New Cellular Pathway Triggering Allergic Asthma Response Identified

With molecular target found comes possibility of new therapies for millions of Americans —

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, with collaborators in Korea and Scotland, have identified a novel signaling pathway critical to the immune response of cells associated with the initiation of allergic asthma. The discovery, they say, could point the way to new therapies that suppress the inflammatory allergic response, offering potential relief to millions of Americans with the chronic lung condition and potentially other allergic diseases.

The results are published in the January 19 online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. . … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. Eyal Raz

Dr. Eyal Raz

Principal investigator of the study is Eyal Raz, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, whose research focuses on the fundamentals of innate immunity.

First author of the report is Jihyung Lee, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Raz lab.

Coauthors include David H. Broide, MB, ChB, professor of medicine and director of the division’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-funded T32 training program in molecular and cell biology of allergy; Paul Insel, MD, professor of pharmacology and medicine; Maripat Corr, MD, professor of medicine; project scientist Jongdae Lee, PhD; all in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology; and Nicholas Webster, PhD, professor of medicine and chief of the UC San Diego Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

View article abstract

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

Immune Mechanism Blocks Inflammation Generated by Oxidative Stress

Potential therapeutic target for treating disorders like age-related macular degeneration

Conditions like atherosclerosis and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – the most common cause of blindness among the elderly in western societies – are strongly linked to increased oxidative stress, the process in which proteins, lipids and DNA damaged by oxygen free radicals and related cellular waste accumulate, prompting an inflammatory response from the body’s innate immune system that results in chronic disease.

In the October 6, 2011 issue of Nature, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, as part of an international collaborative effort, identify a key protein… Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Senior investigator Christoph J. Binder, MD, PhD, and coworkers report the results in the October 6, 2011, issue of Nature. Read the full text of the report

Dr. Binder is assistant professor of medicine at UC San Diego, principal investigator at the Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and professor at the Medical University of Vienna.His Department of Medicine co-investigators are Joseph L. Witztum, MD, professor of medicine, and Karsten Hartvigsen, PhD, in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Sotirios Tsimikas, MD, professor of medicine and director of Vascular Medicine in the Division of Cardiology.

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.