News & Activities


October 6, 2020

UC San Diego Health Sciences News

J. Silvio Gutkind, PhD, Named Chair of the Department of Pharmacology


J. Silvio Gutkind, PhD, has been named chair of the Department of Pharmacology at University of California San Diego School of Medicine.

“Silvio is an exceptional leader, and he has an extraordinary ability to build collaborations, wide-ranging intellectual insights and seemingly limitless energy,” said Steven Garfin, MD, interim dean of UC San Diego School of Medicine. “I’m thrilled to support him in his new role.”

Gutkind joined the UC San Diego School of Medicine faculty in 2015 and has served as Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pharmacology, as well as associate director of basic science and co-director of the Head and Neck Cancer Center at Moores Cancer Center. Before moving to UC San Diego, Gutkind spent nearly 30 years at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), most recently as chief of the Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Branch, and chief of the Cell Growth Regulation and Molecular Carcinogenesis Sections at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.


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January 13, 2020

UC San Diego Health Sciences News

How Marijuana Accelerates Growth of HPV-related Head and Neck Cancer Identified


University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers have identified the molecular mechanism activated by the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the ingredient that causes people to feel the euphoria or “high” associated with cannabis — in the bloodstream that accelerates cancer growth in patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

“HPV-related head and neck cancer is one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States. While at the same time, exposure to marijuana is accelerating. This is a huge public health problem,” said Joseph A. Califano III, MD, senior author and professor and vice chief of the Division of Otolaryngology in the Department of Surgery at UC San Diego School of Medicine.


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October 21, 2019

UC San Diego Health Sciences News

UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center’s J. Silvio Gutkind Joins National Academy of Medicine


​Considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine, J. Silvio Gutkind, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and associate director for basic science at Moores Cancer Center, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).

New members are elected by current members through a process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health.

Gutkind is being recognized by his peers for his contributions in the understanding of cancer signaling networks, and pioneering the study of the PIK3CA-mTOR signaling circuitry — which is important in regulating the cancer cell growth — in oral, head and neck cancer progression, metastasis, and in therapy resistance.


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September 1, 2019

Multidisciplinary Educational Approach to Reducing Cancer Disparities


​Dr. Gutkind and Dr. Georgia Sadler were awarded funding from the NIH for their R25 grant to develop the Youth Enjoy Science Research Education (YES) Program. This program will increase the diversity of University of California San Diego (UCSD) graduates who are pursuing graduate/professional training in the sciences. This YES Program is grounded on the Transformative Learning Theory and UCSD's 16 years of experience conducting UCSD's successful CURE Program. This YES Program will increase the number of women and underrepresented students from diverse scientific disciplines who are prepared for graduate school admission, with a focus on addressing cancer and cancer disparities. For more information, please contact Raluca Ciochina.


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