June 2016
Dear Colleagues,

We’re pleased to bring you the June edition of Discoveries, with updates on research advances, new grants, recognition of our cutting-edge capabilities, and efforts to share our work with the community.

We welcome your feedback!

SBP Communications
Study reveals protein that dials immune responses up and down

Research led by Linda Bradley, Ph.D., has identified a new regulator of immune responses—a protein called PSGL-1. The findings, published recently in Immunity, open the door for a new approach to modulating T cell activity to treat infections, autoimmune diseases, and certain cancers.

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Select Media Coverage: ScienceDaily, Lupus News Today, Rheumatoid Arthritis News

Science News
Spotlight on Cancer
High levels of protein p62 predict liver cancer recurrence

New research from Jorge Moscat, Ph.D., and Maria Diaz-Meco, Ph.D., published in Cancer Cell in collaboration with UC San Diego, suggests that p62 could be used as a prognostic marker and potential therapeutic target for liver cancer.

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Select Media Coverage: Medical News Today,

Blocking RANTES may slow growth of liver cancer

In a study published in Hepatology, the laboratory of Garth Powis, D.Phil., identified RANTES—a protein secreted by immune cells—as a new potential therapeutic target to treat liver cancer, the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide.

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Super-oncogenic protein that promotes development of melanoma

An international collaborative study led by Ze’ev Ronai, Ph.D., has identified a malicious form of a protein called ATF2 that drives the formation of melanoma. The findings, published in Cell Reports, may lead to novel therapies against these aggressive tumors.

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Making ERK work as a therapeutic target for colorectal cancer

New research in Nature Communications, co-led by Petrus de Jong, M.D., Ph.D., postdoctoral associate in the laboratory of Garth Powis, D.Phil., points to a way to overcome the lack of efficacy of ERK1/2 inhibitors in treating colorectal cancer.

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Francesca Marassi receives NIH Outstanding Investigator Award to study deadly pathogens

Francesca Marassi, Ph.D., has been awarded a $4 million grant to study how proteins on the surface of pathogens promote virulence by mediating first-line interactions with human host cells. 
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Cosimo Commisso explains cancer metabolism on NIH website

In a new article on the website for the National Cancer Institute’s RAS Initiative, Cosimo Commisso, Ph.D., discusses how the metabolism of cancer cells might vary in different parts of solid tumors.
Institute News
Sanford Burnham Prebys selected as designated center for Chemical Biology Consortium

Our institute has been chosen as a dedicated center for the NCI Experimental Therapeutics (NExT) Program Chemical Biology Consortium (CBC). The NExt Program supports discovery of drugs for targets with a clear path to the clinic or potential benefit to patients. Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D., and Michael Jackson, Ph.D., will act as co-principal investigators.

Welcome to our newest and recently renewed President's Circle Members!
• Liz and Michael Copley
Gigi and Edward * Cramer
• Barbara and Jim Dudl
• Anne L. Evans
• Lisa Haile
• Linda and David Hale
• Joye Blount and Jessie J. Knight
• Amy and Bill Koman
• Sue Raffee
• Peggy Walker-Conner
• Ellen G. Weinstein
President's Circle
Please Donate
2016 Faculty Retreat highlights research advances, awards and promotions

The 2016 Faculty Retreat was held May 11-12  in beautiful Carlsbad, Calif. Special kudos to Duc Dong, Ph.D., for receiving this year's "WOW" award for best presentation about his novel approach to generate insulin-producing cells to treat diabetes.

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Cancer survivors support our Cancer Center Open House

Our NCI-designated Cancer Center held an open house Thursday, June 9 to promote awareness of cancer research and to create dialog between our scientists and the community. The free event included laboratory tours and a reception where scientists were on hand to answer questions.

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Watch the KUSI video >>

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