November 2020
Fruit flies reveal new insights into space travel’s effect on the heart 

Sanford Burnham Prebys scientists have shown that fruit flies that spent several weeks on the International Space Station (ISS)—about half of their lives—experienced profound structural and biochemical changes to their hearts. The study suggests that astronauts who spend a lengthy amount of time in space—required for formation of a moon colony or travel to distant Mars—may benefit from protective measures to keep their hearts healthy. The NASA-funded research also revealed insights that could lead to new treatments for people who are on long-term bed rest or living with heart disease. The study was published in Cell Reports.

Children with brain cancer may benefit from personalized drug screens

Personalized drug screens can be used to identify new therapeutic options for medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain cancer in children, according to a new study by Robert Wechsler-Reya and scientists at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Hopp Children’s Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ). A clinical trial is now planned. The study was published in Cancer Research.

World's first: Drug guides stem cells to desired location and improves their ability to heal

Evan Snyder, M.D., Ph.D., has created the first drug that can lure stem cells to damaged tissue and improve treatment efficacy—a major advance for regenerative medicine. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the discovery could improve stem cell therapies for spinal cord injury, stroke and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; and expand their use to new conditions.

COVID-19 vaccines: Our experts weigh in on the historic news

There are now multiple experimental vaccines for COVID-19 that are 90% effective—remarkable developments that made the world collectively exhale. We caught up with our leading COVID-19 researchers to get their take on the update—including whether we are “out of the woods” and where they were when they heard the news.

Sanford Burnham Prebys scientists elected as AAAS Fellows

Eva Engvall, Ph.D., professor emerita; and Hudson Freeze, Ph.D., professor and director of the Human Genetics Program, have been elected 2020 Fellows in a vote by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Council. Engvall was elected for her distinguished contributions to molecular biology, particularly the development of the ELISA technique—which is now an essential research tool and used in clinical diagnostic tests for HIV, prostate cancer and additional diseases. Freeze was recognized for his work identifying and characterizing the mechanistic underpinnings of many glycosylation diseases and work toward new treatments.

Jerold Chun among world’s most highly cited researchers 

Alzheimer's researcher Jerold Chun, M.D., Ph.D., has been named a “Highly Cited Researcher” by Clarivate, the global analytics company. The honor recognizes researchers who have demonstrated a significant influence in their chosen field of study through the publication of multiple works that have been cited by their peers.

Soft Bones, Inc. grant awarded to Sanford Burnham Prebys scientist

Flávia Amadeu de Oliveira, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of José Luis Millán, has been awarded a grant from Soft Bones, Inc., an organization dedicated to providing information, education and support to those affected by hypophosphatasia (HPP). The funding will allow her to study the potential of gene therapy for HPP.

Inside the quest for better treatments for diabetes

Improved ways to prevent and treat diabetes would benefit more than 400 million people worldwide who live with the condition. At "Insights: Diabetes," our leading researchers discussed how their research is leading to improved treatments for type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Go behind the scenes to learn about cancer and coronavirus

At "Cancer and Coronavirus," hosted by our Cancer Center's Community Advisory Board, researchers opened up their labs and explained how they're repurposing existing drugs to treat COVID-19, using mini lungs to test COVID-19 drugs and more.

Unraveling the secrets to healthy aging

Whether we like it or not, getting older is a biological reality. But what if we could slow down the aging clock? Are there secrets in our cells to help us age healthier and live longer? Join us on Tuesday, December 15, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. PT, to learn how our scientists are shedding light on the genes and biology linked to aging—and how they contribute to age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and diabetes.

Learn how your diet can affect your body

Start the year with scientific insights about how your diet can support long-term health. Our panel of researchers will share what they’re learning about diet and health, including how calories, fat and sugar affect the heart, liver and the aging process. We hope you can join us for the discussion, held Thursday, January 14, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. PT.

Save the date: "Giving Tuesday" is December 1

Each year millions of people kick off the holiday season by giving back on "Giving Tuesday." We would be honored if you could support our Institute, where dedicated scientists are working to better understand and treat diseases that affect so many of our loved ones, including COVID-19, Alzheimer's, cancer and more. This year's event takes place on Tuesday, December 1.

At Sanford Burnham Prebys, we're passionate about finding bold new ways to treat disease and recognize the importance of sharing our discoveries with the publicespecially during this unprecedented time. Find out where and when you can "meet" our scientists virtually and learn about their research in this community event calendar.
Immunologist and Moderna trial participant Carl Ware, Ph.D., shares his perspective on the news of two COVID-19 vaccines showing early efficacy.

Carl Ware, Ph.D., explains why he decided to volunteer for Moderna's clinical trial and provides his take on the COVID-19 vaccine news.

Please Donate
Double your COVID-19 donation

Only research will allow scientists to understand and stop COVID-19. We're hopeful that our work will emerge as part of the larger solution to this global health crisis, and we invite you to accelerate our progress and impact. If you donate today, your gift will be matched dollar for dollar—up to $500,000—thanks to the generosity of Dinah Conyers Ruch. 
Could you benefit from the CARES Act of 2020?

The new CARES Act of 2020 offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make transformative philanthropic gifts, with significant tax benefits to you and your family. Cash gifts to charities such as Sanford Burnham Prebys are deductible at 100% of adjusted gross income.