Space Medicine

UCSF has a long history of pioneering biomedical research and a bold vision for advancing health worldwide. This innovative series provides insights into the complexities of optimizing human health and medical management in Space.

Knowledge of physical and behavioral adaptations to Human Space Exploration and the countermeasures to these has deepened our understanding of many medical conditions. Pioneering research and development of innovative solutions for Space travel are informing terrestrial health care, advancing our capabilities in remote medical management and informing the future practice of medicine.

You will find fascinating presentations by space health experts, including astronauts, clinicians, scientists, engineers, health tech innovators and NASA thought leaders, sharing how space-associated science and technology can accelerate medical innovation and provide health benefits universally.

Browse more programs in Space Medicine and Its Influence on Earth.

Lessons Learned During the Pandemic: What the Science Says

The medical breakthroughs that have accompanied the heartbreaking realities of the COVID-19 pandemic have been hard won. Years of research in the areas of AIDS and infectious diseases, epidemiology, aerosols, and more have come together to create vaccines at an unprecedented pace and community health guidance to reduce transmission rates.

What are the takeaways from all this? How will it impact current treatments for patients as well as management of future pandemics? Experts from UC San Diego share what the medical and scientific communities have learned, what is next for COVID-19 therapies, and what the statistics tell us about the past, present, and future.

Join Robert “Chip” Schooley, MD, Davey Smith, MD, Sheldon Morris, MD, MPH and Catriona Jamieson, MD, Phd for A Closer Look at…COVID-19.

A Closer Look at Alzheimer’s Disease

The clinical and research perspectives on Alzheimer’s disease converge in the latest installment of “A Closer Look.” Douglas Galasko, MD shares the basics of Alzheimer’s including biomarkers of the disease, current treatment options, and what physicians know. Larry Goldstein, PhD explains how researchers are using stem cell technology to search for new drugs to treat Alzheimer’s. An informative Q& A moderated by Alysson Muotri, PhD highlights the work to come and the practical questions surrounding new treatment possibilities.

“A Closer Look” aims to share emerging research and clinical strategies to help patients be informed and empowered. Take a look at our archive for in depth presentations on Parkinson’s disease, prostate cancer, and more.

Watch A Closer Look At…Alzheimer’s Disease.

A Deep Look into COVID and a New World of Innovation

Along with global health and economic devastation, the COVID-19 pandemic has forged an unprecedented path to research and education innovation. Bold scientific advances and cooperation led to a novel vaccine developed in record time, groundbreaking tools for detecting viruses and a pioneering vision for safely educating students. Gain an in-depth look at the trailblazing insights and innovations that led to the broad success of UC San Diego’s Return to Learn program with Chancellor Pradeep Khosla, along with scientists leading groundbreaking innovations related to detecting and analyzing SARS-CoV-2, as well as the future of at-home diagnostic testing in response to COVID-19.

Watch A Deep Look into COVID and a New World of Innovation.

The Antibiotic Resistance Crisis

The steady and alarming rise in antibiotic resistance poses one of the greatest challenges to public health and modern medicine. The U.S. CDC estimates that drug-resistant bacteria sicken more than 2 million people annually, causing 23,000 deaths and resulting in $20 billion in excess health-care costs and an additional $35 billion in lost productivity. The antibiotic resistance crisis is particularly devastating in hospitals and long-term care facilities, where such infections strike the most vulnerable patients with weak immune systems or chronic diseases.

Dr. Victor Nizet, a physician-scientist and member of the UC San Diego faculty for almost 20 years, explains that the roots of our current dilemma are multifactorial. Overzealous use of antibiotics in both clinical and agricultural settings, the departure of major pharmaceutical companies from antibiotic development (viewed as unprofitable), and simple Darwinian evolution of microbes exposed to life-or-death selective pressures each contribute profoundly. Can we, through public awareness, changes in medical practice, and scientific innovation, lift ourselves out of the hole that we have dug?

In the face of the exploding resistance crisis, Dr. Nizet and colleagues have turned their attention to discovering innovative future solutions that go “beyond antibiotics” to help patients with serious infections. These include strategies to strip the bacteria of their virulence factors and toxins to render them harmless, approaches to boost the natural antibacterial killing activity of our own white blood cells, and studies to understand how antibiotics and other existing drugs may work to cure infection in partnership with our immune system – not just how they work in a test tube. Dr. Nizet is spearheading a new initiative involving nearly 50 UCSD faculty named the “Collaborative to Halt Antibiotic-Resistant Microbes” or CHARM, which will make its debut later this year.

Watch The Antibiotic Resistance Crisis – Exploring Ethics .