Public Release: 

UC San Diego Health and La Jolla Institute announce new affiliation

Agreement will deepen collaborative relationship, spurring biomedical research and treatment of immune system diseases

University of California - San Diego

UC San Diego Health, with the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has entered into a multi-year affiliation agreement with La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology (LJI) designed to deepen existing collaborative relationships, boost basic research of diseases of the immune system and more quickly introduce new clinical treatments and therapies.

"La Jolla Institute's mission has always been to better understand the human immune system and develop new treatments, cures and prevention of diseases ranging from cancer and diabetes to both old and emerging infectious agents, like tuberculosis, dengue virus and SARS," said Mitchell Kronenberg, PhD, president and chief scientific officer of LJI. "Working more closely with UC San Diego Health and its renowned faculty in the biological sciences will help get us there faster."

The affiliation will provide translational aspects of the fundamental research performed at LJI, ultimately benefitting real people with real health care needs, said Paul Viviano, chief executive officer of UC San Diego Health. "UC San Diego and the La Jolla Institute have a long history of collaboration. Our scientists and physicians work well together. This agreement strengthens those connections, drawing closer LJI with UC San Diego's nationally esteemed programs in the biological sciences. The result will be new treatments more quickly debuting in our health system, providing patients with the best, most advanced health care possible. It is the sort of thing that happens only in an academic health system."

The agreement outlines an expansion of shared research and resources, joint faculty appointments in immunology, pharmacology and/or medicine, and combined new faculty recruiting efforts intended to speed translation of basic research at both institutions into clinical practice at UC San Diego Health and beyond.

"Great things happen when good people work closely and well together with as few barriers as possible," said David Brenner, MD, vice chancellor, UC San Diego Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine. "This has always been the vision of UC San Diego's Science Research Park, co-location of foundational research and academic medicine. With LJI and UC San Diego faculty able to more freely share not just resources, but talents and ideas, we achieve things that might otherwise take far, far longer."

Since its inception in 1988, LJI has enjoyed strong ties to local academic and medical centers. For example, the institute's first board of directors included Gerard Burrow, a past dean of UC San Diego School of Medicine. The Institute's founding chairman, Peter Preuss, is current chair of the UC San Diego Foundation Board of Trustees and a former UC regent. The Institute's building is in the Science Research Park on the east campus of UC San Diego and both institutions have partnered in major research efforts, such as the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine.

LJI will remain an independent, non-profit biomedical research institute governed by its own management and board of directors. The president of LJI will be appointed an associate dean of Allergy and Immunology at UC San Diego School of Medicine, aiding in planning and strategy for developing immunology research on the campus. The CEO of UC San Diego Health will join the LJI board of directors as an ex officio member and the dean of UC San Diego School of Medicine will join the LJI Scientific Advisory Board.

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UC San Diego Health

UC San Diego Health is the region's only academic health system and is dedicated to delivering outstanding patient care through commitment to the community, groundbreaking research and inspired teaching. It ranked #1 in San Diego for the fifth consecutive year in 2015 in U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Hospitals" issue. UC San Diego Heal is composed of Hillcrest Medical Center, and Thornton Hospital, Moores Cancer Center, Shiley Eye Institute, Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center and Jacobs Medical Center (opening 2016), all in La Jolla, as well as other primary and specialty practices located throughout Southern California. For more information, visit http://health.ucsd.edu

La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology

La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology is dedicated to understanding the intricacies and power of the immune system so that we may apply that knowledge to promote human health and prevent a wide range of diseases. Since its founding in 1988 as an independent, nonprofit research organization, the Institute has made numerous advances leading towards its goal: life without disease. The Institute was recently ranked 5th in the world for the impact of its publications in immunology by Thomson Reuters and was ranked as the best place to work in academia by The Scientist magazine.

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