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UCSD to Host Second Annual Clinical Investigation Symposium in San Diego


October 04, 2006  |  

The UCSD Clinical Investigation Institute (CII) and Nature Medicine will host the second annual Frontiers of Clinical Investigation Symposium: Host Defense 2006 to be held October 5-7, 2006 at the Estancia Hotel in La Jolla.  The topic of host defense addresses how the body reacts to infections and cancer – a topic that stands at the crossroads of many medical fields, including infectious diseases, oncology, and immune-mediated diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and allergies.

Scientists are steadily increasing our understanding of the body's immune system. These advances provide a solid foundation for converting basic research in the laboratory into effective patient therapies. This year’s symposium is designed to bridge the two areas of medical research, exploring innovative approaches with experts from around the world.

“We wanted to create a new type of multi-disciplinary meeting, bringing together clinical researchers and basic scientists from both academia and industry,” said Gary S. Firestein, M.D., Director of CII.  “We hope that by bringing together bench and clinical researchers, the result will lead to finding better, faster ways to treat patients with cancer, arthritis and other diseases.”

Conference participants include:

Rafi Ahmed, Ph.D., a basic immunologist at Emory University School of Medicine who studies how immune memory cells are created and survive, findings being applied to therapies for the treatment of cancer and prevention or organ rejection;

Michael R. Bishop, M.D., Clinical Head in the National Cancer Institute’s Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch;

Dennis A. Carson, M.D., professor of medicine and Director of the Moores UCSD Cancer Center, an internationally recognized immunology expert who has specialized in arthritis and cancer;

Philip D. Greenberg, M.D., professor of immunology and oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine and clinical researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center;

Yoshiro Kawaoka, DVM, Ph.D., professor in the department of pathobiological sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, an international authority on influenza and the Ebola virus;

Francesco Marincola, M.D., Director of the Immunogenetics Laboratory in the Department of Transfusion Medicine, Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health, a leading expert on melanoma;

Jan Wehkamp, M.D., of the Dr. Margarete Fischer-Bosch Institut für Klinische Pharmakologie in Stuttgart, Germany; and

Maurizio Zanetti, M.D., a cancer immunologist and professor of medicine at UCSD School of Medicine, who developed the technology called transgenic lymphocyte immunization who demonstrated that telomerase could be a target in cancer patients.

In addition to poster sessions for original research from trainees and established scientists, session topics include: 

  • Of mice and men: Disease pathogenesis and prevention
  • Novel biomarker analyses in clinical investigation
  • Protecting populations from pathogens
  • Manipulating host defense
  • Clinical trial design: shifting the paradigm
  • Looking to the Future: Clinical Research in host defense 2010

The conference is sponsored by UCSD Clinical Investigation Institute and the journal Nature Medicine.  The Clinical Investigation Institute facilitates disease-oriented research and clinical trial activity at UCSD. The Institute provides an infrastructure to support the translation of fundamental biology into novel therapeutic interventions. Through these activities, the development of new innovative therapies will be streamlined and our patients will have early access to groundbreaking therapy.

Nature Medicine is the premier journal for biomedical research. Respected internationally for the quality of its papers on areas ranging from infectious disease to cancer and neurodegeneration, Nature Medicine aims to bridge the gap between basic research and medical advances. Consistently ranked the number one journal by the Institute of Scientific Investigation in the field of experimental medicine, Nature Medicine also has the highest impact factor for a primary journal in the field of cell biology.

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Media Contact: Debra Kain, 619-543-6163,



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