Dr. Pradipta Ghosh Receives Clinical Research Mentorship Grant from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

Dr. Pradipta Ghosh

Three years ago, Department of Medicine physician-scientist Dr. Pradipta Ghosh received a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Clinical Scientist Development Award to support her in the transition from junior researcher to independent investigator.

The grant funded her research for three fruitful years as she moved from assistant to associate professor and landed a five-year R01 research grant from the National Cancer Institute.

Now, Ghosh has won DDCF funding again — this time a Clinical Research Mentorship Grant to support her in mentoring medical student Gary Ma in the project, “Molecular Rheostats in Type II Diabetes – Novel Therapeutic Targets for Insulin Resistance.”

The DDCF Clinical Research Mentorship program is a competitive grant program that supports the development of a mentoring relationship between a clinical scientist previously funded through the foundation and a medical student with an interest in becoming a future clinician investigator.

This DDCF program funded 10 mentor/mentee teams this year.

About Dr. Ghosh

Pradipta Ghosh, MD, MBBS, is associate professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology. She is a graduate of the UC San Diego Internal Medicine Residency Training Program, the Gastroenterology Fellowship Training Program and the Department of Medicine Physician-Scientist Training Program.

In her laboratory, Ghosh investigates the cell biology of signal transduction to find new ways to understand and block the development and spread of cancer and other diseases. Her National Cancer Institute research grant supports the project, “Modulation of G Proteins by Growth Factors.”

Looking back at the development of her career, she cites two important mentors, Drs. Stuart Kornfeld and Marilyn Farquhar.

“Stuart Kornfeld and Marilyn Farquhar are spectacular examples of good mentors and what good mentoring involves,” she said. “Being accessible, empowering, ensuring the freedom to probe, to expand the horizon.”

Stuart Kornfeld, MD, is David C. and Betty Farrell Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Hematology at Washington University in St. Louis, where he directs the Medical Scientist Training Program and co-directs the Physician-Scientist Training Program.

Marilyn Farquhar, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Pathology at UC San Diego.

About Her Mentor/Mentee Research Project

Abstract of the Study, “Molecular Rheostats in Type II Diabetes – Novel Therapeutic Targets for Insulin Resistance.”

“The overall goal of the proposed research is to unravel the mechanisms by which [Gα-interacting, vesicle-associated protein] (GIV) maintains insulin sensitivity and how its phosphoinhibition generates Insulin resistance (IR). Insights gained will not only help determine whether GIV can serve as a therapeutic target and a marker for prognosticating response to therapy in patients with IR, but also help decipher, access, and manipulate the entire signaling network to restore physiologic insulin response.”

Graduating Interns Honored at Intern Awards Event

2013 Intern Awards

Graduating interns and continuing residents at the 2013 Intern Awards. Photo by Will Collins, MD.

At a popular wine bar not far from the UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest, the trainees in the Internal Medicine Residency Program fulfilled a UC San Diego tradition on May 23 when they honored their graduating interns with the annual Intern Awards.

Involving many sincere awards and a few affectionate roasts, the event gathered all the graduating interns as well as the residents who will proceed to their next year of training at UC San Diego on July 1.

Awards were peer selected and were presented by the current chief medical residents.

The awards recognize the graduating interns from all four training tracks: categorical, preliminary medicine, combined medicine-pediatrics and the Physician-Scientist Training Program.

Meet the Incoming Internal Medicine Interns for 2013-2014

On Friday, March 15, graduating medical students across the United States found out which residency programs had accepted them for their advanced medical training. Of those, 38 are the incoming interns in the UC San Diego Internal Medicine Residency Training Program.

The majority of the interns, 26, are beginning the categorical or traditional internal medicine training track, 6 are in the one-year preliminary medicine program, 4 are entering the Combined Medicine/Pediatrics program and 2 are entering the Physician-Scientist Training Program.

Dr. Elaine Muchmore

“I couldn’t be more proud of the interns in the entering class!” said program director Elaine Muchmore, MD (left).

“They will be coming to UCSD from all around the country. They have had unique and diverse experiences and will significantly enhance our current group of outstanding residents.”

Dr. Muchmore, professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology, is vice chair for education in the Department of Medicine.

  • See the photo gallery of the Internal Medicine Residency Training Program’s interns for 2013-2014
  • View a video about Match Day 2013 at the UCSD School of Medicine
  • Find out more about the Department of Medicine residency and fellowship training programs

Appreciation and a Fond Farewell to Dr. Ken Kaushansky

Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACPOn July 19, Dr. Ken Kaushansky officially begins his work as Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine at Stony Brook University in New York.

When he announced his departure to the faculty and staff of the UCSD Department of Medicine on June 7, he described his new position as an opportunity to implement, on a larger scale, the successful programs that the Department of Medicine has instituted under his leadership here.

He called his years at UCSD a time of “incredible transition in our faculty, our leaders, our teaching programs, and our clinical impact.”

During Dr. Kaushansky’s tenure as Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair, the Department of Medicine expanded from 253 to over 420 faculty members, added four divisions, and recruited 11 division chiefs. Its annual budget grew from $86 million to nearly $150 million.

Dr. Robert Schooley“Dr. Kaushansky has been an outstanding Chair for this department,” said Dr. Robert “Chip” Schooley, Professor and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Vice Chair for Academic Affairs in the Department of Medicine.“

During his eight years as Chair, the medical house staff program became one of the most highly regarded programs in the country. New divisions in Hospital Medicine, Biomedical Informatics, Geriatrics, and Global Public Health were developed and research programs thrived throughout the Department,” Dr. Schooley said.

“In response to increasing interest in international medicine among the medical house staff, Dr. Kaushansky launched the Department’s Global Medicine Residency Program in 2009,” he said.“Dr. Kaushansky worked with his counterpart at the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane to establish a model program in international cooperation that has revitalized postgraduate medical training in the Republic of Mozambique.”


Dr. Kaushansky with Drs. Marisa Magaña, Emilia Noormahomed, and Robert Schooley in Mozambique Dr. Kaushansky on a global medicine planning trip to China.Dr. Kaushansky with Drs. Marisa Magaña, Emilia Noormahomed, and Robert Schooley in Mozambique (left); on global medicine program planning trip to China (right).

Since 2002, the Department’s NIH research funding has grown from $60 million to $113.6 million. It has more than twice as many complex multi-investigator program-project grants and career development awards granted to the junior faculty and fellows.

The Department has also boosted its showing in the “America’s Best Hospitals” rankings from U.S.News & World Report. In 2002, two subspecialty clinical programs ranked in the nation’s top 50: respiratory at 9th and cancer at 41st. In the most recent rankings, five subspecialties ranked in the top 50, including one (HIV/AIDS) in the top 10.

Dr. Greg Maynard“Ken was directly responsible for building up the strength of clinical care at UCSD,” said Dr. Greg Maynard (right), Health Sciences Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine.

“He recruited me here about 7-1/2 years ago, and in that time, the Hospital Medicine program has grown from 4 hospitalists to nearly 30, as just one example of that.”

“Dr Kaushansky nurtured my career here at UCSD,” said Dr. Pradipta Ghosh (below left), physician-scientist and Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology.

Dr. Pradipta Ghosh“As a product of the Physician-Scientist Training Program,” she said, “I am one of those few who enjoyed special access to this busy department chair. His doors were always open. I recall having multiple consultations with him at various stages of my career as it grew here at UCSD.

“When the time came for me to choose where to spend the first decade of my young career as an independent investigator, it was his support and a match in our visions which tilted my decision in favor of UCSD,” she said.

“His tireless efforts at instilling the physician-scientist culture here in the Department of Medicine, both from top-down and bottom-up, have paved the path for many young folks like me to craft a career for themselves as physician-scientists,” Dr. Ghosh said.

Dr. John Carethers“Ken was the reason why I eventually accepted the GI Chief job at UCSD,” said Dr. John M. Carethers (right), now John G. Searle Professor and Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan.

When Dr. Kaushansky joined the UCSD faculty, Dr. Carethers was an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology. Dr. Carethers became division chief in 2004

“Ken … gave me enough autonomy to help grow the GI Division, gain a GI Center grant, coordinate well with the Cancer Center and other divisions, and allowed me to grow personally,” Dr. Carethers said. “The GI Division flourished under that mantra.

“We went to a clinical service chief structure, developed a new hierarchy for our administrative staff, started a robust web site, grew our fellowship, and survived many challenges over that time because of his support,” he said.

“Ken provided invaluable advice on my career,” Dr. Carethers said. “He was a great sounding board, not pretentious; encouraging, but never overprotective. I think he understood the value of growth and opportunity, something that is hard to come by these days.”

Dr. Patricia FinnDr. Patricia Finn (left), Professor and Chief of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, described Dr. Kaushansky as “a tireless advocate for his faculty.”

“He is accessible 24/7 to offer support and guidance, which is huge to a new faculty member just moving cross country,” she said.

“On a personal note, when I had barely arrived here he was already nominating me for positions and committees to help me advance my career.”

Dr. Kirk Knowlton“His integrity, fairness, and open-mindedness built an environment of trust that allowed the substantial growth of the Department of Medicine during his tenure as Chair,” said Dr. Kirk U. Knowlton (right), Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Cardiology.

“I am struck by how he has been able to hold the respect of so many people with widely disparate interests,” Dr. Knowlton said.

“This included people who were fully engaged in basic science and those who were busy taking excellent care of their patients; medical students and residents and post-graduate research fellows; administrators and faculty; and others over whom he might have had influence or who crossed his path.

“The people he has worked with knew that they could count on him to represent their interests in the context of the institution’s goals in a considered and reasonable manner while at the same time maintaining his vision of the future of the Department of Medicine.”

“He is a rare breed,” Dr. Maynard said. “I guess I’d call him a quadruple threat. An outstanding scientist, a superb clinician, a great educator, and an incredible leader and administrator to boot.

“While he is not really replaceable,” he said, “he has left an enduring legacy that stresses clinical and operational excellence, as well as research contributions.”

Dr. Finn said, “In addition to [his] world-class scientific reputation, Dr. Kaushansky is most respected for his character and vision.”

“He makes his department and faculty a priority, while striving to always do the right thing for the patients,” she said. “He will be most remembered for his infectious enthusiasm, upbeat attitude, and steady, insightful guidance of students and faculty.”

“He leaves an 8-year legacy that advanced the Department of Medicine in many ways,” said Dr. Carethers, “including growing faculty, changing the way residents learn, obtaining key recruitments for division chiefs and faculty, enhancing VA relations, and being an all out cheerleader for the Department.”

On June 21, Dr. Kaushansky was honored at a farewell reception hosted by David Brenner, M.D., Dean of the UCSD School of Medicine and Vice Chancellor, Health Sciences. In his remarks there, Dr. Kaushansky expressed his appreciation for “eight and a half years of good friends, challenges, and teamwork.”

Observing that he had been involved in recruiting many of the faculty members in the room, he said, “Everything at UCSD works toward recruiting great people.”

“It’s easy, at UCSD, to build things and to make a difference,” he said. “Everybody makes everyone else stronger.”

Dr. Kaushansky praised UCSD’s “incredible richness” of people, science, teaching, and clinical programs. “I’ve never seen more devotion to the three missions,” he said.

And now he looks ahead.

“In academic medicine, you get to re-craft yourself every ten years,” he said. “I’m looking forward to my newly-found steep learning curve.”

Dr. Kaushansky was honored at a tribute from the senior leaders of the Department of Medicine on July 11. There will be a tribute from all departmental staff, faculty, and house staff on a date to be selected.

“Although one could cite metric after metric by which his unceasing efforts strengthened the Department,” said Dr. Schooley, “what many of us think distinguished his tenure most was the way in which his ‘bottom up’ style of leadership brought out the best in all of us.

“The Department will benefit for many years to come from things he set in motion – as will each of its members from what we learned from his multifaceted demonstration of scholarship, integrity, imagination and dedication to his Department.”


Drs. Ken Kaushansky and Wolfgang Dillmann   Drs. Ken Kaushansky and Wolfgang DillmannDr. Kaushansky with newly designated Interim Chair Wolfgang Dillmann, M.D.

In the Media: Dr. Ajit Varki

Dr. Ajit Varki is one of a team of researchers whose recent study is described in the Wired article, “Rare Gene Glitch a Clue to Genomics Mystery.”

Ajit Varki, M.D., is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and Professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. He co-directs the UC San Diego Glycobiology Research and Training Center and the UC San Diego/Salk Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA). He is Associate Dean of the Physician-Scientist Training Program.

In the Media: Dr. Ajit Varki

The UC San Diego/Salk Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) and its co-director, Dr. Ajit Varki, are featured in the story, “Cutting to the Bone Of Human Origins,” in Science.

Ajit Varki, M.D., is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and Professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. He co-directs the UC San Diego Glycobiology Research and Training Center and is Associate Dean of the Physician-Scientist Training Program.

Dr. Pradipta Ghosh Receives Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award

Dr. Pradipta GhoshDepartment of Medicine physician-scientist Dr. Pradipta Ghosh is one of only five researchers in the United States to receive a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award for Medical Scientists this year.The $700,000, 5-year award honors Dr. Ghosh for her innovative investigation of G protein activity in the development and spread of cancerous tumors.

It’s a research project that she developed during her training here at UC San Diego. The Burroughs Wellcome award will support her as she continues this work as an independent faculty investigator.

Pradipta Ghosh, M.D., is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology.

Dr. Ghosh joined the faculty of the Division of Gastroenterology after she completed her subspecialty training last fall.

Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center

She is a graduate of the UC San Diego Internal Medicine Residency Training Program, the Gastroenterology Fellowship Training Program and the Department of Medicine Physician-Scientist Training Program.In her laboratory, Dr. Ghosh investigates the cell biology of signal transduction to find new ways to understand and block the development and spread of cancer and other diseases.

Dr Ghosh obtained her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Marilyn G. Farquhar, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Professor in the Department of Pathology.

The Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Medical Scientists was established in 2007 to support new physician-scientists as they complete their training and establish their careers as independent academic investigators.

Also honored with a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award this year were UC San Diego’s Quyen T. Nguyen, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Otolaryngology, and previous UCSD Department of Medicine research resident Chester Drum, M.D., Ph.D., currently on faculty at Harvard University School of Medicine.