March 2021
Leprosy drug holds promise as at-home treatment for COVID-19

A Nature study authored by Sumit Chanda, Ph.D., and scientists at the University of Hong Kong shows that the leprosy drug clofazimine has potent antiviral activities against SARS-CoV-2 and prevents "cytokine storm," a potentially deadly inflammatory response to the coronavirus. The drug is affordable, FDA approved and on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. A Phase 2 study could begin immediately.

Drug candidate starves tumors by blocking glutamine uptake

A drug candidate identified by Ze'ev Ronai, Ph.D., slowed the growth of melanoma by blocking the uptake of glutamine—a key food source for many tumors. The drug targets a glutamine transporter, SLC1A5, which pumps the nutrient into cancer cells—offering a promising new approach for treating melanoma and other cancers. The study was published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.

Targeting "cell drinking" in stroma shrinks pancreatic cancer

Cosimo Commisso, Ph.D., demonstrated for the first time that blocking “cell drinking,” or macropinocytosis, in the thick tissue surrounding a pancreatic tumor slowed tumor growth—providing more evidence that macropinocytosis is a driver of pancreatic cancer growth and is an important therapeutic target. The study was published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Meet immunologist Jennifer Hope

Jennifer Hope, Ph.D., is working to find ways to make cancer immunotherapy work for more people. Read on to learn about her research and what she wishes people knew about science.

Hospitals were full. One scientist stepped up.

Read about how physician-scientist Evan Snyder cared for people with severe COVID-19 when hospitals were overwhelmed with cases—and the lessons he takes away from the experience.

Fighting rare diseases: Finding treatments and bringing hope

The majority of rare diseases affect children, and often their own doctors haven't heard of their conditions—let alone know how to treat them. But there is a place where they can turn for help: Our scientists are working to find better ways to diagnose, treat—and sometimes even cure—rare diseases. This month two people whose lives were saved by discoveries made by Hudson Freeze, Ph.D., and José Luis Millán, Ph.D., joined the scientists to share how their lives have been impacted by this research.

Insights: Women’s health research

If you're a woman, you're at greater risk of many serious health conditions, including breast cancer, autoimmune disorders and more. At this "Insights" event, our top scientists will discuss their latest research into conditions that uniquely affect women. The event takes place on Tuesday, April 20, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. PT.

Why scientists are hopeful about an HIV cure

Antiretroviral therapy has increased the life expectancy of people with HIV by decades. However, the medicine must be taken every day to be effective. Join us on Tuesday, May 11, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. PT. for a discussion about a potential cure for HIV featuring our scientific experts, people living with HIV and leaders from the LGBTQIA+ community.

Padres Pedal the Cause goes virtual for 2021

Calling all cancer fighters! Padres Pedal the Cause is going virtual for 2021, and registration is now open. This annual event raises critical funds for local cancer research institutes. Join the Sanford Burnham Prebys team on Saturday, May 8, to have fun and help scientists put an end to cancer.

COVID-19: The way forward

This month marks one year since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that upturned our lives. At this "Insights" event, our experts shared research revelations from the past year, the latest scientific updates, and strategies for the path forward.

How the heart ages

Karen Ocorr, Ph.D., explains how she is deciphering the underlying cause(s) of a common heart condition, atrial fibrillation (AFib), using stem cell–derived heart cells and fruit flies. This presentation was held in partnership with the Fleet Science Center.

Learn more about our scientists' research showing that starving tumors is a promising way to treat melanoma and pancreatic cancer.

Read about research by Sumit Chanda, Ph.D., showing that the low-cost leprosy drug clofazimine may be repurposed for COVID-19.

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