UC San Diego and GSK Collaborate to Eradicate Cancer Stem Cells, Treat Leukemia

First California institution selected to participate in GSK’s bench-to-bedside academia-industry collaboration program —

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center are working with GSK on a bench-to-bedside project to treat leukemia and other diseases by eliminating cancer stem cells. The collaboration is part of GSK’s Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc) program, where academic partners become core members of drug-hunting teams. Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Regenerative Medicine, will lead UC San Diego’s effort in the new DPAc team. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom

Dr. Catriona Jamieson Announced as Inaugural Chief of New Division of Regenerative Medicine

Announced today by Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine

Catriona H. M. Jamieson, MD, PhD

Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD

Please join me in officially welcoming Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD, as the inaugural chief of the new Division of Regenerative Medicine. The Department of Medicine is delighted to announce the inception of the Division of Regenerative Medicine and we enthusiastically support Dr. Jamieson’s talent and vision for this innovative endeavor.

Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD

Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD

Dr. Jamieson joined the UC San Diego faculty in 2005 and is an associate professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology. She has proven her leadership skills, expertise and effectiveness in her current positions as director of the Stem Cell Research Program at Moores Cancer Center, co-leader of the Hematologic Malignancies Program, hematology team leader, co-director of the UC San Diego Stem Cell Training Grant, coordinating course director of the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell course, and a co-director of the new Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center.

Dr. Jamieson received her medical and doctorate degrees from the University of British Columbia. She completed her residency and clinical fellowships in bone marrow transplantation and hematology, as well as her postdoctoral research fellowship in the laboratory of Professor Irving Weissman at Stanford.

As a physician-scientist, Dr. Jamieson specializes in leukemia and myeloproliferative neoplasms, which are a family of uncommon, but not rare, degenerative disorders in which the body overproduces blood cells. These disorders can cause blood clotting which can lead to heart attack, stroke, and other life-threatening complications including transformation to acute leukemia. Dr. Jamieson’s research focuses on the mutant stem cells and progenitor cells in myeloproliferative neoplasms, which can give rise to cancer stem cells. Her stem-cell research studies have taken a substantial leap from identifying a promising treatment in the laboratory to completing the first clinical trial targeting cancer stem cells in humans. Her discoveries in myeloproliferative neoplasms are now being brought together with a drug development track of a regional pharmaceutical company.

Please join me in giving your enthusiastic support to Dr. Jamieson in her new leadership role as the inaugural chief of the Division of Regenerative Medicine here at UC San Diego. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to make UC San Diego a key hub for the rapid translation of stem cell discoveries to the clinic.

$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.

Enzyme Restores Function with Diabetic Kidney Disease

Mouse findings reverse prevailing theory; point to potential treatment options

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine say that, while a prevailing theory suggests elevated cellular levels of glucose ultimately result in diabetic kidney disease, the truth may, in fact, be quite the opposite. The findings could fundamentally change understanding of how diabetes-related diseases develop – and how they might be better treated. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center


Kumar Sharma, MD, FAHA Kumar Sharma, MD, FAHA, senior author of the study report, is professor of medicine and director of the Center for Renal Translational Medicine in the Division of Nephrology-Hypertension.

Dr. Laura DuganFirst author Laura L. Dugan, MD, at right, is professor of neurosciences and professor and chief of the Division of Geriatrics in the Department of Medicine. She holds the Larry L. Hillblom Chair in Geriatric Medicine.

Second author Young-Hyun You is an associate project scientist in the Division of Nephrology-Hypertension,

Other DOM faculty coauthors are Sameh S. Ali, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatrics, and Robert K. Naviaux, MD, PhD, professor of medicine in the Division of Medical Genetics.

Citation for the study report:

Laura L. Dugan, Young-Hyun You, Sameh S. Ali, Maggie Diamond-Stanic, Satoshi Miyamoto, Anne-Emilie DeCleves, Aleksander Andreyev, Tammy Quach, San Ly, Grigory Shekhtman, William Nguyen, Andre Chepetan, Thuy P. Le, Lin Wang, Ming Xu, Kacie P. Paik, Agnes Fogo, Benoit Viollet, Anne Murphy, Frank Brosius, Robert K. Naviaux and Kumar Sharma. AMPK dysregulation promotes diabetes-related reduction of superoxide and mitochondrial function. J Clin Invest. 2013;123(11):4888–4899. doi:10.1172/JCI66218.  |  Full text (UCSD only)

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New More Effective Antimicrobials Might Rise From Old

Findings could have major impact in struggle against evolving drug resistance

By tinkering with their chemical structures, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have essentially re-invented a class of popular antimicrobial drugs, restoring and in some cases, expanding or improving, their effectiveness against drug-resistant pathogens in animal models.

Writing in the October 7 Early Edition of PNAS, Lars Eckmann, MD, professor of medicine, and colleagues … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Lars EckmannLars Eckmann, MD, professor of medicine and a researcher in the Division of Gastroenterology, is senior investigator in the study.

Eckmann directs the UCSD Center for Tissue Repair, Epithelial Biology and Inflammation, and Transformation (C-TREAT), a National Institutes of Health Digestive Disease Research Development Center.

In his research laboratory, he addresses the mechanisms governing infection-related intestinal disease and the host defenses against them; and the pathophysiology of intestinal inflammation.

Other Department of Medicine coauthors of the PNAS report are project scientist Yukiko Miyamoto, Dae Young Cheung, Ricardo Lozano, Eduardo R. Cobo and professor Douglas E. Berg.

Citation for the study report:

Yukiko Miyamoto, Jarosław Kalisiak, Keith Korthals, Tineke Lauwaet, Dae Young Cheung, Ricardo Lozano, Eduardo R. Cobo, Peter Upcroft, Jacqueline A. Upcroft, Douglas E. Berg, Frances D. Gillin, Valery V. Fokin, K. Barry Sharpless, and Lars Eckmann. Expanded therapeutic potential in activity space of next-generation 5-nitroimidazole antimicrobials with broad structural diversity. PNAS 2013; published ahead of print October 7, 2013, doi:10.1073/pnas.1302664110  |  Full text PDF (UCSD only)

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Cancer Cells Co-opt Immune Response to Escape Destruction

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that tumor cells use stress signals to subvert responding immune cells, exploiting them to actually boost conditions beneficial to cancer growth. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Maurizio ZanettiThe report comes from the laboratory of Dr. Maurizio Zanetti (left), with graduate student Navin R. Mahadevan as lead author and Dr. Zanetti as senior author.

Maurizio Zanetti, MD, is emeritus professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and director of the Laboratory of Immunology at the UCSD Moores Cancer Center.

Dr. Zanetti is the director of tumor immunology for the UCSD Center for Immunology, Infection and Inflammation.  He directs the immunology course in the Biomedical Sciences graduate program.

Drs. Zanetti and Mahadevan published a Science Magazine Perspectives article on the connection between immune surveillance and chromosomal chaos in September.

On the PLOS ONE report, coauthors from Dr. Zanetti’s laboratory are undergraduate student Veronika Anufreichik, graduate student Jeffrey J. Rodvold and research associate Kevin T. Chiu.

Read the report in PLOS ONE

Citation for the report:  Mahadevan NR, Anufreichik V, Rodvold JJ, Chiu KT, Sepulveda H, et al. (2012) Cell-Extrinsic Effects of Tumor ER Stress Imprint Myeloid Dendritic Cells and Impair CD8+ T Cell Priming. PLoS ONE 7(12): e51845. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051845

More Information:

  • Science Magazine Perspectives article, September 2012:

Zanetti M, Mahadevan NR. Immune Surveillance from Chromosomal Chaos? Science 337 (6102): 1616-1617, 28 September 2012. DOI: 10.1126/science.1228464.

  • Other UCSD news stories about Dr. Zanetti’s work:
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BPA’s Real Threat May Be After It Has Metabolized

Chemical found in many plastics linked to multiple health threats

Bisphenol A or BPA is a synthetic chemical widely used in the making of plastic products ranging from bottles and food can linings to toys and water supply lines. When these plastics degrade, BPA is released into the environment and routinely ingested… Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Department of Medicine researcher Michael E. Baker, PhD, teamed with UCSD Department of Bioengineering graduate student Charlie Chandsawangbhuwana in the study. Dr. Baker is a research scientist in the Division of Nephrology/Hypertension.

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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