Innovations in biomedical technology come naturally to UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. We embrace new technologies that solve problems and improve patient well-being. We regularly communicate with biomedical companies and startups to adopt leading-edge technologies and tools.
In many cases, the newest tools are designed right here, in labs at UCLA’s medical school and across campus. Our clinicians and faculty are committed to discovery and collaboration. At UCLA, it’s easy to work together: One large campus houses the UCLA Medical Plaza and the schools of medicine, dentistry, business, engineering, nursing and public health. The result is an academic medical center where teamwork and innovation are the norm.
For decades, UCLA has been a leader in biomedical technology innovation. Here are some of our greatest hits.
UCLA researchers are furthering the field of targeted therapies for cancer. Unlike traditional chemotherapy, targeted cancer treatments are designed to disrupt specific molecules involved in the growth and spread of cancer.
UCLA faculty contributed to the development of several groundbreaking targeted therapies:
Recent advances in cancer immunotherapy are transforming cancer treatment. Immunotherapy treatments stimulate a person’s own immune system to fight cancer.
UCLA researchers played a role in creating and testing these life-saving immunotherapy treatments:
The UCLA Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research aims to revolutionize the treatment of disease. Our work seeks new, personalized cellular therapies and regenerative medicine techniques.
At the Broad Stem Cell Research Center researchers are investigating stem cells to better understand and treat a wide range of diseases and disorders, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease and infertility. Much of this work is made possible by the UCLA Human Gene and Cell Therapy Facility. In this state-of-the-art, Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) laboratory, researchers can develop sensitive gene and cell therapies free from outside contamination.
Working in this lab, UCLA researchers developed a stem cell gene therapy to cure “bubble baby disease.” Also known as adenosine deaminase-deficient severe combined immunodeficiency (ADA-SCID), the life-threatening condition leaves babies without a functioning immune system. Using the technique developed at UCLA, more than 50 babies appear to have been cured of the disease so far. Researchers have launched a company to further develop the treatment and make it available to patients around the world.
UCLA has long been a leader in developing and adopting new technologies to see inside the human body. UCLA biophysicist Michael Phelps, PhD, invented the first positron emission tomography (PET) scanner. This technique enables doctors to look inside living patients to see processes such as blood flow, metabolism and gene expression.
Research at UCLA has also contributed to indispensable imaging systems such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Today, imaging is essential to modern medical practice and medical research. UCLA faculty continue to push imaging boundaries:
UCLA Health has a long history as a leader in transplantation. In 1964, UCLA professor of surgery Paul Terasaki developed the tissue-matching test that makes organ transplants possible. Four years later, UCLA Health was one of the first institutions in the world to perform a bone marrow transplant. Since then: