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Researchers

The researchers who work with CIMR are widely recognized as leaders in their fields. You can find out more about some of the excellent researchers who work with CIMR at the following pages:

Research done at CIMR has benefited and will continue to benefit millions of people. For example, through collaboration with the California Collaborative Treatment Group (CCTG) since 1986, one of our primary investigators continues to work on not just the efficacy of AIDS treatment drugs but also on the prevention of HIV transmission through the targeting of HIV-infected subjects engaging in high risk sexual activities. As of 2013, California alone had almost 169,734 people living with HIV/AIDS (California HIV/AIDS surveillance report 2013). Our research into the best methods of treatment and into methods of prevention would be of great benefit to this group of Californians, not to mention people living with AIDS worldwide. The number of people living with HIV worldwide continues to grow, presently being 36.9 million (CDC AIDS statistics 2015).

Our ongoing work with Coccidioides will benefit the more than 150,000 people in the United States who suffer from some form of infection due to the fungus every year. Of all the people infected with Valley Fever, many will develop the disseminated form, which is devastating, and can be fatal. These are the cases in which the disease spreads beyond the lungs through the bloodstream - typically to the skin, bones and the membranes surrounding the brain, causing meningitis.

It is worth noting that any advances, either in the form of new drugs or vaccine will greatly benefit Californians, as the fungus is endemic to California. It is also worth noting that minorities of Black, Hispanic, Filipino and Native American ancestry are predisposed to develop the worst manifestations of the infection. Also, agricultural laborers are at an increased risk of exposure. Because of these racial and occupational factors, low-income segments of society are disproportionately affected and our work with the organism will continue to be of great benefit to these disadvantaged members of our society. 

Furthermore, the research CIMR does with Coccidioides makes CIMR one of the handful of laboratories in the United States that routinely works with the organism. In addition, it is the only laboratory studying the genesis and specific therapies of coccidioidal meningitis. This is a devastating disease that requires long-term therapy with little hope of cure, and which is lethal if left untreated. CIMR is one of the two laboratories in the United States performing routine clinical testing of Coccidioides for antifungal drug susceptibility.

As a result, the laboratory is a clinical reference laboratory for fungal and actinomycete susceptibility testing, as well as body fluid antifungal drug concentration determinations, for hospitals. This is particularly important in California, which is endemic for the disease, where human disease caused by Coccidioides is frequent. Prof. Dr. David Stevens, the Principal Investigator for this particular project, who is a Professor Emeritus of Medicine at Stanford University, is also routinely asked by practicing physicians for direction in patient treatment.

A group is collaborating in studies of Chagas disease, a parasitic disease of the Americas, particularly Latin America. They are investigating how the human heart is invaded by the parasite, and on development of new treatments. 

As a result, the laboratory is a clinical reference laboratory for fungal and actinomycete susceptibility testing, as well as body fluid antifungal drug concentration determinations, for hospitals. This is particularly important in California, which is endemic for the disease, where human disease caused by Coccidioides is frequent. Also, the Principal Investigator for this particular project, who is also a practicing physician and a Professor Emeritus of Medicine at Stanford University, is also routinely asked for direction in patient treatment.