Community physicians who saw the need for a local medical research facility established the California Institute for Medical Research (CIMR) in 1963. Using land leased from Santa Clara County for a nominal fee and privately donated funds, largely from the County Medical Society, CIMR constructed the facility on the campus of the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) in San Jose, California. Since then, CIMR has been a resource for regional hospitals and doctors. More than 300 research programs have been conducted at CIMR. This has resulted in nationally recognized discoveries in medicine and medical care.
- A steady stream of studies of the efficacy of drugs for Valley Fever has flowed from our institution. The pursuit of Valley Fever meningitis, its cause, the immune response, complications, and its treatment continue to be a major part of the research performed in our Infectious Disease Laboratory.
- The Prehn Laboratory, named for an internationally renowned former scientific director, was established to use specially bred mice in studies of the role of genetics in disease, especially cancer.
- In studies conducted at CIMR, recognition of the symptoms of acute Parkinson’s disease in persons abusing drugs led to the first animal model for the disease. The studies that began at CIMR have continued in the branching off and establishment of The Parkinson’s Institute.
- Researchers at CIMR have sought treatment of AIDS and its complications with clinical trials of the latest drugs.
- We have also studied natural compounds (biological antioxidants) aimed at immune restoration in HIV infection.
The Infectious Diseases Laboratory continues to make significant progress in the treatment of fungal infections, performing in vitro and in vivo studies on novel compounds and testing licensed conventional antifungals alone and in combination. Studies of molecular epidemiology of the mycoses, of host defenses against fungal infections (including the possibility of immunomodulation) and of vaccine development are areas of extensive effort.
Work is ongoing into the study of Chagas’ disease, a parasitic disease centered in Latin America, but spreading to the United States. Cardiac complications of this disease are studied by the use of human stem cells.
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