Universities get tech funds

Researchers from UCSD and San Diego State University (SDSU) will receive support to develop and commercialize new solar technologies, unique ways to convert waste heat to electricity and novel methods of extracting biodiesel from algae.

The funding comes from the Clean Tech Innovation Challenge, a partnership between the City of San Diego, UCSD’s William J. von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and SDSU.

The program is designed to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies out of university labs as part of the city’s goal to promote the growth of the local clean-tech industry.

Looking for subjects

UCSD Medical Center is currently enrolling patients in a Phase 2 clinical trial of an investigational drug for the treatment of advanced heart failure. The “Calcium Up-Regulation by Percutaneous Administration of Gene Therapy in Cardiac Disease” (CUPID) study is evaluating a new gene-based therapy designed to stimulate production of an enzyme that enables the heart to pump more effectively.

The CUPID trial is intended to rescue a failing heart by replacing an enzyme known to play a critical role in healthy cardiac function. The goal is not only to improve the symptoms of heart failure, but to reverse the severity of the disease in patients.

Teaming up

A partnership between Palomar Pomerado Health (PPH) and the UCSD School of Medicine will enhance options for patients needing leading-edge therapy, expand clinical research at the university, and strengthen clinical research.

The agreement creates greater coordination between the Institutional Review Boards that review and approve research trials at the two institutions. Under this agreement, a study approved at one institution can also be performed at the other.

Restoring habitat

A project to restore sensitive sand dune habitat in the San Elijo Lagoon is being undertaken with the aim to attract rare snowy plovers and endangered California least terns.

The dunes - located between the train tracks and Pacific Coast Highway - are one of the few surviving areas of coastal strand in San Diego County. Both bird species are dependent on coastal strand to build their colonies of nests.

The project will replace exotic invasive plants with native species, remove trash and debris, provide a fence to minimize human disturbance and signage.