Study Shows Certain Gastrointestinal Tumors Associated with Higher Mortality

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have determined that certain gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are more deadly than previously reported in medical literature. Findings are published online in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Paul Fanta, MD, MS

Paul Fanta, MD, MS

Paul T. Fanta, MD, Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology, is a study coauthor.

Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute Building Opens March 4

Stunning structure will house array of scientists and centers dedicated to speeding basic research into new treatments and therapies —

Rising above Interstate 5 on the east campus of University of California, San Diego, the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute Building (ACTRI), a five-sided polygon of glass, steel and grooved concrete, officially opens its doors March 4 in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“The building is an architectural marvel, but more important is what it represents and the work that will go on inside,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. Gary Firestein

Dr. Gary Firestein

The director of the Clinical and Translational Research Institute at UC San Diego is Gary S. Firestein, MD, Professor of Medicine and Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor of Translational Medicine at UC San Diego.

CTRI opened in 2010 as a part of the national Clinical and Translational Science Award consortium through a five-year, $37.2 million grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science of the National Institutes of Health. CTRI received a $52 million renewal grant last year.

More about the activities of the CTRI

 

Breast Cancer Drug Beats Superbug

Tamoxifen helps white blood cells clear multidrug-resistant bacteria in lab and mouse studies —

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences have found that the breast cancer drug tamoxifen gives white blood cells a boost, better enabling them to respond to, ensnare and kill bacteria in laboratory experiments. Tamoxifen treatment in mice also enhances clearance of the antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogen MRSA and reduces mortality. …Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. John ChangFaculty coauthors of the study report include John T. Chang, MD, associate professor in the Division of Gastroenterology. His laboratory website is here.

Read the article abstract in Nature Communications. (Article full text, UC San Diego only)

Protein’s Impact on Colorectal Cancer is Dappled

In early stages, it acts as tumor suppressor; later it can help spread disease —

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered a cell signaling pathway that appears to exert some control over initiation and progression of colorectal cancer, the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. A key protein in the pathway also appears to be predictive of cancer survival rates. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. Pradipta GhoshThe study’s senior author is Pradipta Ghosh, MD, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology.

New Biomarkers Might Help Personalize Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Treatment

Low levels of two genes predicts positive response to chemotherapy and longer survival times —

Metastatic colorectal cancer patients tend to live longer when they respond to the first line of chemotherapy their doctors recommend. To better predict how patients will respond to chemotherapy drugs before they begin treatment, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine conducted a proof-of-principle study with a small group of metastatic colorectal cancer patients. The results, published June 17 in PLOS ONE, revealed two genes that could help physicians make more informed treatment decisions for patients with this disease. …Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom

Paul Fanta, MD, MS

Paul Fanta, MD, MS

Senior author of the study is Department of Medicine oncologist Paul Fanta, MD, MS, Health Sciences associate clinical professor in the Division of Hematology-Oncology. Dr. Fanta is a researcher in the Solid Tumor Therapeutics Program at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

Read the article in PLOS ONE (Open Access)

Researchers Find Link Between Inflammation, Tissue Regeneration and Wound Repair Response

Discovery has implications for potential new treatments of some cancers and inflammatory bowel disease —

Almost all injuries, even minor skin scratches, trigger an inflammatory response, which provides protection against invading microbes but also turns on regenerative signals needed for healing and injury repair – a process that is generally understood but remains mysterious in its particulars.

Writing in the February 25 online issue of Nature, an international team of scientists, headed by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, report finding new links between inflammation and regeneration: signaling pathways that are activated by a receptor protein called gp130.. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. William SandbornStudy coinvestigators included Division of Gastroenterology division chief William Sandborn, MD, and Inflammatory Disease Center researchers Brigid S. Boland and John T. Chang.

Other Department of Medicine coauthors included Petrus R. de Jong; and Samuel B. Ho, professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Section Chief, Gastroenterology, at the VA San Diego Healthcare System.

Full text of the article (UC San Diego only)

Dr. Sheila Crowe Selected as Vice President of the American Gastroenterological Association

An Announcement from Dr. William J. Sandborn
Professor and Chief, Division of Gastroenterology –

Dr. William Sandborn

Dr. William Sandborn

It is with great pleasure that I share with you that Dr. Sheila Crowe has been selected as Vice President of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA).

In this role, she will begin a four-year term of service to the AGA, transitioning yearly from Vice President to President Elect to President and finally to Past President and Chair of the AGA Foundation.

Dr. Sheila E. Crowe

Dr. Sheila E. Crowe, Professor of Medicine and Director of Research in the Division of Gastroenterology.

This is perhaps the highest honor that a physician in our specialty can receive. It is a tremendous honor for Dr. Crowe, and for our entire Division.

I am so proud to have Dr. Crowe in our Division. Please join me in congratulating her on this accomplishment.

Best regards,

William J. Sandborn, MD
Professor of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Surgery
Chief, Division of Gastroenterology
Director, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center
University of California, San Diego
and UC San Diego Health System

In Memoriam: Martin F. Kagnoff, MD

Announcement from Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine

Dr. Martin Kagnoff

Martin F. Kagnoff, MD

It is with sadness that I announce that we have lost one of our department’s most vigorous and inspiring leaders. Martin Kagnoff, MD, passed away at his home in La Jolla on Sunday, November 16.

Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD

Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD

Dr. Kagnoff was Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Emeritus, and Director of the Laboratory of Mucosal Immunology at UC San Diego. He was a pioneer in academic gastroenterology and research.

He joined the faculty of the Division of Gastroenterology when he completed his residency and fellowship training in 1972. He devoted all 42 years of his long and fruitful career to UC San Diego.

Dr. Kagnoff directed the multidisciplinary Laboratory of Mucosal Immunology, which was established in 1985. His research initially focused on basic immunology in the gastrointestinal tract. He went on to the pathophysiology of celiac disease, the intestinal manifestations of AIDS, the biology of intestinal epithelial cells and the pathogenesis of enteric infections.

He was recognized worldwide as a leader in mucosal immunology and the mechanisms leading to celiac disease. He was dedicated to education at all levels and he trained nearly 100 students, post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty members.

Dr. Kagnoff’s research was continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for 40 years. He published more than 200 papers in leading gastroenterology, immunology and basic science journals and edited multiple books and reviews.

He served as associate editor and editor-in-chief of two leading journals in the field: The Journal of Clinical Investigation and the American Journal of Physiology: Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology.

Dr. Kagnoff earned his MD degree at Harvard Medical School. He received his postgraduate training in gastroenterology and immunology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston University School of Medicine and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

His family conducted a memorial service on November 18.

Gifts in memory of Dr. Martin Kagnoff may be made payable to The Regents of the University of California referencing the Kagnoff Endowed Fund #16203 and mailed to UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive #0940, La Jolla, CA 92093-0940.

Dr. Thomas Savides Speaking on Recent Advances in Endoscopy at This Week’s Grand Rounds

Dr. Thomas Savides, the founder and director of the Endoscopic Ultrasound Program at UC San Diego Health System, will speak on recent advances in endoscopy at this week’s session of Medicine Grand Rounds.

Thomas J. Savides, MD, is professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and executive vice chair of the Department of Medicine.

Earlier this year, he was named chief experience officer for UC San Diego Health System.

See his clinical profile

UC San Diego Health System Retains #1 Ranking

US News & World Report Cites Region’s Only Academic Health System Among Nation’s Best 

UC San Diego Health System remains among the nation’s best, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s 2014-15 issue of “America’s Best Hospitals,” released this week. The magazine’s widely cited findings again placed UC San Diego Health System first in the San Diego metropolitan area and fifth in California, with national rankings in 11 specialties, up from 10 last year. This is comparable to the country’s most prestigious health care institutions.  Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Sulpizio Cardiovascular CenterUC San Diego Health System is nationally ranked in eleven medical specialties, including seven in the Department of Medicine:  Cancer, Cardiology, Endocrinology & Diabetes, Gastroenterology, Geriatrics, Nephrology, Pulmonology and Rheumatology.