La Jolla News Nuggets: Bicyclist memorial fund, ‘Cove Cam,’ digital vaccine card, UCSD clinical trials, more

Swati Tyagi sits with her husband, Ashim Rai, and 11-month-old son, Miransh.
(Courtesy of Tyagi’s family)

Campaign raising money for family of bicyclist killed in La Jolla crash

The postdoctoral office at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla has organized a GoFundMe campaign and memorial fund for the family of Swati Tyagi, a Salk researcher who died June 23 on North Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla in a crash while riding her bicycle.

More than $60,000 had been raised as of July 6.

Investigators said Tyagi, 34, was riding in the right lane when she merged into the left lane and was struck from behind by a car. She died at the scene.

The GoFundMe page was established by Tyagi’s colleagues to help provide emergency assistance to her husband, Ashim Rai, and 11-month-old son, Miransh.

For more information or to donate, visit

‘Cove Cam’ installed on La Jolla Cove Hotel

A “Cove Cam” has been launched on the La Jolla Cove Hotel “so you can … see everything going on at The Cove,” according to La Jolla Community Planning Association trustee Jodi Rudick.

The feed, updated approximately once an hour, pans from the north end of Scripps Park to the restroom facility under construction to a bird’s-eye view of La Jolla Cove beach and about a half-block up Cave Street. You can see it at

Rudick, who also is executive director of the La Jolla Village Merchants Association, introduced the idea of a webcam in February.

UCSD Health offers digital COVID-19 vaccine card for patients

UC San Diego Health is offering a verifiable digital vaccine record to its patients who have received a COVID-19 vaccination.

The secure online record, known as a SMART health card, can be accessed directly from the MyUCSDChart patient portal.

Patients and employees of UCSD Health have access to the new verification system, as well as members of the public who used a UCSD vaccination or testing station and signed up for a MyUCSDChart account.

The information in the digital vaccine record follows all federal privacy guidelines, said Dr. Christopher Longhurst, chief information officer at UCSD Health. Patients can use the digital vaccine record for medical purposes or to verify their vaccination status for work, school and travel.

For more information, visit — City News Service

UCSD trials to monitor immune response in COVID-vaccinated transplant recipients

Researchers at UC San Diego Health last week began a pair of clinical trials to study COVID-19-vaccinated transplant recipients of bone marrow and organs such as the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys to monitor immune response to the coronavirus.

While evidence mounts that vaccination against COVID-19 -- most notably the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines -- produces durable protection in the vast majority of recipients, questions remain for some at greatest risk of a severe COVID-19 infection: recipients of donor organs and bone marrow, whose immune systems are necessarily suppressed to ensure their transplants are successful and lasting.

Some studies have found that vaccinated transplant recipients produce a weak immune response, and severe cases of COVID-19 have been reported in transplant recipients who had received two doses of vaccine.

“We want to gain an understanding of how differing degrees of immunosuppression may impact the COVID vaccine immune response and use that knowledge to optimize vaccine regimens for these patients,” said Dr. Jennifer Dan, an infectious-disease specialist at UCSD Health.

The clinical trials are enrolling participants, whose transplant procedures could be relatively recent or years in the past. Dan said she expects more-recent transplant recipients to produce a less-strong immune response from vaccination.

Dan hopes to enroll 200 organ transplant recipients and 200 bone marrow recipients.

For more information or to enroll, contact clinical research coordinators Yasmeen Esshaki at (858) 822-2908 or or Marielys Padilla-Martinez at (858) 534-4449 or — City News Service

COVID-19 vaccination event held in La Jolla

Champions for Health and San Diego County sponsored a COVID-19 vaccination event in La Jolla in July and will again Nov. 7.
Champions for Health and San Diego County sponsored a COVID-19 vaccination event in La Jolla on July 2.
(Dr. Tania Rivera)

San Diego County and the nonprofit Champions for Health sponsored a COVID-19 vaccination event in La Jolla on July 2.

The three-hour event, hosted by Dr. Tania Rivera of La Jolla, drew about 10 people to the parking lot at Torrey Pines Elementary School.

Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines were administered to adults and children 12 or older.

Sneaks Summer Classic Basketball Tournament returning to La Jolla

The Sneaks Summer Classic Basketball Tournament will return to the La Jolla Recreation Center at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 17.

The 5-on-5 tournament will feature 16 teams, along with food vendors and music. The tournament will culminate in a championship game at 5 p.m.

This will be the third installment of the tournament, co-founded by La Jolla High School graduates Sawsun Khodapanah and Tyler Youngs. The event was not held last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, visit

Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute shortens its name

The Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla is now known simply as Sanford Burnham Prebys.

The research institute did not give a reason for the name change, which took effect July 1. For more information, visit

St. Germaine Children’s Charity seeks new members

La Jolla-based St. Germaine Children’s Charity is sponsoring a membership drive through July. The organization holds social and fundraising events to support programs that benefit abandoned, abused and trafficked children in San Diego.

General membership dues are $65 annually; junior member dues, for those 36 and younger, are $45 annually. There are no mandatory meetings or donation requirements.

To learn more, visit and click “Get involved/membership,” or email

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff