June 2021
Cerecor licenses Sanford Burnham Prebys' Immune Checkpoint Program

Sanford Burnham Prebys announced that Cerecor Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on becoming a leader in the development and commercialization of treatments for immunologic, immuno-oncologic and rare genetic disorders, entered into an exclusive license agreement with the Institute for the worldwide development and commercialization of an immune checkpoint program.

Study supports gene therapy as a promising treatment for soft bone disease

A preclinical study led by José Luis Millán, Ph.D., has established that AAV8-TNAP-D10—a gene therapy that replaces a key enzyme found in bone—may be a safe and effective single-dose treatment for soft bone disease (hypophosphatasia). The study, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, further supports advancing the therapy toward human clinical trials.

Enzyme therapy helps rebuild teeth

Our teeth are extremely tough, but neglectful oral hygiene practices and certain genetic disorders can still massively damage them. In a recent Journal of Dental Research study co-authored by José Luis Millán, Ph.D., researchers identified a promising new strategy for helping the body regenerate a part of the tooth that is particularly difficult to repair.

Researchers dig deeper into how cells transport their waste for recycling

Malene Hansen, Ph.D., and Jose Luis Nieto-Torres, Ph.D., have gained a deeper insight into the intricacies of autophagy, the process in which cells degrade and recycle cellular components. Their findings, published in Current Biology, describe how the “trash bags” in a cell—called autophagosomes—are tagged to direct their movement to the cellular “recycling plants” where waste is processed. The research opens new paths to understanding the relationship between autophagy and age-related diseases such as cancer and neurological disorders.

Alexandre Colas awarded $1.9 million for atrial fibrillation research

Alexandre Colas, Ph.D., has been awarded $1.9 million by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health to discover drugs that restore normal cardiac rhythm in atrial fibrillation. The four-year award will enable Colas to use stem cell technology with a novel high-resolution screening platform to identify small molecules that have the potential to revert arrhythmias.

Laura Martin-Sancho shares her experience working on SARS-CoV-2 during pandemic

COVID-19 altered our lives and pushed scientific research to operate at breakneck speed, leading to significant breakthroughs in record time. The journal Molecular Cell recently asked experts—including Laura Martin-Sancho, Ph.D.—about the challenges involved in making a rapid and safe transition to coronavirus research, all while navigating the shutdown.

Carl F. Ware receives ICIS Honorary Lifetime Membership Award

Carl F. Ware, Ph.D., director of the Inflammatory Diseases Center, has received the 2021 International Cytokine & Interferon Society Honorary Lifetime Membership Award. The award is a tribute to his seminal and original contributions to our understanding of the role of cytokines in immunology, and active engagement in cytokine research.

Malene Hansen receives the Irving S. Wright Award of Distinction

The award, named in honor of the founder of the Federation for Aging Research, recognizes exceptional contributions to basic or clinical research in the field of aging. Malene Hansen, Ph.D., will receive the award at the Annual Meeting of the Gerontology Society of America in November 2021.

Insights: Helping our bodies cure cancer

Immunotherapy—empowering our own immune system to kill tumors—has revolutionized the treatment of cancer. However, the treatment doesn’t work for everyone. Join us to hear from scientists on the leading edge of immunotherapy research. The event on Tuesday, July 13, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. PT, will will be followed by a Q&A session to give you an opportunity to connect with our scientists and have your questions answered.

Stem cells: The future is now

It wasn’t long ago when we first heard about the promise of stem cells. They were the wave of the future. Now we are on a path to reap the benefits of our breakthrough research and improve human health. Join us on Thursday, August 5, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. PT, for a vibrant discussion on the future of stem cell therapies.

Pancreatic cancer: Designing new treatments for a deadly cancer

Only one in ten people with pancreatic cancer 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 Program, on Thursday, November 17, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. PT, for a discussion about breakthroughs toward effective treatments for pancreatic cancer.

Insights: An end to Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s is one of the most devastating diseases of our time. Of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S., it's the only one for which no effective treatment exists. Could a potential Alzheimer’s therapy be closer than we think? Research from Jerold Chun, M.D., Ph.D., and Tim Huang, Ph.D., are bringing us one step closer to understanding—and potentially treating—this devastating condition.

Virtual Date with a Cure: A free Alzheimer's research forum

San Diego County is home to some of the best and brightest Alzheimer’s researchers and institutions. Every year, they come together for Date with a Cure. Our senior vice president of Neuroscience Drug Discovery, Jerold Chun, M.D., Ph.D., was an esteemed panelist.

Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month: A discussion on local research and breakthroughs with Rep. Scott Peters

Alzheimer’s is the third-leading cause of death in San Diego County. According to estimates, more than 84,000 San Diegans are currently living with either Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Jerold Chun, M.D., Ph.D., shared his work.

What we learned about genetic sequencing during COVID-19 could revolutionize public health. Infectious disease expert Sumit Chanda says a “global command and control infrastructure” for genetic sequencing is needed if we want to be prepared for the next pandemic.

"Still a lot of work to be done": Local experts discuss Alzheimer’s research, treatment and support. Jerold Chun and local Alzheimer’s researchers share the latest findings on the causes of the disease and preventive measures.

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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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.
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