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

Two Studies Identify Potential New Drug for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Vedolizumab, a new intravenous antibody medication, has shown positive results for treating both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, according to researchers at the University of California San Diego, School of Medicine. The findings, published in two papers, will appear in the August 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

UC San Diego Health System Video:
 

William Sandborn, MD,William J. Sandborn, MD professor of clinical medicine and chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, was lead investigator in the Crohn’s disease study and co-investigator in the ulcerative colitis study. He is director of UC San Diego Health System’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center.

Sandborn joined the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine faculty from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in January 2011. There, he was Dorothy A. Adair Professor of Medicine, vice chair of the Mayo Clinic Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and associate dean of research for Intellectual Property and Industry Relations.

Citations for the study reports:

Sandborn WJ, Feagan BG, Rutgeerts P, Hanauer S, Colombel J-F, Sands BE, Lukas M, Fedorak RN, Lee S, Bressler B, Fox I, Rosario M, Sankoh S, Xu J, Stephens K, Milch C and Parikh A for the GEMINI 2 Study Group. Vedolizumab as Induction and Maintenance Therapy for Crohn’s Disease. N Engl J Med 2013; 369:711-721 August 22, 2013DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1215739. |  Full text (UCSD only)

Feagan BG, Rutgeerts P, Sands BE, Hanauer S, Colombel J-F, Sandborn WJ, Van Assche G,  Axler J, Kim H-J, Danese S, Fox I, Milch C, Sankoh S, Wyant T, Xu J and Parikh A for the GEMINI 1 Study Group. Vedolizumab as Induction and Maintenance Therapy for Ulcerative Colitis. N Engl J Med 2013; 369:699-710 August 22, 2013DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1215734. |  Full text (UCSD only)

More Information:

Study Finds Potential New Drug Therapy for Crohn’s Disease

Ustekinumab Induces, Sustains Clinical Response in Patients

Ustekinumab, an antibody proven to treat the skin condition psoriasis, has now shown positive results in decreasing the debilitating effects of Crohn’s Disease, according to researchers at the University of California San Diego, School of Medicine. The study will appear in the October 18, 2012 issue of the New England Journal of MedicineRead the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. William J. SandbornThe principal investigator of the study is Dr. William J. Sandborn, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at UCSD.  |  Read his academic profile  |  Read his clinical profile

Read the report of the study in the New England Journal of Medicine (full text UCSD only)

Citation of study report:  Sandborn WJ, Gasink C, Gao L-L, Blank MA, Johanns J, Guzzo C, Sands BE, Hanauer SB, Targan S, Rutgeerts P,  Ghosh S, de Villiers WJS, Panaccione R, Greenberg G, Schreiber S, Lichtiger S, Feagan BG for the CERTIFI Study Group. N Engl J Med 2012; 367:1519-1528 October 18, 2012 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1203572

Study Identifies Potential New Class of Drug for Treating Ulcerative Colitis

Oral Drug Shows Clinical Response and Remission in Some Patients

An investigational drug currently under FDA review for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis has now shown positive results in patients with moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis, according to researchers at the University of California San Diego, School of Medicine. The study will appear in the August 16, 2012 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. William J. SandbornThe principal investigator of the study is Dr. William J. Sandborn, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at UCSD.  |  Read his academic profile  |  Read his clinical profile

Read the abstract of the study report in the New England Journal of Medicine

Citation of study report:  Sandborn WJ, Ghosh S, Panes J, Vranic I, Su C, Rousell S, Niezychowski W; Study A3921063 Investigators. Tofacitinib, an oral Janus kinase inhibitor, in active ulcerative colitis. N Engl J Med. 2012 Aug 16;367(7):616-24.

Profile: Dr. William Sandborn, New Chief of Gastroenterology

DrWilliamSandborn_160x200“We’re open for business,” smiled Dr. William Sandborn, UC San Diego’s new Chief of Gastroenterology.

He has launched his clinics and plunged into his administrative roles. He is assembling teams to conduct clinical trials of potential treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), in which he is an internationally esteemed clinician and researcher.

William J. Sandborn Jr., MD, comes to UC San Diego from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he was Dorothy A. Adair Professor of Medicine, vice chair of the Mayo Clinic Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and associate dean of research for Intellectual Property and Industry Relations.

He sees the possibilities here as limitless.

“Gastroenterology at UC San Diego is at the beginning of a period of great change that I think will be very positive,” he said, “with the expansion of the clinical enterprise over the next five years that includes a dramatic extension of UC San Diego Health System’s La Jolla campus.”

“It is a really exciting time to be here,” he said.


“We’re coming together across departments to create service lines
to address the unmet needs of our patients.”


Patient Care: Growing to Meet More Needs

Gastroenterology is significantly expanding its patient care capabilities by drawing on UC San Diego’s institutional strengths and establishing key new efforts in transplantation, liver cancer, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, and viral hepatitis, Sandborn said.

“We have fabulous multidisciplinary teams,” he said. “We’re coming together across departments to create service lines to address the unmet needs of our patients.”

There are strong partnerships with the Departments of Surgery and Radiology, among others. The new Center for Hepatobiliary Disease and Abdominal Transplantation (CHAT), co-directed by Robert G. Gish, MD, and surgical professor Alan Hemming, MD, MSc, is one of many programs that will be important, Sandborn said.

Dr. Gish, an internationally respected liver specialist who joined the Gastroenterology faculty late last year, is the new chief of clinical hepatology and director of the Liver Center.

Other major clinical efforts include the Gastrointestinal Endoscopy program, headed by Dr. Tom Savides, and Sandborn’s own clinics for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Sandborn will lead UC San Diego Health System’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, a new multidisciplinary clinical effort designed to serve the estimated 15,000 individuals in San Diego County who suffer from IBD.


New UCSD Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center
is a collaboration with the Department of Surgery


IBD is the collective term for inflammatory conditions of the colon and small intestine. The most common types of IBD are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Although there is a genetic predisposition to developing IBD, there is no known cause or certain cure. Treatment requires lifelong medical care for many sufferers and involves the suppression of the body’s abnormal inflammatory response. Ulcerative colitis may be surgically curable as it is limited to the colon. Although Crohn’s disease is not curable, some patients may also benefit from surgery.

According to the Greater San Diego and Desert Area Chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, the local IBD prevalence rate is approximately one in 200 people. The actual number of those affected could be higher, as the symptoms of IBD often overlap with those of other disorders.

UC San Diego Health System’s IBD Center is a collaboration with surgeons Mark Talamini, MD (Chief of the Department of Surgery), Sonia Ramamoorthy, MD, and Lisa McLemore, MD, in the Division of Colorectal Surgery. In addition to Dr. Sandborn, the Center’s gastroenterologists include Michael Docherty, MD, and Derek Patel, MD, who have advanced subspecialty training in IBD.

Surgeon’s Son Planned to Follow in Father’s Footsteps

Sandborn received his gastroenterology fellowship training at the Mayo Clinic after completing his medical school training, internship, and internal medicine residency at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California.

He joined the faculty of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Mayo Clinic when he completed his fellowship there in 1993.


As a youth, he observed surgeries, joined his father on rounds


The son of a general surgeon, Sandborn had the opportunity to see the practice of medicine up close when he was in his youth. He observed surgeries and went along on his father’s rounds from time to time, and he initially intended to become a surgeon himself.

During the gastroenterology rotation in his internal medicine residency training at Loma Linda University, he discovered a deep interest in gastroenterology.

He chose the subspecialty for its blend of diagnosis, pharmacology, and patient care; he enjoys both the technical side and the human side of his work, he said.

Because inflammatory bowel disease tends to occur early in life, many of his patients are young when they first come to see him. They grow up, enter college, start their families, and start their careers as he manages their treatment.

“I get to see them go through the years,” Sandborn said.

He often becomes his patients’ main doctor, serving in a sense as a classic primary care physician but with the specificity and cutting-edge technology of gastroenterology practice.

“In IBD,” he said, “we suppress the disease chronically, and we are able to achieve increasingly good outcomes in our patients. We don’t cure because we don’t yet know the causes of the disorders.”


Through clinical trials, Sandborn works to make new IBD treatments available


Because he is a clinician who is also a longtime clinical trials researcher, he sometimes has the chance to see his own patients benefit from drug treatments he has been involved in developing. “That is a privilege,” he said, “that not very many people have.”

And, as it turns out, he practices in a field where internal medicine and surgery overlap. “IBD patients sometimes need surgical care as well as management with pharmacological treatments,” he said. “I get to do a little bit of everything.”

UCSD: “Fantastic Research Capabilities and a Wealth of Experience”

Sandborn is widely respected for his research in the pharmacological treatment of IBD. He has designed and directed many clinical trials of current and potential future IBD treatments and has published more than 350 scholarly articles in major journals. In 2010, he was honored with the Scientific Achievement in IBD Clinical Research Award from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

He sees excellent research opportunities here at UC San Diego.

“There are fantastic research capabilities and a wealth of experience in the Department of Medicine and the other departments and schools as well as in the research institutes and the biotechnology companies in the surrounding area,” he said.


Sandborn sees excellent research opportunities here at UC San Diego


He pointed to recent major developments in research at UC San Diego, among them the Clinical and Translational Science Award to Dr. Gary Firestein for the Clinical and Translational Research Institute.

Sandborn expects to begin his own clinical trials here in the second quarter of this year. He will be studying several biologic therapies designed to intervene in the chronic inflammation of IBD by blocking integrins and thereby preventing white blood cells from migrating to inflamed tissues in the intestinal wall.

He will also study specific monoclonal antibodies as potential treatments for Crohn’s disease. These compounds target the T-cell proinflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-23.

Continuing a Tradition of Leadership

As Gastroenterology chief here, Sandborn hopes to be a leader in the tradition of his mentors at Mayo Clinic and elsewhere. “Drs. Nick LaRusso, Keith Lindor and Greg Gores are excellent, inspiring, visionary leaders,” he said, naming three successive chiefs of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Mayo Clinic.

Two others played particularly significant roles in shaping his career. “Drs. Stephan Targan at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and Stephen B. Hanauer of the University of Chicago had a big impact on me, even though we were not at the same institution,” he said.

In recognition for his own efforts as a mentor, Sandborn received the Outstanding Mentor Award from the Department of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in 2010.

Sandborn is an elected Fellow of the American College of Physicians (1996), the American College of Gastroenterology (1998), and the American Gastroenterological Association (2008).

He has held numerous positions on extramural committees, the most recent including the Immunology, Microbiology, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease Section of the American Gastroenterology Association (chair, 2006-2008); the AGA Institute Future Trends Committee (member, 2007-2009); the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Working Group of the National Commission on Digestive Diseases (member, 2007); and the International Organization of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (chair, 2008-2010).

About Sandborn’s Mentors

Nicholas F. LaRusso, MD, is Professor of Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Professor of Medicine and Keith D. Lindor, MD, is Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic. Gregory J. Gores, MD, is Reuben R. Eisenberg Endowed Professor in Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Professor of Medicine, and chair of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Mayo Clinic.

Stephan Targan, MD, directs the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center and the Division of Gastroenterology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He is Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and holds the Feintech Family Chair in Inflammatory Bowel Disease at Cedars-Sinai.

Stephen B. Hanauer, MD, is Joseph B. Kirsner Professor of Medicine, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Chief, Section of Gastroenterology and Nutrition at the University of Chicago.


Researchers Discover New Signaling Pathway Linked to Inflammatory Disease

Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have described for the first time a key inhibitory role for the IL-1 signaling pathway in the human innate immune system, providing novel insights into human inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and potential new treatments… Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Senior author of the study is Eyal Raz, M.D., Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology, pictured above.  First author is José M. González-Navajas, Ph.D. Other Department of Medicine faculty coauthors include Lars Eckmann, M.D., Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology.

Read the report in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.