Daily Business Report: Thursday, May 19, 2022 – San Diego Metropolitan

Engineers develop wearable device that can
continuously monitor glucose, alcohol and lactate

In one small devise worn on your skin, you are able to measure your blood sugar levels, know if you’ve had too much to drink, and track your muscle fatigue during a workout. Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a prototype of such a wearable that can continuously monitor several health stats—glucose, alcohol, and lactate levels—simultaneously in real-time.

The device is about the size of a stack of six quarters. It is applied to the skin through a Velcro-like patch of microscopic needles, or microneedles, that are each about one-fifth the width of a human hair. Wearing the device is not painful—the microneedles barely penetrate the surface of the skin to sense biomolecules in interstitial fluid, which is the fluid surrounding the cells beneath the skin. The device can be worn on the upper arm and sends data wirelessly to a custom smartphone app.

Researchers at the UC San Diego Center for Wearable Sensors describe their device in a paper published May 9 in Nature Biomedical Engineering.

TOP PHOTO: The disposable microneedle patch can be worn on the skin, and detaches from the reusable electronic case.

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Illumina, Allegheny Health Network 
collaborate on cancer genomic profiling


Illumina, a San Diego-based life science company, said on Wednesday that it is collaborating with Allegheny Health Network to evaluate the impact of in-house comprehensive genomic profiling on cancer care. 

The partners will assess the “value” of in-house testing for tissue and blood samples, compared to sending those samples to an external lab. They’ll also seek ways in which blood-based testing is beneficial. In a study of 1,000 samples, they’ll compare solid tissue and blood samples to see if blood can provide additional information that could be used in therapy selection. Financial and other details were not disclosed. 

AHN’s Cancer Institute opened a clinical genomics lab in Pittsburgh last year. It has 24 affiliated oncology clinics, which will collect samples for the study.

The project will last one year, with an option to expand the line of clinical research.

Steve and Laura Wagner
Steve and Laura Wagner (Photo by Andrew Reed)
Stone Brewing co-founder, wife give
$1 million in support of social mobility

Steve Wagner, the president and co-founder of Stone Brewing, and his wife, Laura, have given $1 million to Cal State San Marcos to establish funding to support social mobility, one of the core tenets of the university’s new strategic plan. 

The Stone Brewing Fund for Social Mobility will provide foundational funding to improve college access and success for students via avenues such as Student Affairs initiatives, college faculty mentorship programs and community outreach.  

Wagner is the chair of the CSUSM Foundation Board, and he and Laura are among the university’s most ardent community champions. 

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The scientist with a saxophone
Lindy Edwards

LJI’s Lindy Edwards on her double life as a jazz band leader

Lindy Edwards, a document specialist at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI), has been leading a double life. Edwards has always loved science, but when she heads home from work, she becomes a band leader.

Edwards has played saxophone since she was ten years old. She’s also a composer and a singer with a deep, soulful voice. These talents came together last year when Edwards and her bandmates in the jazz/swing band “Lindy and the Hops” released their album, “Kicking and Screaming.”

“It’s been a weird, kind of unconventional journey,” says Edwards. “I was actually poised to get a music degree but pivoted hard to marine biology,” she says.

Before coming to LJI to curate data for the Immune Epitope Database (IEDB), she had been an educator at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

“But I never stopped playing saxophone.”

Today, Edwards plays shows at venues like Panama 66 in Balboa Park with her jazz band.

Why jazz? Edwards spent a few years of her childhood in New Orleans, where seeing people play saxophone on the street was part of the culture.

She was drawn to the improvisation and call-and-response in jazz.

“I like the whole ethos of jazz. The whole point of the origins of jazz is expression and innovation in the face of oppression. I think that’s really powerful,” says Edwards.

Rojas MAIN
Juan Rojas posed in front of the Aztec Electric Racing Club’s project, the AER-21. (Photo: Melinda Sevilla) 
Spirit of Innovation Award
goes to longtime EV enthusiast

One month after he walks for graduation, Juan Rojas hopes to see his time at San Diego State University achieve fulfillment on wheels as well.

Four years of work with the Aztec Electric Racing Club have led the mechanical engineering major to the driver’s seat for SDSU’s entry in an international collegiate challenge — and his selection for the university’s 2022 Zahn Spirit of Innovation Award.   

Innovation was a big reason behind Rojas’s involvement with the club, including two years as president, and its development of the battery-powered vehicle for this year’s competition. 

“It’s something new … and with enough development in e-technology you can find a way to improve society, the economy, the environment — make it more equitable so everyone can afford it,” Rojas said in an interview in April as the race car was still being assembled in a ground-floor workshop at the Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex.

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Franklin Antonio
Franklin Antonio,
UC San Diego alumnus, Qualcomm co-founder
and philanthropist, Franklin Antonio, has died

Franklin Antonio, a University of California San Diego alumnus from 1974, co-founder of Qualcomm and generous philanthropist, has died.

Antonio gave $30 million to UC San Diego in 2017 to support the programmatic expansion of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. In recognition of the gift, UC San Diego named Franklin Antonio Hall – a new building for collaborative engineering research and education which recently opened – in his honor. He was the first member of UC San Diego’s alumni to have a building bear his name.

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In-person commencements return
to region’s community colleges

The strains of the “Pomp and Circumstance” graduation march will once again be heard at the region’s community colleges this spring, as the 10 community colleges in San Diego and Imperial Counties celebrate a return to in-person commencements. 

Because of public health concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic, community colleges held virtual ceremonies in 2020 and 2021. Many found new ways to celebrate their graduates, with drive-by ceremonies in which the graduates were cheered as they passed by in their vehicles.

Now that restrictions are beginning to ease, graduates will once again be donning gowns and mortarboards and lining up to receive their diplomas at area community colleges.

The first community college commencement ceremony in the region will be held May 20 for San Diego Miramar College, 10 a.m. at Compass Point on campus, with ceremonies continuing through June 15. The full schedule.

MiraCosta College student awarded Jack
Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship
John Siebelink
John Siebelink

John Siebelink, MiraCosta College student, has been selected to receive the prestigious  and highly competitive Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship that pays up to $55,000 for tuition, books, and housing annually for up to three years, while they secure their bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university. 

John Siebelink is a first-generation college student and a military veteran majoring in English at MiraCosta.

Siebelink hopes to transfer to the University of California, Los Angeles, and plans to apply to a doctoral program after completing his undergraduate studies.

After getting his doctorate, he plans to stay in higher education and become a professor of English.  

Apart from being a writing consultant, Siebelink is very present on campus, participating in multiple organizations. Currently, he is the president of Phi Theta Kappa and is the executive vice president of the ASG.

In addition, Siebelink started and is the president of the Creative Writing Club on campus.

Palomar Medical Center ranked high for spine surgery

Palomar Medical Center Escondido ranksamong the top five in California for Spine Surgery according to a new analysis released by Healthgrades, the leading resource that connects consumers, physicians, and health systems.  Palomar Health is also one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Spine Surgery, and a Spine Surgery Specialty Excellence Award recipient.  For the State Ranking analysis, Healthgrades evaluated clinical performance for nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide focusing on eight key specialties across a mix of chronic, urgent, and planned clinical areas. 

St. Paul’s Senior Services receives $500,000 donation

St. Paul’s Senior Services (SPSS) receives a $500,000 donation from the Community Congregational Development Corporation (CCDC) for much-needed renovations to St. Paul’s Manor, an independent living community in Bankers Hill, supporting seniors of modest means for over 60 years. This donation is part of a $17.5 million capital campaign.  

The Manor renovation work will commence in the summer 2022. The Manor is the flagship of St. Paul’s Senior Services, a community that has given quality of life to thousands of independent seniors since it first opened in 1963. To donate, contact Craig Smith at (619) 239-6900 or csmith@stpaulseniors.org.  

SDG&E files 2024 rate request and 
4-year clean energy investment plan

Times of San Diego

San Diego Gas & Electric filed a rate request  with the California Public Utilities Commissionon Tuesday seeking an increase that would average $9 a month for electricity and $9.60 for natural gas effective Jan. 1, 2024. The utility’s filing includes a four-year capital investment plan focused on expanding the power grid while increasing the supply of clean energy.

“Average electric bills at our company are the lowest among California’s electric investor-owned utilities, but we also recognize this is a difficult time to ask our customers to pay more given the state of the economy and inflationary pressures and are mindful of every dollar that we ask our customers to pay,” SDG&E President Bruce Folkmann said.

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Home buyers may find less competition
near city centers for first time in years

For the first time since the Great Recession, buyers may have an easier time buying a home in the city than in nearby suburbs this home shopping season. That’s because homes in the suburbs recently have been appreciating faster than urban homes, a new Zillow analysis shows, indicating stronger demand and fiercer competition.

While competition is strong in most of the country, there are pockets of opportunity for home buyers. Home values in suburban ZIP codes have been growing faster than those in urban areas since July 2021. The typical home in the suburbs gained $66,490 in value in the past year, compared to $61,671 for the typical urban home. That is a reversal from previous norms and from the first 15 months of the pandemic.

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