$100 Million Gift Launches Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center

UC San Diego-based effort will speed discoveries to new drugs and treatments for patients

Dr. Catriona Jamieson

In a bold and singular step toward delivering the therapeutic promise of human stem cells, businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford has committed $100 million to the creation of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at the University of California, San Diego… Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center

Pictured: 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.

New More Effective Antimicrobials Might Rise From Old

Findings could have major impact in struggle against evolving drug resistance

By tinkering with their chemical structures, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have essentially re-invented a class of popular antimicrobial drugs, restoring and in some cases, expanding or improving, their effectiveness against drug-resistant pathogens in animal models.

Writing in the October 7 Early Edition of PNAS, Lars Eckmann, MD, professor of medicine, and colleagues … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Lars EckmannLars Eckmann, MD, professor of medicine and a researcher in the Division of Gastroenterology, is senior investigator in the study.

Eckmann directs the UCSD Center for Tissue Repair, Epithelial Biology and Inflammation, and Transformation (C-TREAT), a National Institutes of Health Digestive Disease Research Development Center.

In his research laboratory, he addresses the mechanisms governing infection-related intestinal disease and the host defenses against them; and the pathophysiology of intestinal inflammation.

Other Department of Medicine coauthors of the PNAS report are project scientist Yukiko Miyamoto, Dae Young Cheung, Ricardo Lozano, Eduardo R. Cobo and professor Douglas E. Berg.

Citation for the study report:

Yukiko Miyamoto, Jarosław Kalisiak, Keith Korthals, Tineke Lauwaet, Dae Young Cheung, Ricardo Lozano, Eduardo R. Cobo, Peter Upcroft, Jacqueline A. Upcroft, Douglas E. Berg, Frances D. Gillin, Valery V. Fokin, K. Barry Sharpless, and Lars Eckmann. Expanded therapeutic potential in activity space of next-generation 5-nitroimidazole antimicrobials with broad structural diversity. PNAS 2013; published ahead of print October 7, 2013, doi:10.1073/pnas.1302664110  |  Full text PDF (UCSD only)

More Information:

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)

Protein May Be Key to Psoriasis and Wound Care

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder in which skin cells proliferate out of control. For some hard-to-heal wounds, the problem is just the opposite: Restorative skin cells don’t grow well or fast enough. In a paper published in the June 21, 2012 issue of Immunity, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine describe a molecule that may lead to new treatments for both problems. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Richard GalloThe principal investigator of this collaborative study is Richard L. Gallo, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Dermatology at UC San Diego.

The other Department of Medicine co-authors are Tissa Hata, MD, professor of medicine, Clinical Service Chief for Dermatology at the Perlman Ambulatory Care Center and Director of the UCSD Dermatology Clinical Trials Unit; Beda Mühleisen, MD; and Paul Kotol.

More information:

  • Read the article summary in Immunity.
  • Citation: Yuping Lai, Dongqing Li, Changwei Li, Beda Muehleisen, Katherine A. Radek, Hyun Jeong Park, Ziwei Jiang, Zhiheng Li, Hu Lei, Yanchun Quan, Tian Zhang, Yelin Wu, Paul Kotol, Shin Morizane, Tissa R. Hata, Keiji Iwatsuki, Ce Tang, Richard L. Gallo, The Antimicrobial Protein REG3A Regulates Keratinocyte Proliferation and Differentiation after Skin Injury, Immunity, Available online 21 June 2012, ISSN 1074-7613, 10.1016/j.immuni.2012.04.010.
  • Dr. Gallo’s laboratory website

Enzyme Offers New Therapeutic Target for Cancer Drugs

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have uncovered a new signal transduction pathway specifically devoted to the regulation of alternative RNA splicing, a process that allows a single gene to produce or code multiple types of protein variants. The discovery, published in the June 27, 2012 issue of Molecular Cell, suggests the new pathway might be a fruitful target for new cancer drugs. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


ALTDepartment of Medicine faculty co-author M. Geoffrey Rosenfeld, MD, is distinguished professor of medicine and an investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Read the article summary in Molecular Cell.

Article Citation:
The Akt-SRPK-SR Axis Constitutes a Major Pathway in Transducing EGF Signaling to Regulate Alternative Splicing in the Nucleus
Zhihong Zhou, Jinsong Qiu, Wen Liu, Yu Zhou, Ryan M. Plocinik, Hairi Li, Qidong Hu, Gourisanker Ghosh, Joseph A. Adams, Michael G. Rosenfeld, and Xiang-Dong Fu
10.1016/j.molcel.2012.05.014.

Dr. Rosenfeld’s laboratory