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Open Access Publications from the University of California


The Research Grants Program Office (RGPO) oversees a broad grantmaking portfolio of nearly $65 million a year to support research that is critical to California, the nation and the world. RGPO programs enhance UC’s research capacity and excellence, which helps attract top faculty, graduate students, government funding and companies to our state. These grants also enable researchers and community agencies to collaborate and solve the most pressing problems in the state. RGPO also provides grants for training undergraduates, graduate and postdoctoral researchers, whose work will benefit California communities. 

Research Grants Program Office (RGPO)

There are 24654 publications in this collection, published between 1905 and 2023.
Recent Work (23768)

Histologic changes associated with talaporfin sodium-mediated photodynamic therapy in rat skin.

Background and objective

Alternative treatments are needed to achieve consistent and more complete port wine stain (PWS) removal, especially in darker skin types; photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a promising alternative treatment. To this end, we previously reported on Talaporfin Sodium (TS)-mediated PDT. It is essential to understand treatment tissue effects to design a protocol that will achieve selective vascular injury without ulceration and scarring. The objective of this work is to assess skin changes associated with TS-mediated PDT with clinically relevant treatment parameters.

Study design/materials and methods

We performed TS (0.75 mg/kg)-mediated PDT (664 nm) on Sprague Dawley rats. Radiant exposures were varied between 15 and 100 J/cm2 . We took skin biopsies from subjects at 9 hours following PDT. We assessed the degree and depth of vascular and surrounding tissue injury using histology and immunohistochemical staining.


TS-mediated PDT at 0.75 mg/kg combined with 15 and 25 J/cm2 light doses resulted in vascular injury with minimal epidermal damage. At light dose of 50 J/cm2 , epidermal damage was noted with vascular injury. At light doses >50 J/cm2 , both vascular and surrounding tissue injury were observed in the forms of vasculitis, extravasated red blood cells, and coagulative necrosis. Extensive coagulative necrosis involving deeper adnexal structures was observed for 75 and 100 J/cm2 light doses. Observed depth of injury increased with increasing radiant exposure, although this relationship was not linear.


TS-mediated PDT can cause selective vascular injury; however, at higher light doses, significant extra-vascular injury was observed. This information can be used to contribute to design of safe protocols to be used for treatment of cutaneous vascular lesions. Lasers Surg. Med. 49:767-772, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Effect of Rectal Hygiene on Sexually Transmitted Infections Among HIV-Negative Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM)

Abstract Background Rectal gonorrhea (NG) and chlamydia (Connecticut) infections are common among men who have sex with men (MSM). Rectal douching/enema (RDE) is a common practice among MSM that can affect the rectal microbiome. It is unclear if this practice is associated with acquiring rectal infections (RI) with either NG or CT. Methods From 2013–2015, 398 adult HIV-negative MSM and transwomen were enrolled in a randomized controlled study on text messaging for adherence to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Participants were surveyed on sexual behavior, frequency of RDE, drug use, and nutritional habits in conjunction with routine sexually transmitted infection testing. Pearson’s χ 2 and two sample t-tests were used to measure significance of RDE and other risk factors with RI. Multivariable logistic regression model was used to control for confounding and assess the association of RDE with RIs. Confounders (i.e., age, number anal receptive sex, number sex partners) were selected a priori for inclusion in the final model based on a causal model and statistical significance. Results Of 397 participants, 262 (67%) performed RDE and 132 (33%) had at least one NG or CT rectal infection over 48 weeks. Number of condomless anal receptive sex acts (mean = 19, P < 0.001), condom use for anal receptive sex (P = 0.017), number of male sex partners in past 3 months (mean = 14, P = 0.001), and the use of poppers (P < 0.001) were associated with RI. There was no significant association between nutritional habits, probiotic foods or supplements and RI, with the exception of energy bars (P = 0.029). Controlling for confounders, RI was associated with RDE less than weekly with OR = 1.02 (95% CI 0.52–1.99) while RDE weekly or more had OR = 2.08 (95% CI 1.03–4.17). Stratified by number of partners, MSMs with more than the median (>6) number of partners had OR = 4.96 (95% CI 1.29–19.03) if performing RDE less than weekly, and OR = 6.03 (95% CI 1.55–23.49) if weekly or more. Conclusion Rectal hygiene with douching/enemas is a common practice among MSMs on PrEP, which increases the odds of acquiring rectal NG and/or CT. This finding is suggestive for the use of rectal hygiene products/practices as potential targets for sexually transmitted infection prevention. Disclosures All authors: No reported disclosures.

Selection on a variant associated with improved viral clearance drives local, adaptive pseudogenization of interferon lambda 4 (IFNL4).

Interferon lambda 4 gene (IFNL4) encodes IFN-λ4, a new member of the IFN-λ family with antiviral activity. In humans IFNL4 open reading frame is truncated by a polymorphic frame-shift insertion that eliminates IFN-λ4 and turns IFNL4 into a polymorphic pseudogene. Functional IFN-λ4 has antiviral activity but the elimination of IFN-λ4 through pseudogenization is strongly associated with improved clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We show that functional IFN-λ4 is conserved and evolutionarily constrained in mammals and thus functionally relevant. However, the pseudogene has reached moderately high frequency in Africa, America, and Europe, and near fixation in East Asia. In fact, the pseudogenizing variant is among the 0.8% most differentiated SNPs between Africa and East Asia genome-wide. Its raise in frequency is associated with additional evidence of positive selection, which is strongest in East Asia, where this variant falls in the 0.5% tail of SNPs with strongest signatures of recent positive selection genome-wide. Using a new Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) approach we infer that the pseudogenizing allele appeared just before the out-of-Africa migration and was immediately targeted by moderate positive selection; selection subsequently strengthened in European and Asian populations resulting in the high frequency observed today. This provides evidence for a changing adaptive process that, by favoring IFN-λ4 inactivation, has shaped present-day phenotypic diversity and susceptibility to disease.

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