News

UC San Diego’s Samara Reck-Peterson Awarded Howard Hughes Medical Institute-Simons Grant

UC San Diego’s Samara Reck-Peterson Awarded Howard Hughes Medical Institute-Simons Grant

September 27, 2016

Samara Reck-Peterson was recently awarded a $1.5 million grant from the Howard Hugh Medical Institute to continue her innovative investigations.

UCSD Sanford Center for Regenerative Medicine is proud to provide additional funding support for Dr. Reck-Peterson to establish studies on the mechanisms used by stem cells to transport cellular cargo, and how those systems impact neurological health when they go awry. 

Rare, Life-Threatening Childhood Disease is the Focus of CIRM’s Most Recent Investment

Rare, LIfe-Threatening Childhood Disease is the Focus of CIRM's Most Recent Investment

September 21, 2016

UC San Diego Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Stephanie Cherqui, Ph.D., has received an award of $5.2 million dollars for a clinical study that might lead to a cure for cystinosis. Her study uses genetically-modified stem cells.  Dr. Cherqui is a Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center researcher, and her award is funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Building a Defense Against Zika

Building a Defense Against Zika

June 02, 2016

Zika mosquito

On May 11, 2016 in the journal Nature, Allyson Muotri described the first "direct experimental proof" that the Zika virus can actually cause sever birth defects. 

Harper Howard's Legacy

Harper Howard's Legacy

April 13, 2016

UC San Diego's stem cell researcher, Alysson Muotri, PhD, uses iPSCs to study the brain cells of a girl with a seizure disorder.

The Latest on the Environmental Causes (if Any) of Autism

The Latest on the Environmental Causes (if Any) of Autism

March 21, 2016

alysson_muotri

Can autism be caused by environmental effectors, or does autism only occur from being genetically predisposed, despite our environment? Scientists are beginning to see a connection between environmental factors and human genetics with respect to the causes of autism. While toxic chemicals in our environment may not cause autism by themselves, exposure to them may increase risk to those genetically predisposed to the disorder.

CIRM Approves $6.3 Million Grant to Support Research On Novel Stem Cell-Based Therapy for ALS

CIRM Approves $6.3 Million Grant to Support Research On Novel Stem Cell-Based Therapy for ALS

March 18, 2016

A $6.3 million dollar grant was approved by CIRM for research using human embryonic stem cell-based therapy to combat ALS. Professor Lawrence Goldstein, PhD, will head the research team in pursuit of a novel approach to rescue and restore neurons degraded by the disease.

Tracing the Molecular Roots of Neurodegenerative Diseases with Dr. Albert La Spada of UC San Diego

Tracing the Molecular Roots of Neurodegenerative Diseases with Dr. Albert La Spada of UC San Diego

March 18, 2016

Bill Mobley welcomes Albert La Spada as they explore his work using many approaches to uncover the molecular bases of neurodegenerative diseases in a search for treatments.

UC San Diego Researcher Dr. Gene Yeo and his Team Have Modified the CRISPR-Cas9 System in Several Ways to Optimize it for RNA Tracking

UC San Diego Researcher Dr. Gene Yeo and his Team Have Modified the CRISPR-Cas9 System in Several Ways to Optimize it for RNA Tracking

March 17, 2016 

 CELL CARRYING AN RNA-TARGETED CAS9 SYSTEM

The new genetic tool called CRISPR-Cas9 can now be used as an accessible means to track and target the movement of RNA in living cells, researchers found. A person's susceptibility to disease and characteristics like the color of the hair or eyes, are all encoded in the deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA. Scientists have long been sequencing human genome in order to develop ways to alter the genetic code. However, there are some diseases that are linked to RNA, another important molecule.

 

New Drug Kills Common Brain Cancer in Children

New Drug Kills Common Brain Cancer in Children

March 15, 2016

pediatricbraincancerimage

Medulloblastomas are one of the most prevalent types of malignant tumors in childhood brain cancer. Researchers have found a combination of two drugs that may be used against the most aggressive form of medullablastoma, a fast growing type of pediatric brain cancer.

Intense Rehab Boosts Recovery After Brain Injury in Rat Study

brainpic.small

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine found rats with cortical injury that did not receive intensive rehab did not rebuild brain structure or recover function — while also learning a longer, even more intense period of rehabilitation might amplify the benefits. “This has implications for medical practice and medical insurance,” senior study author Mark Tuszynski, MD, PhD, said in a news release.

Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technology to Track Cells in the Body

Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technology to Track Cells in the Body  

March 14, 2016 

Writing in the March 14 online issue of Nature Materials, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine describe a new, highly sensitive chemical probe that tags cells for detection by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).    

Stem Cells Regenerate Human Lens After Cataract Surgery, Restoring Vision

Stem Cells Regenerate Human Lens After Cataract Surgery, Restoring Vision

March 10, 2016

Eye

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Shiley Eye Institute, with colleagues in China, have developed a new, regenerative medicine approach to remove congenital cataracts in infants, permitting remaining stem cells to regrow functional lenses.

Maternity Leave: How America Is Failing Its Mothers

Maternity Leave: How America Is Failing Its Mothers

March 08, 2016

There are only two countries in the world that do not guarantee paid maternity leave: The United States and Papua New Guinea . Despite the fact that the US ranks second in the world for highest GDP, while Papua New Guinea falls at 139th, working women in both countries face the same fears, often having to choose between motherhood and a career.

Dr. Larry Goldstein of UC San Diego Testifies as an Expert Witness in GOP Hearing Regarding Fetal Tissue Research

Dr. Larry Goldstein of UC San Diego Testifies as an Expert Witness in GOP Hearing Regarding Fetal Tissue Research

March 2, 2016

Republican Representative Marsha Balckburn

Lawrence S.B. Goldstein of the University of California San Diego, who testified on behalf of the American Society for Cell Biology and the International Society for Stem Cell Research, prepared this testimony: “My message is simple: fetal tissue and cells that would otherwise be discarded play a vital role in modern cutting edge medical research. These fetal tissues and cells cannot be replaced by embryonic stem cells, reprogrammed stem cells, or adult stem cells.”

New Legislation Threatens Fetal-Tissue Research that Could Save Lives

New legislation Threatens Fetal-Tissue Research that Could Save Lives

February 22, 2016

Scientist in lab

In a country where science is a battleground, Alzheimer’s research might seem like a rare haven from controversy. Yet for scientists like Dr. Lawrence Goldstein at the University of California, San Diego, who uses fetal tissue for his research on the brain and on spinal cord injury, such scientific inquiry is increasingly threatened—often literally.

Splicing Alterations Could Hold Key to Prognosis, Therapeutic Targets

Splicing Alterations Could Hold Key to Prognosis, Therapeutic Targets

February 19, 2016

The use of splicing modulations in the treatment of hematologic malignancies was lauded by experts as among the most exciting advances highlighted at the annual American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition in Orlando, Fla.

Dr. Shu Chien and UC San Diego Research Team Create Bioprinted Liver Tissue from Stem Cells

Dr. Shu Chien and UC San Diego Research Team Create Bioprinted Liver Tissue from Stem Cells

February 8, 2016

3D Printed Parts of Biomimetic Liver Tissue

An all-UC San Diego research team reports using stem cells to rapidly create 'bioprinted" miniature sections of human liver tissue, using cells arrayed in a lobule pattern that more closely resembles natural liver tissue than previous attempts.

Car T-Cell Therapy Poised to Shift Hematologic Malignancies Treatment Paradigm

Car T-Cell Therapy Poised to Shift Hematologic Malignancies Treatment Paradigm

February 3, 2016

Promising results presented on the use of CAR T cells in the treatment of patients with hematologic malignancies — from lymphoma and leukemia to myeloma — left experts excited about the potential for not only improved survival outcomes, but possible cure.

Mesa Wide Interaction in the Stem Cell Field Results in Promising Advances in Alzheimer’s Research

Mesa Wide Interaction in the Stem Cell Field Results in Promising Advances in Alzheimer’s ResearchJanuary 17, 2016

Huaxi Xu with neuron projection

The human brain is most complex object in the known universe. And what causes this seat of consciousness to slowly and irreversibly deteriorate from Alzheimer's disease is one of medical science's greatest mysteries.

Dr. Tannishtha Reya of UC San Diego and the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine Joins Pancreatic Cancer “Dream Team”

Dr. Tannishtha Reya of UC San Diego and the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine Joins Pancreatic Cancer “Dream Team”

December 23, 2015

Pancreatic cancer may be the most devastating and lethal of all cancers. It comprises just 3 percent of all cancer cases in the United States. The average lifetime risk of developing it is roughly one in 67 or 1.5 percent, according to the National Cancer Institute. Yet, it is the fourth leading cause of cancer death, following lung, prostate and colon.

Discovery of an Embryonic Switch for Cancer Stem Cell Generation

Discovery of an Embryonic Switch for Cancer Stem Cell Generation

November 30, 2015

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Cancer Resistant Stem Cells (CSCs) employ embryonic stem cell-specific alternative splicing to accelerate their growth and development. A team of scientists has shown that by turning off embryonic splicing, along with targeting embryonic – type proteins expressed by the cancer cells, the cells in turn stop propagating and cancer relapse may be prevented.

Joan Font-Burgada, PhD Awarded 2015 Hertzberg Schechter Endowed Prize for Stem Cell Research

Font-Burgada award 2015

The Hertzberg Schechter awards committee unanimously approved Dr. Joan Font-Burgada for the prize on October 9, 2015, to support a research trip to the Weizmann Institute in Israel to engage in and seed collaborative research for two to four weeks. Dr. Font-Burgada is interested in liver regeneration and repair, specifically the cell origin of liver cancer.

NIH Awards $13 Million to Develop Stem Cell Technologies for Studying Autism Spectrum Disorder

New Grant Will Fund Collaborative Effort to Build Reproducible Assays To Model Autism 

September 22, 2015

IPSC_CIRM

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $13 million grant over five years to develop and disseminate new stem cell-based technologies and assays for studying autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other mental health diseases to a consortium of researchers at the University of California, San Diego and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, working in tandem with leaders in the biotechnology sector.

Medicine's Wild West — Unlicensed Stem-Cell Clinics in the United States

Medicine's Wild West — Unlicensed Stem-Cell Clinics in the United States

September 10, 2015

UC San Diego Professors Hermes Taylor-Weiner, PhD, (Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine) and Joshua Graff Zivin, PhD warn that stem-cell clinics in the United States and abroad have capitalized on this confusion surrounding stem cell therapy by selling treatments that are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), supported by clinical studies, or covered by insurers.

UC San Diego Cancer Researchers Receive NCI Outstanding Investigator Award

UC San Diego Cancer Researchers Receive NCI Outstanding Investigator Award

August 28, 2015

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. Two recipients are resident faculty at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. The resident faculty 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, and 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.

'Empire Builder' Has UCSD Health on the Rise

'Empire Builder' Has UCSD Health on the Rise

August 21, 2015

David Brenner

Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine, David Allen Brenner, M.D. is a fiercely passionate visionary leading the campus on an unprecedented expansion in health and medicine.

Epigenetic Driver of Glioblastoma Provides New Therapeutic Target

Epigenetic Driver of Glioblastoma Provides New Therapeutic Target

July 7, 2015

Glioblastoma cells

Using human tumor samples and mouse models, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center discovered that cancer stem cell properties are determined by epigenetic changes — chemical modifications cells use to control which genes are turned on or off.

Human Stem Cell Model Reveals Molecular Cues Critical to Neurovascular Unit Formation, Co-senior Authored by David Cheresh, PhD

Human Stem Cell Model Reveals Molecular Cues Critical to Neurovascular Unit Formation, Co-senior Authored by David Cheresh, PhD

May 21, 2015

Autonomic neurons

Using human embryonic stem cells, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute created a model that allows them to track cellular behavior during the earliest stages of human development in real-time. The model reveals, for the first time, how autonomic neurons and blood vessels come together to form the neurovascular unit.

Animal-human Transplants Closer to Life

Animal-human Transplants Closer to Life

May 6, 2015

Belmonte

The global effort by scientists to find a way to grow human replacement organs in other animals may have been nudged forward by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla. A team led by the Salk’s Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte says it has combined a newly identified type of human stem cell with a mouse embryo allowed to partially develop. This resulted in growth that, at least in theory, could have produced distinct human tissues if the process had been allowed to proceed further.

How Stem Cells Grow Depends on What They Grow Up In

The media is the message: How stem cells grow depends on what they grow up in

May 5, 2015

Embryonic Stem Cells

Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) possess the ability to grow into almost any kind of cell, which has made them dynamic tools for studying early human development and disease, but much depends upon what they grow up in. Writing in the May 4 online issue of the journal Scientific Reports, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine used a powerful statistical tool called "design of experiments" or DOE to determine the optimal cell culture formula to grow and produce hPSCs.

Killing Blood Cancer: CLL

Killing Blood Cancer: CLL

April 14, 2015

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow, where blood cells are made. Researchers at UC San Diego are developing a new drug to treat CLL. The drug, cirmutuzumab, is an antibody designed to attach to a protein on the surface of CLL cells. Researchers hope that this process will block cancerous cell growth and survival. Right now, cirmtuzumab is being tested for its safety and effectiveness in humans in a Phase One clinical trial.

Stem Cells for Paralysis: First of Its Kind Study

Stem Cells for Paralysis: First of Its Kind Study

Researchers at UC San Diego are challenging the idea that spinal cord injury is irreversible. The first in-human clinical trials are underway to see if stem cells can treat the injuries. Joseph Ciacci, M.D., Neurosurgeon and Professor of Surgery at UC San Diego, talks about using neural stem cells to help paralysis patients in this KSAT 12 news feature.

Fighting Patient, Fighting Doctor: Dr. Catriona Jamieson Won't Give Up

Fighting Patient, Fighting Doctor: Dr. Catriona Jamieson Won't Give Up

Jamieson speaks with a patient at Moores Cancer Center

Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD speaks about curative care at the the UC San Diego Moores Cancer's 11th annual symposium on translational oncology. Jamieson is Associate Director of Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at UC San Diego Health and the Program Director for the CIRM Alpha Clinic at UC San Diego.

'Tooth Fairy' Brings Insight to San Diego Autism Researchers

Baby teeth help autism researchers like Alysson Muotri, PhD, understand the condition. Muotri and his colleagues extract cells from children's teeth, then reprogram tooth cells into brain cells using stem cell techniques.

A Better Way to Track Emerging Cell Therapies Using MRIs

Eric Ahrens, PhD, devises a way to track the movement of cells in the body post injection. Ahrens is a member of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center's Diagnostic Stem Cell Genomics & Imaging Program and CIRM Leadership awardee. More information on CIRM's official blog.

Dr. Larry Goldstein Reappointed as Director of UC San Diego Stem Cell Program

Dr. Larry Goldstein Reappointed as Director of UC San Diego Stem Cell Program

Chancellor Khosla is "delighted" to announce Dr. Larry Goldstein's reappointment on September 23, 2014: "Director Goldstein's vision and leadership have been central to the UC San Diego Stem Cell Program's extraordinary achievements and its local, national, and international prominence."

Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at UC San Diego Health Will Transition Between the Lab and the Clinic

The Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at UC San Diego Health exists to transform the enormous potential of stem cell science into real therapies for patients. More information is available on the UC San Diego Health website.

Beatriz Freitas Awarded Hertzberg-Schechter Prize for Stem Cell Research

Beatriz Freitas Awarded Hertzberg-Schechter Prize for Stem Cell Research

freitas

The Hertzberg Schechter awards committee unanimously approved Dr. Beatriz C.G. de Freitas for the prize, valued at $10,000, to support a research trip to the Weizmann Institute in Israel to engage in collaborative research and seed collaborative research for two to four weeks. Dr. Freitas is interested in modeling normal and affected early stages of human nervous system development using pluripotent stem cells, focusing on human astrocytes. (Image: [left to right] Richard Hertzberg; Sylvia M. Evans, PhD; Beatriz Freitas, PhD; Larry Goldstein, PhD)

CIRM UCSD Training Grant II Call for UCSD Physician Fellows with Research Time Available

CIRM UCSD Training Grant II Call for UCSD Physician Fellows with Research Time Available

The selection committee is seeking applicants who have an MD degree, are in a fellowship program at UC San Diego, have stem cell related research projects in mind, and have time available during their current fellowship to pursue them. Stipends are competitive, and recipients can perform up to 25% clinical service. Please email jbraswell "@" ucsd.edu for more info.

Larry Goldstein, PhD, Argues the Case for California Funding its Own Sci-tech Research

Larry Goldstein, PhD, Argues the Case for California Funding its Own Sci-tech Research

Larry Goldstein, PhD speaks at an event held by the California Healthcare Institute at the Salk Institute in July 2013, covered by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Eric T. Ahrens, PhD, Joins UCSD to Track Stem Cells in Vivo

Eric T. Ahrens, PhD, Joins UCSD to Track Stem Cells in Vivo

UC San Diego appoints Eric T. Ahrens, PhD, to the Faculty in Radiology. Ahrens is the recipient of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine's Research Leadership award. Ahrens was most recently a professor of biological sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. Ahrens will be located in the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, where he will work collaboratively with stem cell researchers to develop advanced techniques to monitor cell location and fate after delivery to the body.