UCSD Medical Center Joins Lung Disease Study

    The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute provided UCSD Medical
    Center with a $37-million grant to be
    used to conduct a comprehensive study of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,
    the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

    The medical center is one of only 16 clinical study centers
    nationwide selected to participate in the trial. Its goal is to identify the
    genetic, epidemiological and radiological characteristics of COPD.

    The study, led by the National Jewish Medical and Research
    Center and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, will provide a better understanding of
    the disease and shed light on more effective treatments.

    “This study will help us determine why some smokers get COPD
    and others do not,” Joe Ramsdell, director of the division of general internal
    medicine, geriatrics and professor of clinical medicine at the UCSD School of
    Medicine, said in a press release. “We want to understand the specific genetic
    factors that protect a particular smoker or make someone else more susceptible.
    We look forward to a day when medical teams are no longer cleaning up the
    damage caused by COPD but intervening early enough to initiate individualized
    therapy.”

    COPD encompasses a variety of progressive lung diseases,
    most commonly emphysema and chronic bronchitis, which damage lung tissue and
    cause breathing difficulties. The primary cause of COPD cases is cigarette
    smoking.

    However, inhaling other kinds of lung irritants may also
    cause the disease.


    UC Faculty Appointed to Institute of Medicine

    Along with 65 new members, four UC staff members were
    elected to the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine.

    Regarded as one of the highest honors bestowed upon
    professionals in the fields of medicine and health, membership is determined by
    current active members. Candidates are nominated based on their professional
    achievements and commitment to service.

    Out of the current 1,538 active members, 163 of them are
    affiliated with the University of California.

    Webster K. Cavanee, director of the Ludwig Institute for
    Cancer Research and distinguished professor, represents UCSD as one of the
    institute’s newest members.

    “I congratulate these members on their accomplishments and
    their dedication to public service,” Wyatt R. Hume, UC provost and executive
    vice president for academic and health affairs, said in a press release.

    Other newly elected UC members from UCLA and UC San
    Francisco include a cancer researcher, a chief of emergency medicine and a
    neurology professor.

    The function of the Institute of Medicine
    is to provide scientifically informed analysis and independent recommendations
    to the nation’s policymakers, professionals and leaders in the areas of health
    and science.

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