Studies Suggest New Key to “Switching Off” Hypertension

A team of University of California, San Diego researchers has designed new compounds that mimic those naturally used by the body to regulate blood pressure. The most promising of them may literally be the key to controlling hypertension, switching off the signaling pathways that lead to the deadly condition. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Senior author of the study report is Daniel T. O’Connor, MD, professor of pharmacology and professor of medicine in the Division of Nephrology-Hypertension. O’Connor directs the UC San Diego Hypertension Research Program and Hypertension Research Group.

Laboratory test tubesOther Department of Medicine coauthors are Sushil K. Mahata, PhD, professor of medicine and pharmacology; and project scientist Nilima Biswas, PhD. Mahata is also a Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System investigator.

Citation for the study report:  Igor F. Tsigelny, Valentina L. Kouznetsova, Nilima Biswas, Sushil K. Mahata, Daniel T. O’Connor, Development of a pharmacophore model for the catecholamine release-inhibitory peptide catestatin: Virtual screening and functional testing identify novel small molecule therapeutics of hypertension, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, Available online 17 July 2013, ISSN 0968-0896, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmc.2013.07.008. |  Full text (UCSD only)

Biomarking Time

Methylome modifications offer new measure of our “biological” age

Women live longer than men. Individuals can appear or feel years younger – or older – than their chronological age. Diseases can affect our aging process. When it comes to biology, our clocks clearly tick differently.

In a new study, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues elsewhere, describe markers and a model that quantify how aging occurs at the level of genes and molecules, providing not just a more precise way to determine how old someone is, but also perhaps anticipate or treat ailments and diseases that come with the passage of time. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Trey Ideker, PhDTrey Ideker, PhD, is co-senior author of the study report. He is professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Medical Genetics, professor of bioengineering and faculty investigator in the UCSD Institute for Genomic Medicine.The overall goal of Ideker’s work is to map and model molecular networks of cellular processes in health and disease, particularly in cancer and the response to genotoxic stress.

Coauthors of the study report include Rob DeConde, a graduate student in Ideker’s laboratory.

Read the abstract of the study report in PubMed

Citation: Hannum G, Guinney J, Zhao L, Zhang L, Hughes G, Sadda S, Klotzle B, Bibikova M, Fan J-B, Gao Y, Deconde R, Chen M, Rajapakse I, Friend S, Ideker T, Zhang K: Genome-wide Methylation Profiles Reveal Quantitative Views of Human Aging Rates. Molecular cell doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2012.10.016. PMID: 23177740

New Understanding of ‘Copper Pump’ in Cells Could Prime Discovery of Anti-Cancer Drugs

A team of University of California, San Diego researchers has made new discoveries about a copper-transporting protein in the membranes of human cells that drug-discovery scientists can co-opt for the development of new anti-cancer drugs…. Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Stephen Howell
Stephen B. Howell, MD, was on the research team, which was led by Igor Tsigelny of the Department of Neurosciences and the San Diego Supercomputer Center. Dr. Howell is professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and a translational researcher at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, where he is associate director for clinical research.

He also directs the Cancer Therapeutics Training Program (CT2) and co-leads, with Dr. David Cheresh, the Tumor Growth, Invasion and Metastasis Program.Read the study report in Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics

Injectable Gel Could Repair Tissue Damaged by Heart Attack

University of California, San Diego researchers have developed a new injectable hydrogel that could be an effective and safe treatment for tissue damage caused by heart attacks. The study by Karen Christman and colleagues appears in the Feb. 21 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


The UCSD research team includes Dr. Anthony DeMaria. Anthony N. DeMaria, MD, founding director of the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, holds the Judith and Jack White Chair in Cardiology.  |  Read the research report

Drug Effective in Treating Kidney Disease in Diabetic Patients

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Mayo Clinic have published promising results of a clinical study using an experimental anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory drug called pirfenidone to treat patients with diabetic nephropathy. Their study will be published in the April 21 issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN)…. Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Dr. Kumar Sharma

Kumar Sharma, MD, FAHA, is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology-Hypertension and Director of the UCSD Center for Renal Translational Medicine. He is lead investigator of the study, which was published in the April 21 issue of Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). Read the abstract of the published report.

Other Division of Nephrology-Hypertension faculty authors are Joachim H. Ix, MD, MAS, FASN, Assistant Professor of Medicine; and Satish P. RamachandraRao, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine.

Suppressing Activity of Common Intestinal Bacteria Reduces Tumor Growth

Research findings from Dr. Eyal Raz and his coworkers are the subject of the UCSD Newsroom story, “Suppressing Activity of Common Intestinal Bacteria Reduces Tumor Growth.” The story has run in media including ScienceDaily, PhysOrg, and HealthCanal.com.

Eyal Raz, M.D., is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology.