Category: Advanced technologies


Michael J Mann, M.D.

Mann

Research Interests:
1. Molecular/cellular biology and molecular genetics of atherosclerosis and heart failure. 2. Development of hybrid surgical and molecular/cellular therapies for heart disease. 3. Stem and progenitor cell transplantation for cardiovascular regeneration. 4. Cardiovascular tissue engineering. 5. Reduction to clinical practice of current methods in genetic, molecular and cellular disease intervention. 6. Novel targeted molecular therapies for lung cancer. 7. Molecular profiling of cancers for personalized medicine. 8. Development of novel methods of in vivo/ex vivo gene therapy and gene transfer. 9. Novel approaches to therapeutic neovascularization for coronary and peripheral ischemic disease. 10. Cardiovascular cell cycle biology. 11. Myocardial gene therapy.

Summary:
Dr. Mann’s research focuses on the molecular and cellular biology of heart disease with an emphasis on practical ways to develop new treatments for heart failure. These involve potential gene and molecular therapies, combinations of molecular and cell-based treatments with surgical reconstruction, and evaluation of novel materials for the development of bioartificial replacements of lost or damaged heart tissue.

UCSF Profiles Page


Wendell A Lim, Ph.D.

Lim

Research Interests:
Signal transduction, synthetic biology, systems biology, structural biology, protein-protein interactions, cell motility, MAP kinase cascades, GTPase pathways

Summary:
Wendell Lim’s Lab is working on creating a detailed instruction manual – a sort of user’s guide – that explains how biochemical circuits control a cell’s function and ultimately its fate. The long-term goal is to use the instruction manual to help scientists design cells to deliver therapeutic payloads, repair cancerous lesions, or attack microscopic pathogens. Cells are complex mechanical and sensing devices that can carry out highly complex tasks, such as secreting antibodies or forming repair structures like blood clots and bone. Cells contain signaling pathways that take in and integrate vast amounts of information about the cells’ environment, and they process and use this information to make complex decisions about how to respond to changing environmental conditions. If more is understood about how these processes work, there is the potential to change cells and help solve problems in biotechnology or health, and to treat disease more rationally.

UCSF Profiles Page


Pui-Yan Kwok, M.D., Ph.D.

Kwok

Research Interests:
Genetic analysis of complex traits, DNA technology development

Summary:
We are developing efficient methods to analyze single DNA molecules and applying molecular genetic tools to identify genetic factors associated with complex human traits such as longevity, sudden cardiac arrest, stroke, psoriasis, lupus, and kidney transplantation outcome. We are also conducting studies to identify genetic factors associated with drug response. The overall goal of our research is to develop the tools for genetic analysis of whole genomes and apply these tools to elucidate the genetic factors associated with common human diseases and phenotypes. The sequencing of the human genome and the mapping of common genetic variation by the International HapMap Consortium, in which our lab participated, have inspired an explosion of new technologies, accelerating identification of genetic susceptibility loci. Our phenotypes of interest include kidney transplantation outcomes, longevity, pharmacogenetics of membrane transporters, sudden cardiac death, psoriasis, skin cancer and brian vascular malformations and hemorrhage.

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Ronald M Krauss, M.D.

Krauss

Research Interests:
Summary:
Lipoprotein metabolism and risk of cardiovascular disease

Despite recent advances in treatment, cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death in the US and will soon achieve this status globally. Our group’s research is aimed at addressing three major challenges for reducing this enormous disease burden. First, standard diagnostic procedures do not identify a high proportion of children and adults who are at risk for CVD. We have developed and implemented a sophisticated new procedure that, by analyzing individual lipoprotein particles, provides more specific information than that afforded by ordinary cholesterol testing, and hence is capable of improving both the assessment and management of CVD risk. Second, dietary and lifestyle guidance has failed to substantially impact CVD risk factors, particularly those related to overweight and obesity. We have demonstrated that carbohydrate restriction can reverse the high risk lipid profile found in a high proportion of overweight and obese individuals even without weight loss, and that this effect is independent of saturated fat intake. These findings have helped support dietary guidelines that place a greater emphasis on limiting refined carbohydrates than fats. Third, despite the awareness of wide interindividual variability in response to treatments aimed at reducing CVD risk, the potential benefits of applying genomic tools for developing personalized approaches for maximizing CVD risk reduction have not been realized. A major component of our research program has been the application and development of genomic methodology for dissecting genetic influences on the therapeutic responses to statins, the most widely prescribed class of drugs for reducing CVD risk.

UCSF Profiles Page


Natalia Z Jura, PhD

Research Interests:
Receptor tyrosine kinases, kinase regulatory mechanisms, membrane proteins, feedback regulation of cell signaling

Summary:
We study basic mechanisms of cellular signaling by Receptor Tyrosine Kinases with a goal to understand how cells receive and process growth signals provided by the neighboring cells and the extracellular milieu. Receptor Tyrosine Kinases are single pass transmembrane receptors that catalyze tyrosine phosphorylation upon activation of their intracellular kinase domains. These receptors are principal regulators of growth and survival signals in cells and therefore frequently become deregulated in human diseases. We are interested in understanding how the kinase activity of these receptors is regulated by ligand binding and how the receptors associate with their regulatory components during the activation process. By combining biochemistry and cell biology we are studying these processes in the reconstituted membrane systems in vitro and in the plasma membrane of the living cells. We also use crystallography to gain an atomic resolution insight into Receptor Tyrosine Kinase regulation that will help us design new approaches for therapeutic intervention.

UCSF Profiles Page

Jura Lab Website

 


Zev Jordan Gartner, M.S. , Ph.D.

Gartner2

Research Interests:

Chemical Biology, Tissue Engineering, Systems and Synthetic Biology, Cancer Biology

Summary:
We use RNA and DNA, a cell’s molecular information carriers, as structural components to build and perturb living systems.

UCSF Profiles Page


William F Degrado, Ph.D.

Degrado

Research Interests:

De novo protein design, drug design, protein structure/function, membrane protein structure, integrins, antivirals, antibiotics.

Summary:
DeGrado’s group works on the design of molecules that inform our understanding of biological processes. They also have developed small molecules drugs for various as potential pharmaceuticals, including antithrombotics, heparin reversal agents, antibacterials, and antiviral agents.

 

UCSF Profiles Page


Pao-Tien Chuang, M.D. , Ph.D.

Chuang

Research Interests:
Cell-cell signaling during mammalian development and in postnatal physiology

Summary:
We use mouse as a model system to understand how embryos develop. This knowledge is critical for understanding the basis of human congenital defects. Moreover, many adult diseases have their origin in development. Thus, our studies have important implications for developing stem cell therapy and identifying the cause of cancers.

 

UCSF Profiles Page


Elias H Botvinick, M.D.

Botvinick

Research Interests:
Nuclear medicine, nuclear cardiology, PET/CT, MRI, CT, cardiac cardiology, echocardiology, nuclear magnetic resonance, cardiovascular imaging, stress testimg, heart, myocardial perfusion, scintigraphy, coronary, sychrony, sychronization

Summary:
My research centers on a collaborative effort to develop noninvasive imaging methods for the identification and evaluation of cardiac anatomy and pathophysiology, and apply them to the diagnosis, risk stratification and monitoring of clinical disease. The work is centered on nuclear medicine methods, PET and SPECT, as well as echocardiography, MRI, and CT.

 

UCSF Profiles Page


Ethan J. Weiss, M.D.

WeissE

Research Interests:
Coagulation, thrombosis, hemostasis, fibrinolysis, genetics, platelet, sexual dimorphism, growth hormone signaling, fatty liver disease, regulation of energy metabolism and obesity

Summary:
Our group has two main interests. The first is to understand the mechanisms underlying the regulation of energy metabolism by growth hormone. Growth hormone is well-known to promote lipolysis as a means of mobilizing energy from stores in the form of free fatty acids. To accommodate tissues and organs with increased energy needs, fatty acid uptake is also regulated by growth hormone. The precise molecular mechanisms driving these two processes remain unclear. With an aim toward understanding mechanisms of obesity and related conditions, we use a molecular and cellular approach combined with mouse genetic models to understand how growth hormone regulates lipolysis and the uptake of fatty acid by cells and tissues.

Our second interest is in defining novel mechanisms of thrombosis susceptibility. Our group has had a long interest in thrombosis. Recently, we have focused on understanding ways to modulate thrombosis risk without increasing the risk of bleeding. Here, we also use molecular, cellular, and mouse genetics approaches.

UCSF Profiles Page

 


Prescott G Woodruff, M.D., M.P.H.

Woodruff

Research Interests:
Genomics, Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Stereology, Epidemiology, Clinical Trials, Medical Education

Summary:
My research relates to two common lung diseases, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and falls into three specific categories: 1) the identification of molecular sub-phenotypes of these diseases, 2) the elucidation of mechanisms of inflammation and remodeling in these diseases and 3) clinical trials of novel therapies.


Yerem Yeghiazarians, M.D.

Yeghiazarians

Research Interests:
Stem cell (adult or embryonic), Myocardial infarction, Heart failure, Cardiomyopathy

Summary:
The goal of the UCSF Translational Cardiac Stem Cell Program is to bring recent advances in basic science and biology of stem cells to patients with heart disease, heart failure, and cardiomyopathy. There are many different types of stem cells. These can be broadly categorized as adult stem cells (derived from the patient) vs. embryonic type of stem cells. Our group is interested in studying which type of stem cell(s) would be most useful as novel therapy in patients after a heart attack, and exploring the mechanisms by which stem cells can potentially improve the cardiac function.