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<p>Academic medical centers can play a larger role in drug development and testing, according to an FDA official, who says there is a need for better strategies to identify winners, minimize costs and reduce failures during drug development.</p>
Scientists have known for years that when vampire bats tear through an animal’s skin with their razor-sharp teeth, their noses guide them to the best spots – where a precise bite will strike a vein and spill forth nourishing blood. But nobody knew exactly how bats knew where to bite – until now.
Researchers at UCSF and in Michigan, North Carolina and Spain have discovered how genetic mutations cause a number of rare human diseases, which include Meckel syndrome, Joubert syndrome and several other disorders.
<p>Having developed an algorithm that discovered a large quantity of drug-producing bacteria in and on humans, Fischbach has turned his lab’s attention to studying their populations and interactions with each other. This, he posits, can greatly influence a person’s overall health and disease.</p>
<p>Swallowing pills means medication must face the challenge of surviving the harsh environment of the digestive tract. As a result, people must take larger doses than they need. Using micro and nano-fabrication techniques developed by the computer chip industry, Desai’s lab is creating tiny devices that take multiple drugs directly to where they are needed, using less medication, minimizing side effects and making the process safer for the patient. </p>
<p>Experts at UCSF and Caltech are pushing the boundaries of creative problem solving to address important clinical problems with the hope that the talent pool at both institutions, combined with an entrepreneurial spirit, will advance health care innovation.</p>
Men and women had starkly different immune system responses to chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, with men showing no response and women showing a strong response, in two studies by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco.
Researchers exploring human metabolism at UCSF have uncovered a handful of chemical compounds that regulate fat storage in worms, offering a new tool for understanding obesity and finding future treatments for diseases associated with obesity.
UCSF researchers have developed a new approach to decoding the vast information embedded in an organism’s genome, while shedding light on exactly how cells interpret their genetic material to create RNA messages and launch new processes in the cell.
UCSF scientists have received two grants from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to refine their human embryonic stem cell-based strategies for treating neurological diseases and liver failure.
A novel technique created at UCSF to deliver a growth factor directly to brain cells has shown promising results in treating Parkinson's symptoms and could enter human clinical trials as early as next year.
James McKerrow, leader of the Sandler Center for Drug Discovery at UCSF, was honored with the 2009 Mendel Medal for his work identifying the vulnerabilities of disease-causing parasites and for devising new strategies to fight them.
Taking an innovative path toward personalized medicine, scientists for the first time will be able to eliminate – at an early point in a clinical trial — experimental drugs that show poor efficacy, dramatically shortening the time it takes to get the right medication to the right patient with breast cancer.
A panel of experts appointed by Mayor Gavin Newsom recently presented an action plan as the approaching “age wave may bring a potential crisis in Alzheimer’s and dementia care” to San Francisco.
UCSF nephrologist Flavio Vincenti, MD, is the lead author of a paper in the March 2010 issue of the <i>American Journal of Transplantation</i> that reports results from a Phase III clinical trial for a new drug that selectively blocks immune suppression for kidney transplants. The drug, belatacept, is given to kidney-transplant recipients to prevent the immune system from rejecting the new organ. Vincenti and his co-investigators found that belatacept may be as effective as the commonly used anti-rejection drug cyclosporine, but with fewer side effects and superior kidney function after 12 months.
Scientists have identified a gene family that plays a key role in one of the earliest stages of development in which an embryo distinguishes its left side from the right and determines how organs should be positioned within the body. The finding in mice likely will lead to a better understanding of how certain birth defects occur in humans.
Molecular biologist Elizabeth H. Blackburn, PhD, 60, of the University of California, San Francisco, received the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on December 10th, 2009 in Stockholm, Sweden.
Stanley B. Prusiner, MD, 55, today was named to receive the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering and characterizing an entirely new class of proteins, called prions, which cause several rare and fatal neurodegenerative diseases.