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Daily Business Report-March 1, 2016

Daily Business Report-March 1, 2016

La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology

La Jolla Institute Receives $5 Million

Gift from Pfizer for Cancer Research

President and Chief Scientific Officer Mitchell Kronenberg

President and Chief Scientific Officer Mitchell Kronenberg

La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology has received a $5 million gift that will help establish the Mission Support for Cancer Immunology and Oncology Research.

The gift has been made by Pfizer Inc., one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, in recognition of the institute’s impact on the field of immunology over the last three decades and the immune system’s important role in fighting cancer.

The institute will use the majority of the funds to establish the Pfizer Endowed Chair in Cancer Immunology and Oncology and support research on the immune system and oncology.

“We believe that Pfizer’s visionary support of La Jolla Institute validates our pioneering contributions in the field of immunology,” said President and Chief Scientific Officer Mitchell Kronenberg. “It will allow us to initiate daring new projects that will help advance our understanding of the intersections of the immune system and cancer.”

“This gift is a testament to Pfizer’s commitment to fostering the growth of the immuno-oncology research community, and to the promising work being done by the La Jolla Institute,” said Robert Abraham, senior vice president and head of Pfizer’s Oncology-Rinat Research & Development Group.

The idea to mobilize the immune system to fight cancer has been around for decades but the painstaking fundamental research that revealed how the immune system works only recently started to pay dividends in clinical practice.  But it is still unclear why cancer immunotherapy works well in some patients but makes little difference in others, or even none at all.

Read more…



Margaret Leinen, director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Margaret Leinen, director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Scripps Oceanography Director

Named A U.S. Science Envoy

Margaret Leinen to focus on ocean science

Margaret Leinen, director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography and vice chancellor of marine sciences at the University of California at San Diego, has been named a science envoy by the U.S. State Department.

Leinen is the former assistant director for geosciences and coordinator of environmental research and education at the National Science Foundation. She is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an award-winning oceanographer.

As a science envoy — one of five that were named — Leinen will focus on ocean science in Latin America, East Asia, and the Pacific.

“I’m extremely proud to serve as a science envoy for the United States and I look forward to advancing the understanding and protection of our world, which is in every country’s interest,” said Leinen. “This is a wonderful opportunity to serve as an ambassador for the oceans, backed by solution-based science to meet the challenges and the opportunities that lie ahead for our planet.”

The selected scientists will engage internationally at the citizen and government levels to develop partnerships, improve collaboration, and forge mutually beneficial relationships between other nations and the United States to stimulate increased scientific cooperation and foster economic prosperity, according to the State Department announcement. Science envoys travel as private citizens and help inform the White House, the Department of State, and the scientific community about potential opportunities for cooperation.

The other science envoys:

Linda Abriola, professor at Tufts University.

Mark Hersam, professor at Northwestern University.

Daniel Kammen, professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Thomas Lovejoy, professor at George Mason University.


Food System Alliance poster

Food System Alliance poster

City Council Approves Urban

Agriculture Incentive Zone

The San Diego City Council on Monday unanimously approved Councilman Scott Sherman and county Supervisor Ron Roberts’ Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone, a program that will help expand community access to fresh produce through a property tax incentive for urban agriculture on vacant, blighted land.

The new program will provide communities throughout the entire city an economic tool to incentivize the development of community gardens on eyesore properties. An Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone reduces the property tax of a participating parcel owner in exchange for a minimum five year contract for the usage of the site for urban agriculture.

The new measure is made possible as a result of State Assembly Bill 551 introduced by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D) which was signed into law during the 2013 state legislative session.

“The new Agricultural Incentive Zone will help further our mission of developing and maintaining an equitable, healthy, and sustainable food system in San Diego,” said Elly Brown, director of the Food System Alliance.

“The new program will not only bring much needed produce to communities in need, it will also help introduce the joy of farming to those who may have never had the opportunity to grow their own produce,” said Eric Larson, executive director of San Diego County Farm Bureau.


Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla. (Photo courtesy of Scripps Health)

Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla. (Photo courtesy of Scripps Health)

Scripps La Jolla Named

A Top Hospital in the U.S.

City News Service

Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla was named Monday as one of the 100 best hospitals in the country by Truven Health Analytics, a health care management data firm.

Scripps was one of 20 named in the Large Community Hospitals category, and was the only San Diego-area medical facility included on the 23rd annual list.

Truven said the 100 Top Hospitals award winners demonstrate top performance on both how patients are cared for, based on clinical measures, and how the hospital performs as an efficient business.

“Many of the 2016 100 Top Hospitals award winners are breaking the mold for high performance,” said Jean Chenoweth, the firm’s senior vice president.

“Hospitals in three out of the five hospital categories actually reduced overall expense year over year, while improving patient outcomes,” Chenoweth said. “Some of these hospitals also show a small degradation of operating profit margin. Hopefully this is not an indicator of a developing trend.”

Overall, the top performing hospitals had lower 30-day mortality and readmission rates, fewer complications and higher survival rates, while maintaining 3 percent lower inpatient costs per beneficiary than other hospitals, according to Truven.

It was the first time Scripps Memorial Hospital has appeared on the list.


Council Approves Propositions

To Improve San Diego City Charger

City News Service

Three propositions that attempt to clean up the city’s primary, but obsolete, governing document will be placed on an increasingly crowded June primary election ballot, the San Diego City Council decided Monday.

With measures on raising the minimum wage and revisions to the city’s redistricting process already up for voter consideration, the three City Charter amendments bring the total number of June ballot measures to five.

Today, the City Council will consider a sixth — a measure that would establish a dedicated funding stream for infrastructure.

If passed by voters, the three charter clean-up items would:

• Update bond authorization procedures to conform to state law;

• Replace a provision on the way the city levies, assesses and collects property taxes to conform with state law; and

• Clarify the authority to fix salaries of elected officials and employee.

If those are approved for the ballot at the March 8 meeting, the total number of ballot measures would grow to nine.


Strawberry Fields Developer

Concedes Defeat in Special Election

Times of San Diego

The developer who wanted to build a retail and dining center on the shore of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon in Carlsbad conceded defeat Monday in a close special election on the issue.

Rick Caruso, of Caruso Affiliated, said he called the leaders of the opposition to congratulate them on their campaign.

“This was a close election with a historically strong voter turnout on both sides,” said Caruso, whose open air shopping malls include The Grove in Los Angeles, The Americana at Brand in Glendale and The Commons in Calabasas.

“Both sides share a common love for their Carlsbad community, a sentiment we share.” he said. “While we had hoped for a different outcome, we are proud of our effort, our plan, the integrity of our message, and we are thankful for the great friends and supporters we have made over the past four years. We are very grateful for their support and hard work.”

He planned to build on 15 percent of 203 acres he controlled near Interstate 5 and Cannon Road. A family-run U-pick strawberry farm on the property would have been allowed to remain in operation.

The project was approved last year by the Carlsbad City Council, but opponents — citing concerns about traffic congestion and building size — collected enough petition signatures to force the public vote.

The election night count found opponents ahead by 186 votes out of around 33,000 ballots cast. In subsequent counting, the margin grew to 1,143 votes with around 2,250 ballots still to be tallied.

As of the end of the day Friday, the “no” vote led 51.5 percent to 48.5 percent.


President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Honor to Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Edward C. Byers Jr. during a ceremony Monday at the White House. (U.S. Navy photo by Oscar Sosa)

President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Honor to Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Edward C. Byers Jr. during a ceremony Monday at the White House. (U.S. Navy photo by Oscar Sosa)

San Diego-Based SEAL Receives

Medal of Honor at White House

City News Service

A San Diego-based U.S. Navy SEAL who helped rescue an American doctor held hostage in Afghanistan four years ago was awarded the Medal of Honor Monday by President Barack Obama during a White House ceremony.

Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward C. Byers Jr., 36, was a member of the team that rescued Dr. Dilip Joseph after he and his driver and Afghan interpreter were abducted in the Qarghah’i District of Laghman Province in December 2012, according to the White House and the Navy.

“Trading personal security for speed of action was inherent to the success of this rescue mission,” according to a Navy statement. “Each assaulter in the rescue force volunteered for this operation with full appreciation for the risks they were to undertake.”

A fellow team member was shot while entering the small, single-room building where Joseph was being held. But Byers continued inside, became involved in hand-to-hand combat with an armed guard then shielded the American hostage from gunfire, according to the Navy.

Byers spotted another enemy fighter and was able to pin him to the wall while still covering the hostage with his body. Byers restrained the combatant long enough that a teammate was able to shoot him, according to the Navy.

Byers, who is also certified as a paramedic, then attempted to assist an injured colleague while en route to Bagram Airfield. However, the team member who had been shot was pronounced dead following the roughly 40-minute flight.

“Chief Petty Officer Byers displayed superior gallantry, extraordinary heroism at grave personal risk, dedication to his teammates and calm tactical leadership while liberating Dr. Dilip Joseph from captivity,” according to the Navy statement. “He is unquestionably deserving of the Medal of Honor.”

Byers is the sixth Navy SEAL in history to be awarded the Medal of Honor and will be the 11th living service member to receive it.

He is believed to be the first service member to ever receive the Medal of Honor for actions while serving with the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, commonly known as SEAL Team 6, The Washington Post reported. Defense officials declined to confirm that but said that Byers is the first living SEAL to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War, according to the newspaper.

An Ohio native, Byers entered the Navy in September 1998, attending boot camp and Hospital Corpsman School in Great Lakes, Illinois

Byers served at Great Lakes Naval Hospital, and then with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

In 2002, Byers attended the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL course and completed the Special Operations Combat Medic course in 2003.

Byers has been assigned to various SEAL teams, and completed eight overseas deployments with seven combat tours.

Byers honors include five Bronze Star Medals with Combat V device, two Purple Hearts and the Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor device. He is set to graduate from Norwich University with a bachelor’s degree in strategic studies and defense analysis this year.



Women's Week

Women’s Week

Connecting Women, Sharing Stories

For the third year in a row, Sharp Health Plan and Sharp Rees-Stealy have been the title partner of San Diego Women’s Week along with many returning partners from past years.

San Diego Women’s Week is celebrating its seventh year and is produced by the North San Diego Business Chamber, which considers women important in the region’s changing business environment.

“Our focus for the week is to connect women, share stories, and empower them to reach higher,” says Debra Rosen, president and chief executive officer of the North San Diego Business Chamber. “More companies than ever have implemented women’s leadership programs as part of their diversity and women’s leadership initiatives.”

For more information, visit

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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: