Doctorate Program Will Study Substance Abuse and Its Consequences

Collaboration between UC San Diego and SDSU among first in nation —

A new Joint Doctoral Program (JDP) in Interdisciplinary Research on Substance Use has been launched by the Division of Global Public Health in the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and San Diego State University’s School of Social Work. The program will emphasize research devoted to studying the use and misuse of alcohol and drugs – and related social and health consequences. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. Steffanie Strathdee

Dr. Strathdee.

Co-directors of the program are Steffanie Strathdee, PhD, and Maria Luisa Zúñiga, PhD.

Dr. Strathdee is Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences, head of the UC San Diego Global Health Initiative and Harold Simon Professor and Chief of the Division of Global Public Health at UC San Diego.

Dr. Zúñiga is associate professor and behavioral epidemiologist in the Division of Global Public Health and associate professor in the San Diego State University School of Social Work.

Read the joint doctoral program catalog description

UC San Diego and Verizon Team to Improve Tuberculosis Care

Verizon Foundation to provide grant and in-kind technology solutions to scale up novel approach to monitoring adherence to TB treatment

As part of an innovative philanthropic health care program targeting reduction of health care disparities in diverse communities around the United States, the Verizon Foundation has provided the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine with a $300,000 grant, as well as important in-kind health information technology solutions.

The support from Verizon will allow researchers from the University to more quickly scale-up a mobile phone-based solution that they developed to overcome the high cost and other barriers to monitoring tuberculosis patients throughout their treatment…. Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Richard GarfeinLeading the program is Richard Garfein, PhD, MPH, left, professor of medicine in the Division of Global Public Health. Dr. Garfein, an infectious disease epidemiologist, joined the UC San Diego faculty from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2005.

He is conducting the project in collaboration with the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2).

Demonstration of "video directly observed therapy"At right, Dr. Garfein’s daughter demonstrates a smartphone video app that makes it possible for a distant clinician to confirm that a patient has taken a dose of tuberculosis medication.

The approach is called “video directly observed therapy” (VDOT). Dr. Garfein and collaborators have demonstrated the feasibility, acceptability and potential efficacy of VDOT in an NIH-funded pilot study in San Diego and Tijuana. Their mHealth Summit Meeting abstract for the project is published in the Journal of Mobile Technology in Medicine.

In the next six months, with the Verizon Foundation’s assistance, they will expand the VDOT smartphone app for broader use.

Dr. Steffanie Strathdee“This is a new and exciting direction and a new funding source for UCSD,” said Steffanie Strathdee, PhD, Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences and Harold Simon Professor and Chief of the UC San Diego Division of Global Public Health.

She directs the UC San Diego Global Health Initiative and is founding co-director of the UC Global Health Institute’s Center for Migration and Health.

More Information:

UC San Diego Health System: Saving Time, Saving Lives

Lifesaving cardiac treatment time exceeds national guidelines

Over the last year, UC San Diego Health System managed to significantly decrease average door-to-balloon time, beating national guidelines by over a third, and improving care of patients with the most severe type of heart attack, known as STEMI (ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction)… Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom >>

Dr. Ehtisham Mahmud   Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center

Ehtisham “Shami” Mahmud, MD, FACC, pictured above left, chairs UC San Diego Health System’s Door-to-Balloon Time Committee. Dr. Mahmud is Chief of Clinical Cardiovascular Medicine, Co-Director of the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, and Professor of Medicine.

Dr. Joseph Vinetz Awarded $9.2 Million for International Malaria Project

Dr. Joseph Vinetz is principal investigator of the new 7-year, $9.2 million malaria research project described in the UCSD Newsroom story, “UC San Diego To Lead New Malaria Research Center in South America.”

Joseph M. Vinetz, M.D., is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases.

Read the abstract of the project.

Intervention Effort Cuts HIV Incidence Among Female Sex Workers

Three Division of Global Public Health faculty members are coauthors of the study described in the UCSD Newsroom story, “Intervention effort cuts HIV incidence among female sex workers.”

The Global Public Health researchers are Dr. José L. Burgos, Project Scientist, lead author; Steffanie A. Strathdee, PhD, Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences, Harold Simon Professor and Chief of the Division of Global Public Health; and Julia A. Gaebler, PhD, Assistant Professor.

Read the published study in PLoS One (free full text)