UC San Diego Health System, Scripps Health Partner in Hospice Care, Training and Research

UC San Diego Health System and Scripps Health are partnering to provide improved continuity of patient care, fellowship training and research in hospice and palliative medicine. Under a new five-year agreement, Scripps will work with UC San Diego to provide outpatient and inpatient hospice care for UC San Diego patients, allowing UC San Diego physicians to better coordinate post-acute care for patients with chronic illness. The joint fellowship program is the only physician training program of its kind in San Diego County …

… The hospice and palliative medicine training program is an extension of a fellowship that was previously offered through San Diego Hospice. Gary Buckholz, MD, UC San Diego, and Holly Yang, MD, Scripps Health, co-direct the joint fellowship program, which will be housed at UC San Diego beginning in July 2015. The program will engage faculty from both organizations, exemplifying the teamwork required to meet the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of palliative care and hospice patients and their families. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


New Division Chief and Vice Chief of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Announced July 28, 2014, by Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine

Dr. Nicholas Webster

Nicholas Webster, PhD

I am pleased to announce that an internal review committee has selected Dr. Nick Webster as the new chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Nai-Wen Chi has been selected to serve as vice chief.

Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD

Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD

I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Nick Webster, who accepted the role of interim division chief after I stepped down in 2010. In leading the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism for the past four years, Dr. Webster has done an important service for the division and the department.

Nick Webster, PhD, professor of medicine, is Associate Director for Shared Resources at the Moores Cancer Center and holds a joint appointment as a Senior Research Career Scientist at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. He is a highly respected researcher and thought leader in the field of endocrinology and metabolism.

Dr. Webster earned his B.A. and M.A. from Cambridge University and his Ph.D. from Stanford University.  After a post-doctoral fellowship at the CNRS in Strasbourg, France, he joined the UCSD faculty in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism in 1989 and was promoted to Professor in 2006.

Dr. Webster has been very active in service to the University and the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS).  He has held a number of leadership positions at UCSD, including Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Facilities in the Office of Research Affairs, where his portfolio included oversight of the animal welfare program and university-wide shared resources.  Dr. Webster has served as chair of a number of university committees, including the Radiation Safety and Surveillance Committee, the Animal Program Oversight Committee, the Recruitment and Admission Committee for the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program, the Shared Resources Oversight Committee, and the Research Space Committees at the VASDHS.

Over the past 25 years, Dr. Webster has maintained an active research program, which is broadly focused on the mechanisms of hormonal signal transduction and gene regulation in different developmental and disease contexts.  He actively participates in the Center for Reproductive Science and Medicine, the Diabetes Research Center, and the Center for Transdisciplinary Research in Energetics and Cancer.

Nai-Wen Chi, MD, PhD

Nai-Wen Chi, MD, PhD

The newly appointed vice chair of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Dr. Nai-Wen Chi, is a researcher and board-certified endocrinologist at the UCSD Medical Center and the VA. Dr. Chi earned his M.D. from National Taiwan University prior to receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard University, where he was mentored by Dr. Richard Kolodner in investigating the molecular machinery that maintains the yeast mitochondrial genome.  Dr. Chi then completed his medical residency and endocrine fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital.  During his postdoctoral fellowship at MIT, he was mentored by Dr. Harvey Lodish in identifying novel insulin-signaling molecules that regulate vesicular trafficking.

Dr. Chi joined the UCSD faculty in 2000 and has been the director of the Endocrine Fellowship since 2005.  His clinical interest focuses on dysnatremias while his research program takes biochemical and genetic approaches to investigate the pathophysiology of diabetes and obesity.

Please join me in giving your enthusiastic support to Drs. Nick Webster and Nai-Wen Chi in their new positions of leadership in the Department of Medicine.

John Adamson Honored with American Society of Hematology Mentor Award for Basic Science

Dr.  John AdamsonThis week at its annual meeting in New Orleans, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) is presenting Dr. John W. Adamson with its 2013 Mentor Award for Basic Science.

John W. Adamson, MD, is clinical professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and associate director of the Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Training Program in the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

The ASH mentoring awards recognize hematologists who have had a significant, positive impact on their mentees’ careers and, through their mentees, have advanced research and patient care in the field of hematology.

The award cites Adamson for his passion for teaching the interrelationship between clinical medicine and biomedical science and the importance of granting early-career hematologists with protected time to develop their scientific skills.

Dr. Adamson has been particularly exceptional at forging bonds among early-career investigators with similar interests and has been an advocate for the advancement of women in hematology.

Several of his mentees have become leading experts in the field, and many have assumed leadership roles in the greater hematology research community.

Adamson is a past president of the American Society of Hematology and was editor of its official journal, Blood, from 1983 to 1987.

More Information:

Read the American Society of Hematology press release

Dr. Pradipta Ghosh Receives Clinical Research Mentorship Grant from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

Dr. Pradipta Ghosh

Three years ago, Department of Medicine physician-scientist Dr. Pradipta Ghosh received a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Clinical Scientist Development Award to support her in the transition from junior researcher to independent investigator.

The grant funded her research for three fruitful years as she moved from assistant to associate professor and landed a five-year R01 research grant from the National Cancer Institute.

Now, Ghosh has won DDCF funding again — this time a Clinical Research Mentorship Grant to support her in mentoring medical student Gary Ma in the project, “Molecular Rheostats in Type II Diabetes – Novel Therapeutic Targets for Insulin Resistance.”

The DDCF Clinical Research Mentorship program is a competitive grant program that supports the development of a mentoring relationship between a clinical scientist previously funded through the foundation and a medical student with an interest in becoming a future clinician investigator.

This DDCF program funded 10 mentor/mentee teams this year.

About Dr. Ghosh

Pradipta Ghosh, MD, MBBS, is associate professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology. She is a graduate of the UC San Diego Internal Medicine Residency Training Program, the Gastroenterology Fellowship Training Program and the Department of Medicine Physician-Scientist Training Program.

In her laboratory, Ghosh investigates the cell biology of signal transduction to find new ways to understand and block the development and spread of cancer and other diseases. Her National Cancer Institute research grant supports the project, “Modulation of G Proteins by Growth Factors.”

Looking back at the development of her career, she cites two important mentors, Drs. Stuart Kornfeld and Marilyn Farquhar.

“Stuart Kornfeld and Marilyn Farquhar are spectacular examples of good mentors and what good mentoring involves,” she said. “Being accessible, empowering, ensuring the freedom to probe, to expand the horizon.”

Stuart Kornfeld, MD, is David C. and Betty Farrell Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Hematology at Washington University in St. Louis, where he directs the Medical Scientist Training Program and co-directs the Physician-Scientist Training Program.

Marilyn Farquhar, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Pathology at UC San Diego.

About Her Mentor/Mentee Research Project

Abstract of the Study, “Molecular Rheostats in Type II Diabetes – Novel Therapeutic Targets for Insulin Resistance.”

“The overall goal of the proposed research is to unravel the mechanisms by which [Gα-interacting, vesicle-associated protein] (GIV) maintains insulin sensitivity and how its phosphoinhibition generates Insulin resistance (IR). Insights gained will not only help determine whether GIV can serve as a therapeutic target and a marker for prognosticating response to therapy in patients with IR, but also help decipher, access, and manipulate the entire signaling network to restore physiologic insulin response.”

Dr. Victoria Ojeda Receives UCGHI Junior Faculty Fellowship Award

Dr. Victoria OjedaVictoria Ojeda, MPH, PhD, public health researcher and assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Global Public Health, has received a Junior Faculty Fellowship Program award for 2013-2014 from the University of California Global Health Institute (UCGHI).

The UCGHI Junior Faculty Fellowship Program, funded by a private donor, supports global health investigators in focused, multidisciplinary projects to develop their skills in investigation, training and leadership.

The award will support Ojeda’s ongoing work with deportees in Tijuana, Baja California, funding her project, “Tijuana Business Attitudes Toward Deportees and the Acceptability of an Employment Opportunities Program.”

Ojeda’s related Tijuana study, “Social incorporation following deportation and implications for health status and access to care,” is supported by a UCGHI GloCal Health Fellowship award she received in 2012. The GloCal Fellowship, a one-year mentored research fellowship, is a program of the National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center and a UCGHI consortium.

Ojeda focuses her research on substance use, HIV/AIDS infection, and mental health co-morbidities in migrant populations, including injection drug users and female sex workers. Through a number of studies in Tijuana and elsewhere, she is examining how patterns of population movement, including migration and deportation, affect the transmission of HIV/AIDS and other blood-borne infections in the United States-Mexico border region.

Ojeda earned her MPH and PhD in Community Health Sciences at the School of Public Health at UCLA and completed a NIMH Post-doctoral fellowship in Mental Health Policy at the Department of Health Care Policy at the Harvard Medical School.

She is principal investigator of a five-year, NIDA-funded K01 career development project Mexican Female Migration, Substance Use, Sex work, and HIV Risks in Tijuana (Mujer Migrante). She is a research associate of the UCSD Center for Comparative Immigration Studies and a faculty member in the UCSD-SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Global Public Health.

More Information:

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:

NIH Funds UCGHI GloCal Health Fellowship to Train Next Generation of Global Health Researchers

The University of California Global Health Institute (UCGHI) announces the UCGHI GloCal Health Fellowship funded by the Fogarty International Center (FIC) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide global health research training opportunities for 9-12 fellows annually for the next five years. Co-led by Drs. Steffanie Strathdee (UC San Diego) and Craig Cohen (UCSF), this program will contribute to the development of future global health researchers at the University of California and international partner institutions …… Read the full story from the University of California Global Health Institute


Dr. Steffanie Strathdee
Co-directing the UCGHI GloCal Health Fellowship program is Dr. Steffanie Strathdee, Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences and Harold Simon Professor and Chief of the UC San Diego Division of Global Public Health; Director, UC San Diego Global Health Initiative.

More Information:

In the Media: Dr. Sotirios Tsimikas

Dr. Sotirios “Sam” Tsimikas is featured in the story, “INNOVATION: From lab to product: a blood test’s story” in the North County Times.

Sotirios Tsimikas, M.D, is Professor of Clinical Medicine and Director of Vascular Medicine in the Division of Cardiology. He directs the Interventional Cardiology Fellowship Training Program.

New Global Medicine Program at Work in Mozambique

UCSD internal medicine resident Seth Goldman, M.D., with Dr. Sam Patel of UEM on the wards at Maputo Central Hospital.

UCSD internal medicine resident Seth Goldman, M.D., with Dr. Sam Patel of UEM on the wards at Maputo Central Hospital. Photo by Mike Preziosi, MD.

At Maputo Central Hospital in Mozambique, the patients suffer from diseases that a doctor might never see in the U.S.: malaria, cholera, or drug resistant tuberculosis, for example. Important research takes place despite limited resources. Internal medicine residents divide their time between their clinical duties and the moonlighting jobs that finance their medical education.

Beginning this month, UCSD internal medicine doctors are working side by side with their counterparts in Maputo. The new Global Medicine elective rotation in the UCSD Internal Medicine Residency Training Program is underway.

It’s a bilateral exchange of faculty and residents between UCSD and the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) School of Medicine in Maputo. The purpose is to enrich the training programs and the research efforts at both institutions.

Dr. Seth Goldman, a third-year resident in internal medicine, is the first UCSD trainee to take part. He’ll spend almost 4 weeks in Maputo, departing as the next resident arrives from UCSD to take his place.

Dr. Preziosi with Mozambican residents

Global Medicine Program Clinical Director Mike Preziosi, MD (center), with Mozambican internal medicine residents Lucia Chambal (left) and Manuel Tomas (right).

Supervising the residents in Maputo is Michael Preziosi, MD, who graduated from the Internal Medicine Residency Program in June. He’ll spend a full year in Maputo as Assistant Professor of Medicine, and clinical director for the UCSD residents.

“Our research and education presence in Maputo will equip us to prepare our next generation of internal medicine specialists and researchers,” says Ken Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine. Dr. Kaushansky directs the Global Medicine program for UCSD.

Drs. Marisa Magaña and Emilia Noormahomed

Dr. Marisa Magaña, former UCSD internal medicine resident, with Dr. Emilia Noormahomed of UEM.

UCSD’s Global Medicine faculty leaders include Robert (Chip) Schooley, MD, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and colleague Professor Constance Benson, MD, who directs the Fellowship Training Program in Infectious Diseases.

This is an exciting opportunity for UCSD and for UEM,” says Dr. Schooley.

He and Dr. Benson have collaborated with researchers in Mozambique and other African nations since the mid-1990s.

It was their interest in doing research work with Dr. Emilia Noormahomed that brought UEM to the foreground when the UCSD Department of Medicine began its search for potential Global Medicine rotation sites.

Emilia Noormahomed, MD, PhD, a gifted parasitology researcher, is a former dean of the UEM School of Medicine.

She and Sam Patel, MD, Professor of Medicine and, until recently, Chair of the Department of Medicine, are UEM’s participating faculty who have worked closely with Dr. Kaushansky to design this unique partnership.

Both have accepted faculty appointments in UCSD’s Department of Medicine.


“Our long-term goal is to play a critical role in developing sustainable local capacity to lead programs in HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria in southeast Africa.”
— Dr. Schooley


City of Maputo

The city of Maputo is a major port on the Indian Ocean.
Photo by Robert Schooley, MD.

For UCSD, the Global Medicine program reflects the Department of Medicine’s commitment to enlarge its efforts in the field of global medicine. The new elective will broaden the program offered to internal medicine residency trainees.

“Our faculty, residents, and fellows will have the opportunity to see diseases such as TB and malaria that we see much less often here in the U.S.,” Dr. Schooley says, “and actually to take part in revitalizing postgraduate medical education in Moçambique.”

A generation after a civil war that drove all but a few doctors from the country, the government of Moçambique is striving to build a sustainable healthcare system that can meet the nation’s urgent need for physicians and medical leaders.

Children in cane village outside Maputo.

Children in cane village outside Maputo. Photo by Kenneth Kaushansky, MD.

UCSD’s involvement at UEM is part of this effort, as is funding for the UEM departments of parasitology and medicine by the Gilead Foundation, a nonprofit organization of the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, LLC.

The Gilead Foundation contributed along with the UCSD Center for AIDS Research to the refurbishing of Dr. Noormahomed’s laboratory at UEM. It’s also a key sponsor of the UCSD Global Medicine rotation.

It’s hoped that additional philanthropic gifts from other sources will continue to support the Global Medicine exchange and other collaborative projects between UCSD and UEM.

UCSD’s presence at UEM will nourish medical research programs and promote the use of evidence-based medicine and epidemiological methods in patient care.

Maputo Central Hospital

Maputo Central Hospital, the primary teaching hospital for UEM.
Photo by Mike Preziosi, MD.

During the early months of this inaugural year, Dr. Preziosi is focusing on establishing relationships, learning the language, and determining the needs of the UEM medical trainees and researchers.

“I’m really excited,” he says. “It’s clear to me how important my job is as a continuous presence in Maputo.”

He and his UCSD colleagues will work with UEM to establish a more academic day in the medical training program. They’ll also develop a number of research studies.

“We’ll work with their residents and investigators,” he says, “to do the projects that really matter.”

Dr. Preziosi hopes to have launched the first group of new research projects by the end of the year. In June 2010, he will return to UCSD to begin his fellowship training in infectious diseases.

Mozambique shown on map of Africa.

The republic of Mozambique.
Map from CIA: The World Factbook.

The Global Medicine elective rotation is open to second- and third-year residents. During the 2009-2010 academic year, over 20 UCSD internal medicine trainees will complete the Global Medicine rotation in Maputo.

Additional UCSD Department of Medicine faculty will rotate through Maputo for 3-4 week periods over the course of the year, working alongside their Mozambican colleagues to augment the Internal Medicine training program at Maputo Central Hospital. Dr. Randy Taplitz, Clinical Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, will join Dr. Preziosi in early August.

Department of Medicine faculty rotating through Maputo live in an apartment, located several blocks from the medical school complex, with Dr. Preziosi and the UCSD residents.

Starting later this year, UEM residents will travel to UCSD to spend 2-3-month periods in research and clinical work here.

“Our long-term goal,” says Dr. Schooley, “is to play a critical role in developing sustainable local capacity to lead programs in HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria in southeast Africa.”


Join With Us

We’re building practical, sustainable programs here at home and in our partner nations.

Your gift in any amount will go directly to help train a doctor, continue a key research project, or equip a community with the knowledge it needs to fight the spread of a preventable disease.

For more information about philanthropy and the Department of Medicine’s international programs, please contact Dan Otto, Senior Executive Director of Development, at 858-246-1563.

Give Now

UCSD Faculty Volunteers Welcomed

UCSD Department of Medicine faculty volunteers of all specialties are welcome to participate in the Global Medicine program in Maputo.

To make your interests known or to find out more, please contact:

Jesus Vera
Global Medicine Program Coordinator
Telephone 619-543-2896
Email jevera@ucsd.edu

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Dr. Pradipta Ghosh Receives Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award

Dr. Pradipta GhoshDepartment of Medicine physician-scientist Dr. Pradipta Ghosh is one of only five researchers in the United States to receive a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award for Medical Scientists this year.The $700,000, 5-year award honors Dr. Ghosh for her innovative investigation of G protein activity in the development and spread of cancerous tumors.

It’s a research project that she developed during her training here at UC San Diego. The Burroughs Wellcome award will support her as she continues this work as an independent faculty investigator.

Pradipta Ghosh, M.D., is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology.

Dr. Ghosh joined the faculty of the Division of Gastroenterology after she completed her subspecialty training last fall.

Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center

She is a graduate of the UC San Diego Internal Medicine Residency Training Program, the Gastroenterology Fellowship Training Program and the Department of Medicine Physician-Scientist Training Program.In her laboratory, Dr. Ghosh investigates the cell biology of signal transduction to find new ways to understand and block the development and spread of cancer and other diseases.

Dr Ghosh obtained her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Marilyn G. Farquhar, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Professor in the Department of Pathology.

The Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Medical Scientists was established in 2007 to support new physician-scientists as they complete their training and establish their careers as independent academic investigators.

Also honored with a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award this year were UC San Diego’s Quyen T. Nguyen, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Otolaryngology, and previous UCSD Department of Medicine research resident Chester Drum, M.D., Ph.D., currently on faculty at Harvard University School of Medicine.