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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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Maria L. Wei, MD, PhD

Staff Physician, Dermatology Service, SFVAMC
Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology, UCSF


Diseases of Organelle Formation and Function

Dr. Wei's laboratory studies multisystem diseases caused by single gene defects that result in organ failure due to dysfunction of intracellular organelles.  These diseases, Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome, Chediak Higashi Syndrome, and Griscelli Syndrome, can cause premature death from pulmonary fibrosis, immunodeficiency, and neurological dysfunction. All of the syndromes share the clinical characteristics of prolonged bleeding and permanent vision disturbances as well as decreased pigmentation in the skin, hair, and eyes.The lab studies cultured cells defective in the genes that cause these syndromes in order to 1) determine the genes' cellular functions, 2) identify the molecular mechanisms regulating organelle formation and function and 3) understand the pathophysiology underlying such diverse clinical disorders as lung fibrosis, abnormal bleeding, immunodeficiency, and vision disturbances.

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