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Daily Business Report-Jan. 6, 2015

Daily Business Report-Jan. 6, 2015

Professor Reuben Shaw has already made important advances in the field of cancer and metabolism.

Salk Institute Names Leading Researcher

To Head the Salk Cancer Center

The Salk Institute has named Professor Reuben Shaw as the new director of Salk’s National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center. Shaw is a member of Salk’s Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory and the holder of the William R. Brody Chair.

The Salk Cancer Center was established in 1970 to uncover the fundamental aspects of cancer biology and is just one of seven NCI-designated Basic Research Cancer Centers in the country. The center’s preeminent, award-winning faculty studies everything from metabolism, gene expression, metastasis and epigenetics to other aspects of molecular, cell and developmental biology that contribute to tumor development and progression.

For the past eight years, the Salk Cancer Center was led by Tony Hunter, who made the seminal discovery of a new type of enzyme called tyrosine kinases, which are altered in many cancers and targeted by a number of cancer drugs. Hunter, who is also an American Cancer Society professor and holder of the Renato Dulbecco Chair, will continue his cancer research as a member of the center and serve as its deputy director.

“Salk has been fortunate to have such excellent leadership since the cancer center’s inception,” says Elizabeth Blackburn, president of the Salk Institute. “We continue that tradition with the appointment of Reuben Shaw, who has already made important advances in the field of cancer and metabolism.”

Shaw’s research focuses on cancer metabolism: how metabolic pathways are altered in cancer and play a role in the origins and progression of the disease. While investigating one of the most commonly mutated genes in lung cancer, Shaw discovered an energy-sensing pathway that shuts down cell growth and reprograms metabolism when nutrients are scarce. This energy-sensing pathway had been previously studied as the target of the most widely prescribed type 2 diabetes medications worldwide (metformin), suggesting a very unexpected and very direct link between metabolic pathways and cancer.

His lab went on to molecularly decode a number of new components of this metabolic pathway, which connects nutrition and exercise to suppression in both cancer and diabetes. From this work, the lab’s studies have led to the discovery of new therapies for both cancer and type 2 diabetes. Shaw has recently published work showing how to attack cancer’s energy source and how a common, deadly lung cancer spreads.



A drone operator

A drone operator

Educating New Drone Owners

In an effort to educate the scores of new unmanned aircraft system users who received drones as gifts during the holiday season, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and the Academy of Model Aeronautics teamed up to push out safety content through the Know Before You Fly campaign’s digital media channels.

Those efforts reached nearly 1 million people and garnered over 3,500 followers to the campaign’s social media channels during the holidays.

Know Before You Fly continues to be the leading provider of safety information in the burgeoning UAS industry. The campaign has provided many manufacturers with safety materials for product packaging. It also serves as an online resource for over 200,000 website visitors monthly, a figure that is steadily growing.

As excitement and enthusiasm continues to grow around UAS, and the regulatory framework continues to take shape, more consumers are looking to buy UAS for personal use and more businesses are looking to use UAS too. These prospective operators want to fly, and fly safely, but many don’t realize that, just because you can buy a UAS, doesn’t mean you can fly it anywhere, or for any purpose. Know Before You Fly provides prospective users with the information and guidance they need to fly safely and responsibly.


County Supervisor Ron Roberts is shown talking to an audience at the County Administration Center on Jan. 5, 2015. (Photo by Angela Carone)

County Supervisor Ron Roberts is shown talking to an audience at the County Administration Center on Jan. 5, 2015. (Photo by Angela Carone)

Ron Roberts Unanimously Appointed

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors

City News Service

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously appointed Ron Roberts as chairman at the panel’s first meeting of the new year.

Roberts, who succeeded Supervisor Bill Horn, was second in line in the board’s usual rotation for the post.

Supervisor Dave Roberts — who was first — announced several months ago he would decline a nomination.

Dave Roberts didn’t provide an explanation at the time, but Tuesday cited last year’s staff resignations that created turmoil in his office. His colleagues in September settled claims by three of his former staffers that he misused his powers for $310,000.

He also said he recently gained his sixth adoptive child and became legal guardian of an adult autistic cousin whose mother died of cancer. He also expects to spend a lot of time representing the San Diego region as first vice president of the California State Association of Counties.

“The time commitment with CSAC is very extensive,” Dave Roberts said.

Went unsaid is that he also faces a tough re-election campaign this year against North County mayors Sam Abed of Escondido and Kristin Gaspar of Encinitas.

Ron Roberts made no comment about his appointment, but joined his colleagues in praising Horn for last year’s focus on improving county services to veterans.

He gave Horn a DVD of the authoritative British World War II documentary series “The World at War,” and a book about that conflict’s Battle of the Bulge.

Ron Roberts also gave Horn a doormat in the shape of a football with a Chargers’ bolt logo.


NuVasive to Acquire Ellipse

Technologies For $380 Million

San Diego-based NuVasive Inc. a medical device company focused on transforming spine surgery with minimally disruptive solutions, announced that it will acquire Ellipse Technologies Inc., a privately held medical technology company.

The agreement, approved by both boards of directors, calls for a payment of $380 million in  upfront cash and a potential $30 million milestone payment in 2017 related to the achievement of specific revenue targets.

Ten-year-old Ellipse, which is based in Orange County, makes magnetic growing rod technology for treating complex skeletal deformity. In 2015 Ellipse had revenues of approximately $40 million.

“Ellipse’s revolutionary technology, which has been enthusiastically received by surgeons, has the potential to become the standard of care for spine and orthopedic patients,” said Gregory T. Lucier, NuVasive’s chairman and chief executive officer.

NuVasive said it expects the acquisition to accelerate its revenue growth toward the high-single digit range.

The company said the acquisition builds on NuVasive’s reputation as the leading technology provider for spine procedure solutions by adding a highly regarded, disruptive technology platform. Ellipse’s magnetic growing rod technology is currently receiving rapid adoption in the pediatric deformity and orthopedic markets.

Ellipse is the developer and marketer of a novel platform of magnetically adjustable implant systems based on its MAGnetic External Control, or MAGEC, technology. Ellipse’s implants are adjustable at the time of implantation and are distracted non-invasively over the course of treatment.


Two-Thirds of San Diego Water Districts

Failed Conservation Goals in November

City New Service

Two-thirds of the water districts in San Diego County failed to reach their conservation goals in November, though cumulative savings since June remains strong, the state Water Resources Board reported Tuesday.

The area’s largest water supplier to homes and businesses — the city of San Diego — failed to meet its state-mandated target of 16 percent for the first time in November, which saw a savings of 13.8 percent compared to the same period in 2013.

State water officials set water consumption totals in 2013 as the benchmark for comparisons.

They’ve acknowledged that it’s difficult to find ways to cut back on water use during the cooler weather months, since people irrigate their lawns and plants less frequently, and point to the cumulative savings as a positive sign of cooperation.

“We expected the percentage drop in the cooler fall and winter months when we use less water in general so we are still on track,” said Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the state Water Resources Control Board.

“The fact that per-person water use dropped to 75 gallons per person per day on average is proof that Californians are clearly thinking twice before turning on the tap,” Marcus said. “As welcome as recent rain and snow are, we’ve been in such a deep drought that we won’t know until spring whether we can let up on conservation.”

Besides San Diego, local districts that missed their targets in November were Otay, city of Escondido, Vallecitos, Vista Irrigation, city of Oceanside, Helix, Rincon del Diablo, Ramona Municipal, Carlsbad Municipal, city of Poway, San Dieguito, Olivenhain Municipal, Fallbrook Public Utility, Valley Center Municipal and Santa Fe Irrigation.


Coastal Rail Service Closures Announced

The North County Transit District, along with Amtrak and Metrolink, will undergo a complete coastal rail service closure between Oceanside and San Diego during three weekends in January. Passenger rail service will not be available on January 9-10, 16-17, and 23-24.

There is no replacement bus service connecting to COASTER station stops. Alternatives for passengers who normally use the COASTER include BREEZE bus route 101 or MTS connections. The rail will re-open for regularly scheduled COASTER and all other rail service in time for the morning commute each Monday following the weekend closures.

During these service closures, SANDAG will continue construction on the Los Penasquitos Lagoon Bridges Replacement and Control Point Rose Track Crossovers projects.

SANDAG also will continue construction on the CP Rose Track Crossovers Project, an element of the Elvira to Morena Double Track Project.

The work begins on each Saturday morning at 12:30 a.m. and goes till Monday morning at 3 a.m.


County, CAL FIRE Add

Paramedic Engine Service to Julian

A new County-funded fire paramedic engine will be serving the Julian area.

A new County-funded fire paramedic engine will be serving the Julian area.

Julian residents and visitors now have around-the-clock access to paramedic engine service, thanks to an agreement reached among the region’s lead rural fire agencies and Julian fire officials.

The new paramedic engine will be staffed by CAL FIRE firefighters. The Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (JCFPD) recently entered into a pact with the San Diego County Fire Authority to place a new paramedic engine staffed by CAL FIRE near downtown Julian. The upgrade builds on County and CAL FIRE efforts in recent years to raise the level of professional, 24/7 firefighter staffing across rural East County.

“This big boost in paramedic service is not only good news for Julian residents, but for all those who visit our beautiful backcountry each year,” said County Supervisor Dianne Jacob. “It’s great to team up with the Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District on this latest initiative to strengthen fire and emergency medical services in our rural areas.”

The new engine joined CAL FIRE’s Station 50, located just outside downtown Julian, on New Year’s Eve. Julian is one of eight rural communities to receive new paramedic engines since 2014, joining Jacumba, Descanso, Otay, Jamul, Lake Morena, Pine Valley and the Intermountain area northeast of Ramona.


Personnel Announcements

Barney & Barney Promotes Hal Dunning

Barney & Barney announced that Hal Dunning, the firm’s chief operating officer, has been promoted to the additional role of president, a new position at the firm. The move is effective immediately.

As president/COO, Dunning has operations oversight responsibility for the firm’s offices in San Diego, Orange County, San Francisco, Walnut Creek and Anchorage.

Dunning was named COO of Barney & Barney in 2006 and previously served as chief financial officer. He played a key role in the formation of the Barney & Barney Foundation and in developing the firm’s G.R.O.W. Initiative, which is designed to attract, retain and develop women leaders at Barney & Barney.

He is based in San Diego and reports to CEO Paul Hering.



Spiritual Master Sai Maa

To Make Rare Visit to San Diego

World renowned spiritual master and humanitarian Sai Maa will visit San Diego for a rare three-day event on Feb. 12-14. Held at the Hilton Del Mar, “Wisdom and Enlightenment: A Valentine’s Weekend with Sai Maa” will showcase Sai Maa’s fusion of Eastern spiritual wisdom, Western therapeutic knowledge and energy mastery.

Sai Maa will visit San Diego on Feb. 12-14.

Sai Maa will visit San Diego on Feb. 12-14.

Sai Maa is the first woman in the 2,700 years of the Vishnuswami lineage to be given the esteemed title of Jagadguru, the highest title in the Vedic tradition of India, bestowed upon Sai Maa in recognition of her humanitarian service and spiritual mastery. Her life has been dedicated to uplifting humanity, which she does in two ways: first, through the Sai Maa Vishnu Shakti Trust that provides food, clothing, clean water and medical care to children and families and support to widows and orphans, and second, by touring the world to educate thousands on a wide range of spiritual, social and psychological topics.

During “Wisdom and Enlightenment: Valentine’s Weekend with Sai Maa” she will share teachings intended to empower others to discover and cultivate the love, wisdom and radiance inherent within them.

The event schedule:

Friday, Feb. 12:

7:30 to 9:30 p.m.: Enlightened Conversations with Sai Maa ($25). During this introductory evening, Sai Maa will discuss topics suggested by the audience, ranging from practices for overcoming life’s challenges, global transformation, parenting and relationships.

 Saturday, Feb. 13:

10 3 p.m.: Wisdom of the Soul with Sai Maa’s Successors ($150).

3 to 4:30 p.m.: Vegetarian Buffet at Hilton San Diego ($25).

5 p.m. until complete: Darshan with Sai Maa (complimentary).
 During Darshan, guests will receive the blessings and grace of enlightenment.

Sunday, Feb. 14:

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Enlightened Heart with Sai Maa and Teachers ($275).

Guests can experience the full three-day event, including a meal on Saturday afternoon, for $425. A special rate of $299, which also includes Saturday’s meal, will be extended to students.

Registration is available at

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Voice Your Opinion

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.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: