The Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension Research Programs
Hillblom Islet Research Center
The Hillblom Islet Research Center, directed by Dr. Peter Butler, M.D., located at 900A Weyburn Place North, brings together a group of leading scientists to work as a team in the area of islet research. The team includes experts in the understanding of why islet cells are killed and how this outcome might be avoided, how islet cells are formed and how we might encourage islet repair, how islet cells make and release insulin, and how this process might be increased to restore insulin levels. In the Hillblom Islet Research Center, collaborating investigators have the benefit of conducting their research with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. This superb environment was made possible by a grant from the Larry L. Hillblom Foundation. The research team in the Islet Research Center strives to provide excellent training for young scientists from around the world, and in so doing, to understand the cause of islet cell destruction leading to diabetes and to understand how islet cells can be replaced that eventually will lead to the prevention and cure of diabetes.
Blood Brain Barrier Research Laboratory
The Blood Brain Barrier Research Laboratory, directed by Dr. William Pardridge, Ph.D., located at 900 Weyburn Place North, Suite 13-164 Warren Hall, focuses on the biological basis of targeted delivery through the blood-brain barrier (BBB) of protein and gene therapeutics. Progress in this difficult area requires the merger of animal neurophysiology, pharmacokinetics, and molecular biology. The laboratory is developing new approaches for the treatment of stroke with neurotrophins, new approaches to imaging gene expression in vivo with antisense radiopharmaceuticals, new approaches to the non-invasive, non-viral targeting of gene medicines to the brain, genetic engineering and "humanization" of monoclonal antibodies, and "BBB genomics", or the discovery of novel genes selectively expressed at the BBB.
Dr. Heaney’s laboratory research focuses on pituitary and neuroendocrine tumors with an aim to identify novel tumor targets, and characterize candidate potential anti-tumor ligands. Neuroendocrine tumors originate in highly differentiated cell types, express clear phenotypic markers and are excellent models in which to study cellular transformation, providing unique insights into early transforming events in cancer. Current projects examine in vitro and in vivo effects of dietary sugars in cancer development, and progression. Utilizing metabolomic approaches with C13-labelled sugars, we are examining carbohydrate (CHO) metabolism in cancer cells to better understand effects of refined CHO consumption on in vivo cancer growth. In a parallel project, unique phosphorescent nanoparticles are being targeted using highly specific peptide ligands to image and treat neuroendocrine tumors. Our ultimate goal is to translate these technologies to patients with neuroendocrine tumors.
Division of Endocrinology,
Diabetes and Hypertension
UCLA Department of Medicine
24-130 Warren Hall
900 Veteran Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90095-7073
Phone: (310) 794-7555
Fax: (310) 794-7654