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Rapid Testing for TB Aims to Reduce Drug Resistance, Lower Mortality Rate:  Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have documented the accuracy of three new tests for more rapidly diagnosing drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis (TB), which are much harder and more expensive to treat and which, experts say, represent a major threat to global public health.

The study is published online in the current issue of PLOS ONE.

“Our study shows that TB testing that once took two to three months can now be done in as little as a day,” said co-author Richard Garfein, PhD, professor in the Division of Global Public Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “This means we can put people on the right medications sooner, spare them the toxic effects of drugs that are ineffective and prevent the development of drug resistant forms of TB that can occur when the wrong medications are given.” Read more here http://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2015-09-03-rapid-tb-testing-to-reduce-drug-resistance.aspx
#tuberculosis #globalpublichealth #infectiousdiseases #drugresistance #ucsdhealth  
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From comprehensive stroke care when every second counts to stitching deep cuts and evaluating flu symptoms, UC San Diego Health provides the highest quality of care when patients arrive through the emergency room doors. Now, as part of a long term partnership between UC San Diego Health and El Centro Regional Medical Center (ECRMC), patients in the Imperial Valley will receive the same specialty emergency care.   

A select group of UC San Diego Health emergency staff will manage services in the ECRMC Emergency Department, improving the capabilities, efficiency and quality of care provided to the nearly 50,000 patients treated there yearly.

“Partnering with UC San Diego Health, the region’s top-ranked health system, will give us the opportunity to implement strategies that will improve wait times and best practices in our emergency room,” said Tomas Virgen, interim CEO, ECRMC. “Utilizing the talent of UC San Diego Health physicians will result in a more comprehensive approach, faster diagnoses and more treatment options for our patients, as well as strengthen the ties within the entire community we serve.”  

“This collaboration will allow El Centro to become part of our mission to deliver outstanding patient care though commitment to the community, groundbreaking research and inspired teaching,” said Patty Maysent, interim CEO, UC San Diego Health. “Not only will the partnership provide superior health outcomes to patients in the Imperial Valley, it will give clinical team members at ECRMC access to joint projects and educational opportunities that are cross beneficial, elevating the standard of physicians in the field of emergency medicine.”

#helathsystem #hospitals #emergencymedicine #stroke #ucsdhealth  
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Four University of California, San Diego School of Medicine researchers have been selected to receive the newly established National Cancer Institute (NCI) Outstanding Investigator Award. The multi-million dollar awards fund new projects that have an unusual potential in cancer research over seven years.

The recipients are Kun-Liang Guan, PhD, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pharmacology, who will receive $5.9 million for his work with mTORC1 and Hippo pathways in cell growth and cancer; Tannishtha Reya, PhD, professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Medicine, who was awarded $6.3 million for her project on molecular strategies for early detection and targeting of cancer; and Jin Zhang, PhD, professor in the Department of Pharmacology, who will receive $6.5 million to evaluate live-cell activity architecture in cancer. The funding amount for Michael Karin, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Pathology, is pending. Karin is studying the role of immunosuppressive B cells in the development of cancer and its treatment.

“Cancer research is moving at an accelerated pace but there are still many unanswered questions that our team is trying to answer through innovative science,” said Scott Lippman, MD, director of Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health. “The NCI Outstanding Investigator Award provides important additional resources that will help us realize scientific discoveries best accomplished at a comprehensive cancer center.”
#cancerresearch #ucsdhealth #ucsdresearch #awards #NCI  
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Patty Maysent, MPH, MBA, has been appointed interim Chief Executive Officer of UC San Diego Health, bringing to the role more than 25 years of exceptional executive experience in hospital leadership and health services management. As interim CEO, Maysent will move UC San Diego Health, the region’s only academic health system, forward in its efforts to redefine health care delivery and ensure continued success with its tripartite mission of delivering outstanding patient care, groundbreaking research and inspired teaching.

“We are excited that Patty Maysent has accepted the dynamic role as interim CEO of UC San Diego Health,” said David Brenner, MD, vice chancellor for Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at UC San Diego. “Her solid record of performance has helped elevate UC San Diego Health’s levels of innovation, accountability and efficiency. She has also accelerated efforts to create strategic affiliations with other key health care providers in California.”

“I am honored to serve as interim CEO and to continue my focus on implementing our strategic plan,” said Maysent. “UC San Diego Health has achieved many critical goals in research, education and patient care, but in this era of accelerated changes in health care delivery across the country, there is still a lot of work to do to position UC San Diego Health for decades to come.” Read more here http://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2015-08-24-patty-maysent-interim-ceo-uc-san-diego-health.aspx
#ceo #leadership #healthsystem #ucsdhealth #hospital  
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“It’s just a great time to pull it all together.” Jill Mesirov, our new vice chancellor for Computational Health Sciences, talks to Cell Press about applying her mathematics background to advance precision medicine, unravel the microbiome and more.
#microbiome #bigdata #health #medicine #ucsdhealth  
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Smoking Cessation Drug Not Boosting Number of Smokers Who Quit

The introduction of a new prescription smoking-cessation aid, varenicline, in 2006 has had no significant impact on the rate at which Americans age 18 and older successfully quit smoking, according to a study led by researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

The findings, published online August 17 in Tobacco Control, suggest that the primary effect of varenicline (marketed as Chantix) has been to displace the use of older tobacco addiction therapies, such as nicotine patches and the antidepressant, bupropion (Zyban).

Moreover, in this population analysis, researchers said varenicline’s enhanced effectiveness in helping smokers quit, compared with other cessation aides, appeared to be short-lived, lasting for three months, after which time varenicline users no longer had higher rates of success.

“We had hoped the new pharmacotherapy would help more people quit, but this is not what is happening,” said lead author Shu-Hong Zhu, PhD, a professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health and director of Center for Research and Intervention in Tobacco Control at UC San Diego. “Instead, varenicline is replacing other options like the patch, without having any significant population-level impact on quitting success.” Read more here http://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2015-08-17-smoking-aid-doesnt-boost-number-of-people-who-quit.aspx
#smoking #addiction #publichealth #pharmaceuticals #ucsdresearch  
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“It was previously known that RAF (a family of proteins that regulate cellular signaling) governs resistance to therapies. We discovered an undescribed role for RAF and learned precisely how it occurs in a broad range of cancers,” said lead author Sunil Advani, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Radiation Medicine and Applied Sciences.

The pathway is used by tumor cells to protect DNA from damage. By inhibiting the pathway using a drug-like compound called KG5, researchers were able to reverse the resistance of tumors to both radiotherapy and certain classes of chemotherapies that induce genotoxic stress. The hope is to increase survival rates among patients with highly aggressive cancers, said Advani.
#cancer #radiology #chemotherapy #cancerresearch #ucsdhealth  
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UC San Diego Scientists Investigate Global Hemorrhagic Fever Bacterial Disease
Grant will focus on leptospirosis, which infects millions but is poorly understood and often misdiagnosed

An international research team, headed by Joseph Vinetz, MD, professor of medicine at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and director of the UC San Diego Center for Tropical Medicine and Travelers Health, has been awarded a 5-year, $1.89 million cooperative agreement to carry out translational research studies of leptospirosis, an infectious and sometimes fatal bacterial disease endemic in much of the world.

Funding comes from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) under the auspices of the International Collaborations in Tropical Disease Research program.

“Leptospirosis is woefully neglected because it is so difficult to diagnosis,” said Vinetz. “It does not even appear on global lists of neglected tropical diseases despite a case fatality rate as high as 20 percent, with clinical manifestations that can mimic viral hemorrhagic fevers, such as those caused by Ebola virus.” Read more here https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2015-09-01-niaid-grant-for-leptospirosis.aspx
#infectiousdisease #travelmedicine #leptospirosis #NIAID #ucsdresearch  
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Degenerating neurons in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) measurably responded to an experimental gene therapy in which nerve growth factor (NGF) was injected into their brains, report researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in the current issue of JAMA Neurology.

The affected neurons displayed heightened growth, axonal sprouting and activation of functional markers, said lead author Mark H. Tuszynski, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Neurosciences, director of the UC San Diego Translational Neuroscience Institute and a neurologist at VA Medical Center, San Diego.

#alzheimersdisease #neuroscience #aging #memorydisorders #ucsdhealth  
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Dr. David Brenner, our vice chancellor and dean,  on how far we've come and what his vision his for the future of UC San Diego School of Medicine, UC San Diego Health, and beyond.
#leadership #health #medicine #education #ucsdhealth  
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$52M NIH Grant Advances Clinical and Translational Research at UC San Diego - Federal funding will help further on-going efforts to translate discoveries to clinic

The Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) at University of California, San Diego has received a five-year Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) for approximately $52 million from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Established in 2010, CTRI is part of the national CTSA consortium of 62 medical research institutions created to energize efforts to translate basic science discoveries into new treatments for patients. The institute was awarded a $37.2 million grant at that time to create innovative programs that advance research into the causes and cures of human disease. The new award recognizes CTRI’s success during its initial funding under the CTSA program.

“The first five years transformed our research environment and the way discoveries move from the lab to the clinic,” said Gary S. Firestein, MD, director of CTRI and dean and associate vice chancellor of translational medicine at UC San Diego. “The next five will be about accelerating that process, expanding training programs and improving information systems tools for research.” Read more here http://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2015-08-18-NIH-awards-CTRI-52-million.aspx
#translationalmedicine #drugdevelopment #medicine #health #ucsdhealth  
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Corrected Protein Structure Reveals Drug Targets for Cancer, Neurodegenerative Diseases:  Study revises previously published structure of Protein Kinase C enzyme, proposes new strategies to turn the enzyme “on” to treat cancer or “off” to treat neurodegenerative diseases

Protein Kinase C (PKC) is a family of enzymes that controls the activity of other proteins in a cell by attaching chemical tags. That simple act helps determine cell survival or death. When it goes awry, a number of diseases may result. In a study published August 13 in Cell Reports, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine reveal a more accurate structure of PKC, providing new targets for fine-tuning the enzyme’s activity as needed to improve human health.

“By understanding how PKC clamps itself closed, we can now look for ways to wedge it open to keep it active,” said Alexandra C. Newton, PhD, professor of pharmacology. “This has great potential for developing therapies for cancer, in which keeping the enzyme in its ‘on’ position will promote tumor cell death. We also want to do the opposite in neurodegenerative diseases, in which we need treatments that keep neurons alive.” Read more here http://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2015-08-13-new-protein-structure-reveals-drug-target.aspx
#cancer #molecularbiology #pharmaceuticalscience #ucsdhealth  
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Introduction

UC San Diego Health 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 is consistently ranked among the nation’s best hospitals in 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 2014 UC San Diego had 110 physicians in 40 specialties named “Top Docs” by members of the San Diego County Medical Society as the best physicians in the region.

UC San Diego Health 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.