheumatoid arthritis, a disabling and chronic disease affecting some 2.1 million Americans. His research focuses on the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and mechanisms of inflammation, and his studies have played a pivotal role in the development of the highly effective drugs to treat this crippling disease.

CTRI Receives $37.2 Million Clinical and Translational Science Award

A 5-year, $37.2 million grant award for the Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) is the subject of the UCSD Newsroom story, “UC San Diego Receives Major Clinical and Translational Science Award.”

Dr. Gary Firestein, Director of the CTRI, is principal investigator of the project. Dr. Firestein is Dean of Translational Medicine for UC San Diego Health Sciences and Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology.

Dr. Gary Firestein Steps Down as Chief of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology; Dr. Robert Terkeltaub Named Interim Chief

Dr. Gary Firestein

Dr. Gary Firestein

Dr. Gary Firestein will step down as Chief of the Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology division as of July 1, announced Dr. Ken Kaushansky, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and outgoing Chair of the Department of Medicine.

Dr. Firestein, who has been chief of the division since 1998, is making the move because of the increasing demands of his leadership responsibilities as Dean of Translational Medicine and Director of the Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) for UCSD Health Sciences.

“During the last 12 years, the division grew dramatically in both accomplishments and international visibility. This is due entirely to the incredibly creative faculty, our outstanding trainees, and the dedicated staff,” said Dr. Firestein.

“I want to express my thanks to Dr. Firestein for being such an outstanding division leader for the past 12 years,” said Dr. Kaushansky. “Under Gary’s leadership, the division has continued to grow and prosper in all three of its missions: research, education, and clinical care.

“The division has gone from unranked to a consistent top-20 ranking in the ‘America’s Best Hospitals’ list from U.S.News & World Report,” he said. “Its research portfolio has grown to be generally among the largest in the department.”

“Gary has also overseen the creation and expansion of the Center for Innovative Therapy as a model for translational medicine and helped bring in supporting program project grants,” Dr. Kaushansky said.

These include the NIH-funded Specialized Centers of Research program on rheumatoid arthritis, the Rheumatic Diseases Core Center grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), and a new NIAMS Ruth L. Kirschstein T32 Training Grant to support research training in rheumatic diseases.

“Gary has also recruited a number of very successful research-oriented faculty into the Rheumatology and Allergy/Immunology sections,” Dr. Kaushansky said. “The division’s clinical mission has expanded to include a novel multidisciplinary clinic with the Department of Orthopaedics.

Dr. Robert Terkeltaub

Dr. Robert Terkeltaub

Dr. Robert A. Terkeltaub, Professor of Medicine, will serve as Interim Chief. For most of the last decade, Dr. Terkeltaub has served as Associate Director of the division and Director of the Rheumatology Training Program.

He has been Chief of the Rheumatology Section at the VA San Diego Healthcare System since 1985.

“I’m grateful to Dr. Robert Terkeltaub for agreeing to serve in the interim role,” said Dr. Kaushansky. “I know he will carry on the rich tradition of the division.”

“Dr. Terkeltaub is an outstanding physician-scientist who has played an integral role in the division’s success. We are truly grateful that he agreed to take on this new responsibility,” said Dr. Firestein.

“I look forward to helping the division through the transition period and into the future,” Dr. Terkeltaub said.

“We are very proud of our faculty and their accomplishments,” he said. “We want to ensure that the clinical programs remain strong and the clinical, translational, and basic research from our very accomplished faculty members grows in breadth, quality, and scope.”

Another goal, he said, is to increase the division’s interaction with other Department of Medicine divisions, including the three newest – Geriatrics, Global Public Health, and Biomedical Informatics.

About Dr. Terkeltaub

Dr. Terkeltaub received his M.D. degree and completed his internship, residency, and fellowship at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. From 1981 to 1984, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Mark Ginsberg at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla.

He spent the following year as a research associate at The Scripps Research Institute before he joined the UCSD faculty as Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology and Chief of the Rheumatology Section at the VA San Diego Healthcare System.

Dr. Terkeltaub has served on numerous study sections for the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the Arthritis National Research Foundation, and other organizations. He is currently Associate Editor of the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.

As an investigator, Dr. Terkeltaub studies the interfaces of inflammation with skeletal and vascular biology, focusing on arthritis and vascular diseases, including infantile artery calcification, gout, and osteoarthritis. At the VA and UCSD, his lab discovered the molecular etiology of generalized artery calcification of infancy, and has done seminal research on innate immunity in gout, and on cartilage innate immunity and chondrocyte hypertrophy in osteoarthritis.

About Dr. Firestein

Dr. Gary Firestein first joined the UCSD Department of Medicine faculty in 1988 as Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology.

He spent 1992 through 1996 as Senior Director of Immunology for Gensia, Inc, and returned to UCSD as Associate Professor of Medicine in 1996. He was promoted to Professor of Medicine in 1998, when he was also appointed division chief.

On a personal note, Dr. Kaushansky said, “Gary was the only person I knew at UCSD when I started interviewing for the position here. We collaborated on a couple of papers back in our formative days.”

Those days were in the late 1980s, when Dr. Kaushansky was Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology at the University of Washington and the younger Dr. Firestein was Assistant Professor in the Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology division here at UCSD.

The two papers reported some of Dr. Firestein’s earliest work, with his mentor and then-division chief Dr. Nathan Zvaifler, on the presence of pro-inflammatory mediators in the synovial fluid of rheumatoid arthritis patients.

In the following years, Dr. Firestein’s basic science studies would open the way for the development of anti-cytokine agents as the first broadly effective treatments for rheumatoid arthritis.

Dr. Firestein was founding director of the UCSD Clinical Investigation Institute, a responsibility that has evolved into his current role as Director of the Clinical and Translational Research Institute.

He was appointed Dean of Translational Medicine for UCSD Health Sciences in 2008.

In the Media: Dr. Gary Firestein

Dr. Gary Firestein is interviewed for comment in the article, “California Budget Cuts Affect Rheumatology” in The Rheumatologist, page 24.

Gary Firestein, M.D., is Dean for Translational Medicine and Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology.