October 2017
Dear colleagues and friends,

The past month has been filled with great news. On the science front, we are very proud of Dr. Nicholas Cosford’s major grant to pursue research on a potential treatment for substance abuse. Like many of the diseases we study at SBP, substance abuse disorders affect millions of Americans each year and impose tremendous costs on our society. Dr. Cosford will be leading a team to develop a new class of medicine that could help people suffering from cocaine and nicotine addiction.

SBP scientists also made important discoveries related to cancer, aging, and neurological disease. And Dr. Jamey Marth received a prestigious international award for his pioneering research linking specific carbohydrate molecules to diseases such as diabetes and lupus.
Finally, we hosted a number of annual Institute events, including the SBP Gala, SBP Postdoctoral Research Symposium and Fishman Fund Award Ceremony honoring outstanding postdoctoral scientists, and the 38th Annual SBP Scientific Symposium, which included a special tribute for our dear friend and benefactor Conrad Prebys.

We hope you enjoy this issue.

Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D.
Pauline and Stanley Foster Presidential Chair
Nicholas Cosford receives $10.8 million grant to advance treatment for substance abuse

Cocaine addiction remains a major public health problem without any FDA-approved medications for treatment. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has awarded Nicholas Cosford, Ph.D., a three-year, $10.8 million grant to pursue the preclinical development of a new class of drug to treat substance disorders. The compound targets a pathway in the brain linked to cocaine and tobacco addictions.   

The slow, silent process of “inflammaging” might kill you

In aging cells that stop growing and dividing, bits of DNA normally confined to the cell nucleus leak out into the cytoplasm. Peter Adams, Ph.D., published a study on how this can lead to chronic inflammation and age-related diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, liver disease, atherosclerosis, muscle wasting and cancer.

Uncovering the cause of a 12-year-old girl’s rare neurological disorder

The parents of a child with seizures, weak muscles, limited communication abilities and autism-like behavior recently got a long-awaited answer as to the cause of her disorder. Hudson Freeze, Ph.D., helped identify the source of her symptoms, which turn out to stem from improper function of a protein important for brain development.

New insights on the addictions of tumors

Maria Diaz-Meco, Ph.D., published research suggesting that targeting the p62 protein in the supportive tissue surrounding tumors may cut off the supply of nutrients that feed the growth and survival of many cancers. The findings suggest that this protein could be a potential anti-cancer target.

How RNA splicing can trigger cancer

Until recently, only DNA mutations were thought to cause cancer. Adam Godzik, Ph.D., has published new research showing how alterations in a process known as alternative RNA splicing may also trigger the disease.

2017 SBP Annual Gala celebrates “Sights Set on Discovery”

Friends and supporters of Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) gathered under the stars on Harbor Island in downtown San Diego for our spectacular Annual Gala, themed “Sights Set on Discovery.” Raising money to advance biomedical research inspired a warm, jubilant evening as guests celebrated SBP’s many scientific accomplishments.

SBP and friends remember Conrad Prebys at 38th Annual Symposium

A close-knit group of friends and loved ones gathered to honor Conrad Prebys and his lasting impact on SBP. Denny Sanford, Malin Burnham and SBP leadership shared memories of Conrad’s endless generosity and longstanding relationship with our Institute.

16th Annual SBP Postdoctoral Research Symposium

Future scientific leaders gathered at SBP’s 16th Annual Postdoctoral Research Symposium—an event that showcases the talent of Institute researchers in the midst of scholarly training beyond their doctoral degree.

2017 Fishman Fund Awards

More than 100 supporters of SBP attended the Fishman Fund Award ceremony honoring this year’s recipients. The awards are provided to support the career development of outstanding SBP postdoctoral scholars.

Jamey Marth receives Society of Glycobiology’s Karl Meyer Award

Jamey Marth, Ph.D., was honored with a prestigious international award for a career of groundbreaking research linking carbohydrate molecules called glycans to diabetes, lupus and sepsis.

Join us on November 9th for our Cancer Center Open House. To learn more click here .