Inaugural Chiba-UCSD Mucosal Immunology and Immunization Symposium to Be Held Here February 21-22

Chiba University and UC San Diego, collaborators in the new Program in Mucosal Immunology, Allergy and Vaccine Development based at UC San Diego, are hosting the inaugural Symposium in Mucosal Immunology and Immunization on February 21-22, 2017, at UC San Diego.

The abstract submission deadline is February 17.

Register for the Symposium Here

Dr. Peter Ernst

Dr. Peter Ernst

Co-Directors of the program are Peter Ernst, DVM, PhD, Professor of Pathology and Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine, and Hiroshi Kiyono, DDS, PhD, Professor, University of Tokyo and Chiba University.

Dr. Ernst is Director of the Center for Veterinary Sciences and Comparative Medicine.

The Chiba University – UC San Diego collaboration is co-sponsored by the International Immunological Memory and Vaccine Forum (IIMVF) and complements the recently-created UC San Diego-La Jolla Institute Immunology Program.

The international initiative was first announced by UC San Diego in May 2016.

New International Initiative Will Focus on Immunology Research and Treatments

Chiba University and UC San Diego launch $2 million collaborative partnership —

Immunology – and the idea that many diseases can best be addressed by boosting the body’s own immune response – is one of the hottest areas in medical research and clinical treatment. University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Chiba University School of Medicine in Japan have announced a new collaborative research center to investigate the most promising aspects of immunology, especially the area of mucosal immunology, and to speed development of clinical applications. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. Peter Ernst

Dr. Peter Ernst

Dr. Peter Ernst is co-directing the Chiba University-UC San Diego Immunology Initiative and associated research center.

Peter Ernst, DVM, PhD, is Professor of Medicine (Division of Gastroenterology), Professor of Pathology and Director of the Center for Veterinary Sciences and Comparative Medicine.

Fat Isn’t All Bad: Skin Adipocytes Help Protect Against Infections

When it comes to skin infections, a healthy and robust immune response may depend greatly upon what lies beneath. In a new paper published in the January 2, 2015 issue of Science, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report the surprising discovery that fat cells below the skin help protect us from bacteria.

Richard Gallo, MD, PhD, professor and chief of dermatology at UC San Diego School of Medicine, and colleagues have uncovered a previously unknown role for dermal fat cells, known as adipocytes: They produce antimicrobial peptides that help fend off invading bacteria and other pathogens. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. Richard Gallo

Dr. Richard Gallo

Richard Gallo, MD, PhD, is professor of medicine and pediatrics and chief of the Division of Dermatology.

Read Science article abstract on PubMed

Visit Dr. Gallo’s laboratory website

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.

Cancer and the Immune System: A Double-Edged Sword

Cell surface sugars can promote or inhibit cancer depending upon stage

During cancer development, tumor cells decorate their surfaces with sugar compounds called glycans that are different from those found on normal, healthy cells. In the Sept. 15 online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that sialic acids at the tips of these cancer cell glycans are capable of engaging with immune system cells and changing the latter’s response to the tumor – for good and bad. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Ajit Varki, MDPrincipal investigator of the study is Ajit Varki, MD, distinguished professor of medicine and cellular medicine, member of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center and co-director of both the Glycobiology Research and Training Center and UCSD/Salk Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA).

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.

The Connection Between Oxygen and Diabetes

A lack of O2 in fat cells triggers inflammation and insulin resistance in obesity:

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have, for the first time, described the sequence of early cellular responses to a high-fat diet, one that can result in obesity-induced insulin resistance and diabetes. The findings, published in the June 5 issue of Cell, also suggest potential molecular targets for preventing or reversing the process.

Dr. Jerrold Olefsky“We’ve described the etiology of obesity-related diabetes. We’ve pinpointed the steps, the way the whole thing happens,” said Jerrold M. Olefsky, MD (left), associate dean for Scientific Affairs and Distinguished Professor of Medicine at UC San Diego. “The research is in mice, but the evidence suggests that the processes are comparable in humans and these findings are important to not just understanding how diabetes begins, but how better to treat and prevent it … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom

Christopher K. Glass and Clifford P. Kubiak Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Two UC San Diego faculty members have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, which includes accomplished leaders from academe, business, public affairs, the humanities and the arts.

Christopher K. Glass, a professor of medicine and of cellular and molecular medicine, and Clifford P. Kubiak, a distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry, join the 2014 class of academy members … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom

In First Moments of Infection, a Division and a Decision

UC San Diego scientists explain how and when T cells become effector or memory lymphocytes

Using technologies and computational modeling that trace the destiny of single cells, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine describe for the first time the earliest stages of fate determination among white blood cells called T lymphocytes, providing new insights that may help drug developers create more effective, longer-lasting vaccines against microbial pathogens or cancer.

The findings are published in the March 2, 2014 online issue of Nature Immunology. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center


Dr. John ChangStudy co-principal investigator John T. Chang, MD, PhD, is assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology.

Visit Dr. Chang’s Laboratory Website

Using microRNA Fit to a T (cell)

Researchers show B cells can deliver potentially therapeutic bits of modified RNA

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have successfully targeted T lymphocytes – which play a central role in the body’s immune response – with another type of white blood cell engineered to synthesize and deliver bits of non-coding RNA or microRNA (miRNA). … Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center


Dr. Maurizio ZanettiPrincipal investigator 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.

Citation for the study report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:

Gonzalo Almanza, Veronika Anufreichik, Jeffrey J. Rodvold, Kevin T. Chiu, Alexandra DeLaney, Johnny C. Akers, Clark C. Chen, and Maurizio Zanetti. Synthesis and delivery of short, noncoding RNA by B lymphocytes. PNAS 2013 ; published ahead of print November 25, 2013, doi:10.1073/pnas.1311145110  |  Abstract (Open access)  |  Full text (UCSD only)

Other UCSD news stories about Dr. Zanetti’s work: