UC San Diego Named Stem Cell “Alpha Clinic”

Designation will help speed development of emerging drugs and therapies —

In a push to further speed clinical development of emerging stem cell therapies, Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at UC San Diego Health System was named today one of three new “alpha clinics” by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state’s stem cell agency.

The announcement, made at a public meeting in Los Angeles of the CIRM Governing Board, includes an award of $8 million for each of three sites. The other alpha grant recipients are the City of Hope hospital near Los Angeles and University of California, Los Angeles.

“A UC San Diego alpha clinic will provide vital infrastructure for establishing a comprehensive regenerative medicine clinical hub that can support the unusual complexity of first-in-human stem cell-related clinical trials,” said Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine, deputy director of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center, director of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center stem cell program and the alpha clinic grant’s principal investigator. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Health Newsroom

Clinical Trial To Test Safety of Stem Cell-Derived Therapy for Type 1 Diabetes

UC San Diego is initial site for first-in-human testing of implanted cell therapy

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, in partnership with ViaCyte, Inc., a San Diego-based biotechnology firm specializing in regenerative medicine, have launched the first-ever human Phase I/II clinical trial of a stem cell-derived therapy for patients with Type 1 diabetes. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Principal investigator in the study is Robert R. Henry, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at UC San Diego and chief of the Section of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Diabetes at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System.

Dianne McKay Receives CIRM Basic Biology Grant

Eight stem cell scientists at the University of California, San Diego have been awarded a total of $8.165 million to fund research tackling significant, unresolved issues in human stem cell biology. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center


Dianne McKay, MDDianne B. McKay, MD, professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Nephrology-Hypertension, is one of the eight UC San Diego researchers to receive a Basic Biology V Award from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine this week.

McKay is medical director of the Kidney Transplant Program at UC San Diego Health System.

Enzyme Accelerates Malignant Stem Cell Cloning in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

An international team, headed by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has identified a key enzyme in the reprogramming process that promotes malignant stem cell cloning and the growth of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), a cancer of the blood and marrow that experts say is increasing in prevalence. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Catriona H. M. Jamieson, MD, PhDPrincipal investigator of the study is Catriona H. M. Jamieson, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and director of stem cell research at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

Dr. Jamieson is on the steering committee for the Moores Cancer Center’s My Answer to Cancer initiative for personalized cancer therapy. She is a member of the faculty in the UCSD Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program.

Department of Medicine faculty coauthor Sheldon R. Morris, MD, MPH, an investigator at the UCSD Antiviral Research Center,is health sciences assistant clinical professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases.

Citation for the report in PNAS: Jiang Q, Crews LA, Barrett CL, Chun H-J, Court AC, Isquith JM, Zipeto MA, Goff DJ, Minden M, Sadarangani A, Rusert JM, Dao K-HT, Morris SR, Goldstein LSB, Marra MA, Kelly A. Frazer KA, Jamieson C.H.M. ADAR1 promotes malignant progenitor reprogramming in chronic myeloid leukemia. PNAS 2012; published ahead of print December 28, 2012, doi:10.1073/pnas.1213021110

Read the study report (free full text)

More about Dr. Jamieson and her work:

Researchers Block Pathway to Cancer Stem Cell Self-Renewal

NOTCH1 Signaling Promotes T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Initiating Cell Regeneration

Research suggests that patients with leukemia sometimes relapse because standard chemotherapy fails to kill the self-renewing leukemia initiating cells, often referred to as cancer stem cells … A team of researchers – led by Catriona H. M. Jamieson, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and director of Stem Cell Research at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center – studied these cells in mouse models that had been transplanted with human leukemia cells. They discovered … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Catriona JamiesonThe senior investigator of the study described in the press release is Catriona H. M. Jamieson, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and director of stem cell research at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

In the study, the investigators successfully block leukemia stem cell self-renewal. Their work was funded in part by a California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Development of Highly Active Anti-Leukemia Stem Cell Therapy (HALT) Leukemia Disease Team Research grant for which Dr. Jamieson serves as co-principal investigator with Dennis A. Carson, MD, former director of the Moores Cancer Center.

The overall goal of the HALT project is to develop six drugs – three monoclonal antibodies and three small molecules – to destroy leukemia stem cells.

Funding also came from the Ratner Family Foundation and the Leichtag Family Foundation. Antibody development was performed by Pfizer.

In her research, Dr. Jamieson focuses on translational studies to develop new treatments for myeloproliferative disorders and leukemia. In 2010, she received a $3.34 million grant from CIRM to support her efforts to develop treatments that reduce the risk of relapse in leukemia.  More about this funded project

Dr. Jamieson was named to the “San Diego’s Top Doctors” list for 2010 and 2011.

More information:

UC San Diego Researchers Receive New CIRM Funding

Stem cell grants covers heart failure, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS and spinal cord injuries

Five scientists from the University of California, San Diego and its School of Medicine have been awarded almost $12 million in new grants from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to conduct stem cell-based research into regenerating spinal cord injuries, repairing gene mutations that cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and finding new drugs to treat heart failure and Alzheimer’s disease. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Eric AdlerDr. Eric Adler is one of the five UC San Diego scientists who received a new grant award from CIRM.

Eric David Adler, MD, is associate clinical professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.

More information:

In the Media: Dr. Catriona Jamieson

Dr. Catriona Jamieson is one of the researchers interviewed in the CBS Evening News story, “Where America Stands: Stem Cell Research.” The story highlights Dr. Jamieson’s studies of cancer stem cells, their role in the development and recurrence of cancer, and the investigational new drug that targets a cancer stem cell type associated with a form of leukemia.

Dr. Jamieson’s research is also featured in two stories in The Huffington Post:

Catriona Jamieson, M.D., Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and Director of Stem Cell Research at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center.

Also interviewed in the CBS Evening News story is UCSD’s Dr. Larry Goldstein, Professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Director of the UC San Diego Stem Cell Program.

Drs. Catriona Jamieson and Benjamin Yu Awarded CIRM New Faculty Grants

Drs. Catriona Jamieson and Benjamin Yu are among four UCSD researchers to receive New Faculty II grants from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

Catriona Jamieson, M.D., Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and Director of Stem Cell Research at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center.

Dr. Jamieson investigates stem-cell treatments for myeloproliferative diseases (MPD), with the goal of preventing MPD from developing into leukemia.  |  Read the public abstract for Dr. Jamieson’s research project

Benjamin D. Yu, M.D., Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Dermatology.

The CIRM grant will support Dr. Yu’s work to uncover the mechanisms that regulate the proliferation of pre-existing adult stem cells in the body.  |  Read the public abstract for Dr. Yu’s research project

Read the full story
from UC San Diego
Health Sciences Communications

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San Diego
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Drs. Carson and Cavenee Win New Planning Grants from CIRM

Dr. Dennis CarsonDepartment of Medicine professors Dennis A. Carson, M.D., left, and Webster Cavenee, Ph.D., below right, are among several UC San Diego researchers to win new grants from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

Dr. Webster CaveneeThe grants come from a CIRM program that provides seed funding for promising stem cell studies.The goal is to hasten the development of new treatments for specific diseases.

Dr. Carson, Director of the Moores UCSD Cancer Center, is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology.  His project will investigate new models for developing treatments that destroy leukemia stem cells.  |  Read the abstract of Dr. Carson’s project.

Dr. Cavenee, Director of the San Diego branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology. His study will explore the use of neural stem cells to treat brain tumors. Read the abstract of Dr. Cavenee’s project.

CIRM, a continuing partner and major contributor to UC San Diego’s stem cell research programs, announced the awards on June 27.

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Dr. Jason Yuan Awarded 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship

UC San Diego researcher Jason X.–J. Yuan, M.D., Ph.D., has been awarded a 2008 Guggenheim fellowship. The award will allow him to establish a new research project on the role of ion channels in stem cell proliferation and differentiation.

Dr. Jason X-J YuanDr. Yuan is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine.

In his studies in pulmonary physiology and pathophysiology, Dr. Yuan works to identify the causes and find new treatments for lung diseases such as pulmonary arterial hypertension.

He is one of two UC San Diego faculty members, and a total of 18 in the University of California system, to be named a Guggenheim fellow this year. Poet Rae Armantrout is the other UC San Diego awardee.

Each year, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awards its fellowships to a select number of artists, scholars, and scientists for their extraordinary achievements and their great promise as contributors in their fields.

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