March 2022
Sanford Burnham Prebys announces groundbreaking partnership to increase diversity and inclusion in biopharma

Sanford Burnham Prebys and Roivant Social Ventures, a nonprofit social impact organization, launched a groundbreaking initiative designed to eliminate barriers to opportunity in the biopharma industry and expand inclusive access to healthcare.

The first-of-its-kind, real-world training program aims to accelerate therapeutic innovation by prioritizing unmet medical needs, engaging underserved populations, and training students from diverse backgrounds.

To meet mounting healthcare challenges and stark healthcare disparities, we need to shift the current paradigm and train a new type of biopharma leader,” said C. Randal Mills, Ph.D., CEO of Sanford Burnham Prebys. “We are proud to offer this bold and innovative program with our partners at Roivant Social Ventures to tackle these problems head-on and with a relentless pursuit of better outcomes for patients in need.”

New research from Sanford Burnham Prebys has revealed significant molecular differences between the breast cells of white and Black women that help explain why Black women experience higher breast cancer mortality.

The findings, published in Therapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology, suggest that changing current diagnostic and treatment strategies could help address the disparity.

“The way each human being responds to cancer treatment is influenced by so many internal and external factors that are unique to each of us,” says Svasti Haricharan, Ph.D., senior author of the study. “The scientific community has to confront this and invest time and money into understanding it, because everybody deserves care that is tailored to their molecular makeup as closely as possible.”


A multi-institute research collaboration including Randal Kaufman, Ph.D., has just received a $12 million grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to improve hemophilia therapy. The award will fund three projects that could lead to safer and potentially curative treatments for the disorder. 

The five-year project will explore how Alzheimer’s development is impacted by molecules in the scaffolding of our brains, which could yield new strategies for treating the disease.

“Our hypothesis is that heparan sulfate mediates the development of Alzheimer’s by binding to a brain protein that is critical for the development of the disease,” says Yamaguchi. “If we can develop an inhibitor to block this interaction, that could provide us with new ways to treat the disease.”

Bioinformaticist Kevin Yip, Ph.D., has joined Sanford Burnham Prebys as a professor, where he will collaborate with other faculty across the Institute on large-scale data analysis and develop new tools and models for computational biology. Yip comes to Sanford Burnham Prebys after more than a decade on the faculty at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Rare Disease Day gathers scientists, doctors and families

The 2022 Rare Disease Day Symposium took place recently at the Dana On Mission Bay Resort in San Diego. The event, sponsored by Sanford Burnham Prebys and CDG CARE, brought together researchers, clinicians and families from around the world to discuss new medical breakthroughs and meet other families living with rare diseases.

“This is a chance for the global CDG community to come together, support one another and continue to try to find treatments,” says Hudson Freeze, Ph.D., director of the Human Genetics Program at Sanford Burnham Prebys. “It’s always my favorite weekend of the year, and I’m thrilled that we’re able to do it again safely.”

Hudson Freeze, Ph.D., is not your average researcher. His work focuses on congenital disorders of glycosylation, or CDG, a severe group of diseases that affects fewer than 2,000 children worldwide.

Although Freeze is not a clinician, he is deeply involved in identifying these rare CDG mutations, and providing families with answers to what is often a challenging diagnosis. Because CDG is a group of incurable diseases, families of children with CDG reach out to Freeze almost weekly, seeking help.

Ride with Sanford Burnham Prebys
Sanford Burnham Prebys is gearing up for next year’s Padres Pedal the Cause, an annual fundraising event that invites participants to cycle, spin, run or walk to support cancer research in the San Diego area. The event is scheduled for April 9, 2022, at Petco Park. 

Please Donate
Donate now

Please join Sanford Burnham Prebys as a partner in discovery. Our world-class research programs are dedicated to finding cures for human disease to help individuals and their families. Your gift helps our scientists advance medical research to save lives.
Could you benefit from the CARES Act?

The CARES Act 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 such as Sanford Burnham Prebys are deductible at 100% of adjusted gross income.