Internal Medicine Resident Drs. Julie Chen and Darrin Wong Present Research at Department of Medicine Grand Rounds

Drs. Darrin Wong and Julie Chen at Medicine Grand Rounds.

Drs. Darrin Wong and Julie Chen at Medicine Grand Rounds.

On June 3, 2015, Drs. Julie Chen and Darrin Wong presented their research at Department of Medicine Grand Rounds.

The subject of Dr. Chen’s research was “Failure to Adjust Diabetes Medications at Discharge for Hospitalized Patients with Poorly Controlled Diabetes.”

Dr. Chen worked with members of the faculty in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, including Drs. Robert El-Kareh and Kristen Kulasa as well as Dr. Pedro Ramos from the Division of Hospital Medicine.

Dr. Wong presented his research on the topic, “Right Ventricular Dyssynchrony in CTEPH.” He worked with Dr. Daniel Blanchard from the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.

Dr. Wong presenting background information about echocardiography.

Dr. Wong presenting background information about echocardiography.

Drs. Chen and Wong won their places at Medicine Grand Rounds when they were chosen for their admirable research achievements at the UC San Diego Annual Internal Medicine Resident Research Symposium on May 7.

The other research symposium winners were Drs. Satya Das, Noel Lee, Michele Pham and Kevin Shah. Drs. Das, Lee, and Pham will present their research at Medicine Grand Rounds on June 10.

Dr. Shah presented his research, along with fellow resident Dr. Nick Marston, on the topic, “Serial Sampling of Copeptin Levels Improves Diagnosis and Risk Stratification in Patients Presenting with Chest Pain: Results from the CHOPIN Trial” last June.

2015 Resident Research Symposium Winners

Research winners at last month’s Annual Internal Medicine Resident Research Symposium. Left to right: Drs. Shah, Lee, Das, Chen, Pham and Wong.

In Memoriam: Nathan J. Zvaifler, MD

An announcement from Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine

Dr. Nathan J. Zvaifler

Dr. Nathan J. Zvaifler

Emeritus professor Nathan J. Zvaifler, MD, former chief of the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology and a founder and influential leader in the Department of Medicine, passed away on January 28 at the age of 87.

Dr. Zvaifler was internationally known for his research and academic leadership. Here at UC San Diego, he was also beloved for his generosity in teaching and mentorship. Although he retired to emeritus status officially in 2008, he remained active in his instructional activities for years later.

Dr. Zvaifler left his stamp not only on the successful growth of the academic division he led for two decades but also on the character of the Department of Medicine and the School of Medicine.

In 1970, he was recruited from Georgetown University, where he had led the Arthritis Unit since 1961, to head the rheumatology division in the new medical school at UC San Diego.

From 1972 to 1974, he served as acting chair of the Department of Medicine after founding chair Eugene Braunwald left to take a position at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital of the Harvard Medical School.

This was a period that subsequent Department of Medicine Chair Dr. Helen M. Ranney later described as “a crucial two years in the development of the new School of Medicine at UCSD.”

Dr. Zvaifler spent his entire career at UC San Diego.

A lectureship, the Rheumatology Lectureship Fund, was established in Dr. Zvaifler’s name by the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology in 2008. Its purpose is to bring internationally recognized investigators to UC San Diego for seminars and teaching activities. More detail can be found at

Contributions in Dr. Zvaifler’s memory can be made to the Rheumatology Research Foundation of the American College of Rheumatology.

The American College of Rheumatology conducted a 75th Anniversary Interview with Dr. Zvaifler in 2009.

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.

John Adamson Honored with American Society of Hematology Mentor Award for Basic Science

Dr.  John AdamsonThis week at its annual meeting in New Orleans, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) is presenting Dr. John W. Adamson with its 2013 Mentor Award for Basic Science.

John W. Adamson, MD, is clinical professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and associate director of the Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Training Program in the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

The ASH mentoring awards recognize hematologists who have had a significant, positive impact on their mentees’ careers and, through their mentees, have advanced research and patient care in the field of hematology.

The award cites Adamson for his passion for teaching the interrelationship between clinical medicine and biomedical science and the importance of granting early-career hematologists with protected time to develop their scientific skills.

Dr. Adamson has been particularly exceptional at forging bonds among early-career investigators with similar interests and has been an advocate for the advancement of women in hematology.

Several of his mentees have become leading experts in the field, and many have assumed leadership roles in the greater hematology research community.

Adamson is a past president of the American Society of Hematology and was editor of its official journal, Blood, from 1983 to 1987.

More Information:

Read the American Society of Hematology press release

Steffanie Strathdee Receives National Award of Excellence in Mentorship from National Hispanic Science Network

Steffanie Strathdee, PhD

Dr. Steffanie Strathdee. Image ©International AIDS Society/Marcus Rose/Workers’ Photos. Used with permission.

Steffanie Strathdee, PhD, has received the 2013 National Award of Excellence in Mentorship from the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse.

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

She accepted the award at the NHSN 13th International Conference in Bethesda, Maryland, October 9-11.

“I am deeply honored to be selected for this prestigious award,” Strathdee said. “Hispanics now represent the largest minority population in the U.S., but only about 3% of NIH-funded researchers are Hispanic. My goal is to try to bridge that gap.”

The National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse, established in 2001, teams with the National Institute on Drug Abuse to foster advances in Hispanic drug abuse research. Mentorship is a major component of its work.

Each year, the National Award of Excellence in Mentorship goes to an established research scientist who has made exceptional efforts to help young researchers succeed in peer-reviewed publications and/or grant applications in the area of Hispanic drug abuse.

Presenting at Medicine Grand Rounds September 4: Dr. Ian Jenkins

Dr. Ian JenkinsMedicine Grand Rounds will resume on Wednesday, September 4, 2013, with a presentation by Ian Jenkins, MD, Health Sciences associate clinical professor in the Division of Hospital Medicine at UC San Diego.

His presentation is titled, “America’s Cost-Quality Crisis.”

Jenkins holds a number of leadership positions in the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM), the largest professional organization dedicated to hospitalists and hospital quality improvement.

Jenkins is an advisor for the SHM Quality Improvement Resource Rooms.

At the annual meeting of the SHM in May 2013, Jenkins co-directed the pre-course, “QI for High Value Healthcare: Making the ABIM Foundation Choosing Wisely® Campaign a Reality.”

Jenkins was part of the UCSD team that conducted the award-winning Optimal Prevention of Hospital Acquired Venous Thromboembolism study funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Subsequently, he headed a study of the impact of optimal venous thromboembolism prophylaxis on the rate of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. The study was published in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety in 2011.  |  Read study abstract

In the UCSD School of Medicine, Jenkins co-directs the “Principles to Practice” pre-internship course, a required clinical core course for fourth-year medical students. His hospital quality improvement projects for UC San Diego Health System include an effort to improve the management of alcohol withdrawal.

Jenkins received his MD degree from the University of Virginia Medical School in Charlottesville, Virginia, and did his residency training at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

The 2013-2014 schedule for Medicine Grand Rounds is posted here.

Progress: the UC San Diego – Universidade Eduardo Mondlane Medical Education Partnership Initiative

In this official video, Dr. Emilia Noormahomed describes the goals and progress of the UC San Diego—Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) program in Mozambique.

Map of Africa showing location of MozambiqueEmilia Noormahomed, MD, PhD, is UEM principal investigator of the MEPI project, which is intended to strengthen Mozambique’s medical education system by building infrastructure to support medical training, research and technology.

Noormahomed is associate professor in the Parasitology Section, Department of Microbiology, at UEM and associate professor of medicine at UC San Diego.

In their partnership, UEM receives the bulk of the grant funding and UC San Diego provides partners and mentors to help UEM meet its goals.  |  More about UC San Diego’s role

The UC San Diego Internal Medicine Residency Training Program offers a global medicine elective in which residents rotate to the UEM’s Maputo Central Hospital in Mozambique for a four-week period.  |  More about the elective

MEPI is a joint initiative of the United States National Institutes of Health and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

More Information:

Internal Medicine Residency Training Program

Medical Education Partnership Initiative

Sheila Crowe Receives Distinguished Educator Award from American Gastroenterological Association

Dr. Sheila E. Crowe

Dr. Sheila E. Crowe

UC San Diego physician-scientist Dr. Sheila E. Crowe has received a Distinguished Educator Award from the American Gastroenterological Association for her contributions as an educator, lecturer, and mentor throughout her career.

The award also recognizes Crowe for her work toward increasing public awareness of celiac disease. She directs the Adult Celiac Disease Clinic at UCSD’s Perlman Clinic. Dr. Crowe is also affiliated with the William K. Warren Medical Research Center for Celiac Disease.

Sheila E. Crowe, MD, AGAF, FRCPC, FACP, FACG, is professor of medicine and director of research in the Division of Gastroenterology. She joined the UC San Diego faculty in 2011.

The award is one of two such awards given by the American Gastroenterological Association this year.

More Information:

Cholesterol Sets Off Chaotic Blood Vessel Growth

A study at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine identified a protein that is responsible for regulating blood vessel growth by mediating the efficient removal of cholesterol from the cells. Unregulated development of blood vessels can feed the growth of tumors.  … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Dr. Yury MillerYury Miller, MD, PhD, left, is senior author of the study report. He is associate professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism and faculty member in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program.

He first joined UC San Diego as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Joseph Witztum’s laboratory in 1998.

Miller is principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health R01 research grant, “Zebrafish Models of Vascular Inflammation and Atherosclerosis,” and a subproject of a P01 research program project with the La Jolla Institute of Allergy & Immunology, “Oxidized lipids and endotoxemia in vascular inflammation.”

Longhou Fang, PhDFirst author Longhou Fang, PhD, left, is a postdoctoral fellow in the Miller laboratory. He is the recipient of a National Institutes of Health K99 postdoctoral award for the project, “AIBP-mediated cholesterol efflux and angiogenesis.”

The other coauthors excepting Drs. Ulrich and Torres-Vásquez are affiliated with the Department of Medicine.

Dr. Philipp Wiesner.

Second-year internal medicine resident Philipp Wiesner, MD, right, who chose Miller as one of his mentors for the investigations he performed during his residency program research rotation, presented data from the vascular inflammation project at Medicine Grand Rounds on May 15.

Wiesner is also a coauthor of the study reported in Nature.

Citation for the study report:  Longhou Fang, Soo-Ho Choi, Ji Sun Baek, Chao Liu, Felicidad Almazan, Florian Ulrich, Philipp Wiesner, Adam Taleb, Elena Deer, Jennifer Pattison, Jesús Torres-Vázquez, Andrew C. Li & Yury I. Miller. Control of angiogenesis by AIBP-mediated cholesterol efflux. Nature (2013) doi:10.1038/nature12166. Published online 29 May 2013.  |  Read the full text (UCSD only)

More Information

Other UC San Diego news stories about Miller’s work:

Philipp Wiesner’s May 15 Medicine Grand Rounds presentation “Oxidized Phospholipids in Inflammation and Atherosclerosis”  |  Watch video (UCSD only)

Dr. Helen King and Dr. Philipp Wiesner Present Mentored Research Study Results at Grand Rounds

Dr. Helen King

Dr. Helen King.

Dr. Philipp Wiesner

Dr. Philipp Wiesner.

Helen King, MD, and Philipp Wiesner, MD, junior residents in the categorical track of the UCSD Internal Medicine Residency Program, presented results of their elective mentored research projects at Medicine Grand Rounds on May 15.

The Internal Medicine Residency Training program offers trainees two months of elective time during their second or third year to undertake a research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Dr. Helen King

Helen King, MD, Mercer University

King’s research project was “HIV Preexposure Prophylaxis: Barriers to Access for Men Who Have Sex With Men.” |  Watch the video (UCSD only)

“I have been interested in HIV medicine for some time now,” King said, “and since being a resident at UCSD have had the opportunity to have more exposure.

“I went to Dr. Davey Smith knowing that he might have some interesting projects, and he helped me get involved with the PrEPARE Study.”

Davey Smith, MD, MAS

Davey M. Smith, MD, MAS

Smith (at right), a translational research virologist, directs the Translational Virology Core of the UC San Diego Center for AIDS Research and is medical director of the Antiviral Research Center’s Early Intervention Program.

He is associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases.

The PrEPARE study evaluates preexposure prophylaxis for HIV in men who have sex with men, an approach in which an HIV-negative individual who is at high risk for HIV infection takes a daily HIV medication to lower his risk of infection.

“It has been proven effective in high-risk men who have sex with men,” King said. “Our study was aimed at identifying real-life barriers to accessing the medication, such as cost.”

The study pinpointed several barriers including cost and concern about side effects.

Of her research experience, King said, “I was lucky enough to work on a project that was interesting to me and to work with a great mentor.”

Dr. Philipp Wiesner

Philipp Wiesner
MD, Universität Regensburg

Philipp Wiesner presented the project “Oxidized Phospholipids in Inflammation and Atherosclerosis.” |  Watch the video (UCSD only)

“I started to work in the field of atherosclerosis in medical school,” Wiesner said. “I spent 2 years as a postdoctoral fellow and continued to work in this area during residency.

“My topic was a perfect fit, as I could continue to work in the same area in which I already had experience as well as continue to work with my previous mentors.”

Dr. Joseph Witztum

Joseph Witztum, MD

Wiesner’s primary mentor is Joseph Witztum, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism. Witztum leads the renowned atherosclerosis research laboratory that was established at UCSD by Dr. Daniel Steinberg.

Steinberg, emeritus professor of medicine and pioneering lipid researcher, was the founding head of the Division of Metabolic Diseases.

Dr. Yury Miller

Yury Miller, MD, PhD

Wiesner’s other mentors are lab members Yury Miller, MD, PhD, and Sotirios “Sam” Tsimikas, MD. Miller is associate professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism and Tsimikas is professor of clinical medicine and director of vascular medicine in the Division of Cardiology.

Dr. Sotirios "Sam" Tsimikas

Sotirios “Sam” Tsimikas, MD

Some of Wiesner’s research work, not included in his Grand Rounds presentation, recently has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Lipid Research.

Said Wiesner, “I am really glad our program gives us the opportunity to take two months off to do research. Residency is busy as it is and without this, many residents would not have the chance to get exposed to clinical or laboratory based research.”

Wiesner said it has always been his plan to have a career as an academic physician-scientist.