November 2021
Cosimo Commisso receives $4.6 million to explore innovative treatments for pancreatic cancer

Two new grants from the National Institutes of Health will help Associate Professor Cosimo Commisso, Ph.D., continue his work on macropinocytosis, a process in which pancreatic cancer cells sap up nutrients from their surroundings.

“Pancreatic tumor cells are quite dense, and this causes flattened blood vessels, so they are essentially housed in their own little ecosystem where they have to gather nutrients on their own,” says Commisso. “By stopping this process, we can effectively starve the tumors.”

Unraveling mysteries of the aging Down syndrome brain

In the first study of its kind, research led by Jerold Chun, M.D., Ph.D., uncovered molecular changes within the aging brains of individuals with Down syndrome that could help explain their cognitive challenges, including the uniform development of Alzheimer’s disease later in life. The findings could help pave the way for new therapies to aid people with Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease.

Study encourages cautious approach to CRISPR therapeutics

Ani Deshpande, Ph.D., led a collaborative study with the National Cancer Institute that describes how gene editing with CRISPR-Cas9 can favor cells with genes linked to cancer. The findings highlight the need to monitor patients undergoing CRISPR-Cas9-based gene therapy for cancer-related mutations that could make them more susceptible to tumors.

Sanford Burnham Prebys professors among the world’s most highly cited researchers

Two researchers from Sanford Burnham Prebys have been included on Clarivate’s 2021 Highly Cited Researchers list, a ranking of influential researchers around the world based on the number of times their work has been cited in peer-reviewed publications over the last decade. The publications of Jerold Chun, M.D., Ph.D., and Randal J. Kaufman, Ph.D., are among the top 1% in the world for number of citations.

Updates On: Clinical trials

How are patients being selected for clinical trials to treat cancer, and how does this affect clinical outcomes? What roles do technology and research play in the process? To learn more, join:

  • Keith T. Flaherty, M.D., director of Clinical Research, Harvard Medical School
  • Ze'ev Ronai, Ph.D., director of the NCI-designated Cancer Institute at Sanford Burnham Prebys
  • Steve Silverstein, M.B.A., Chair Emeritus, Board of Directors, Melanoma Research Foundation

Tuesday, December 14, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. PT.

Unraveling the genetics of congenital heart defects to help save lives

Congenital heart defects remain the most common type of birth defect, but the genetic causes of these conditions are poorly understood. Join us on Tuesday, January 25, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. PT, to learn how Sanford Burnham Prebys is teaming up with Rady Children's Hospital to demystify the genetics of heart defects by studying the genes of actual patients.

Pancreatic Cancer: Advancing new treatment approaches for a deadly cancer

Pancreatic cancer remains one of the deadliest cancers for which there is no effective treatment. Only one in ten people survive longer than five years, according to the American Cancer Society, and its incidence is on the rise. Join Cosimo Commisso, Ph.D., director of the Cell and Molecular Biology of Cancer Program at Sanford Burnham Prebys, and learn about promising breakthroughs toward effective treatments for pancreatic cancer.

At Sanford Burnham Prebys, we're passionate about finding bold new ways to treat disease, and we recognize the importance of sharing our discoveries with the public—especially 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.
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