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A Mouse Model of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection for Drug Discovery

UCSF researchers have generated and validated a K14-HPV16 transgenic mouse model, in which transgene expression produces neoplastic progression that fully resembles the gynecological and other epithelial dysplastic lesions induced by high risk HPVs. This model offers an invaluable tool for studying HPV infection and developing new drugs for HPV treatment.

A Method to Identify Novel Glucocorticoid Receptor Modulators

This technology establishes a novel method to identify compounds that are either selective or non-selective modulators of glucocorticoid receptor signaling.

A Blood-based Diagnostic Test for Early Stage Detection of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

A revolutionary blood-based diagnostic test measures three kinase signaling pathway activities to determine the likelihood of the patient having ASD at an early stage.

A Gene Expression Panel For Diagnosis Of Ebola Virus Infection

This invention identifies a novel host gene expression panel to screen for the Ebola virus in pre-symptomatic patients.

Methods And Reagents For Live Biopsy

This invention identifies a set of antibodies that allow direct imaging of immune cells in a tumor biospecimen.

HIGH-THROUGHPUT SYSTEM TO MEASURE INTRACELLULAR POLYGLUTAMINE PROTEIN AGGREGATION USING FLUORESCENCE RESONANCE ENERGY TRANSFER

This invention identifies a novel high-throughput assay to quantify intracellular polyglutamine protein aggregates and identify potential therapeutic targets involved in the regulation of protein aggregation. 

Novel Serum miRNA Biomarkers for Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer mortality in adult American men, with an estimated 217,730 new cases diagnosed in the U.S. in 2010.  Screening for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) has led to earlier detection of prostate cancer.  However, elevated serum PSA can be present in other non-malignant conditions, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia and, therefore, PSA screening has a high false positives rate.  Active surveillance (AS) of prostate cancer is a current strategy that is used to reduce overtreatment by monitoring of low-risk patients with physical exams, PSA assessments and repeat biopsies, and offering treatment to those with signs of progression.  However, nomograms that utilize these predictors of disease progression demonstrate an accuracy of only 61-79% in the clinic.  Given the limitations of PSA and significant disease that can be used to categorize patients with localized prostate cancer and assist in treatment decision-making.  Several recent studies have shown that serum miRNA signatures have potential value as prognostic tools for prostate cancer.

Diagnostics and Treatment of Sinusitis (Rhinosinusitis)

Sinusitis is one of the most common health care challenges in the United States affecting an estimated 15% of the population resulting in direct health care costs of approximately $6 billion per year.  According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, chronic sinusitis alone results in 18-22 million US physician office visits annually.  Decongestants, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication are the initial line of treatment before opting for surgery in chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) patients who do not improve.  Approximately 200,000 U.S. adults undergo CRS surgery per year.  The diagnosis on the basis of symptoms is common but can be unreliable since bacterial pathogens isolated from CRS patients are also found in healthy sinuses.  Accurate diagnosis based on the local microbiota is greatly needed for effective treatment.

Ras-Driven Conditional Model Of Liver Cancer

Liver cancer is among the most lethal cancers, the third and sixth most frequent cause of cancer death in men and women, respectively.  Amongst the several histologically different primary hepatic malignancies, hepatocellular carinoma (HCC) accounts for 70 to 85% of the cases.  Animal models that mimic features of liver tumor development in human are invaluable research tools for understanding the mechanism of liver carcinogenesis and developing new drugs for treatment of patients with HCC.

Collaboration Opportunity: Novel Mouse Models of Human Hepatitis B Virus Infection for Drug Discovery and Vaccine Research

HBV infection can lead to chronic infections that result in 0.6 million deaths per year worldwide by causing liver failure and cancer. Clearance of HBV infection is age dependent, with the majority of adult-acquired infections leading to spontaneous clearance, whereas infection in young children often leads to chronic infections. To study these early events of infection and immune activation that lead to HBV clearance or persistence, in vivo models are needed to screen and validate lead drug candidates. HBV cannot infect mice, however, researchers at UCSF have generated transgenic mouse models that mimic critical features of primary HBV infection observed in humans.

Novel, Immunogenic Epitopes for use in an HIV Vaccine

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has evolved a number of mechanisms of evading the human immune system.  One way is through a high level of mutation, which makes it difficult to develop a vaccine that stimulates protective immunity against all of the different HIV variants.  Therefore, scientists are searching for a general surrogate maker that could be used to target any HIV-infected cell regardless of its mutational status. In this regard, scientists have recently focused their attention on so-called cryptic peptides of HIV.  Cryptic peptides are non-functional HIV proteins that are produced due to translational errors that occur in HIV-infected cells.  Because these cryptic peptides are commonly produced and then presented on the surface of the HIV-infected cells, it is thought they may be good surrogate markers and targets for any HIV-infected cell.

Novel Biomarkers for Autoimmune-mediated Lung Disease

Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a common manifestation of systemic autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), lupus and scleroderma, which can lead to inflammation and scarring of the lung and, consequently, to hypoxemia, pulmonary hypertension and death.  It is estimated that ILD occurs in approximately 15 percent of patients with RA.  Very little is known about how ILD disorders arise and what role loss of immune tolerance plays in ILD development.  Presently, there are no validated lung-specific autoantigens for diagnosis of autoimmune-mediated lung disease.  Current options for ILD treatment are limited to powerful immunosuppressive medications with significant side effects.  Identification of novel pulmonary biomarkers is sorely needed to develop better diagnostic methods and therapies for ILD.

A Novel Cancer Biomarker For Patients With Solid Tumors

BACKGROUND:  Patients with certain types of tumors, in particular brain tumors, will frequently rely on radiologic imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), for diagnosis and treatment monitoring. Unfortunately, MRI and similar modalities are often subject to interpretation and can be highly subjective in nature, making it difficult to differentiate between actual tumor recurrence and treatment effect. Subsequent or alternate methodology involving biopsy or other surgical procedures, can be highly invasive, dangerous, and lead to an extensive recovery time in patients undergoing such procedures. A less invasive method to reliably identify tumor recurrence would be valuable to clinicians and their patients during evaluations following treatment and/or surgical resection of a tumor.   TECHNOLOGY:   UCSF inventors have discovered a novel cancer biomarker that is expressed on the surfaces of myeloid cells, so that tumors can be evaluated for recurrence by screening small amounts of peripheral blood in patients. So far, these findings have been done in glioblastoma and prostate cancer patients, but further studies are underway for other types of solid tumors.

A NOVEL CANDIDA ALBICANS LIBRARY

Candida albicans is one of the most frequently encountered fungal pathogens, causing a wide variety of infections ranging from mucosal infections in healthy immunocompetent people to life-threatening systemic infections in immunocompromised individuals such as those with AIDS and those undergoing immunosuppressive therapy or chemotherapy. When individuals with compromised immune system are infected, it is fatal in nearly one in three cases. The limited number of safe and effective antifungal drugs underscores the importance of understanding the genetic pathways underlying the pathogenicity of C. albicans.Because it is diploid and lacks a well-characterized sexual cycle, C. albicans poses a challenge for genetic analysis. UCSF researchers have recently carried out a genome-wide insertional mutagenesis of C. albicans. They have generated a library that represents one of the largest collections of mutant C. albicans, approximately 20,000 strains, each with an independent Tn7-based transposon insertion. There is an average of one insertion per 2.5kb of haploid genome.This library has been validated in a genetic screen that identified 300 genes, the haploinsufficieny of which affect the transition between single cell and filamentous growth, a feature of C. albicans associated with pathogenicity. Six of the genes identified were previously known to affect filamentous growth in C. albicans, validating the approach and suggesting that the library will prove useful for screening of genes associated with other functions.

CARIN: CAries Research INstrument Software Package

William Santo with prominent University of California researchers Francisco Ramos-Gomez, DDS, MS and Stuart Gansky, DrPH, has developed a software package that allows dental researchers to enter participant examination data electronically for the primary purpose of analyzing disease outcome measures related to caries, plaque, and periodontal measures for clinical research. Designed from the ground up by dental experts to meet the specific needs of research-oriented dentists, the software may be used in either a real-time capacity during an examination or for post-examination transcription from original paper, digital imaging, or other sources. This HIPAA-compliant package is extremely stable, flexible, customizable, and easy to use, even by those with little prior dental subject knowledge.

Gene Therapy by Small Fragment Homologous Replacement

Gene therapy via viral vector technology has been associated with dangerous complications and risks. UCSF investigators have discovered a process that permits defective genetic sequences to be replaced with greater efficiency and potentially fewer side effects. The process, small fragment homologous replacement (SFHR), allows genes to be repaired in a site specific fashion and does not require the insertion of new genetic material into the genome. Thus, the SFHR approach should be applicable to a wide variety of gene therapy applications requiring the repair of specific mutations in DNA sequence. Furthermore, assay methods have been developed to monitor and quantify gene targeting frequency and to differentiate between cells carrying modified and unmodified DNA.

METHODS FOR DETECTING AND SCREENING DRUG CANDIDATES AGAINST KAPOSIS SARCOMA-ASSOCIATED HERPESVIRUS

Kaposis sarcoma is the leading neoplasm of AIDS patients and also occurs at lower frequency in HIV-negative individuals. The DNA of Kaposis sarcoma-associated herpesvirus [KSHV or HHV 8]) is regularly associated with both the AIDS-related and HIV-negative forms of the disease. Seroepidemiologic studies suggest that KSHV infection is tightly linked to risk for Kaposis sarcoma. KSHV also infects B lymphocytes and is associated with several uncommon lymphoproliferative syndromes in AIDS patients. Scientists at UCSF have isolated a human B cell lymphoma cell line that contains KSHV (and lacks Epstein Barr virus). These cells, which harbor latent virus, can be maintained in vitro and then treated with a lytic growth inducing agent that promotes the production and release of the virus. In addition, these scientists have identified two viral genes that are expressed in latently infected human cells. The cell line, methods for producing virus and the virus gene should be very useful for both the development of diagnostics for KSHV in biological samples, as well as screening drug candidates for the treatment of KSHV.

GENETIC MUTATIONS PREDICTIVE OF TYPE 2 DIABETES

Brief description not available

NOVEL METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR MRI SIGNAL EXCITATION AND RECEPTION

UCSF investigators have discovered a novel MR method which uses a non-resonant device to perform MR imaging and spectroscopy. The non-resonant device is used to excite and receive MR signal. The method is frequency insensitive, highly efficient, yields excellent decoupling, and suits a wide variety of RF coil designs. The resulting instrument can operate at any frequency for any nucleus at any magnetic field strength. Also, the electromagnetic coupling obstacle inherent with resonant devices is overcome without the use of sensitivity-decreasing decoupling circuits. This novel non-resonance technology for MR signal excitation and reception has a potential to overcome all the technical difficulties and design complexities encountered in current MR methodology and may even replace the current technology.

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