A team of researchers at UC San Francisco, the California Academy of Sciences and Stanford University have uncovered some intriguing clues in the mystery of how some poison birds and frogs evade their own toxins. The answer may lead to a much-sought-after antidote to paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) experienced by people eating shellfish gathered after red tides, such as those that have recently plagued coasts of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is an envelope glycoprotein that binds angiotensin converting enzyme 2 as an entry receptor.
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In major cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart attack, loss of blood flow causes loss of oxygen (ischemia), leading to tissue damage and cell deaths. A species of ground squirrels from the Arctic can tolerate such ischemic attack, but the underlying biological basis has been unknown. The study from this paper led by Neel Singhal from the Ma lab at CVRI identified an unusual protein variant ATP5G1 from cells of Arctic ground squirrels that contributes to the protection from ischemic stress. This basic science discovery may lay the groundwork to develop potential therapeutic strategies to treat human ischemic disorders.
In a clinical collaboration with Melvin Scheinman from the UCSF Comprehensive Genetic Arrythmia Program, CVRI investigators Rahul Deo and Natalia Jura, along with MD/PhD trainee Erron Titus, set out to explain how mutations in the calcium-storage protein, calsequestrin, cause lethal arrhthymias. The team solved a new X-ray crystal structure of human cardiac calsequestrin, revealing the biochemical basis of calsequestrin’s assembly into filaments. Using the new structure, the team was able to map disease-associated mutations to the filament surfaces and explain how the location of the mutation in the structure determines the severity of disease.
The global burden of diabetes is rapidly increasing, from 451 million people in 2019 to 693 million by 20451. The insidious onset of type 2 diabetes delays diagnosis and increases morbidity2. Given the multifactorial vascular effects of diabetes, we hypothesized that smartphone-based photoplethysmography could provide a widely accessible digital biomarker for diabetes. y 20451.
When Dr. Ethan Weiss arrived in New York in late April, he started his first shift almost immediately.
Ethan Weiss, MD is part of the twenty-four UC San Francisco health care workers on voluntary assignment in New York City providing urgently needed health care support for patients.
Pui-Yan Kwok, MD, PhD
This award is to celebrate the achievement of a biomedical scientist:
- who has performed extraordinary work in biomedical sciences which has changed the thinking in the human genomics field; and/or
- who has uncovered new insights which brought forth new therapies; and/or
- whose lifetime contribution has significantly impacted the Asia-Pacific region
It is with great sadness that we share the news that John F. Murray, Professor of Medicine emeritus, has passed away.Dr. Murray was tirelessly dedicated to what was then called San Francisco General Hospital (now, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital & Trauma Center), where he was chief of pulmonology from 1966 until 1989.
Natalia Jura, PhD, is focused on how cells transmit signals via protein molecules on their surface to elucidate what goes wrong in cellular communication with cancer. “We are using cryogenic electron microscopy to tackle the structure of a class of these proteins called Receptor Tyrosine Kinases. These are the first studies that will allow us to look at these molecules as a whole piece, understand their architecture, and see how mutations change them.”
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