Explore a featured selection of my blog posts for UC San Diego Health Sciences and neuroscience blog NeuWrite-SD

Michael J. Fox Foundation Selects UC San Diego as Site for Parkinson’s Fellowship

Eshita Shah, MD, will receive training at UC San Diego School of Medicine under the Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders, a collaboration between the Edmond J. Safra Foundation and The Michael J. Fox Foundation. Photo credit: The Edmond J. Safra Foundation, The Michael J. Fox Foundation

University of California San Diego has been selected by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) as one of eight international academic medical centers to train a new movement di
Photo by Rasmus Svinding on Pexels

UC San Diego Launches Enrollment for NIH’s HEALthy Brain and Child Development (HBCD) Study

University of California San Diego is now enrolling participants in the largest long-term study of early brain and child development in the United States. The HEALthy Brain and Child Development (HBCD) Study will enroll a large cohort of participating families from across the U.S. and follow them and their children through early childhood. The goal of the study is to better understand how the brain develops and is affected by various conditions and exposures during pregnancy and early life.


Robert K. Naviaux Receives United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation’s Vanguard Award

Richard Haas, MD, director of the Mitochondrial Disease Laboratory at UC San Diego School of Medicine (right), honors Robert K. Naviaux, MD, PhD, (left) with the Vanguard Award at the 2023 meeting of the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation.

The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF) has selected UC San Diego’s Robert K. Naviaux, MD, PhD, as the recipient of their prestigious Vanguard Award for pioneering work and dedication to the field of mitochondrial medicine — the highest award

New Diagnostic Imaging Tool Monitors Fate of Cell Therapies in Cancer Patients

T cell therapies continue to be a promising new technology in the treatment of cancer. However, after the cells have been transferred to the patient, their fate is most often unknown.

In a new pilot study led by Eric Ahrens, PhD, professor of radiology at UC San Diego School of Medicine, researchers describe a novel tool for non-invasively monitoring the survival of a cancer cell therapy in patients. In their method, a fluorine-based nanoemulsion agent is used to ‘tag’ cells prior to patient in
Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels

Are Skeletal Muscles the Key to Treating Heart Failure?

Heart failure is a growing epidemic in the United States, accounting for more than 13% of annual deaths in the population. It happens when the heart cannot distribute enough blood and oxygen to support the other organs in the body. It may still be pumping, but it’s not pumping well enough.

The most common form of heart failure, making up more than half of all cases, is Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF). Despite the increasing prevalence of HFpEF, especially among older wome

Stopping Cancer at the Start: Looking for New Drugs to Block Tumor Initiation

When a tumor-initiating cell experiences isolation stress, it begins expressing a membrane receptor called LPAR4. This leads the cell to produce a new extracellular matrix full of a protein called fibronectin (FN1), which keeps the cell safe and signals other cells to join. UC San Diego Health Sciences

When cancer cells first form, they become separated from the other cells around them, which starves them of critical oxygen and nutrients. Most cells do not survive this isolation stress, but a s

Why Diabetes Patients Should Be Screened for Liver Disease

The UC San Diego NAFLD Research Center specializes in noninvasive imaging methods for diagnosing and monitoring the disease.

UC San Diego scientists find type 2 diabetes patients show a high prevalence of advanced liver disease, inspiring updates to the national screening guidelines

About 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes, with approximately 95% of cases being adult-onset or type 2 diabetes. But blood sugar is not the only thing diabetes patients should be concerned about. Having type 2 diabe

Postdocs Say COVID-19 Has Threatened Faculty Diversity

As academic institutions work to promote faculty diversity, University of California San Diego postdoctoral fellows urge leadership to consider the pandemic’s impact on underrepresented (UR) scientists. In a recent commentary published in Molecular Biology of the Cell, they argue that “academia is at risk of losing a generation of diverse, talented scholars” due to COVID-19.

Fellows of the National Institutes of Health-funded Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA)