A recent study conducted by UCSD researcher Patrick Velasquez concluded that UCSD’s Summer Bridge Program, which is designed to successfully transition incoming freshmen and to help them develop leadership skills and provide participating students with important academic, social and cognitive skills that last throughout their freshman year.

    Velasquez, who is the director of UCSD’s Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services, used the experiences of 10 UCSD students of color who participated in the program in 1998 to prove that programs like the four-week Summer Bridge Program help “”bridge the gap”” to college adjustment for many talented and high-achieving underrepresented students.

    According to Velasquez, past research has shown that students’ “”ease of transition”” to college life, especially their academic and social adjustment during freshman year, is critical to their success in college. The students who participated in the study said that they formed diverse, close networks of peers during program sessions, which contributed to their social interaction on campus.

    Velasquez will present his findings at the University of Nebraska’s annual conference “”Recruitment and Retention of Students, Faculty and Staff of Color,”” which will be held in Lincoln, Neb., on Nov. 6.

    UCSD included in GCRC’s nationwide research effort

    A $10.9 million grant from the National Center for Research Resources was awarded to the joint General Clinical Research Center of UCSD and UC Irvine to conduct research on schizophrenia.

    With the grant, the GCRC will coordinate 10 research sites nationwide in an effort to link and share vast amounts of computerized data from brain images of people who have schizophrenia. In addition, researchers participating in the project will create standardized, powerful discovery tools for future brain studies in large populations.

    The newly funded project will utilize a nationally linked, high-speed computer network established by the Biomedical Informatics Research Network, a consortium of U.S. universities that received their initial funding from the NCRR in 2001.

    Participants in the new study include UCI (led by Steven G. Potkin), UCSD (led by Gregory Brown), UCLA (led by Arthur Toga), Stanford University (led by Gary Glover), the University of New Mexico (led by John Lauriello), the University of Minnesota (led by Kelvin Lim), Massachusetts General Hospital (led by Bruce Rosen) with Brigham and Women’s Hospital (led by Ron Kikinis), Duke University (led by Gregory McCarthy), the University of North Carolina (led by Jeffrey Lieberman) and the University of Iowa (led by Daniel O’Leary).

    More information on BIRN is available at

    Progesterone found safer than replacements

    Excessive bleeding, a troublesome side-effect that causes many women to stop taking hormone replacement therapies, is less likely with progesterone than with more commonly used synthetic versions, according to UCSD researchers.

    The most widely used HRT is estrogen plus medroxyprogesterone acetate, which was recently discovered to increase the risk of breast cancer, heart attack and stroke in a national Women’s Health Initiative study. A combination of estrogen and micronized progesterone, however, was found to cause fewer days and less intense bleeding, as well as fewer health risks, than the most commonly used version.

    The new report comes from a Postmenopausal Estrogen/Progestin Interventions trial that studied 875 women over a three-year period at seven sites in the United States. The participants took either a placebo, estrogen alone, estrogen plus a continuous form of MPA, estrogen plus a cyclical form of MPA, or estrogen plus a cyclical form of MP.

    The study was authored by Robert D. Langer, professor of family and preventive medicine at the UCSD School of Medicine, as well as Etta A. Lindenfeld, a UCSD assistant clinical professor of psychiatry. The results of the study appear in the November issue of the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

    Controversial author to speak during Marshall celebration

    As part of the first-ever weeklong celebration honoring the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Harvard Law School professor Randall L. Kennedy, an award-winning and controversial author on racial relations, will give a lecture at 8 p.m. in Mandeville Auditorium on Nov. 21.

    The lecture, titled “”The Greatness of Thurgood Marshall,”” will focus on the length and breadth of Marshall’s career as a private attorney, organizational attorney, solicitor general of the United States, court of appeal judge and Supreme Court Justice, as well as on the major racial issues that he confronted at each stage of his career.

    Like his mentor, Kennedy has devoted his career to confronting racial issues. He is the author of “”Race, Crime, and the Law,”” which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, and “”Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word.”” He will soon also publish a book titled “”Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity & Adoption.””

    Other events taking place during the week include a “”sneak preview unveiling”” of a U.S. Postal Service commemorative first-class stamp honoring Marshall, which will take place at 12:45 p.m. in the Price Center Plaza on Nov. 20. At the event, La Jolla Postmaster Harry Ringgold will explain the process it took to get Justice Marshall honored on a U.S. stamp, which will go into circulation this January.

    For further information on Kennedy’s Nov. 21 lecture call the Thurgood Marshall Provost’s office at (858) 534-4004.

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