Dr. Carl Ware recently joined the Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute as Director of the Infectious and Inflammatory Disease Center (www.sanfordburnham.org), located in La Jolla, CA. He leads a large multi-disciplinary group of scientists applying their skills in structural biology, bioinformatics, immunology, virology and microbiology to understand autoimmune diseases and develop novel therapies. He received his Ph.D. in 1979 from the University of California, Irvine, and conducted his postdoctoral work at the University of Texas and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School in Boston. He established his research laboratory in 1981 as an Assistant Professor of Immunology at the University of California, Riverside, advancing to full professor and in 1996 moved to the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology where he led the Division of Molecular Immunology.
Possibilities and challenges are what this researcher, who currently has two important discoveries at various stages of the drug development process, seems to be all about. Dr. Ware discovered the Lymphotoxin-receptor, a protein that controls inflammation. A new drug based on this discovery is currently in Phase II clinical trials for people with severe rheumatoid arthritis, while another inflammatory protein, known as LIGHT also discovered in Dr. Ware’s laboratory, is being developed by a pharmaceutical company for use in a variety of autoimmune diseases.
Dr. Ware hopes that his discoveries will help the 30 to 40 percent of rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s sufferers who don’t respond well or at all to the existing TNF based therapies. “There’s an unmet need,” he said. “I hope these new targets can help people who don’t respond to the current therapies.”
Dr. Ware serves on several foundations supporting biomedical research including the Arthritis National Research Foundation and the Sandler Foundation for Asthma Research. In addition, he is the recipient of a MERIT Award from the US Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, a 10 year award which is given for outstanding record of scientific achievement.
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