Kawasaki Disease and Pregnant Women

UC San Diego researchers say risks are manageable, provided doctors recognize them

In the first study of its type, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have looked at the health threat to pregnant women with a history of Kawasaki disease (KD), concluding that the risks are low with informed management and care.

The findings are published in the March 6, 2014 online edition of the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. …Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center

Dr. Lori DanielsDepartment of Medicine faculty members Lori B. Daniels, MD, right, and Andrew M. Kahn, MD, PhD, were investigators in the study.

Both are associate clinical professors in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.

Checkup Diabetes: the Latest Research and Treatments from UC San Diego

News Feature from the UC San Diego Health System Newsroom

Checkup Diabetes: the latest research and treatments at UC San Diego

by Scott LaFee

Diabetes is a monumental public health issue, not just because millions of Americans have been diagnosed with the metabolic disease, but also for the many more millions who either remain undiagnosed or have signs suggesting they will likely become diabetic. .. Read the full news feature from the UC San Diego Health System 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.

Two from UCSD School of Medicine Named Members of the Institute of Medicine

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) today announced the names of 70 new members and 10 foreign associates during its 42nd annual meeting.  Included are two new members from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine: David A. Brenner, MD, vice chancellor for Health Sciences and dean of the UCSD School of Medicine, and Don W. Cleveland, PhD, chair of the UCSD Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, and professor of medicine, neurosciences, and cellular and molecular medicine at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Dr. David BrennerA translational researcher, Dr. David Brenner investigates the molecular pathogenesis of fibrotic liver disease and the genetic basis of  liver disorders. He is a member of the Division of Gastroenterology in the Department of Medicine.  |  Read his academic biography

UCSD-based Cancer Consortium Receives 5-Year, $20 Million Grant Renewal

NCI funding continues work focused on chronic lymphocytic leukemia  

An international consortium of scientists studying chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), based at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has been awarded a 5-year, $20 million grant by the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. The grant is the second renewal of funding for a broad-based effort designed to better understand the pathology of CLL – the most common form of leukemia in the Western world – and develop new drugs and treatments. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Dr. Thomas KippsDr. Thomas Kipps heads the Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Research Consortium (CRC), the eight-member international body receiving the grant. Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD, is professor of medicine, Evelyn and Edwin Tasch Chair in Cancer Research, and director of the Clinical Trials Office and deputy director of research at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

A New Approach to Faster Anticancer Drug Discovery

Tracking the genetic pathway of a disease offers a powerful, new approach to drug discovery, according to scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine who used the approach to uncover a potential treatment for prostate cancer, using a drug currently marketed for congestive heart failure. Their findings are published in the current online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of SciencesRead the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

M. Geoff Rosenfeld, MD,
M. Geoff Rosenfeld, MD, is an investigator in the study. Dr. Rosenfeld is professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. |  Read the article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Matters of the Heart: A Q&A with Ehtisham Mahmud

News Feature from the UC San Diego Health System Newsroom

Matters of the Heart: A Q&A with Ehtisham Mahmud
A profile of Dr. Ehtisham Mahmud
Professor and Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine
Co-director of UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center
Director, Interventional Cardiology and Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

by Scott LaFee

Every 34 seconds, on average, an American has a heart attack. Every minute, someone in the United States dies from a heart disease-related event. Both men and women are afflicted equally, if differently. More than one-quarter of the annual deaths in this country are due to cardiovascular disease in its myriad manifestations. It claims more lives each year than cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases and accidents combined.”… Read the full profile from the UC San Diego Health System newsroom

Plasticity of Hormonal Response Permits Rapid Gene Expression Reprogramming

Gene expression reprogramming may allow cancer cell growth as well as normal differentiation

Gene expression is the process of converting the genetic information encoded in DNA into a final gene product such as a protein or any of several types of RNA. Scientists have long thought that the gene programs regulated by different physiological processes throughout the body are robustly pre-determined and relatively fixed for every specialized cell. But a new study by researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine reveals the unsuspected plasticity of some of these gene expression programs. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

M. Geoffrey Rosenfeld, MD

Co-principal investigator of the study is Dr. M. Geoffrey Rosenfeld (pictured at left). M. Geoffrey Rosenfeld, MD, is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

Department of Medicine coauthor Christopher K. Glass, MD, PhD, is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

Read the published study in Nature (free full text).

Scientists Map Changes in Genetic Networks Caused By DNA Damage

Using a new technology called “differential epistasis maps,” an international team of scientists, led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has documented for the first time how a cellular genetic network completely rewires itself in response to stress by DNA-damaging agents… Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Dr. Trey Ideker

Senior author of the study is Trey Ideker, Ph.D., Professor and Chief of the Division of Medical Genetics in the Department of Medicine and Professor of Bioengineering (pictured above).  Department of Medicine faculty coauthors include Richard D. Kolodner, Ph.D., Professor in the Division of Hematology-Oncology.

Read the abstract of the article in the December 3 issue of Science.

Election to AAP Recognizes Distinguished Career of Dr. David H. Broide

David H. Broide, M.B., Ch.B., joined an elite group of physicians from around the world when he was inducted into the prestigious Association of American Physicians (AAP) in April, 2008.

A deeply respected clinician and physician scientist, Dr. Broide is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Research Training Program in the Section of Allergy/Immunology in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology at UC San Diego.

He is one of only 55 physicians elected to the AAP this year.

Dr. Broide devotes his patient care and his research to the treatment of asthma and allergic disorders. In his laboratory, he studies airway remodeling, which is the slow and irreversible damage that asthma produces in the bronchial tubes of a subset of asthmatics.

“Finding new therapies is our goal,” Dr. Broide says.

He seeks to discover precisely what causes the airway damage and how it can be stopped.

The causes are complex, but there is hope for new treatments

Severe asthma affects approximately 5-10% of individuals who have the disease, but it accounts for about half of the healthcare costs of asthma, which total $8 billion a year in the U.S.

Patients who have the severe form of asthma live with frequent emergency room visits and hospitalizations, the need for a variety of medications, and the loss of productivity that comes with a serious chronic illness.

Approximately 4,000 to 5,000 individuals die from asthma each year in the U.S.

Dr. Broide says the causes of asthma are complex and are not fully understood.  “Asthma,” he says, “is an example of a disease that has both a genetic as well as an environmental contribution.

“Over 100 genes have been linked to asthma, and probably more haven’t been discovered.”

No single gene has been found to be responsible for more than about 5% of the cases of asthma.

In the genetics of asthma, Dr. Broide looks for new treatment possibilities

Because so many gene products are involved in causing asthma, it has not been effective to treat it by targeting individual genes. An alternative strategy is to identify and block the “master genes” that regulate groups of other genes.

One such master gene, NF-ΚB, controls many genes that are important to asthma. It’s therefore a potential therapeutic target. If a compound can block NF-ΚB in the bronchial tubes, it could potentially be effective in treating asthma.

One of Dr. Broide’s chief collaborators in this effort is Michael Karin, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology in the Laboratory of Gene Regulation and Signal Transduction at UC San Diego. Dr. Karin is an authority on NF-ΚB.

Targeting a master gene in asthma: early results are promising

In a study with Dr. Karin, Dr. Broide and his laboratory found that inactivating NF-ΚB in the epithelial cells lining the interior of the bronchial tubes of mice results in a significant improvement in airway remodeling and other features of airway remodeling induced by long-term exposure to inhaled allergens.

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences in 2006. |  Read the article (free full text)

Recent discoveries uncover new treatment possibilities

“The field of immunology and asthma is full of opportunities for new discoveries,” Dr. Broide says. “It’s an exciting time to be in the field, which is changing very rapidly.

“We have a lot of interesting molecular advances in the field that will provide an opportunity to devise new therapies and better treat our patients.”

One such molecular advance is the study of Toll like receptor-9 (TLR-9) vaccines in allergy. Activation of TLR-9 receptors inhibits allergic responses in mouse models of allergy and asthma.

In an NIH-sponsored Immune Tolerance Network study, Dr. Broide in collaboration with Dr. Peter S. Creticos at Johns Hopkins University demonstrated that a TLR-9 vaccine significantly improved symptoms of sinus allergies in patients with ragweed allergy.

The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006.  |  Read the article (free full text)

As this was a small pilot study, Dr. Broide says, further large-scale studies are needed to determine the effectiveness and safety of this approach.

Inspired to find better treatments for asthma sufferers

Dr. Broide is originally from South Africa, where he received his M.D. from the University of Cape Town and completed his internship at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town.

During his internal medicine residency training at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, he became inspired to work in the field of asthma and immunology. From asthma and allergy specialists he learned of the hope that could be offered to the majority of asthma sufferers, and of the need to develop better treatments for those who have severe disease.

Dr. Broide came to UC San Diego for his Allergy and Immunology fellowship training in 1984. He joined the faculty in 1987.

He has received many academic and scientific honors. He has been named one of the Best Doctors in America each year since 1998.  From 2000 to 2005, he was on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. He is currently Associate Editor of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Dr. Broide directs an NIH training grant that supports physician-scientists in translational research in allergy and immunology

Dr. Broide is principal investigator of several NIH grants, including a MERIT award that provides research support for up to 10 years to NIH-funded researchers whose research is highly meritorious.

He is also principal investigator of an NIH-sponsored Asthma and Allergic Disease Center at UC San Diego. The center focuses on improving our understanding and therapy of airway remodeling in asthma.

Dr. Broide also directs an NIH T32 training grant that supports physician-scientists in translational research in allergy and immunology. Translational research is a high priority in the UC San Diego Department of Medicine.

Physician-scientists supported by this NIH training grant include Allergy/Immunology fellows Dr. Taylor Doherty and Dr. Chavi Gandhi, who are recent UC San Diego Internal Medicine chief residents.

“Physician-scientists are able to bring an important clinical perspective into their basic research studies,” Dr. Broide says.

The aim is to design laboratory studies in a way that leads to better diagnosis and treatment as quickly and safely as possible.

“In particular, we’re trying to help the 10% of severe asthmatics that don’t do that well on current asthma therapies,” Dr. Broide says. “That’s the challenge.”

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