Research at UC San Diego Health Sciences

UC San Diego Health Sciences has gained international recognition as a place where discoveries are delivered – bringing breakthroughs from the research lab to our patients – in a process called translational medicine. At UC San Diego Health Sciences, faculty members in the School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences work both within their departments, and in collaborative, multidisciplinary research centers such as Moores Cancer Center, the Institute on Genomic Medicine and the Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Research Center, to bring discoveries out of the basic research lab in order to deliver cures to patients.

Basic Research at UC San Diego Health Sciences

Basic biomedical research is a hallmark of UC San Diego School of Medicine and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy. In order to develop new treatments for major diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes, physician-researchers need a broad base of scientific knowledge, particularly an understanding of changes at the cellular and molecular level that lead to disease. Discoveries made by our basic researchers provide the foundation for advances in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the diseases, helping patients at UC San Diego Health and around the world. See Faculty Labs and the links at left for more information about basic research.

Quick Facts

  • In the top 10 institutions in the nation in research funding from the National Institutes of Health
  • Ranked in the top four nationally in research funding per faculty member
  • In recent years, more than half of the patents and licenses granted to UC San Diego have been based on discoveries made in Health Sciences

Clinical Research at UC San Diego Health Sciences

Clinical research is another important leg of an academic medical center like UC San Diego. Here, we conduct hundreds of new trials each year, varying in size from a single researcher looking at a dozen participants, to trials that are part of multi-center national studies with several thousand participants. Clinical trials are designed to test the safety and effectiveness of a therapy or new medication when compared to either a placebo, or other treatments that are the current standard of medical care. See Clinical Trials for more information.

UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translation Research Institute

UC San Diego’s Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute is aimed at fostering translational research – comprising all the steps involved from basic to clinical research, to patient treatment – in many areas including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cardiology and HIV/AIDS. For translational research to be successful, communication must be bi-directional. In other words, many different people have to talk—and listen—to each other: basic researchers and clinical researchers; clinical researchers and human volunteers; patients and their doctors in their communities; and community doctors and clinical researchers.