Research Projects | Cancer Center Partnership

Research Projects

Our Partnership continues to build on the numerous unique existing resources at SDSU and UC San Diego’s Moores Cancer Center and the School of Medicine which make up key elements of the Partnership, supporting research, education, and outreach. Among these are joint multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary research projects that include faculty members from both institutions.

The Partnership includes two Full Projects and one Pilot Project, which leverages strengths between SDSU and the MCC. The projects have a high degree of novelty and a thematic focus on colon cancer and are aimed at enhancing research capacity at SDSU and increasing cancer disparities research at UCSD. These projects are:

Project 1

Title: Nanoshells Enabled Tumor Ablation and Immunotherapy

To investigate the effects of the combination of high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) with an immune modulator (TLR agonist) to: 1) induce an innate immune response after HIFU application, and 2) generate long lasting antitumor immunity.

Research Team at UCSD:

Andrew Kummel, PhD (Co-Leader); Dennis Carson, MD; Tomoko Hayashi, PhD; Natalie Mendez, MS; Stephen Calderon; Adrian Badaracco; James Wang

Research Team at SDSU:

Natalie Gude, PhD (Co-Leader); Joi Weeks, MS; Oscar Echeagaray; Christina Payne

Project 2

Title: A RCT of Outreach and Inreach Strategies for Boosting CRC Screening in a Federally-Qualified Health Center.

To conduct a 4-arm RCT to compare: 1) an inreach strategy offering in-clinic education delivered by a community Health Worker, 2) a mailed outreach strategy offering FIT, 3) both outreach and inreach combined, and 4) usual care for boosting colorectal cancer screening.

Research Team at UCSD:

Samir Gupta, MD, MSCS (Co-Leader); Lin Liu, PhD; Balambal Bharti, PhD

Research Team at SDSU:

Sheila Castañeda, PhD (Co-Leader); Gregory Talavera, MD, MPH; Rebecca Espinoza, PhD

Team at San Ysidro Health Center, Inc

Shawne O’Connell, MPH; Fatima Muñoz, MD, MPH; Maria Elena Meza; Sylvia Mercado; Valerie Sanchez

San Ysidro Health Center

San Ysidro Health Center is a “Safety Net” clinic with 90,000 registered patients (41% uninsured) and 12 clinic sites

Pilot Project

Title: Comparative Analysis of Virome, Microbiome and Metabolome of Tumor and Healthy Gut Tissues of Patients with Colorectal Cancer.

To conduct comparative virome, metagenomic, and metabolomic analyses of healthy vs. tumorous tissues from patients with right- vs. left-sided CRC.

Research Team at UCSD:

Sonia Ramamoorthy, MD; Mark Valasek, MD, PhD; Sarah Stringfield, MD

Research Team at SDSU:

John Mokili, PhD; Robert Edwards, PhD