Research in the lab of UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty member Nadav Ahituv, PhD, in collaboration with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research and others, has identified variations at four locations in the genome underlying risk for the most common type of abdominal hernia.
(left to right) The Galega officinalis (aka French lilac)was used as a folk remedy for diabetes symptoms for centuries before analysis of its extracts revealed compounds that lowered blood sugar. Eventually, metformin (molecule and pill) was developed. It is a related molecule that is longer acting and less toxic than the plant extracts. Metformin acts on cells in the liver (center and cross-section right) to reduce glucose production and thus blood sugar.
In people with type 2 diabetes, the body is less able to use the hormone insulin to regulate blood sugar. The disease affects 350 million patients globally—including 29 million in the United States, where it is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, and non-accident-related amputations.
My work focuses on the translation of new technologies into improved patient outcomes, particularly the translation of personalized/precision medicine—targeting health care interventions to patients based on their genetics—into clinical care and health policy.