Novel Phage Therapy Saves Patient with Multidrug-Resistant Bacterial Infection

Intravenous viruses are used to target deadly bacterium; dramatic case suggests potential alternative to failing antibiotics —

Scientists and physicians at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, working with colleagues at the U.S. Navy Medical Research Center – Biological Defense Research Directorate (NMRC-BDRD), Texas A&M University, a San Diego-based biotech and elsewhere, have successfully used an experimental therapy involving bacteriophages — viruses that target and consume specific strains of bacteria — to treat a patient near death from a multidrug-resistant bacterium. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Health Newsroom

New Drug Combination Treats Hepatitis C Patients Also Infected with HIV

Novel treatment has 97 percent success rate in co-infected patients —

Roughly 20 to 30 percent of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) are also infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV). Both blood-borne viruses share the same modes of transmission, but many HCV medications currently have significant limitations due to adverse interactions with HIV treatments. Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report a new combination that effectively treats HCV in patients co-infected with HIV. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center

David L. Wyles, MD, is lead author of the New England Journal of Medicine article that reports the results of the multi-center study. Dr. Wyles is associate professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases.

Read the article online:

Wyles D.L., Ruane P.J., Sulkowski M.S., et al. Daclatasvir plus Sofosbuvir for HCV in Patients Coinfected with HIV-1. New England Journal of Medicine July 21, 2015, 10.1056/NEJMoa1503153.  Free full text

Herpes Infected Humans Before They Were Human

The virus originated in chimpanzees, jumping into humans 1.6 million years ago

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified the evolutionary origins of human herpes simplex virus (HSV) -1 and -2, reporting that the former infected hominids before their evolutionary split from chimpanzees 6 million years ago while the latter jumped from ancient chimpanzees to ancestors of modern humans – Homo erectus – approximately 1.6 million years ago. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center

Herpes Virus Exploits Immune Response to Bolster Infection

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and colleagues report that the herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1), which affects an estimated 50 to 80 percent of all American adults, exploits an immune system receptor to boost its infectivity and ability to cause disease. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Dr. Richard Gallo

Dr. Richard Gallo

Richard L. Gallo, MD, PhD, left, is principal investigator of the study, which is reported in the online-only journal Nature Communications.

Gallo is professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Dermatology.

Citation for the study report:  Daniel T. MacLeod, Teruaki Nakatsuji, Kenshi Yamasaki, Lester Kobzik & Richard L. Gallo. HSV-1 exploits the innate immune scavenger receptor MARCO to enhance epithelial adsorption and infection. Nature Communications 4, Article number: 1963. doi:10.1038/ncomms2963. Published 06 June 2013.  |  Abstract

More Information:

Discovery Provides Blueprint for New Drugs That Can Inhibit Hepatitis C Virus

Finding Could Pave Way for Drugs Against Virus That Kills More In US Than HIV

Chemists at the University of California, San Diego have produced the first high resolution structure of a molecule that when attached to the genetic material of the hepatitis C virus prevents it from reproducing . …. Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Laboratory test tubes
David L. Wyles, MD, is a coauthor of the study report. He is associate professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and a researcher in the UC San Diego Antiviral Research Center.

Read the study report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Related story:
UC San Diego School of Medicine Launches Hepatitis C Clinical Trials

UC San Diego School of Medicine Launches Hepatitis C Clinical Trials

A collaborative partnership between the UC San Diego Liver Center and Antiviral Research Center (AVRC) has resulted in 19 clinical trials for hepatitis C virus (HCV), focused on developing more effective and well-tolerated HCV treatments…. Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Department of Medicine clinical trials investigators Alexander Kuo, MD, and David L. Wyles, MD, are featured in this news release.

Dr. Kuo is associate professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and medical director of the Liver Transplant Program at the UC San Diego Health System Liver Center.

Dr. Wyles, a researcher at the UC San Diego Antiviral Research Center, is associate professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Kirk Knowlton Appointed Vice Chair for Laboratory Research

Dr. Kirk KnowltonDr. Kirk Knowlton has been appointed Vice Chair for Laboratory Research for the Department of Medicine, Interim Chair Wolfgang Dillmann, MD, has announced.

Knowlton, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Cardiology, holds the Edith and William Perlman Chair in Clinical Cardiology.

A physician-scientist, he is an esteemed academic leader, clinician, innovator, and mentor. He has been a member of the department faculty since he was a molecular cardiology research fellow at UC San Diego in 1990.

“Kirk’s experience and insight will benefit the department’s research mission greatly, particularly at this time of expansion,” said Dillmann. “With laboratory research playing so large a part in the success of the department, it is crucial to have an outstanding leader.”

Knowlton will direct research activities and space management for Medicine, the largest department in the School of Medicine. In fiscal year 2010-2011, Medicine received $113.6 million in research funding via nearly 380 individual contracts and grants.

The Department of Medicine is consistently one of the top in the nation in federal research funding per faculty member. In research funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2010, the Department ranks eighth in the nation.

The Department occupies 120,000 square feet of laboratory space and anticipates significantly more in the next several years as UC San Diego Health Sciences buildings now in the planning stages are erected.

Knowlton will spearhead the new Department of Medicine Research Council, which will synchronize research efforts within the department and the larger research community, coordinate responses to new funding opportunities, and provide mentorship for junior faculty.

Knowlton will also continue as Chief of the Division of Cardiology, Dillmann said.

Kirk U. Knowlton, MD, FACC, became Cardiology’s division chief in 2004 and assumed the Edith and William Perlman Chair in Clinical Cardiology in 2010.

A general cardiologist, Knowlton plays central clinical roles in diagnostic imaging and noninvasive cardiology and pulmonary thromboendarterectomy in the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center. In addition, he has a special clinical interest in infectious causes of heart failure such as viral myocarditis.

In his most recent research in molecular cardiology, he is studying mechanisms involved in the formation of intercalated discs to understand the means by which virus infection of the cardiac myocyte can cause dilated cardiomyopathy.

Knowlton is principal investigator of a program project, “Molecular Pathways for Hypertrophy and Cardiomyopathy, and a training grant, “Training in Cardiovascular Physiology and Pharmacology,” both funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Knowlton co-directs the Cardiac Biomedical Science and Engineering Center of the UC San Diego Institute for Engineering in Medicine, a collaborative effort centered on developing new means of understanding, detecting and countering cardiac diseases.

At UC San Diego, in the surrounding community, and at the national level, Knowlton is involved in numerous positions of leadership and service. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, an elected senior member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and Associate Editor of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

He has been recognized as one of the Best Doctors in America each year since 2003.

Active in the American Heart Association, he was recognized as 2010-2011 Western States Affiliate Physician Volunteer of the Year. He was nominated for the UCSD School of Medicine Kaiser Permanente Excellence in Teaching Award for the past two years.

Scientists Discover Origin of HIV Transmission Among Male Partners

Dr. Davey Smith is lead investigator of the research described in the UCSD Newsroom story, “Scientists Discover Origin of HIV Transmission Among Male Partners.”

Davey M. Smith, MD, MAS, is Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Director of the Viral Pathogenesis Core at the UCSD Center for AIDS Research.

The news story has run in many media including ScienceDaily,, Bernama, CBC, New Scientist, and MedIndia.

Read the story from the UCSD Newsroom.

In the Media: Dr. Gregory Daniels

Dr. Gregory Daniels is featured in two recent stories:

Gregory A. Daniels, PhD, MD, is Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor in the Division of Hematology-Oncology.