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La Jolla, CA, United States

The Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, previously Burnham Institute for Medical Research, is a non-profit medical research institute with locations in La Jolla, California, Orlando, Florida, and Santa Barbara, California. There are more than 850 scientists at Sanford-Burnham; they work on the fundamental molecular causes of various diseases, with research including topics such as cancer, neuroscience, stem cell research, diabetes and obesity.Research at Sanford-Burnham is supported by funding from National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation among others, and partnerships with pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development. In 2008, Sanford-Burnham was awarded a $97.9 million grant by NIH to establish a high-throughput screening screening center. Wikipedia.

Volkmann N.,Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research
Current Opinion in Cell Biology | Year: 2012

A complete understanding of complex dynamic cellular processes such as cell migration or cell adhesion requires the integration of atomic level structural information into the larger cellular context. While direct atomic-level information at the cellular level remains inaccessible, electron microscopy, electron tomography and their associated computational image processing approaches have now matured to a point where sub-cellular structures can be imaged in three dimensions at the nanometer scale. Atomic-resolution information obtained by other means can be combined with this data to obtain three-dimensional models of large macromolecular assemblies in their cellular context. This article summarizes some recent advances in this field. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Godzik A.,Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research
Current Opinion in Structural Biology | Year: 2011

Metagenomics sequencing projects have dramatically increased our knowledge of the protein universe and provided over one-half of currently known protein sequences; they have also introduced a much broader phylogenetic diversity into the protein databases. The full analysis of metagenomic datasets is only beginning, but it has already led to the discovery of thousands of new protein families, likely representing novel functions specific to given environments. At the same time, a deeper analysis of such novel families, including experimental structure determination of some representatives, suggests that most of them represent distant homologs of already characterized protein families, and thus most of the protein diversity present in the new environments are due to functional divergence of the known protein families rather than the emergence of new ones. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Freeze H.H.,Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research
Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology | Year: 2011

The Golgi factory receives custom glycosylates and dispatches its cargo to the correct cellular locations. The process requires importing donor substrates, moving the cargo, and recycling machinery. Correctly glycosylated cargo reflects the Golgi's quality and efficiency. Genetic disorders in the specific equipment (enzymes), donors (nucleotide sugar transporters), or equipment recycling/reorganization components (COG, SEC, golgins) can all affect glycosylation. Dozens of human glycosylation disorders fit these categories. Many other genes, with or without familiar names, well-annotated pedigrees, or likely homologies will join the ranks of glycosylation disorders. Their broad and unpredictable case-by-case phenotypes cross the traditional medical specialty boundaries. The gene functions in patients may be elusive, but their common feature may include altered glycosylation that provide clues to Golgi function. This article focuses on a group of human disorders that affect protein or lipid glycosylation. Readers may find it useful to generalize some of these patient-based, translational observations to their own research.

Towler D.A.,Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research
Circulation Research | Year: 2013

Calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD) increasingly afflicts our aging population. One third of our elderly have echocardiographic or radiological evidence of calcific aortic valve sclerosis, an early and subclinical form of CAVD. Age, sex, tobacco use, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, and type II diabetes mellitus all contribute to the risk of disease that has worldwide distribution. On progression to its most severe form, calcific aortic stenosis, CAVD becomes debilitating and devastating, and 2% of individuals >60 years are affected by calcific aortic stenosis to the extent that surgical intervention is required. No effective pharmacotherapies exist for treating those at risk for clinical progression. It is becoming increasingly apparent that a diverse spectrum of cellular and molecular mechanisms converge to regulate valvular calcium load; this is evidenced not only in histopathologic heterogeneity of CAVD, but also from the multiplicity of cell types that can participate in valve biomineralization. In this review, we highlight our current understanding of CAVD disease biology, emphasizing molecular and cellular aspects of its regulation. We end by pointing to important biological and clinical questions that must be answered to enable sophisticated disease staging and the development of new strategies to treat CAVD medically. © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.

Back S.H.,University of Ulsan | Kaufman R.J.,Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research
Annual Review of Biochemistry | Year: 2012

Given the functional importance of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), an organelle that performs folding, modification, and trafficking of secretory and membrane proteins to the Golgi compartment, the maintenance of ER homeostasis in insulin-secreting β-cells is very important. When ER homeostasis is disrupted, the ER generates adaptive signaling pathways, called the unfolded protein response (UPR), to maintain homeostasis of this organelle. However, if homeostasis fails to be restored, the ER initiates death signaling pathways. New observations suggest that both chronic hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia, known as important causative factors of type 2 diabetes (T2D), disrupt ER homeostasis to induce unresolvable UPR activation and β-cell death. This review examines how the UPR pathways, induced by high glucose and free fatty acids (FFAs), interact to disrupt ER function and cause β-cell dysfunction and death. © 2012 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

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