UC San Diego Glycobiology Research and Training Center

The GRTC is an internationally recognized Organized Research Unit with a 20-year track record of facilitating and enhancing research, training and collaboration among researchers who study the molecular and cellular biology of glycans and their roles in health and disease.  Many GRTC faculty have active laboratories studying the glycobiology of host-pathogen interactions and immune system function.

GRTC Mission and Goals

The purpose of the GRTC is to encourage and advance research in glycobiology, promote collaboration, support the next generation of glycoscience researchers and make glycoscience an integral part of life and material science through outreach and education.


GRTC Faculty Investigators


While the headquarters and leadership of the GRTC are at UC San Diego, GRTC members include more than 80 faculty from academic institutions throughout California, with a vast range of research interests, creating an unparalleled network of expertise and collaboration in the field.  GRTC faculty coordinate and direct several courses and programs designed to train the next generation of glycoscience researchers, including coordinating the writing and production of the Essentials of Glycobiology textbook, working with faculty worldwide to create a common symbol nomenclature, and is the administrative coordination center for the NHLBI K12 Career Development Program for Physician-Scientist Training in Glycosciences.

  CHARM Collaboration Contact: Jeffrey Esko, PhD  (Co-Director of GRTC)

CHARM ⬌ GRTC Collaborations

The surface of all bacteria and human cells are heavily decorated with carbohydrate structures, and therefore all host-pathogen interactions are influenced in important ways by glycan and glycan receptor interactions. CHARM and GRTC faculty are deciphering these molecular events to identify new targets to interrupt bacterial virulence, boost host innate and adaptive immunity, provide new biomarkers of infection, develop bacterial carbohydrate vaccines, improve antibiotic drug delivery, and mitigate the host inflammatory damage during invasive infection and sepsis.   


STD bug manipulates Siglecs

CHARM and GRTC faculty showed that the increasingly antibiotic-resistant sexually-transmitted pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae selectively target human anti‐inflammatory sialic acid‐recognizing Siglec receptors on innate immune cells to blunt host responses. Pro‐inflammatory Siglecs and SIGLEC pseudogene polymorphisms represent host evolutionary adaptations to counteract this interaction.

Read Article in Evolutionary Applications