Glycans Enter Mainstream of Biomedical Science

UC San Diego leads new national program to further develop the science of glycobiology

Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have received a major 7-year, $18 million grant to begin translating emerging discoveries in the field of glycosciences into new discoveries and therapies related to heart, lung and blood diseases…. Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Dr. Ajit Varki

Principal investigator and project leader Ajit Varki, MD, is Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Co-Director of the Glycobiology Research and Training Center, and Co-Director of the UCSD/Salk Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny. | Read the project abstract

In the Media: Dr. Ajit Varki

The UC San Diego/Salk Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) and its co-director, Dr. Ajit Varki, are featured in the story, “Cutting to the Bone Of Human Origins,” in Science.

Ajit Varki, M.D., is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and Professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. He co-directs the UC San Diego Glycobiology Research and Training Center and is Associate Dean of the Physician-Scientist Training Program.

Varki and Coworkers Find Possible Link Between Dietary Meat Products and Cancer Growth

Dr. Ajit Varki and a team of UCSD investigators have found that Neu5Gc, a sugar molecule not naturally produced by humans but found in red meat products, is also present in tumor tissue.

Neu5Gc may cause low-grade, chronic inflammation by accumulating in tissue after meat products are eaten and provoking the body to mount an ongoing immune defense against it.

Chronic inflammation is known to contribute to cancer risk.

The finding extends Dr. Varki’s earlier work exploring Neu5Gc (N-glycolylneuraminic acid), the immune system, and inflammation.

Read the full story
from UC San Diego
Health Sciences Communications

Ajit Varki, M.D., is Distinguished Professor of Medicine (Division of Hematology/Oncology) and Cellular and Molecular Medicine and co-director of the UCSD Glycobiology Research and Training Center.

Dr. Varki is also Associate Dean for Physician-Scientist Training.

The study report is in publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS):

Hedlund M, Padler-Karavani V, Varki NM, Varki A. Evidence for a human-specific mechanism for diet and antibody-mediated inflammation in carcinoma progression. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Nov 18. [Epub ahead of print]    Abstract | Read the report (full text)

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