Also check out our latest Beaker post on our CDG research.
Sanford-Burnham Science Blog
Also check out our latest Beaker post on our CDG research.
Want to learn more? Visit us at www.sanfordburnham.org/gradschool
Editor’s note: below is a message that Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D., our President and Interim CEO, sent to Sanford-Burnham scientists and staff today.
I’m pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ze’ev Ronai to the position of Scientific Director of the La Jolla campus. As many of you are aware, such position was held by Dr. John Reed in 1995-2001, while I held a similar position of Executive Vice President for Scientific Affairs prior to my appointment as President in 2010.
We are pleased to announce that James C. Blair, Ph.D., and Patrick J. Geraghty have been appointed to our Board of Trustees.
James Blair, of Princeton, N.J., and San Diego, Calif., is a partner with Domain Associates, founded in 1985 to invest exclusively in emerging life sciences companies. He has been involved at the board level in the creation and successful development of more than 40 life sciences ventures including Amgen, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Applied Biosystems, NuVasive, Pharmion, and Volcano.
Patrick Geraghty of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., is chairman and chief executive officer of Florida Blue, the state’s largest health plan serving more than seven million people across the state. He serves as a board member for a variety of organizations, including the National Institute of Health Care Management and Prime Therapeutics. He is a member of the Florida Council of 100, which advises the governor on key Florida issues from a business perspective.
Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D., Sanford-Burnham’s president and interim CEO, said, “In seeking trustees we look for business acumen and a strong understanding of the potential impact of our research. We have found both of these characteristics in James Blair and Patrick Geraghty. Each gentleman can provide insight from his industry that affords us an invaluable perspective. We are very fortunate to add their expertise to our already robust board.”
Space Florida to send two experiments from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute to the International Space Station
We’re excited to announce today that two of our research teams have won Space Florida’s International Space Station (ISS) Research Competition. Eight teams were selected from a pool of international applicants to send experiments to space in late 2013. The competition was initiated by Space Florida, the state’s spaceport and aerospace authority, and NanoRacks, LLC. Sanford-Burnham’s research will fly as payloads to the ISS aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle and research will be conducted on board the U.S. National Lab at the ISS.
Here’s what the two teams are hoping to accomplish:
Congratulations to John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka on winning the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine! They received the award today for their “discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent.” In other words, these scientists figured out how to turn a normal adult cell, such as a skin cell, into a stem cell that has the potential to become any other type of cell in the body. Read below to learn more about stem cells and how they are revolutionizing medical research.
Stem cells are special because each is like a blank slate. Once it’s given the proper instruction, a stem cell can specialize and become any type of cell in the body—brain, heart, muscle, and more. Stem cells also have the ability to reproduce themselves indefinitely, renewing the supply.
Embryonic stem cells only exist during an organism’s development, when it is an embryo. These cells are pluripotent, meaning they have the capacity to become any cell type in the body.
Adult stem cells exist in fully developed organisms. They are more limited than embryonic stem cells—they are multipotent rather than pluripotent. These stem cells usually can only become a few types of specialized cells, based on the tissue from which they originate.
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are pluripotent, much like embryonic stem cells. iPSCs are produced in the laboratory by genetically reprogramming any adult cell, such as a skin cell.
What: SDBN October event: ScienceOnline, What’s in it for me?
When: October 22, 2012, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Green Flash Brewery Tasting Room, 6550 Mira Mesa Blvd., San Diego 92121
Host: San Diego Biotechnology Network (SDBN)
Who should attend: Life science researchers and professionals in the greater San Diego area
Registration and more info: http://sdbn.org/october
Cost: $25/20 (academic), dinner provided, drinks available for purchase
Twitter: #sciosocal @SDBN
What: Stem Cell Awareness Day
When: October 3, 2012, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Where: Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, 2880 North Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla, Calif. 92037
Who should attend: members of the community, patient advocates, patients, caregivers, teachers, students, and anyone else interested in discussing the latest news on clinical trials with trained scientists and doctors trying to treat disease and injury using stem cells
RSVP: contact Jennifer Braswell at email@example.com or(858)246-1073
See our scientists and staff spread holiday cheer in their native languages.
Sanford-Burnham is a highly collaborative institute, embracing opportunities to connect with scientists nationwide, so perhaps the greatest honor our researchers can receive is the recognition of their peers. Our CEO John C. Reed, M.D., Ph.D., and Director of our Del E. Webb Neuroscience, Aging and Stem Cell Research Center, Stuart A. Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., have been named as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Fellows are recognized for meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications. This year’s honorees were formally announced today in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science.
Sanford-Burnham has announced a collaboration to advance cancer research and treatment. We are teaming up with Scripps Health to bridge the gap between laboratory scientists uncovering new approaches for treating cancer and the physicians caring for patients with cancer.
Basic medical research often struggles to achieve the financing and support to convert significant breakthroughs into medical practice. The field of translational medicine— aimed at “translating” scientific research into treatments for patients— has developed to help ensure promising early-stage discoveries don’t languish, but instead move into the drug development pipeline.
“San Diego is known for its scientific research and for its premier health care. This collaboration is the latest example of how Scripps and Sanford-Burnham are bringing the two together,” said Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health.
As the United States pauses to observe the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, we reflect on the research advances that contribute to new counterterrorism measures—understanding anthrax, for example—and the health of our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, including under-studied conditions such as traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Here are a few examples, and these only cover discoveries made at Sanford-Burnham since September 11, 2001. Can you think of more? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Medscape, a physician-oriented website run by WebMD, visited Sanford-Burnham’s La Jolla campus this summer to record interviews with researchers from both Orlando and San Diego for a new online video program called Developments to Watch. The talk show-like discussions are hosted by Dr. Evan Snyder, who directs the Stem Cells and Regenerative Biology Program at Sanford-Burnham. The first episode, A New Frontier in Alzheimer’s Disease, is now available. In the video, Dr. Snyder speaks with Dr. Stuart Lipton, director of the Del E. Webb Center for Neuroscience, Aging, and Stem Cell Research, about his work on Alzheimer’s disease. They discuss what new findings—and potential treatments—are on the horizon and how they might impact patients.
A user name and password are required to access Medscape, but the site and content are free. New installments will be added monthly.
Watch the video, then come back here to let us know what you think!
For more about our research on Alzheimer’s disease, check out these blog posts:
Getting to the root of Alzheimer’s disease
Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Earlier
New Partnership Targets Brain Conditions
Safely Treating Alzheimer’s Disease
Saying NO to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases
Sanford-Burnham CEO Dr. John Reed met with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg last month at the FDA headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland to discuss the FDA’s new initiatives in innovation. The meeting was a great opportunity to exchange ideas on how to make the process of reviewing new drug applications more effective and efficient—in other words, how to get more new medicines to the people who need them.
Dr. Hamburg was appointed as the 21st FDA commissioner by President Obama and assumed her new role in May 2009. She brings a fresh perspective to the FDA and a commitment to improving the organization’s performance. The FDA is the regulatory authority that determines how new medicines, diagnostics, and medical devices will be tested on humans. They set the performance and safety criteria required for commercialization in the United States.
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