Potential Nutritional Therapy for Childhood Neurodegenerative Disease

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified the gene mutation responsible for a particularly severe form of pontocerebellar hypoplasia, a currently incurable neurodegenerative disease affecting children. Based on results in cultured cells, they are hopeful that a nutritional supplement may one day be able to prevent or reverse the condition…. Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Robert K. Naviaux, MD, PhD, is a coauthor of the study. He is professor of medicine in the Division of Medical Genetics and professor in the departments of pediatrics and pathology.

Naviaux leads a medical genetics research laboratory whose two major areas of study are the mitochondrial mechanisms of disease and development and evolutionary systems biology and marine metagenomics. He is founder and co-director of the UC San Diego Mitochondrial and Metabolic Disease Center.

Citation for the report:  Naiara Akizu, Vincent Cantagrel, Jana Schroth, Na Cai, Keith Vaux, Douglas McCloskey, Robert K. Naviaux, Jeremy Van Vleet, Ali G. Fenstermaker, Jennifer L. Silhavy, Judith S. Scheliga, Keiko Toyama, Hiroko Morisaki, Fatma M. Sonmez, Figen Celep, Azza Oraby, Maha S. Zaki, Raidah Al-Baradie, Eissa A. Faqeih, Mohammed A.M. Saleh, Emily Spencer, Rasim Ozgur Rosti, Eric Scott, Elizabeth Nickerson, Stacey Gabriel, Takayuki Morisaki, Edward W. Holmes, Joseph G. Gleeson. AMPD2 Regulates GTP Synthesis and Is Mutated in a Potentially Treatable Neurodegenerative Brainstem Disorder. Cell, Volume 154, Issue 3, 1 August 2013, Pages 505–517 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2013.07.005  Read the report

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Hospitalists Weijen Chang and Joel Trambley Win Teaching Award

Hospitalists Weijen Chang, M.D. (below), and Joel Trambley, M.D., Ph.D., have received the 2008 Medicine 401 “Excellence in Teaching” award for their outstanding contributions to the core clerkship course.

Dr. Weijen ChangThey were honored at the annual Medicine 401 Faculty and Resident Appreciation Reception on June 4, 2008.

Dr. Chang, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hospital Medicine, specializes in pediatrics and hospital medicine. He provides hospitalist inpatient services at Thornton Hospital and UC San Diego Medical Center Hillcrest and is a pediatric hospitalist at Rady Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Chang completed his residency training in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics at Duke University in Durham, NC. Formerly Director of the Division of Hospital Medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Manchester, NH, he joined the UC San Diego Hospital Medicine staff in October, 2007.

Dr. Trambley is Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hospital Medicine. He joined UC San Diego from the Physician Foundation at California Pacific Medical Center, where he was a hospitalist with the Liver Disease Management and Transplantation Program.

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Dermatology Residency Program Wins Recertification and Commendation from ACGME

The UC San Diego Dermatology Residency Training Program has received a commendation along with a five-year recertification from the Accreditation Committee for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

The ACGME commended Program Director Terence C. O’Grady, M.D., and his staff for the excellence of the program, with particular praise for the program’s pediatric training and scholarly activity.

“We’re very pleased with the results of the recent survey and are excited about the continued growth of the training program,” Dr. O’Grady said.

In a recent interview, Dr. Richard Gallo, Chief of Dermatology, said of the program, “It is one of the most competitive programs around.

“We are dedicated to outstanding clinical teaching as well as training the future academic leaders in dermatology.”

The Dermatology Residency Training Program is a three-year program that attracts hundreds of applicants for its three available slots each year.

Along with UC San Diego Medical Center, Rady Children’s Hospital and the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System are participating sites in the residency training program.

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