Developmental Protein Plays Role in Spread of Cancer

A protein used by embryo cells during early development, and recently found in many different types of cancer, apparently serves as a switch regulating the spread of cancer, known as metastasis, report researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center in the June 15, 2013 issue of the journal Cancer Research. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Thomas Kipps

Dr. Thomas Kipps

Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD, Evelyn and Edwin Tasch Chair in Cancer Research, is principal investigator of the study reported in Cancer Research.

Kipps is professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and deputy director of research at the UCSD Moores Cancer Center.

All study coauthors are affiliated with the Department of Medicine and the Moores Cancer Center.

Citation for the published study: Cui B, Zhang S, Chen L, Yu J, Widhopf GF II, Fecteau J-F, Rassenti LZ, and Kipps TJ. Targeting ROR1 Inhibits Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transition and Metastasis. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-3832 Cancer Res June 15, 2013 73; 3649  |  Read the abstract

Researchers Block Pathway to Cancer Stem Cell Self-Renewal

NOTCH1 Signaling Promotes T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Initiating Cell Regeneration

Research suggests that patients with leukemia sometimes relapse because standard chemotherapy fails to kill the self-renewing leukemia initiating cells, often referred to as cancer stem cells … A team of researchers – led by Catriona H. M. Jamieson, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and director of Stem Cell Research at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center – studied these cells in mouse models that had been transplanted with human leukemia cells. They discovered … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Catriona JamiesonThe senior investigator of the study described in the press release is Catriona H. M. Jamieson, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and director of stem cell research at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

In the study, the investigators successfully block leukemia stem cell self-renewal. Their work was funded in part by a California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Development of Highly Active Anti-Leukemia Stem Cell Therapy (HALT) Leukemia Disease Team Research grant for which Dr. Jamieson serves as co-principal investigator with Dennis A. Carson, MD, former director of the Moores Cancer Center.

The overall goal of the HALT project is to develop six drugs – three monoclonal antibodies and three small molecules – to destroy leukemia stem cells.

Funding also came from the Ratner Family Foundation and the Leichtag Family Foundation. Antibody development was performed by Pfizer.

In her research, Dr. Jamieson focuses on translational studies to develop new treatments for myeloproliferative disorders and leukemia. In 2010, she received a $3.34 million grant from CIRM to support her efforts to develop treatments that reduce the risk of relapse in leukemia.  More about this funded project

Dr. Jamieson was named to the “San Diego’s Top Doctors” list for 2010 and 2011.

More information:

Sex Hormone Precursor Inhibits Brain Inflammation

UCSD scientists say molecule moderates condition linked to neurodegenerative diseases

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered a steroid hormone that inhibits inflammation in the brain. The findings, to be published in the May 13 issue of the journal Cell, have implications for understanding the exaggerated inflammatory responses that are characteristic features of numerous neurodegenerative diseases. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Christopher K. Glass, MD, PhD

Senior author of the study is Christopher K. Glass, MD, PhD (pictured above), Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. Kaoru Saijo, MD, PhD, project scientist in the Glass laboratory, is the study’s first author.

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