University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Three UCSF Faculty Members Named to Institute of Medicine

Robert Edward, David Julius, Jennifer Puck Receive High Honor in Health and Medicine

By Abigail Mortimer | | October 15, 2012

Three UCSF Faculty Members Named to Institute of Medicine

Jennifer Puck, MD, associate member of the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Three UCSF faculty members are among the 70 newly elected members of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which recognizes those who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service in the areas of medical sciences, health care and public health.

The new members were announced Monday, Oct. 15, at the IOM’s 42nd annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The new UCSF members are:
Robert H. Edwards, MD, professor of neurology and physiology. Edwards has made fundamental contributions to the understanding of both neurotransmitter release and neurogenerative disease. His work has included the molecular cloning of the first opioid receptor – the opioid system controls pain, reward and addictive behaviors – and of the synaptic vesicle protein, SV2 – synaptic vesicles store various neurotransmitters that are released at synapse. He identified three distinct families of proteins that transport classical transmitters into synaptic vesicles. Edwards also is exploring the physiological and pathological roles of the Parkinson's disease-associated protein, alpha-synuclein. He has won a number of awards, including two Distinguished Investigator Awards from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.
David Julius, PhD, professor and chair of physiology and UCSF Morris Herzstein Endowed Chair in Molecular Biology and Medicine. Julius is credited with seminal discoveries regarding the molecular mechanisms by which the skin senses painful stimuli and temperature and produces pain hypersensitivity. His work on noxious stimuli has offered insight to scientists who aim to better understand and treat chronic pain. Julius has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Shaw Prize in Life Sciences Medicine, the Prince of Asturias Award and the Passano Award.
Jennifer Puck, MD, professor of immunology and pediatrics. Focusing on human primary immunodeficiency, Puck’s achievements have included mapping and identifying the genes for X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (XSCID) and autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS); a clinical trial of retroviral gene therapy for patients with XSCID who failed bone marrow transplantation; and definition of the disease and gene defects in STAT3 in Job syndrome, a multisystem disorder. Puck also developed a test, now part of the standard newborn screening panel in several states, which screens all newborns for severe lymphocyte disorders based on detecting T-cell receptor excision circles (TREC).