UCSD faculty elected to membership in prestigious professional organizations

May 10, 2002

Faculty members from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine have been elected to membership in three prestigious organizations, the Association of American Physicians (AAP), the American Society of Clinical Investigators (ASCI), and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS).

At the joint annual meeting of the AAP and ASCI in late April, the AAP elected to membership Samuel A. Bozzette, M.D., Ph.D., director, Center for Research in Patient Centered Care at the VA San Diego Healthcare System and UCSD professor of medicine, and Gary S. Firestein, M.D., UCSD professor of medicine and chief, Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology. Anthony Wynshaw-Boris, M.D., Ph.D., UCSD assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics, was elected to membership in the ASCI.

Also at the AAP/ASCI meeting, the ASCI recognized Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., chair of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Department of Medicine, as the ASCI's president-elect for 2003-2004. He is currently vice president of the organization.

The AAP is a 121-year-old professional organization dedicated to the pursuit of medical knowledge and the advancement of basic and clinical science and their application to clinical medicine.

Established in 1908, the ASCI includes active physician-scientists who are at the bedside, at the research bench, and at the blackboard.

Five UCSD faculty members have been elected to the AAAS. One of these is Jerrold Olefsky, M.D., UCSD professor of medicine, chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, a physician at the VA San Diego Healthcare System, and scientific director of the Whittier Institute for Diabetes in La Jolla.

The AAAS is an international society composed of nearly 4,000 of the world's leading scientists, scholars, artists, businesspeople, and public leaders. Additional UCSD faculty elected to the AAAS were Theodore Groves, Ph.D., professor, and Mark Cachina, Ph.D., professor, Department of Economics; Nicholas C. Spitzer, Ph.D., professor, Division of Biology; and Mark Thiemens, Ph.D., Dean, Division of Physical Sciences.

Additional information on UCSD School of Medicine honorees:

Samuel A. Bozzette, M.D., Ph.D., has changed the management of HIV disease through clinical trials incorporating informatics, behavior change, pharmaceuticals and comprehensive outcome assessment. His observations involving novel analytic methods and sample designs provide insights regarding access, quality and cost of care. In addition, he has provided insight into how these outcomes relate to each other and to provider systems and policy.

Gary S. Firestein, M.D., studies rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and autoimmune disorders. He has defined the RA role of cytokines, molecules that cells produce to control reactions between other cells, and the development of effective anti-cytokine treatments. He has also shown that certain cellular mutations cause a transformation in joint synovial fluid, which lubricates the joint and absorbs frictional heat created by the joint's movement.

Anthony Wynshaw-Boris, M.D., Ph.D., seeks to understand genetic and biochemical pathways important for the development and function of the mammalian central nervous system and cancer. Utilizing transgenic and knockout mice, his goal is to use these animal models as entry points to investigate pathways critical for normal brain development and function, as well as what happens in cancer.

Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., studies the molecular biology of blood cell growth factors and the role of signal transduction in blood cell differentiation. His team has cloned several of the genes involved in these processes, including thrombopoietin, a key regulator of platelet production. Currently, Kaushansky is editor-in-chief of the journal Blood and a member of the Association of American Physicians.

Jerrold Olefsky, M.D., was one of the first researchers to show that insulin resistance is one of the prominent causes of diabetes. His current work explores the basic mechanisms of insulin action with a particular focus on the insulin signaling pathway leading to stimulation of glucose transport. A member of the Institute of Medicine, he has helped define the intracellular pathways for insulin and growth factor action, and helped develop insulin-sensitizing drugs that are now standard therapies for Type II diabetes.

University of California - San Diego

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