LaunchPad: Novel Methods to Observe Disease

LaunchPad, a project of UCSF's Clinical and Translational Science Institute, is designed to highlight the experiences and accomplishments of UCSF’s translational researchers, and to support them in their efforts to develop beneficial medical products.

By Angela Rizk-Jackson

The ability to directly observe the body is an invaluable tool in the arsenal of any medical professional. In fact, physical inspection comes only second to discussion of symptoms and medical history in a standard health assessment.

For many years, scientists have been harnessing the physical properties of light, with magnifying lenses, for example, and magnetism, as with Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI, to enhance visualization capabilities. Currently, teams of scientists at UC San Francisco are collaborating to build upon these imaging modalities and find new ways to monitor diseases using creative applications of emerging technologies.

Developing Biophotonic Markers of Neurodegenerative Processes

Ari Green, MD, and Michael Ward, MD, PhD, are partnering to develop an optical imaging technique that will allow physicians and researchers to peer into processes directly related to neurodegenerative diseases.

Green is a UCSF neurologist who has an expertise in treating visual problems associated with multiple sclerosis and other inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system, and Ward, formerly a behavioral neurology fellow at UCSF and postdoctoral fellow at the Gladstone Institutes, is now an assistant professor at UCSF’s Memory and Aging Center. He connected with Green through a clinical rotation during his residency at UCSF.

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