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La Jolla Institute announces affiliation with UC San Diego Health

Agreement leverages shared interests and resources to strengthen immunology research on Torrey Pines mesa and accelerate new treatments for immune-related disorders

LA JOLLA, CA—The La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) is pleased to announce an official affiliation agreement with the University of California, San Diego Health System. This agreement formalizes and codifies an informal, decades-old relationship built on shared research interests and a long history of successful scientific collaboration.

The multi-year agreement with UCSD will facilitate joint faculty appointments, enhance the range and depth of collaboration between the two organizations, and promote closer integration between basic immunology research and clinical medicine to speed the development of treatments for diseases of the immune system.

“For many years, we have enjoyed a cordial and mutually beneficial relationship with UCSD. The reinforcement of our longstanding relationship through a formal agreement is a transformative step for both institutions,” said Mitchell Kronenberg, Ph.D., president and chief scientific officer of the La Jolla Institute. “We are thrilled that we will be able to leverage shared resources and expertise to redouble our efforts to harness the power of the immune system to fight infection and disease.”

La Jolla Institute is widely recognized as a leader in immunology research. Discoveries by LJI scientists have contributed profoundly to the understanding of the immune system and laid the groundwork for the development of new vaccines and novel treatments for type 1 diabetes, asthma, cancer, infectious diseases and many other debilitating disorders related to immune system function, such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

The agreement with UCSD will align the Institute’s cutting-edge, fundamental research on the immune system with a world class, research-focused medical school and hospital system, which already has an outstanding immunology program in place.

“Scientists at both institutions have been very adept at making connections through informal channels,” said David Brenner, MD, vice chancellor, UC San Diego Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine. “With a formal agreement in place, we can be strategic about strengthening immunology research on the Torrey Pines mesa. Without doubt, the close integration of scientists at LJI and UC San Diego with UC San Diego Health clinicians will spark innovation and allow us to deliver pioneering immune-based treatments and therapeutics to patients in the clinic.”

The UCSD-LJI partnership is designed to capitalize on each organization’s strengths and provide for a mutually beneficial relationship. 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.

The La Jolla Institute will continue to be independently governed by its board of directors and remain an independent, non-profit biomedical research institute. 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 Medical School will join the LJI Scientific Advisory Board.

The president of LJI will assume an unpaid advisory position to the vice chancellor for Health Sciences at UCSD. In this role, Dr. Kronenberg will provide strategic vision and support to build on the strengths of the existing program in immunology.

La Jolla Institute for Immunology
La Jolla Institute for 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 based on 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.

UC San Diego Health Sciences
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences is internationally recognized as a place where discoveries are delivered – bringing breakthroughs from the research lab to patients’ bedsides. To fulfill its tripartite mission of clinical care, research and education, UC San Diego Health Sciences is composed of clinical and academic entities.

UC San Diego Health System, the region’s only academic health system, has been ranked #1 in San Diego for four consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report. It comprises UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest and UC San Diego Thornton Hospital, Moores Cancer Center (one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the country, and the first and only San Diego-based National Comprehensive Cancer Network® Member Institution), Shiley Eye Institute, Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center (named one of the nation’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals for 2013 by Truven) and Jacobs Medical Center (opening 2016) in La Jolla, as well as other primary and specialty practices located throughout Southern California. For more information, visit health.ucsd.edu.

Established in 1968, UC San Diego School of Medicine is consistently ranked among the top research-intensive medical school programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report and, in 2014 had the ninth highest National Institutes of Health total funding of 136 schools of medicine in the U.S. The Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences opened in 2000 as the only public school of pharmacy in the region, and the second in the State of California. As part of the University of California system, UC San Diego — founded in 1960 — is renowned for collaborative and cross-disciplinary research that transcends traditional boundaries in science, engineering and the humanities. For more information, visit healthsciences.ucsd.edu.
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