2007: The Year in Review
Ioana Patringenaru | December 17, 2007
A Nobel Peace Prize recognized the work of UCSD scientists. Fires raged through San Diego County. New top administrators came on board. 2007 was an eventful year for UCSD. With the end of the year just around the corner, we decided to take a look back at the last 12 months. Here is a list of some of the most important and interesting stories of 2007.
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
UCSD Headlines MLK Parade
Perched atop a dark blue Mustang convertible, Chancellor Marye Anne Fox and Vice Chancellor Joe Watson braved near-freezing temperatures to act as grand marshals of San Diego’s 27th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade Saturday. They smiled and waved to onlookers as the parade wound its way around PETCOPark.
San Diego Supercomputer
Experts Help Navajos Build “An Internet to the Hogan”
Navajos in the American Southwest, many of whom have never had access to a personal telephone, will soon make a significant leap into the Internet Age, thanks in part to resources and expertise provided by the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UCSD. The Navajos, who refer to themselves as the “Dine” (dee-nay), will celebrate “An Internet to the Hogan and Dine Grid Event” on Monday, Jan. 29, at Navajo Technical College in Crownpoint, New Mexico.
“Origami Lens” Slims High Resolution Cameras
Engineers at UCSD have built a powerful yet ultra-thin digital camera by folding up the telephoto lens. This technology may yield lightweight, ultra-thin, high resolution miniature cameras for unmanned surveillance aircraft, cell phones and infrared night vision applications.
NASA Funds Scripps Instrument for Probing for Life on Mars
NASA announced $750,000 in funding for development of an instrument to detect signs of life on Mars proposed by a scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD.
UCSD Named Among ‘Best Value’ in Public Colleges
UCSD has been named one of the top 10 “Best Values in Public Colleges” in the February 2007 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. The list ranks four-year public colleges and universities that combine outstanding economic value with a first-class education.
UCSD Launches Education Initiative to Keep Middle School Girls Interested in Engineering and Technology Careers
UCSD engineering faculty and students, together with San Diego Supercomputer staff, are launching an environmental education initiative they hope will keep middle school girls excited about science, and eventually, careers in engineering. The UCSD team will help San Diego County students monitor the air quality, solar radiation, and other environmental factors surrounding their own schools, and will use the environmental research concepts and techniques to create a multi-player online science challenge game designed specifically for 12-15 year-old girls.
Distinguished Gastroenterologist Named UCSD
Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences, Dean of Medical School
David Brenner, M.D., a distinguished physician-scientist who began his academic career at UCSD, has been appointed by the UC Regents to be Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine at UCSD, effective Feb. 1, 2007.
Two New Studies Back Vitamin D for Cancer Prevention
Researchers Report Levels Needed To Cut Breast, Colon Cancer Risk
Two new vitamin D studies using a sophisticated form of analysis called meta-analysis, in which data from multiple reports is combined, have revealed new prescriptions for possibly preventing up to half of the cases of breast cancer and two-thirds of the cases of colorectal cancer in the United States. The work was conducted by a core team of cancer prevention specialists at the Moores Cancer Center at UCSD, and colleagues from both coasts.
Scientists Predict Droughts,
Rise in Temperatures, Sea Levels in Global Warming Report
Temperatures will probably increase by 3.2 to 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. Sea levels will rise by 7 to 23 inches. Many of the world’s most populated regions will face severe water shortages. Scientists made these dire predictions in a report issued Friday in Paris by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This was the IPCC’s fourth report since 1990. For the first time, it states with near-certainty that global warming is man-made.
Complex Plumbing System
Found Deep Beneath West Antarctic Ice Sheet
The recent discovery of a subglacial water system beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet is causing scientists to rethink the mechanisms that control the flow of ice streams into the Ross Ice Shelf and ultimately into the Southern Ocean, according to Helen Amanda Fricker, a glaciologist at UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Dr. Leon Thal, Renowned
Alzheimer’s Expert, Dies in Plane Crash
Leon Thal, M.D., Distinguished Professor and Chair of Neurosciences at the UCSD School of Medicine, and one of the world’s leaders in the development and study of new therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, has been killed in a plane crash that occurred Saturday night, Feb. 3. Thal, 62, was piloting the plane between San Diego and Borrego Springs, California. Cause of the crash is unknown at this time.
Seven at UCSD Receive Stem Cell
Funding from California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
More than two years after voters approved a $3 billion program to fund stem cell research in California, the state has approved the first grants focused solely on human embryonic stem cell research. Seven of those grants, totaling almost $4.4 million, have been awarded to researchers at UCSD.
Scripps Oceanography Research
Studies Shed New Light on Blue Whales and Their Calls
Using a variety of new approaches, scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD are forging a new understanding of the largest mammals on Earth. In one recently published study on blue whales, Scripps researchers used a combination of techniques to show for the first time that blue whale calls can be tied to specific behavior and gender classifications.
Study Shows Liver an Excellent
Target for Cancer Gene Therapy Using Viral Vectors
A featured paper in the Feb. 14 issue of Nature Cancer Gene Therapy demonstrates that cancer cells in the liver are excellent targets for gene therapy using adenoviral vectors, based upon a fundamental new understanding of the differences between cancerous and normal liver cells. The findings signal a new way to treat cancers that have spread to the liver, such as metastatic cancers of the colon and breast.
Jump in Athletics Fee Paves Way
for Brighter Future for UCSD Sports Programs
Teams will travel out of state more often. Coaches’ salaries will increase. All athletes will receive $500 scholarships. These are some of the payoffs from a hike in athletic fees approved by students during an Associated Student election held Jan. 29 to Feb. 2. A record number of UCSD students voted to raise their athletic fees from $95 to $329 per year.
In Search of Hidden Treasures:
Art Detective to HeadNewCenter Blending Art and Science
He has taken X-rays of hundreds of Renaissance masterpieces, including works by Leonardo Da Vinci. He has used just about every ray in the spectrum to study more than 2,500 of the world’s most important paintings, frescoes, statues and monuments. His work got him mentioned in the best-selling “Da Vinci Code.” Now he is going to head a ground-breaking center at UCSD.
Three at UCSD Receive Stem Cell Research
Grants from California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
The second round of grants focused solely on human embryonic stem cell research has been approved for funding by the 29-member Independent Citizens Oversight Committee, governing board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Three of those grants, totaling more than $7.5 million, have been awarded to researchers at UCSD.
UCSD Women’s Basketball Team
Ends Best Season in History with Semifinal Defeat
The best season in the history of UCSD’s women’s basketball team ended Thursday with a defeat in the semifinals of the NCAA’s Division II national championships, known as the Elite Eight. The Tritons lost 67-53 to Southern Connecticut State University in Kearney, Neb. Southern Connecticut went on to win the national championship title.
UCSD Researchers Identify Connection Between Sleep
Disruption and Increased Cardiovascular Risk in Healthy Men and Women
Researchers at the UCSD School of Medicine have discovered that sleep disruption in seemingly healthy subjects is associated with increased clotting of the blood, which has previously been shown to predict cardiovascular disease. The findings were published in the March issue of CHEST, the official publication of the American College of Chest Physicians.
Biologists Produce Global Map of Plant Biodiversity
Biologists at UCSD and the University of Bonn in Germany have produced a global map of estimated plant species richness. Covering several hundred thousand species, the scientists say their global map is the most extensive map of the distribution of biodiversity on Earth to date.
Wooing the Cream of the Crop
Campus Invites Top Prospective Students to Scholars' Day
The 200 parents and high school students gathered in the Price Center Ballroom thought they had come to learn more about what UCSD has to offer. They didn't know they were in for a big surprise. So, when Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Joseph Watson told the teenagers Friday morning that they all had been admitted to UCSD for fall 2007, they smiled. Their parents cheered.
UCSD Shakes up Learning for Elementary Schools
Sixth-grade students from Carmel Del Mar Elementary School shrieked with unabashed amazement about 2 p.m. Tuesday at a UCSD earthquake-safety research complex eight miles east of campus. All but one of the seven-story buildings constructed by 20 teams of students in their classrooms toppled during Tuesday’s quake test, with K’NEX rods, connectors, and building parts scattered across the surface of UCSD’s largest shake table.
Open Studios Provides Window to Students’ Art and Lives
One makes giant tree-like sculptures. Another makes documentaries revealing some of her darkest secrets. Yet another teamed up with cooks and anthropologists to create a vitamin-rich meal and sell it on the streets of Mexico. They and about 50 others will show their work April 6 at UCSD’s Visual Arts campus. The student-run event includes more than 50 MFA and doctoral students. “It’s going to be fantastic,” said second-year MFA student Sara Hunsucker, one of the event’s organizers.
Medical Students Anxiously Await Residency Fate at Match Day
About 100 UCSD medical students in their final year of study would find out the location of their residency training programs Thursday morning at 9 a.m. It’s called Match Day, when medical students learn their fate at the same time all across the United States.
Supercomputer Simulations May
Pinpoint Causes of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s Diseases
Using the massive computer-simulation power of the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UCSD, researchers are zeroing in on the causes of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases.
Pacific Rim Researchers to Collaborate on Analysis of Avian Flu
Researchers at UCSD and the University of Hawaii will use bioinformatics, grid computing and networking infrastructure, as well as collaborative ties to Asian institutions, to learn more about avian flu, in hopes of helping to head off a much-feared pandemic in the region of the world where the disease has already cost human lives.
Campus Emergency Preparedness
Plans Outlined at Chancellor's Town Hall
A reverse 911 system, campuswide text messaging, counseling services and a trained police department. These are some of the key components of UCSD’s emergency preparedness plans, outlined April 30 during a standing-room-only town hall meeting at the Price Center.
Campus Community Honors Virginia Tech Victims
“Virginia Tech, you’re in our prayers.” “We have you in our hearts and minds.” “Today, we are all united as Hokies. My prayers for your continued Hope and Healing.” UCSD students, staff members and faculty wrote messages, held a candlelight vigil and respected moments of silence last week as they tried to cope with the recent shooting at Virginia Tech that left 33 dead, including the gunman, and several wounded. Many UCSD students said they felt an instant connection with the victims
UCSD Cancer Researchers Report
Ability to Detect Cancer at Earliest, Curable Stage
Researchers at the Moores Cancer Center at the UCSD report that they have developed a new method for detecting cancer very early in its development, when it consists of just a few cells. The best existing detection methods are not able to detect a tumor until it consists of about one million cells.
Campus Celebrates Its Green Side During Earth Week
They planted trees. They recycled their old TVs and printers. They even sorted trash. Students, staff and faculty rolled up their sleeves and proved that it’s easy being green last week during Earth Week at UCSD. The weeklong celebration included hands-on activities, faculty talks and a video festival. Leonardo DiCaprio himself congratulated students for their efforts — albeit in writing.
First Chancellor’s Chair Challenge
at UCSD Nets 15 Critically Needed Endowed Faculty Chairs
An outstanding faculty is the hallmark of any great university. To stay competitive in attracting and retaining distinguished scholars, Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize recipients, academic leaders and innovators of all kinds, Chancellor Marye Anne Fox recently challenged alumni and friends of UCSD to increase the number of academic chairs campus-wide.
First-Ever Green Video Contest
Teaches Students About More Than Sustainability
Two students set out to convert a cattle rancher to vegetarianism. In the process, they discover the value of locally-grown meat and sample some themselves. That’s the storyline of “Meat Jim,” the documentary that took the first-place prize at VidFest, the first-ever student video festival hosted during Earth Week at UCSD.
Meet Squirrel, a Personal Pollution Monitor
Since 1990, San Diego’s population has risen by 1.8 million people, yet the number of its official pollution monitors has only increased by one. Now UCSD engineer-turned-artist Shannon Spanhake has come up with a new and better way to monitor the environment: a personal pollution sensor called the Squirrel.
Device Uses Solar Energy to Convert Carbon Dioxide into Fuel
Chemists at UCSD have demonstrated the feasibility of exploiting sunlight to transform a greenhouse gas into a useful product. Now, Clifford Kubiak, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and graduate student Aaron Sathrum have developed a prototype device that can capture energy from the sun, convert it to electrical energy and “split” carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide and oxygen.
Sharing an Inconvenient Truth
What do two key UCSD administrators, actress Cameron Diaz and a stay-at-home mother from Alabama all have in common? They all wanted to learn more about Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth." So, they attended training sessions where Gore himself taught how to give the slide show about climate change that is the backbone of his Academy Award-winning documentary. They also got to rub shoulders with the former vice president, albeit for a few minutes.
Clinical Cardiovascular Stem Cell
Research Program Launched at UCSD Medical Center
The UCSD Medical Center has established a new program in Clinical Cardiovascular Cell Therapy, directed by Dr. Nabil Dib. Dib is an interventional cardiologist whose research focuses on the potential of using adult stem cells, obtained from the patient’s own muscle, bone marrow or blood, to treat heart disease. Because adult stem cells can reproduce to create new cells, the hope is that by injecting these cells into a damaged heart, the scarred heart tissue will be successfully replaced or that the cells will have beneficial effects on the remaining heart tissue.
Level-Headed: Economics Experiment Finds Taste for Equality
The rich don’t get richer—at least not in laboratory games. According to a new study of behavioral economics, published in the April 12, 2007 issue of Nature, people will spend their own money to make the rich less rich and the poor less poor. They do so without any hope of personal gain, acting, it seems, out of a taste for equality and sense of fair play.
UCSD Maintains High Rankings in 2008 Graduate School Survey
Graduate education programs at the UCSD maintained their top national rankings in the 2008 U.S. News & World Report survey released on March 31, with social sciences and humanities joining medicine, science and engineering among the nation’s elite programs.
Sorting Your Old Photographs Just Got Easier
Electrical Engineers Building New Kind of Image Search Engine
A Google image search for “tiger” yields many tiger photos – but also returns images of a tiger pear cactus stuck in a tire, a racecar, Tiger Woods, the boxer Dick Tiger, Antarctica, and many others. Why? Today’s large Internet search engines look for images using captions or other text linked to images rather than looking at what is actually in the picture.
Men’s Crew Team Captures First-Ever Cal Cup
Coach Zach Johnson’s varsity eight made history Sunday
at the annual SD Crew Classic, winning the grand final of
the Cal Cup for the first time ever in a stirring blanket finish
with UCLA and UC Davis.
Al Gore Brings Academy-Award-Winning
Documentary on Global Climate to UCSD
More than 4,000 people gave him a standing ovation. They applauded when he told them that global warming is an ethical issue. They made the bleachers rumble when he said one week of funding for the Iraq war would go a long way toward solving the global warming crisis. Ninety minutes later, they stood up and applauded again when he left the stage after urging the audience to take action.
Preuss School Ranked Ninth in Nation by Newsweek
The Preuss School at UCSD became the little charter school that could last week. Preuss, which exclusively serves students from low-income families without a college education, has become one of the nation’s top 10 high schools, according to Newsweek magazine.
UCSD Selected to Design,
Build Cyberinfrastructure for Ocean Observatories
What we know about the world’s oceans comes largely from ship-based scientists taking samples and making measurements at periodic intervals. Now researchers led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD will create a blueprint for digital infrastructure that will allow ocean observatories to collect, process and transmit data 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Attacking Lou Gehrig’s Disease from All Angles
The potential use of stem cells to treat the paralyzing disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, will be the focus of a new research project at the UCSD School of Medicine in partnership with the University of Michigan.
Human Stem Cell Treatment Restores Motor Function in Paralyzed Rats
Rats paralyzed due to loss of blood flow to the spine returned to near normal ambulatory function six weeks after receiving grafts of human spinal stem cells, researchers from the UCSD School of Medicine report. The study, led by Martin Marsala, M.D., UCSD professor of anesthesiology, is published in the June 29, 2007 issue of the journal Neuroscience, which is now online.
Regents Approve Plan for New UCSD Inpatient Bed Tower
The UC Board of Regents on May 18 voted to approve UCSD’s request to move forward with planning a new inpatient bed tower on the East Campus medical complex. The proposed project would build 125-150 new beds as an extension of the current 119-bed facility.
Campus Celebrates New Student Services Center
“One, two, three!” About 300 voices counted down and cheered as students unfurled a banner welcoming everyone to the dedication of UCSD’s new Student Services Center. Then 500 blue and gold balloons flew up into the sunny Friday afternoon sky.
Philanthropist Gives $6 Million to New Music Center
Building Named in Honor of Donor Conrad Prebys
On a cloudy but pleasant morning Friday, Arts and Humanities Dean Michael Bernstein pointed to the 30-foot-tall walls rising behind him. That’s the best way to start talking about UCSD’s new music center, set to open fall 2009, he said. Within these walls will rise one of the center’s main features, a 400-seat concert hall, he noted.
Father of 'Origin of Life’ Chemistry at UCSD Dies
Stanley L. Miller, an emeritus professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the UCSDwhose famous laboratory experiments in 1952 demonstrated how the simple organic compounds considered necessary for the origin of life could have been synthesized on the primitive Earth, died yesterday. He was 77.
You Snooze, You Lose? Not True.
Naps Better than Caffeine, UCSD Researcher Says
Tired after lunch or by mid-afternoon? You might think that you should go buy yourself some coffee. But according to UCSD researcher Sara Mednick, you’re better off taking a nap. Mednick, a faculty member in the department of psychiatry at the UCSD School of Medicine, has been researching napping since graduate school and recently published a book, titled “Take a Nap! Change Your Life.”
Social Behavior Differs
in Children with Family History of Autism, Study Finds
The baby brothers and sisters of autistic children do not seek emotional cues from adults, or respond to them, as often as other toddlers do, suggests new research from UCSD.
Audrey Geisel Makes Historic
$1 Million Gift to UCSD to Establish
University Librarianship—A First for San Diego County
Thanks to a $1 million gift from longtime university friend and supporter, Audrey S. Geisel, the University of California, San Diego, will establish the Audrey Geisel University Librarianship, the inaugural holder of which will be UCSD’s chief librarian, Brian E. C. Schottlaender. The librarianship represents the first of its kind in San Diego County, and one of only a few such university positions on the West Coast.
UCSD Physician Flies with Professor Stephen Hawking on Zero-Gravity Flight
When Professor Stephen Hawking, the world’s most renowned physicist and cosmologist decided to fly zero gravity, Dr. Erik Viirre from the UCSD Medical Center was invited along to assure a safe ride.
Gift to Cancer Research
Helps Push UCSD Over $1 Billion Fund-raising Mark
The largest planned gift in UCSD’s history helped the campus meet its $1 billion fund-raising goal and conclude the seven-year Campaign for UCSD, officials announced Friday. The campaign closed with a $34 million gift for cancer research—a bequest to the UCSD School of Medicine by physician George Ury. He wished to establish an endowed fund for cancer research.
UCSD Baseball Player Hangs Hopes on Major League Draft
Brain Tumor Doesn't Deter Athlete's Drive
Matt Lawson always liked Tim McGraw’s song “Live Like You Were Dying.” He didn’t know that very tune might become the soundtrack of his own life. Lawson, the captain of UCSD’s baseball team, found out he had a brain tumor last year. But that hasn’t stopped him from playing -- and leading his team to one of its best seasons in years. “I don’t feel sorry for myself,” he said. “I like to live like I’m dying, even though, hopefully, I’m not.”
UCSD Scientists Share in $57 Million Study of Model Genomes
Researchers at UCSD are among the teams of scientists nationwide charged with building a comprehensive catalog of two animal genomes. The four-year, $57 million project – Model Organism Encyclopedia of DNA Elements, or modENCODE – involves smaller teams conducting research to support the greater overall task. It is intended as an important adjunct to ENCODE, an even larger effort to generate a similar catalog for the human genome.
New Phone Messaging System Boosts Campus' Emergency-Response Ability
Following the tragic deaths on the Virginia Tech campus in April, UCSD leaders conducted a Town Hall on April 30 for students, faculty and staff to explain the university’s emergency-preparedness plans and procedures. One of the communication upgrades promised at that meeting, a voice-and-text-messaging system sent to individual cell phones that promises to speed and expand campuswide notification of emergencies, began operation on Friday.
Diet and Exercise Key to Surviving
Breast Cancer, Regardless of Obesity, New UCSD Study Says
Breast cancer survivors who eat a healthy diet and exercise moderately can reduce their risk of dying from breast cancer by half, regardless of their weight, suggests a new longitudinal study from the Moores Cancer Center at UCSD.
Older Men May Not Live As Long If They Have Low Testosterone
Low levels of testosterone may increase the long-term risk of death in men over 50 years old, according to researchers at the UCSD School of Medicine. “The new study is only the second report linking deficiency of this sex hormone with increased death from all causes, over time, and the first to do so in relatively healthy men who are living in the community,” said Gail Laughlin, Ph.D., assistant professor and study author.
Study Warns Climate Change
and Deforestation Will Lead to Declines in Global Bird Diversity
Global warming and the destruction of natural habitats will lead to significant declines and extinctions in the world’s 8,750 terrestrial bird species over the next century, according to a study conducted by biologists at UCSD and Princeton University.
Researchers RevealStructure of Protein Altered in Autism
As a result of mapping the structure of the protein complex implicated in autism spectrum disorders, a research team led by scientists at the UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has discovered how particular genetic mutations affect this complex and contribute to the developmental abnormalities found in children with autism. Their work, published as the cover article in the June issue of the journal Structure, should help scientists pinpoint the consequences of other genetic abnormalities associated with the disorder.
New Vaccine Prevents CMV Infection and Disease in Mice
Researchers at the UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences have patented a strategy for developing a human vaccine to prevent against Human Cytomegalovirus infection and disease.
The Man Behind the Carillon
Next time you hear the sound of chimes coming from the top of the Geisel Library, stop and look up. If they’re tolling the hour, you’re hearing a machine. But if you’re hearing a pop song, an aria from an opera or a modern piece, you’re listening to Scott Paulson, the man behind the chimes’ music.
New Home of Rady School of Management Dedicated
Building Named After UCSD CONNECT Co-founder
Hundreds of voices shouted: “One, two, three, cut!” Chancellor Marye Anne Fox, San Diego businessman Ernest Rady and Anne Otterson, the widow of local entrepreneur Bill Otterson, graciously obliged. They cut a silky ribbon to dedicate the new home of the Rady School of Management Friday.
Stem Cell Research Facilities
at UCSD Will Grow, Thanks to $2.8 Million Grant
The UCSD Human Stem Cell Core Facility, which supports multiple research projects using stem cells to advance the understanding and ultimately the treatment of disease and injury, will receive a $2.8 million Shared Research Laboratory Grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. The funding will be used to upgrade the current core facility, and to support the establishment of a new satellite facility to expand the resources available to investigators.
Pillar of Dance Program Bows Out With Final Show
She worked with hundreds of students, helping some of them become professional dancers and choreographers. She saw UCSD’s dance program move from cramped quarters in the campus' old main gym to professional studios near the La Jolla Playhouse. Now, after 22 years on the UCSD faculty, Jean Isaacs is leaving.
Obesity Is ‘Socially Contagious,’ Study Finds
Are your friends making you fat? Or keeping you slender? According to new research from Harvard and UCSD, the short answer on both counts is “yes.” Appearing in the July 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, a study coauthored by Nicholas Christakis of Harvard Medical School and James Fowler of UCSDsuggests that obesity is “socially contagious,” spreading from person to person in a social network.
UCSD Medical Center Programs Rank Among the Nation’s Best
The UCSD Medical Center is the only San Diego hospital that ranks among the best in the nation in six specialty areas in the 2007 U.S. News and World Report annual “Best Hospitals” issue. The magazine, which ranks the top 50 hospitals in several different specialties, will be on the newsstands July 16.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,
the University of California, San Diego,
and Rady Children’s Hospital Form Alliance
John G. Davies, Esq., Chair, Board of Trustees, Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and former Regent of the University of California announced today an important new alliance between Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, UCSD and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Leaders of the three institutions said the collaboration will expand critical research in childhood cancers and other pediatric diseases, and provide access in San Diego to clinical trials sponsored by Memphis-based St. Jude.
Diet Very High in Vegetables,
Fruit and Fiber Doesn’t Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
Eating a diet very high in vegetables, fruit and fiber and low in fat did not reduce breast cancer recurrence or death in early stage breast cancer survivors, according to a new study. Researchers from the Rebecca and John Moores Cancer Center at UCSD found that this intensive diet provided no additional benefit to following the generally recommended dietary guidelines. The study is published in the July 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Why Liver Cancer Is More Prevalent in Males than in Females
Production of a protein that promotes inflammation appears to be linked to the higher incidence of liver cancer in men than in women, researchers at the UCSD School of Medicine have determined in mouse studies. Their discovery that female mice produce far less of the protein called interleukin-6 (IL-6) in response to liver injury than males do, and that production of this protein is suppressed by estrogen, may point the way to therapies to reduce the incidence of liver cancer in males. IL-6 contributes to the chronic liver inflammation that leads to cancer.
UCSD Establishes Department of NanoEngineering
Seeking to capitalize on the potential of a new generation of multi-functional nanoscale devices and special materials built on the scale of individual molecules, UCSD has established a new Department of NanoEngineering within its Jacobs School of Engineering effective July 1. Undergraduate and graduate students will learn from an interdisciplinary team of professors who are leaders in various fields of engineering, physics and chemistry and a variety of new sub-disciplines where those fields overlap. http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/newsrel/general/07-07NanoEngineeringRG-.asp
One Man’s Junk May be a Genomic Treasure
Scientists have only recently begun to speculate that what’s referred to as “junk” DNA – the 96 percent of the human genome that doesn’t encode for proteins and previously seemed to have no useful purpose – is present in the genome for an important reason. But it wasn’t clear what the reason was. Now, researchers at the UCSD School of Medicine have discovered one important function of so-called junk DNA.
UCSD Researchers Discover Cause of Rosacea
Doctors can describe the symptoms of rosacea, a common inflammatory skin disease that causes facial redness and affects nearly 14 million Americans. They can tell patients what triggers can worsen their condition: spicy foods, heat, alcohol, even embarrassment. But until now, they could not explain what caused rosacea.
Multi-Million Autism Center of Excellence Established at UC San Diego
One of six Autism Centers of Excellence in the country has been established at UCSD by the National Institutes of Health. The center will be directed by Eric Courchesne, professor of neurosciences at the UCSD School of Medicine and a leading expert on brain abnormalities associated with autism, a brain disorder affecting an estimated two million people in the U.S. The symptoms are impaired social, emotional, language and cognitive development.
UCSD School of Medicine Expands
Class Size, Launches New Program in Health Disparities
For the first time in decades, the UCSD School of Medicine has expanded in class size. The 12 additional students, whose enrollment increases the class size from 122 to 134, have entered a program called “The Program in Medical Education- Health Equity.” The five year, dual-degree program operates under the leadership of Sandra Daley, M.D., assistant dean of diversity and community partnerships and professor, department of pediatrics, UCSD School of Medicine.
Study Shines More Light on Benefit of Vitamin D in Fighting Cancer
A new study looking at the relationship between vitamin D serum levels and the risk of colon and breast cancer across the globe has estimated the number of cases of cancer that could be prevented each year if vitamin D3 levels met the target proposed by researchers.
“SciVees” a collaboration of SDSC
and NSF, Bring Science to the YouTube Generation
Science is coming to the YouTube generation with the advent of “SciVees” -- video and podcasts that supplement traditional peer-reviewed articles. he new internet source, fittingly called SciVee (www.scivee.tv), is launching September 1 as a collaboration between the National Science Foundation and the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UCSD. Phillip E. Bourne, Professor in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at UCSD; and Leo M. Chalupa, Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology and Neurobiology at UC Davis, are directing the effort, funded through an NSF Small Grant for Exploratory Research.
Pollution Amplifies Greenhouse
Gas Warming Trends to Jeopardize Asian Water Supplies
Scientists have concluded that the global warming trend caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases is a major contributor to the melting of Himalayan and other tropical glaciers. Now a new analysis of pollution-filled “brown clouds” over south Asia by researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD offers hope that the region may be able to arrest some of the alarming retreat of such glaciers by reducing its air pollution.
Scripps and Partners to Establish Coastal
and Global Observatories for Ocean Observatories Initiative
The Joint Oceanographic Institutions has awarded a $97.7 million contract to an academic partnership led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, to support the development, installation and initial operation of the coastal and global components of the National Science Foundation’s Ocean Observatories Initiative. The WHOI partnership includes Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD, and Oregon State University’s College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences. This award completes the management team to construct and implement the $331.5 million OOI Network.
High-risk Behaviors Could Lead to HIV Epidemic in Afghanistan
In a report that is among the first to describe the prevalence of HIV and Hepatitis B and C viruses in Afghanistan, a researcher from the UCSD School of Medicine voiced concerns that increasing injection drug use and accompanying high-risk behavior could lead to an HIV epidemic in Afghanistan.
UCSD Computer Scientists Shed Light on Internet Scams
Computer scientists from UCSD have found striking differences between the infrastructure used to distribute spam and the infrastructure used to host the online scams advertised in these unwanted email messages. This discovery should aid in the fight to reduce spam volume and shut down illegal online businesses and malware sites.
UCSD Ranked 4th Best in Nation in Annual Washington Monthly College Guide
In its annual College Guide released today by the Washington Monthly magazine, UCSD is ranked as fourth best among 242 national universities “based on their tangible contributions to the public interest.” UCSD rose to fourth in this year’s ranking from sixth place in last year’s guide.
UCSD Ranked Eighth Best Public University
in U.S. News & World Report Nationwide Survey
UCSD ranked as the eighth best public university in the nation in the 2008 America’s Best Colleges guidebook issued today by U.S. News & World Report.
UCSD Alum Helps Get Inner-City Youth to College
Miguel Ceron: $201,000 to go to Harvard; Arlene Alvarez: $186,000 to go to Northwestern; Beto Morales: $176,000 to go to Dartmouth. The yearbook for the Reality Changers program, started in 2001 by UCSD alumnus Chris Yanov, says it all right on the first page: “Over $2 million in college scholarships for RC grads!” Below, the names of graduates are listed with the hefty dollars amounts they received to get into some of the nation's most prestigious universities.
Doctor Swims English Channel
to Help Kids Get Crucial Eye Surgery
Marc Lewis had been swimming for more than seven hours since he had left the English coast at Dover. But he was still about seven miles short of his goal, the city of Calais, on the French coastline. He knew that if he couldn’t make it in the next five hours, the tide would turn and he would have to fight it to get to shore.
Longtime UCSD Dean and Academic
Leader Appointed Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Paul W. Drake, dean of the Division of Social Sciences for the past 12 years and a member of the faculty since 1984, has been appointed as UCSD's new Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Drake’s appointment, effective Oct. 1, was approved by the UC Regents at their Sept. 20 board meeting. Drake succeeds Marsha Chandler, who stepped down from the senior vice chancellor position in June 2007.
Nationally Recognized Educator
Named New Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Dr. Penny Rue, a creative educator and champion of students, has been appointed as UCSD's Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. The UC Board of Regents approved Rue’s appointment, effective Sept. 10. Rue comes from the University of Virginia, where she has served as dean of students since 1999.
Scripps Research Institute Biologist
Named UCSD Dean of Biological Sciences
Steve A. Kay, a pioneer in the biology of circadian rhythms at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, has been named dean of the Division of Biological Sciences at UC San Diego. He assumed his new administrative position Sept. 17, replacing Suresh Subramani, a professor of biological sciences who served as interim dean during the past year, and Eduardo Macagno, who was the founding dean of the division from 2001 to 2006.
to Find Their Passion at Campus Convocation
Event Kicks Off More Than 100 Welcome Week Activities
After graduating from UCSD in 2006, Kate Pillon headed to South Central Los Angeles to teach fifth grade. She saw many of her pupils struggle. Then, she saw them flourish. Sunday, Pillon was back on campus to talk about her experiences to about 1,000 freshmen and new transfer students during UCSD’s second campuswide convocation, held on the Sun God lawn. During the 45-minute event, Chancellor Marye Anne Fox, Pillon, Associated Students President Marco Murillo and top administrators and faculty tried to give students a road map to finding that passion and helping it flourish.
Dispatches from the Field
Students Report in from Across the Globe
Four undergraduates studying abroad in Australia, China and Japan this summer agreed to act as foreign correspondents for This Week@UCSD, filing dispatches from the field every two weeks or so. Ryan Ferrell reports from Beijing, China and Young Chun from Osaka, Japan. Meanwhile, April Deibert is based in Melbourne, while Michelle Di Fiore studies in Adelaide, Australia. Here are their stories.
Kumeyaay Bonds and American
Indian Education to be Explored During Native American Day at UCSD
Cultural, social, and ceremonial bonds between the San Diego and Baja Kumeyaay Native Americans, the American Indian and education, and the accomplishments and direction of these indigenous peoples will be explored during the 2007 California Native American Day Celebration at the University of California, San Diego. Events will run Sept. 28 through Nov. 6.
Learning Center in Southeast
San Diego Housing Project Joins the
Information Age Under New Campus Partnership
In Southeast San Diego, the “digital divide” separating the haves and the have-nots in computer literacy just narrowed a bit hanks to a new partnership with UCSD and the San Diego Supercomputer Center.
Medical Center Performs Southwest’s
First “Natural Orifice” Surgery that Virtual Eliminates Scarring
Surgeons at the UCSD Medical Center have performed the first clinical trial surgery in the Southwest to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of performing abdominal procedures through the body’s natural openings, virtually eliminating scarring.
UCSD’s Rady School of Management Installs
Kyocera Solar Power System Atop New Building, Otterson Hall
UCSD’s Rady School of Management and Kyocera today announced the installation of an 18 kilowatt Kyocera solar power system atop Otterson Hall, a new facility for the Rady School. The system will provide an additional power source for the school’s 50,000 square foot facility on the UCSD campus, which will minimize the school’s and the campus’ energy costs for decades to come. This student-driven project makes the Rady School one of the first business schools in the country to use solar panels on their main campus building.
UCSD Scientists Get Piece
of Nobel Peace Prize for Work on Global Warming
A group of UCSD scientists saw their work recognized internationally Friday when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and former Vice President Al Gore received a Nobel Peace Prize for their fight against global warming.
San Diego Area Fires Strike Home with UCSD Faculty and Staff
Thousands of UCSD Employees Evacuate
Their Homes; Campus Becomes Safe Haven to 10,000 Students
Classes started up again and offices reopened their doors today at UCSD after fires raging through San Diego County forced the campus to close its doors for a week. The fires never threatened the campus itself. But thousands of faculty and staff members were swept up in the wave of evacuations that sent more than 500,000 San Diego County residents packing last week.
UCSD Volunteers Fan Out Across County to Help Those Impacted by Fires
As fires were raging through San Diego County Tuesday, members of the men’s rowing team at UCSD drove up to the evacuation center at the Del Mar Fairgrounds with a full load of donations. When they got there, up came a group of tall, athletic men to help then unload—members of the UCSD men’s basketball team.
More than 50 Burn Patients Treated
at UCSD Regional Burn Center as Fires Rage Through County
UCSDMedicalCenter Staff Come to Patients’ Aid
Despite Being Evacuated from Their Own Homes
The UCSD Medical Center and UCSD Regional Burn Center have been through this before. Four years ago when the Cedar Fires erupted, the hospital mobilized to care for the injured, and by the time the devastation had subsided, 23 patients were still being treated as inpatients, some with critical burns. All who were treated at UCSD survived.
UCSD Experts Lead Local Coalition in Landmark 21-year Child Health Study
The UCSD School of Medicine, partnering with San Diego State University, the First 5 Commission and the San Diego County Department of Health and Human Services Agency, has been selected as a study center in the National Children’s Study, the largest study of child and human health ever conducted in the nation.
UCSD Medical Center Participates in $37 Million National Study
The Clinical Trials Center at the UCSD Medical Center is one of only 16 clinical study centers nationwide selected to participate in the most comprehensive study of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ever undertaken. COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.
UCSD Medical Center Participates
in $21 Million Program to Preserve Fertility in Women with Cancer
The UCSD Medical Center, in collaboration with four leading academic medical centers, will share a $21 million National Institutes of Health grant for a landmark national research, clinical, and education program to preserve the fertility of women being treated for cancer.
UCSD Receives $10 Million NIH Grant
for Joint Mental Health Project with County of San Diego
The UCSD School of Medicine has received a five-year, $10 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, to work with the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency’s Mental Health Services division and other community partners to improve the quality of life of middle-age and older people with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.
Will Breast Cancer Spread? UCSD Bioengineers Answer
One of the many unknowns facing women who are diagnosed with breast cancer is the likelihood that the cancer will spread to other parts of the body – metastasize. Researchers from UCSD are looking to change that. UCSD bioengineering professor Trey Ideker is pioneering a more accurate approach for predicting the risk of breast cancer metastasis in individual patients.
UCSD in Nation's Top 25 for Peace Corps Recruits
Peace Corps National Director Visits Campus
UCSD has become one of the top 25 universities in the nation for the number of students it recruits into the Peace Corps. To mark the achievement, Ronald A. Tschetter, the national director of the Peace Corps, visited the campus Oct. 15.
Cross-Border Issues Focus of California Native American Day Kickoff
They helped secure visas for Native Americans in Baja California. They give toys, food and other goods at Christmas. They are working to set up vineyards in the Guadalupe Valley. Members of the Kumeyaay nation in San Diego County are reaching out to fellow Native Americans who live across the border in Mexico.
Coming Back to School in the Age of Facebook
What classes should I take? How can I find a roommate? What can I do for fun? These are some questions nervous freshmen have when they are about to start college, but students at UCSDare quelling the back-to-school jitters by sharing information on Facebook.
Medical Center Breaks Ground for the Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center
The UCSD Medical Center broke ground last week for the Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center, a new 128,000-square-foot facility that includes an expansion of patient care areas of Thornton Hospital. The four-story project will unify UCSD’s ambulatory, clinical, and inpatient heart and stroke care in one convenient location with construction completion expected in 2010.
Ground Broken on Housing to Serve Transfer Students
“One, two, three!” Shovels dug in and dirt flew up in the air as Chancellor Marye Anne Fox and other campus officials broke ground Oct. 1 on a campus housing complex that will serve more than 1,000 transfer students. “Today’s groundbreaking demonstrates our commitment to providing much-needed on-campus housing,” Fox said.
Unprecedented Global Measurement Network Achieves Full Coverage of Oceans
An array of instruments, many built at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD, that allows scientists to observe the basic physical state of all world oceans simultaneously is approaching its coverage goal after eight years of deployments. The Argo network of sensor-bearing profiling floats measures ocean water temperature, salinity and velocity to a degree never before possible.
Budget Boost Puts Athletics on the Move
Basketball Eyed as Flagship Sport
Two former Division I basketball coaches are on board. The athletics budget has doubled. Morale is up. UCSD students voted earlier this year to increase funds for athletic programs and the vote’s impact can be felt as athletes, coaches and administrators gear up for the 2007-08 season. “This is a great time to be Triton,” said Charity Elliott, the new women’s basketball coach.
Campus Cuts Ribbon on New Retirement Resource Center
Applause rose as Chancellor Marye Anne Fox cut a ribbon to dedicate the new UCSD Retirement Resource Center Sept. 26 in the heart of campus, near the Price Center. The facility is now home to both the UCSD Retirement Association, which serves retired staff members, and the UCSD Emeriti Association, which serves retired faculty.
Campus Shows Its Heart in Wake of San Diego Wildfires
Faculty, Students and Staff Rally to Help Fire Victims
Brandon Opliger, a political science major at UCSD, had decided to take the fall quarter off to work for the U.S. Forest Service up in Southwest Riverside County. Then on Oct. 21, a call came to his fire station near Temecula. His crew was needed on the Witch Fire. Now. Opliger is one of the many members of the UCSD community who pitched in during the 2007 firestorm that devastated San Diego County. The blazes destroyed about 1,700 homes, including the residences of 15 UCSD employees.
Chancellor Holds Town Hall
to Discuss Measures Taken After Wildfires Hit San Diego County
About a dozen UCSD employees have lost their homes. Students who couldn’t work during October’s wildfires will have access to emergency loans. More than 6,000 new air filters were installed during a comprehensive campus clean-up. These were some of the updates top campus administrators shared with faculty, students and staff during a Chancellor’s town hall meeting Wednesday at the Price Center Theatre. Administrators also fielded questions from the audience.
Reconsidering Little Rock: Desegregation Pioneers
Look Back on Start of School Integration 50 Years Ago
Fifty years ago, it took about 1,000 soldiers to get Terrence Roberts and eight other students to school. A convoy of Jeeps, sirens blaring, drove them to Central High, in Little Rock, Ark. Then soldiers escorted the Little Rock Nine to class. Roberts, age 15 at the time, became one of the central figures in the fight for desegregation. Last week, he described these tumultuous times during a three-day event at UCSD titled “Reconsidering Little Rock: 50 Years After the Start of School Integration.”
UCSD Ranked Seventh in U.S. in Research and Development
UCSD ranked seventh among the top 10 U.S. universities in federal research and development expenditures for fiscal year 2006, according to newly released figures from the National Science Foundation.
While Staff Evacuated,
Remote Video Cameras Captured Real-time Images of Fires
Like more than a half-million San Diegans, Hans Werner-Braun—a networking researcher at the San Diego HPWREN at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UCSD — was forced to evacuate his home during the recent county firestorms. But remote video cameras perched on some of the county’s mountains and bluffs by Braun and his team from the National Science Foundation-supported High-Performance Wireless Research and Education Network provided fire crews with real-time commanding views of the fires, saving valuable time and personnel.
‘Dare to Dream College’ Emphasizes Academic
Preparation While Showcasing UCSD to African American Community
In an event accented by hands-on workshops, class lectures, laboratory visits, campus tours and interaction with UCSD faculty and undergraduates, 425 pre-college students and their parents got more than just a savory taste of university life this month when they attended Dare to Dream College: The African Experience at UCSD.
Only as Green as Our People: UCSD Commits to Long-Term Sustainability
Going green isn’t just resources and technology, but the hard work of people. How is UCSD going green? Solar panels on the roof of the Rady School of Management are lowering energy usage and costs and reducing fossil fuel. Students are working with Housing, Dining, Hospitality to increase recycling and conservation and faculty are leading pioneering research on climate change, sustainability informatics, energy bioscience and biodiversity.
UCSD Researchers Discover
Inflammation, Not Obesity, Cause of Insulin Resistance
Researchers at the UCSD School of Medicine have discovered that inflammation provoked by immune cells called macrophages leads to insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. Their discovery may pave the way to novel drug development to fight the epidemic of Type 2 diabetes associated with obesity, the most prevalent metabolic disease worldwide.
Rady School of Management Receives
$5 Million Contribution from the Wachovia Foundation
The Rady School of Management has received a charitable gift of $5 million from The Wachovia Foundation. The gift will support the construction of Phase II of the Rady School campus and establishes The Wachovia Foundation as a founder-level donor for the school. This designation is for those who have contributed $5 million or more in support of the Rady School.
Nobel Prize Winner Outlines
‘Microcredit Movement’ that Helps
Poor, Rural Women Start Businesses
In a revealing autobiographical talk on Oct. 21, the 2006 Nobel Peace Laureate, Muhammad Yunus, told of how he developed a program to help poor, rural women start businesses. Although at first widely rejected by bankers in Asia, in its current incarnation Yunus’s Grameen Bank now serves more than 7.5 million entrepreneurs in Bangladesh, with similar programs under way around the world.
Saving the Tijuana River Estuary
Oscar Romo is walking on a dirt road just a few miles away from the U.S.-Mexico border, the ground crunching softly under his feet. It’s a typical sunny day in the Tijuana River estuary. Birds fly by. Families walk on the beach. But Romo is worried. The UCSD researcher points to a patch of vibrant dark-green grass to his left. This, he explains, is a salt marsh, the healthy part of the estuary, where native species thrive. He then turns to a patch of hard, cracked light-brown dirt to his right. This, he goes on, is sediment that came across the border from Tijuana and is choking the marsh.
UCSD Undergraduate’s Research
Makes New York Times’ Top Science Stories of 2007
A southern Californian at heart, Dorian Raymer surfs, skateboards and fishes for yellowtail. But he also enjoys dabbling in different academic disciplines. He brought together three of his academic pursuits—mathematics, physics and computer programming—in a study he initiated while an undergraduate physics major at UCSD that was named one of the top science stories of the year. This week the New York Times Magazine named the study on knot formation by Raymer and Douglas Smith, an assistant professor of physics at UCSD, one of the Top Science Stories of 2007 in its annual “Year in Ideas” issue.
Preuss School Named Among Top 10
High Schools in Nation by U.S. News and World Report
The Preuss School at the UCSD was named 10th of 18,000 high schools surveyed by U.S. News and World Report for its first annual “America’s Best High Schools” report. The magazine’s editors said that high schools in 40 states were put through a three-step analysis.
UCSD Employees Sift Through Rubble of Burned Homes Looking for Fresh Start
On a chilly Saturday afternoon, Judy Davis surveyed the wreckage that was once her home, high in the hills of southeast San Diego County, near Jamul. She was looking for any of her belongings that might have survived the Harris Fire last month. She and her husband were out of town when the blaze started.
Medical Center Chaplain Makes
House Calls at Disasters Across the Nation
The room was full of Poway residents who had evacuated during the Witch Fire. The city’s deputy mayor read aloud a list of addresses of homes destroyed in the blazes. As he went along, some residents began to weep. Others rejoiced when it became clear their homes had been spared. Mark Reeves, the chaplain at the UCSD Medical Center, stood by, ready to help. He felt very much like a spectator at the scene of an airplane crash, when officials read the casualty lists, he said.
To Lower Energy Costs, Students Install
Unique Weather-Monitoring System at UCSD
UCSD undergraduate students have designed, built and deployed a network of five weather-monitoring stations as a key step toward helping the university use ocean breezes to cool buildings, identify the sunniest rooftops to expand its solar-electric system, and use water more efficiently in irrigation and in other ways. The network, which will be expanded to 20 stations in 2008, is unprecedented in the United States for the density of weather data to be collected. Project leaders are inviting San Diego-area schools and businesses to make their rooftops available for additional stations to broaden the geographic scope, scientific value, and potential energy savings of the effort.
Organic Chemistry for the YouTube Generation
No matter how long they pore over their lab manuals, students feel anxious when they step into a science laboratory. Now a series of dynamic videos created by undergraduate students at UCSD is helping them relax and focus on what really matters—the science behind the experiment.
Newlywed Alums Aboard Ship That Sinks in Antarctica
“Abandon ship! Abandon ship!” The captain’s voice rang out loudly over the public announcement system of the M.S. Explorer, where UCSD alumni Torrey Trust and Trevor Takayama were enjoying the end of a long honeymoon.