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Major Goals and Plans

Seema S. Aceves, MD, PhD

  • Understand the mechanisms of TGFb1 effects on smooth muscle contraction in EoE
  • Conduct studies to elucidate a gene-environment interaction between food and TGFb1
  • Find new biomarkers in EoE
  • Understand the effects of mepolizumab on esophageal remodeling in EoE
  • Continue to expand the EGID clinic
  • Help to develop and design multi-center , NIH funded clinical trials in collaboration with The International Gastrointestinal Researchers and the Registry for Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorder
  • Participate in trials that validate pediatric quality of life and symptom activity indexes in EoE

John F. Bastian, MD

  • Retiring in the coming year
  • Establish policies and protocols to provide quality and efficient clinical care

Jane C. Burns, MD. and Chisato Shimizu, MD

  • Define panel of protein biomarkers as a diagnostic test for KD
  • Complete family-based linkage analysis
  • Define role of microRNAs in KD pathogenesis
  • Devise new therapies to prevent progression of coronary artery damage
  • Understand mechanisms of action of IVIG

Johanna Chang, MD

  • Establish clinical and research protocols and procedures for pediatric joint ultrasound
  • Assume additional leadership roles following the retirement of Dr. Szer

Alessandra I. Franco, MD, PhD

  • Better characterize the events involved in the cross-talk between B cells and dendritic cells, aiming at the optimization of cytotoxic T cell priming in vivo.
  • Define a panel of carbohydrate-peptide conjugate that binds with high affinity to MHC class I molecules and has an appropriate structure to induce a T cell response skewed toward the recognition of the sugar moiety.
  • Explore (and compare) TACA conjugation natural viral sequences, sequences derived from environmental pathogens as the flu viruses and known cancer epitopes (i.e., MUC1 peptides, etc.) in preparation for pre-clinical trials.
  • Complete studies on T-cell activation in Kawasaki disease.

Hal M. Hoffman, MD

  • Continue focus on cryopyrin function using a number of novel mouse models designed to reproduce human disease in mice.
  • Continue to study the mechanism of cold-induced inflammation using cell lines, human monocytes and mice.
  • Study the role of cryopyrin in more common diseases such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, infection, otitis, and asthma by collaborating with other UCSD investigators.
  • Continue to identify families with rare inherited human diseases and search for the genetic basis of these disorders.
  • Continue to evaluate pediatric patients with allergic and immunologic disease (approximately 400 patients a year).
  • Pursue clinical interest in autoinflammatory diseases, including the periodic fever disorders, and expand clinic to meet the needs of these patients.

Anthony A. Horner, MD

  • Continue clinical and teaching responsibilities
  • Continue research focusing on characterizing the cellular and molecular basis for the Th2 adjuvant and tolerogenic activities of house dust extracts (HDEs)
  • Continue translational research studies to determine if HDE bioactivity measures predict allergic and respiratory status  in clinical practice HDEs
  • Continue collaborative studies to better understand the molecular basis for the immunostimulatory activities of HDEs
  • Continue collaborative studies with Genalyte to develop a new generation assay for the characterization and quantification of peanut specific IgE from allergic patients
  • Seek new sources of funding for our research


 Karin Peterson, MD, PhD

  • Establish protocols for quality and safety in clinics .

 Robert M. Sheets, MD

  • Consolidate practice in San Diego.
  • Continue involvement in the local Arthritis Foundation branch and its activities for children.

Ilona S. Szer, MD

  • Retiring in October 2013
  • To accomplish the Second Edition of Arthritis in Children and Adolescents
  • Continue to deliver the highest quality of care to children with RD in SD and surrounding catchment area
  • Continue to work with the Search Committee for a Section Chief of Rheumatology and Sr. Scientist