04/30/21Salk Institute The novel coronavirus’ spike protein plays additional key role in illness LA JOLLA—Scientists have known for a while that SARS-CoV-2’s distinctive “spike” proteins help the virus infect its host by latching on to healthy cells. Now, a major new study shows that the virus spike proteins (which behave very differently than those safely encoded by vaccines) also play a key role in the disease itself. Read more
04/28/21UCSD How SARS-CoV-2 Hijacks Human Cells to Evade Immune System UC San Diego School of Medicine researchers discovered one way in which SARS-CoV-2 hijacks human cell machinery to blunt the immune response, allowing it to establish infection, replicate and cause di ... Read more
04/27/21Salk Institute Salk scientists reveal how brain cells in Alzheimer’s go awry, lose their identity LA JOLLA—Despite the prevalence of Alzheimer’s, there are still no treatments, in part because it has been challenging to study how the disease develops. Now, scientists at the Salk Institute have uncovered new insights into what goes awry during Alzheimer’s by growing neurons that resemble—more accurately than ever before—brain cells in older patients. And like patients themselves, the afflicted neurons appear to lose their cellular identity. Read more
04/26/21UCSD Genetic Changes in Head and Neck Cancer, Immunotherapy Resistance Identified A multi-institutional team of researchers, led by UC San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center, has identified both the genetic abnormalities that drive pre-cancer cells into becoming an i ... Read more
04/22/21Salk Institute Researchers trace spinal neuron family tree LA JOLLA—Spinal cord nerve cells branching through the body resemble trees with limbs fanning out in every direction. But this image can also be used to tell the story of how these neurons, their jobs becoming more specialized over time, arose through developmental and evolutionary history. Salk researchers have, for the first time, traced the development of spinal cord neurons using genetic signatures and revealed how different subtypes of the cells may have evolved and ultimately function to regulate our body movements. Read more
04/21/21Salk Institute San Diego Nathan Shock Center announces first grant awardees at inaugural training workshop LA JOLLA—The San Diego Nathan Shock Center (SD-NSC) of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging, a consortium between the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Sanford Burnham Prebys (SBP) Medical Discovery Institute and the University of California San Diego, has announced the first class of pilot grant awardees at the center’s inaugural training workshop. Six recipients, each from a different institution, will receive up to $15,000 to pursue research that advances our understanding of how humans age, with the ultimate goal of extending the number of years of healthy, disease-free life (i.e., health span). Read more
04/19/21Sanford Burnham Prebys Atomic-level insights gained for a key lipid-binding protein implicated in cancer  Press Release Read more
04/19/21UCSD How Brain Tumors Turn Immune Cells into Cancer-Growing Hostages Researchers discover that brain cancer tumors reprogram immune cells to help them grow, rather than suppress them. Read more
04/15/21UCSD Study Uses Precision Medicine to Speed Drug Testing for Pancreatic Cancer Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health is among the few clinical trial sites in the U.S. for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s (PanCAN) newly created Precision Promise, the first large-scale ... Read more
04/15/21Salk Institute Chimeric tool advanced for wide range of regenerative medicine, biomedical research applications LA JOLLA—The ability to grow the cells of one species within an organism of a different species offers scientists a powerful tool for research and medicine. It’s an approach that could advance our understanding of early human development, disease onset and progression and aging; provide innovative platforms for drug evaluation; and address the critical need for transplantable organs. Yet developing such capabilities has been a formidable challenge. Read more
04/14/21UCSD Autism Center at UC San Diego Receives $1.5 Million Gift The UC San Diego Autism Center for Excellence has received a $1.5 million gift from Kristin Farmer, founder and chief executive officer of ACES, a company that provides services to children with autis ... Read more
04/13/21Sanford Burnham Prebys Functional Landscape of SARS-CoV-2 Cellular Restriction Paper of the Week Read more
04/12/21Salk Institute Dannielle Engle awarded prestigious pancreatic cancer research grant honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg LA JOLLA—Salk Assistant Professor Dannielle Engle was selected as the first recipient of the Lustgarten Foundation-AACR Career Development Award for Pancreatic Cancer Research in Honor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the late Supreme Court Justice and women’s rights pioneer. Read more
04/07/21Sanford Burnham Prebys Conrad Prebys Foundation provides $3 million for pediatric brain cancer research Blog Read more
04/07/21Salk Institute Parkinson’s, cancer, type 2 diabetes share a key element that drives disease LA JOLLA—When cells are stressed, chemical alarms go off, setting in motion a flurry of activity that protects the cell’s most important players. During the rush, a protein called Parkin hurries to protect the mitochondria, the power stations that generate energy for the cell. Now Salk researchers have discovered a direct link between a master sensor of cell stress and Parkin itself. The same pathway is also tied to type 2 diabetes and cancer, which could open a new avenue for treating all three diseases. Read more
04/02/21Sanford Burnham Prebys Regnase-1 is essential for B cell homeostasis to prevent immunopathology Paper of the Week Read more
04/02/21UCSD Experimental Therapy for Parasitic Heart Disease May Also Help Stop COVID-19 UC San Diego researchers found that the chemical inhibitor K777 reduces the coronavirus’ ability to infect cell lines by blocking human enzyme cathepsin L; clinical trials are underway. Read more
04/01/21Salk Institute How brain cells repair their DNA reveals “hot spots” of aging and disease LA JOLLA—Neurons lack the ability to replicate their DNA, so they’re constantly working to repair damage to their genome. Now, a new study by Salk scientists finds that these repairs are not random, but instead focus on protecting certain genetic “hot spots” that appear to play a critical role in neural identity and function. Read more
03/24/21UCSD Repurposed Heart and Flu Drugs May Help Body Fight Sepsis UC San Diego researchers discovered that patient survival from sepsis is associated with higher platelet counts, and identified two currently available drugs that protect these blood cells and improve ... Read more
03/18/21UCSD Reversing Cancer’s Gluttony Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center describe how pancreatic cancer cells use an alternative method to find necessary nutrients, defying current therapies, to help t ... Read more
03/09/21UCSD Therapy Sneaks into Hard Layer of Pancreatic Cancer Tumor and Destroys it From Within Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center demonstrated that a new tumor-penetrating therapy could enhance the effects of chemotherapy, reduce the sp ... Read more
02/24/21UCSD Human Lung and Brain Organoids Respond Differently to SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Lab Tests UC San Diego School of Medicine researchers are using stem cell-derived organoids to study how SARS-CoV-2 interacts with various organ systems. Their findings may help explain the wide variety in COVI ... Read more
02/23/21UCSD Genetic Tool Improves Estimation of Prostate Cancer Risk in Diverse Ethnic/Racial Groups Scientists at University of California San Diego School of Medicine validated a more inclusive and comprehensive genetic tool, known as a polygenic hazard score (PHS), for predicting age of onset of a ... Read more
02/18/21UCSD Chatter Between Cell Populations Drives Progression of Gastrointestinal Tumors Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine identified new therapeutic targets for gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) that could lead to new treatment options for patient ... Read more
02/18/21UCSD Genetics May Play Role in Determining Immunity to COVID-19 UC San Diego researchers report that individual immune response to SARS-CoV-2 may be limited by a set of variable genes that code for cell surface proteins essential for the adaptive immune system. Th ... Read more
02/02/21UCSD Year or More Delay Between Abnormal, At-Home Screening and Colonoscopy Increases Cancer Risk A new study by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine found delayed time between abnormal stool-based screening and subsequent colonoscopy was associated with an increase ... Read more
01/26/21UCSD Two Anti-viral Enzymes Transform Pre-Leukemia Stem Cells into Leukemia Viral infections and space travel similarly trigger inflammation and the enzymes APOBEC3C and ADAR1; UC San Diego researchers are developing ways to inhibit them as a means to potentially lower cancer ... Read more
01/25/21UCSD When — Not What — Obese Mice Ate Reduced Breast Cancer Risk University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center researchers report that intermittent fasting reduced breast cancer risk in obese mice. Read more
01/20/21UCSD Designer DNA Therapeutic Wipes Out Cancer Stem Cells, Treats Multiple Myeloma in Mice UC San Diego study supports launch of Phase I clinical trial to test a designer DNA agent — an antisense oligonucleotide that targets a gene called IRF4 — in patients with multiple myeloma. Read more
01/07/21UCSD Study: E-Cigarettes Trigger Inflammation in the Gut Chemicals used for vaping break down zipper-like junctions between cells in the gut, leading to chronic inflammation and potential for other health concerns. Read more