CTRI Director Gary S. Firestein, MD
September 27, 2014 – The Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine has been named a key site in a national, multi-institution, multi-year $41.6 million program to speed drug discovery, development, diagnostics and therapies for patients with autoimmune disorders, primarily rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and lupus erythematosus, which affect millions of Americans.
“We will be looking to pinpoint the genes, proteins, chemical pathways and networks involved in these diseases at the single cell level,” said Gary S. Firestein, MD, professor, dean and associate vice chancellor of translational medicine. “This approach allows us to make comparisons across many diseases, revealing new insights and aspects of the disease process. We hope to better understand why some RA patients, for example, respond to therapy and others do not – and develop new therapies that target their condition based upon their particular genetic and environmental variables.” Dr. Firestein, who is director of UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI), will lead the UC San Diego effort in the multi-institution program. His research interest focuses on the pathogenesis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
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