September 2020
$11.4 million NIH grant advances drug to treat nicotine addiction

Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys, Camino Pharma, LLC and University of California San Diego School of Medicine have been awarded an $11.4 million grant from the NIH to advance a novel drug candidate for nicotine addiction into first-in-human Phase 1 studies. The drug targets a neuronal signaling pathway underlying addictive behaviors and would be a first-in-class medication to help people quit smoking.

A research breakthrough for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Lorenzo Puri, M.D., Ph.D., led new research showing that bioactive particles called “extracellular vesicles” can be used to transfer therapeutic drugs directly to dystrophic muscles. The approach offers a potentially safe way to regenerate muscle and prevent muscle scarring—a pathological feature of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The study was published in EMBO Reports.

World-class center to study aging established in San Diego

Sanford Burnham Prebys has joined forces with UC San Diego and the Salk Institute to form the San Diego Nathan Shock Center, a world-class consortium that will study cellular and tissue aging in humans. Peter Adams, Ph.D., and Malene Hansen, Ph.D., will lead key research and development cores at the center, which will be funded by the NIH and is expected to receive $5 million over the next two years.

Coronascape tool will help unlock big-data insights for COVID-19

More than 23,000 papers about COVID-19 have been published since January 2020—and this number continues to rise exponentially. To help researchers interpret this data, Sumit Chanda, Ph.D., and colleagues developed a bioinformatics platform called Coronascape—a central clearinghouse for researchers to laser focus their data-mining efforts to find effective drugs and vaccines for COVID-19.

Scientists to study “cytokine storms” caused by SARS-CoV-2

Emerging data suggest that severe COVID-19 is caused by an overwhelming inflammatory response—or "cytokine storm." Carl Ware, Ph.D., has received a $3 million NIH grant to study how SARS-CoV-2 hijacks the immune system to create this response—and identify drugs to help people recover. The research builds on the Institute's Pandemic Research Initiative to develop COVID-19 treatments.

Renowned immunologist enrolls in COVID-19 vaccine trial

After a career of studying how viruses wreak havoc on our health, leading immunologist Carl Ware, Ph.D., has become a “subject” in a COVID-19 clinical trial. We spoke with Carl to learn more about what is going through his head right now, including why he decided to volunteer and what it's like to participate in a clinical trial.

Celebrating the next generation of biomedical trailblazers at the Fishman Fund Awards 

When Dr. William and Lillian Fishman founded our Institute in 1976, they knew that nurturing the next generation of scientists was just as important as advancing cutting-edge research. Today, their values live on in the Fishman Fund Awards, which help talented postdoctoral researchers develop into scientific leaders. Read about the four scientists who received this year's awards at an inspiring virtual ceremony.

Meet Kyungsoo Shin, winner of the Fishman Fund Fellowship Award

Kyungsoo Shin, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher in the Marassi lab, is working to find a treatment for dry age-related macular degeneration, the main cause of vision loss for people over the age of 60. As a new father, this research became especially meaningful to Kyungsoo. “My son is 3 months old, and just started to smile and laugh,” he says. “I couldn’t imagine one day not being able to see him, or my grandchildren."

Does DNA editing cause Alzheimer's disease?

One in 10 people over the age of 65 is living with Alzheimer’s disease—and there is no cure. New research shows that certain edits of the brain’s genetic blueprint may underlie the disease. In this recent virtual event held in partnership with the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center (JCC), Jerold Chun, M.D., Ph.D., explains how existing FDA-approved medicines may offer near-term hope to treat this devastating type of dementia.

Meet the team behind the lung cancer research you helped fund

Lung cancer is the number one cause of death due to cancer—killing more people than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined. Thanks to your donations to Padres Pedal the Cause, collaborative research that may lead to better lung cancer treatments has advanced. Hear directly from the scientists working on the project, including Nick Cosford, Ph.D., as they answer audience questions and discuss their recently funded project.

Join us at "Insights: Addiction" as we discuss a path to treatment

From painkillers to nicotine and stimulants, more than 20 million Americans are living with at least one addiction. At "Insights: Addiction" hear from our top researchers who are advancing a promising drug candidate that may help people free themselves from substance abuse—and prevent a relapse. Join us virtually on Tuesday, October 27, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. PT to learn more and ask our scientists about this drug candidate.

Go behind the scenes (virtually) to learn about cancer and coronavirus

Join us for virtual guided tours inside our labs to meet scientists who are studying how infection with the novel coronavirus affects cancer. Topics include repurposing existing drugs to treat COVID-19, using mini lungs to test COVID-19 drugs and more. The event will be held on Thursday, November 12, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. PT.

Uncovering better type 1 and type 2 diabetes treatments through research

Improved ways to prevent and treat diabetes would benefit more than 400 million people worldwide who live with the condition. Join us virtually on Tuesday, November 17, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. PT to hear directly from our leading researchers about how they are identifying novel drug targets to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes. A Q&A session will follow the presentation.

At Sanford Burnham Prebys, we are passionate about finding bold new ways to treat disease, and we recognize the importance of sharing our discoveries with the publicespecially during this unprecedented time. Find out where and when you can "meet" our scientists virtually and learn about their research in this community event calendar.
Please Donate
Double your COVID-19 donation

Only research will allow scientists to understand and stop COVID-19. We are hopeful that our work will emerge as part of the larger solution to this global health crisis, and we invite you to accelerate our progress and impact. If you donate today, your gift will be matched dollar for dollar—up to $500,000—thanks to the generosity of Dinah Conyers Ruch. 
Could you benefit from the CARES Act of 2020?

The new CARES Act of 2020 offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make transformative philanthropic gifts with significant tax benefits to you and your family. Cash gifts to charities like Sanford Burnham Prebys are deductible at 100% of adjusted gross income.