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Meet Dr. James McKerrow, dean of the UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences http://bit.ly/1BhPVCp #pharmacy #pharmaceuticalscience #ucsd  
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Culture Clash: How Stem Cells Are Grown Affects Their Genetic Stability: Methods to multiply pluripotent cells for potential therapies raise worries about cancer -- Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, with collaborators from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), have definitively shown for the first time that the culture conditions in which stem cells are grown and mass-produced can affect their genetic stability. Read more here https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2015-02-25-how-stem-cells-grown-affects-stability.aspx #stemcells #cancer #genetics #ucsdresearch  
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Chronic wasting disease (CWD) — an infectious disease caused by prions — affects North American elk and deer, but has not been observed in humans. Using a mouse model that expresses an altered form of the normal human prion protein, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have determined why the human proteins aren’t corrupted when exposed to the elk prions. Their study, published Feb. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, identifies a small loop in the human prion protein that confers resistance to chronic wasting disease.

“Since the loop has been found to be a key segment in prion protein aggregation, this site could be targeted for the development of new therapeutics designed to block prion conversion,” said Christina Sigurdson, DVM, PhD, associate professor at UC San Diego and UC Davis and senior author of the study. Read more here https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2015-02-23-human-prion-protein-and-chronic-wasting-disease.aspx #infectiousdiseases #prions #ucsdresearch  
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A new Joint Doctoral Program (JDP) in Interdisciplinary Research on Substance Use has been launched by the Division of Global Public Health in the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and San Diego State University’s School of Social Work. The program will emphasize research devoted to studying the use and misuse of alcohol and drugs – and related social and health consequences.

“This program is the first of its kind,” said JDP co-director Steffanie Strathdee, PhD, professor and head of the UC San Diego Global Health Initiative. “Given that substance use has a growing health and societal impact in the U.S. and globally, this program could not come at a better time.”
#ucsd #sdsu #publichealth #substanceabuse  
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Autism Genes Activate During Fetal Brain Development -  Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found that mutations that cause autism in children are connected to a pathway that regulates brain development. The research, led by Lilia Iakoucheva, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, is published in the February 18 issue of Neuron.

The researchers studied a set of well-known autism mutations called copy number variants or CNVs. They investigated when and where the genes were expressed during brain development. “One surprising thing that we immediately observed was that different CNVs seemed to be turned on in different developmental periods,” said Iakoucheva. Read more here https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2015-02-18-austism-genes-and-fetal-development.aspx #autism #neurology #pediatrics #ucsdresearch  
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Tau-Associated MAPT Gene Increases Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease: Finding could improve dementia diagnosis and treatment

An international team of scientists, led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has identified the microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) gene as increasing the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The MAPT gene encodes the tau protein, which is involved with a number of neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson’s disease (PD) and AD. These findings provide novel insight into Alzheimer’s neurodegeneration, possibly opening the door for improved clinical diagnosis and treatment. Read more here https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2015-02-17-mapt-gene-and-alzheimers-disease.aspx #alzheimersdisease #parkinsonsdisease #genetics #neurology #ucsdresearch  
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UC San Diego Health System Designated as Center of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease - The Movement Disorder Center at UC San Diego Health System has been designated the 41st Center of Excellence in the National Parkinson Foundation’s (NPF) global network. This designation is the highest recognition offered by NPF to a Parkinson’s specialty clinic. It represents the consensus of leaders in the field that the UC San Diego program is among the world’s leading centers for Parkinson’s research, outreach and care.

“It is an honor for the Movement Disorder Center to be recognized by the National Parkinson’s Foundation. The program at UC San Diego Health System was intentionally modeled after the center of excellence vision because of its comprehensive patient-centered focus,” said Irene Litvan, MD, Tasch Endowed Professor in Parkinson’s Disease Research and director of the Movement Disorders Center at UC San Diego Health System. “UC San Diego is recognized for diagnosing Parkinsonian disorders accurately, and early on, while providing personalized state-of-the-art care to each patient.” https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2015-02-26-center-for-excellence-parkinsons-disease.aspx
#parkinsonsdisease #neurology #ucsdhealthsystem  
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Discovery has implications for potential new treatments of some cancers and inflammatory bowel disease  -- Almost all injuries, even minor skin scratches, trigger an inflammatory response, which provides protection against invading microbes but also turns on regenerative signals needed for healing and injury repair – a process that is generally understood but remains mysterious in its particulars.

Writing in the February 25 online issue of Nature, an international team of scientists, headed by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, report finding new links between inflammation and regeneration: signaling pathways that are activated by a receptor protein called gp130. “We found that gp130 is capable of activating several signaling pathways that turn on a number of transcription factors known to have a key role in stem cell biology,” said the study’s lead author, Koji Taniguchi, MD, PhD, assistant project scientist in the Department of Pharmacology at UC San Diego. #cancer #ibd #stemcells #ucsdresearch  
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Molecular Link between Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Reveals Potential Therapy: Inflammatory molecule LTB4 promotes insulin resistance in obese mice and blocking the LTB4 receptor prevents and reverses type 2 diabetes in this model

“This study is important because it reveals a root cause of type 2 diabetes,” said Jerrold M. Olefsky, MD, professor of medicine, associate dean for scientific affairs and senior author of the study. “And now that we understand that LTB4 is the inflammatory factor causing insulin resistance, we can inhibit it to break the link between obesity and diabetes.” Read more here https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2015-02-23-type-2-diabetes-and-obesity-molecular-link.aspx
#type2diabetes #obesity #ucsdresearch  
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Medtech Meets Cleantech: Malaria Vaccine Candidate Produced from Algae: Cheap, green technique advances efforts toward malaria transmission vaccine in humans

“Most malaria vaccine approaches are aimed at preventing humans from becoming infected when bitten by mosquitos that carry the parasite,” said Joseph M. Vinetz, MD, professor of medicine and senior author of the study. “Our approach is to prevent transmission of the malaria parasite from infected humans to mosquitoes. This approach is similar to that of the current measles vaccine, which is such a hot topic of discussion these days, because the goal is to generate herd immunity in a population. We think that this approach is key to global malaria elimination, too.” Read more here https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2015-02-18-malaria-vaccine-produced-from-algae.aspx #vaccines #malaria #ucsdresearch  
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While genomics is the study of all of the genes in a cell or organism, epigenomics is the study of all the genomic add-ons and changes that influence gene expression but aren’t encoded in the DNA sequence. A variety of new epigenomic information is now available in a collection of studies published Feb. 19 in Nature by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Roadmap Epigenomics Program. This information provides a valuable baseline for future studies of the epigenome’s role in human development and disease.

Two of these studies, led by researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Ludwig Cancer Research, address the differences between chromosome pairs (one inherited from mom, the other from dad) and how chromosome folding influences gene expression.

“Both of these studies provide important considerations for clinicians and researchers who are developing personalized medicines based on a patient’s genomic information,” said Bing Ren, PhD, professor of cellular and molecular medicine at UC San Diego, Ludwig Cancer Research member and senior author of both studies. Read more here https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2015-02-18-insight-into-3D-genome-organization.aspx #cancer #epigenetics #stemcellsresearch #ucsdresearch  
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Glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness, usually stems from elevated eye pressure, which in turn damages and destroys specialized neurons in the eye known as retinal ganglion cells. To better understand these cellular changes and how they influence the progression and severity of glaucoma, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Shiley Eye Institute turned to a mouse model of the disease. Their study, published Feb. 10 in The Journal of Neuroscience, reveals how some types of retinal ganglion cells alter their structures within seven days of elevated eye pressure, while others do not.

“Understanding the timing and pattern of cellular changes leading to retinal ganglion cell death in glaucoma should facilitate the development of tools to detect and slow or stop those cellular changes, and ultimately preserve vision,” said Andrew D. Huberman, PhD, assistant professor of neurosciences, neurobiology and ophthalmology. Huberman co-authored the study with Rana N. El-Danaf, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in his lab. Read more here https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2015-02-11-glaucoma-early-retinal-changes.aspx #ophthalmology #glaucoma #ucsdresearch  
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Introduction

UC San Diego Health System is widely recognized as one of the premier health care systems in the United States. We’re the only academic health system in San Diego. It’s the one place that can offer you and your family medical treatments not available elsewhere in the region. And we don’t just treat disease – we treat you.

UC San Diego Health System was ranked among the nation’s best hospitals in the 2011-2012 issue of U.S. News & World Report, and number 1 in San Diego in the magazine’s first-ever metro rankings in 2011. We were honored as one of the top 15 teaching hospitals in the country by Thomson Reuters in 2010.

Our physicians – who number more than 850 – are acknowledged as leaders in their fields of medicine and surgery. In 2011, nearly 130 of our doctors were named by members of the San Diego County Medical Society as the best physicians in the region.

UC San Diego Health System is part of University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. In just over four decades, we have gained international recognition as the one place where discoveries are delivered – bringing breakthroughs from the research laboratory bench to our patients’ bedsides.