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Daily Business Report-Aug. 9, 2013

Daily Business Report-Aug. 9, 2013

 Dr. Clark Chen, chief of stereotactic and radiosurgery and vice chairman of neurosurgery at UC San Diego 

Cancer Treatment in Clinical Trials at UC San Diego

An innovative approach to treating brain cancer is in clinical trials at the UC San Diego Moores Center, KPBS reports.  The trial is one of the first in the world to combine gene therapy with real-time MRI imaging. Surgeons can deliver the treatment directly into the tumor. They hope that previously untreatable brain tumors, like glioblastomas, can be helped by this new procedure. “With chemotherapy, just about every human cell is exposed to the drug’s potential side effects,” said Clark Chen, chief of stereotactic and radiosurgery and vice chairman of neurosurgery at UC San Diego Health System. “By using the direct injection approach, we believe we can limit the presence of the active drug to just the brain tumor and nowhere else in the body. With MRI, we can see the tumor light up in real time during drug infusion. The rest of the brain remains unaffected so the risk of the procedure is minimized.”

The drug, a retrovirus called Toca 511 was engineered by San Diego-based Tocagen Inc. It’s designed to selectively replicate in cancer cells, such as glioblastomas. Toca 511 produces a protein which turns an anti-fungal drug to chemotherapy, making the tumor suicidal.

SDG&E Wants Smart Inverters for Local Solar Arrays

Living off grid

Living off grid

San Diego Gas & Electric is hoping to urge new solar customers to add a piece of high-tech equipment to its systems. The utility wants installers to use smart inverters, which change DC power from solar panels into AC power that can be used by plug-in appliances. SDG&E President and COO Michael Niggli said the tablet-sized devices are better at modulating power than existing converters. One key feature is the ability to be switched on remotely if there is a power interruption. “Right now, if you have a system disturbance, they could be turned off and not turned back on,” Niggli said. “We’d like to have the remote capability to turn them back on so that they can contribute back into the grid as soon as possible. Also, we can control through a remote signal the voltage level so that they integrate very smoothly with the grid.” Niggli said the units cost more but they go a long way toward making sure the grid works better. California utility regulators are considering the impact of smart inverters and other smart grid technologies as more solar generating capacity comes on line. They could have some rules to consider early next year. (KPBS report)

AT&T Donates Funds to Veterans Association of North County

AT&T has donated $15,000 to the Veteran’s Association of North County to help fund the Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP), a month-long class that prepares active military and unemployed veterans for the civilian job market. The class is offered free of charge through these kinds of donations. AT&T recently boosted veteran recruitment efforts by announcing a goal of hiring 5,000 veterans and their family members into AT&T career opportunities over the next five years as part of the Joining Forces Initiative. “We recruit veterans because these individuals consistently demonstrate outstanding leadership and skills that benefit our company and our customers,” said John Osborne, director of external affairs for AT&T California. About 60 percent of veterans who joined AT&T in 2012 made their transition to the private sector as technicians.

BOMA Offering Course on Managing

The San Diego Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) will host a Building Owners and Managers Institute International Inc. course, “Managing the Organization,” for commercial real estate professionals wanting to further their professional education. The course will take place Sept. 19-21 at 4350 La Jolla Village Drive, in the training room at the second-floor conference center. The course is designed to help commercial real estate professionals be effective managers and leaders in their organizations. For additional information, visit

Meeting Topic: Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

Publishers and Writers of San Diego will hold its monthly meeting on Saturday, Aug. 31, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Carlsbad Dove Library. The topic is “Self Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing.” The presenter is Mark Reichenthal, a practicing attorney in the areas of intellectual property, entertainment law and book publishing. He will provide an intellectual property attorney’s perspective on the battle being waged between self-publishing and traditional publishing. Anyone interested or involved in writing, editing, publishing, designing, or anything related to books is welcome to attend. Members cost $10, nonmembers $15. Visit for more information and to register.

UC San Diego Chemist to Received Presidential Medal of Freedom

Mario Molina

Mario Molina will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom later this year.

Mario Molina, a UC San Diego chemist who shared a 1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry, has been selected to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian honor — from President Obama at a ceremony later this year in Washington, D.C. He is one of 16 who will receive the medal. Molina is best known for his study on the effect on Earth’s upper atmosphere of man-made compounds. He noted that some compounds, such as chlorofluorocarbons, were having an adverse effect on the ozone layer. Molina shared the 1995 Nobel Prize for Chemistry in recognition of this work with Paul J. Crutzen and F. Sherwood Rowland. He was born in Mexico City in 1943, studied in Mexico and Germany before coming to the United States.

Faustina Solís, First Latina Provost at UC San Diego, Dies

Faustina Solís

Faustina Solís

Faustina Solís, an educator and pioneer in public health and the second provost of UC San Diego’s Thurgood Marshall College, died on Aug. 3 in San Diego. She was 90. A UC San Diego professor emeritus, Solís was also the university’s first Latina provost. She served as provost of the university’s Thurgood Marshall College (then known as Third College) from 1981-1988, and taught at the UC San Diego School of Medicine beginning in 1971. She established public health coursework for undergraduates and medical students, following many years in social work focused on health care for underserved populations. Solís’s contributions were honored in 1990 when Thurgood Marshall Lecture Hall on the UC San Diego campus was renamed the Faustina F. Solís Lecture Hall. “Without bold leaders like Faustina Solís, UC San Diego would not be the world-class university it is today,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “She was a beloved campus leader who helped establish the foundation of excellence on which the university has been built.”

Chris Jaczko Joins Cooley’s San Diego Law Office

Chris Jaczko

Chris Jaczko

Chris Jaczko, a former partner with Cooley, has joined the Procopio law firm in its intellectual property litigation practice in San Diego. Jaczko’s experience includes representing a number of publicly-traded and venture-backed biotechnology companies in patent and licensing matters.  Jaczko was a marketing engineer and a major accounts manager with the semiconductor group of Texas Instruments, where he was responsible for the development and marketing of semiconductor products to the telecommunications industry.

CaseyGerry Attorney Honored

Thomas Penfield

Thomas Penfield

The American Association for Justice (AAJ) and the National College of Advocacy named Thomas D. Penfield, a partner with San Diego-based law firm CaseyGerry, as a Diplomate of Trial Advocacy at its 2013 annual convention in San Francisco. Penfield was honored for his commitment to improving practical knowledge of trial skills and substantive law, as well as for his dedication to teaching and pursuing advanced legal education. Penfield completed 400 hours of jury trial training with AAJ education programs, including the National College of Advocacy, the AAJ’s trial practice school. Penfield is the only attorney in San Diego to attain this status.

Dempsey Construction Hires Senior Project Manager

Paul Prellwitz

Paul Prellwitz

Paul J. Prellwitz has joined Dempsey Construction + Legacy Building Services as senior project manager. Prellwitz, who has spent 12 years in the construction industry, is responsible for overall project management. He previously worked for Lusardi Construction Co. in projects throughout the United States. Prellwitz graduated from Pittsburg State University with a bachelor’s degree in construction management. He is a member of the Construction Advisory Board for Pittsburg State University.

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We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

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