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Research at NCIRE

NCIRE-The Veterans Health Research Institute is the leading private nonprofit institute devoted to Veterans health research in the United States. Our mission is to advance Veterans health through research.

We support the work of some of the nation's foremost physicians and scientists at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the premier biomedical research facility in the VA system. All have faculty appointments at the University of California, San Francisco, which has its own proud traditions of research and patient care. We also partner with the U.S. Department of Defense to support health research on behalf of our men and women in the Armed Forces.

Those who have served in uniform have given their best for their country. In return, we believe that they deserve nothing less than the best health care research we can provide.

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David I. Daikh, MD, PhD

Staff Physician, Medical Service, SFVAHCS
Associate Professor of Medicine, UCSF


Mechanisms of Autoimmune Disease

Many autoimmune diseases affect veterans, including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus and vasculitis. Dr. Daikh's research involves in vivo studies aimed at understanding the mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of autoimmunity - in particular, the role of T cell activation in autoimmune responses. This work has shown pathways that can prevent the development and perpetuation of autoimmune disease in a mouse model for lupus. Current studies are examining the mechanism of this effect in normal and autoimmune mice, as well as determining whether this kind of intervention can result in tolerance to autoantigens. Dr. Daikh is also studying the pathogenesis of autoimmune brain disease, which has direct implications for the treatment of lupus and multiple sclerosis. Another major emphasis is on the development of new therapeutic strategies using novel biologic agents for the treatment of lupus and other autoimmune disease. These studies have suggested a novel approach to using standard immunosuppressive therapies with newer biologic agents more safely and more effectively, and have provided the basis for a new multicenter clinical trial in humans with lupus.  Dr. Daikh's group is also investigating the role of a specific subset of T cells called Regulatory T cells in controlling autoimmune responses and the possibility that these cells can be manipulated therapeutically to treat lupus and other autoimmune diseases.

To see Dr. Daikh on Pub Med, click here.