Sanford Burnham Prebys welcomes U.S. Congressman Mike Levin

| Written by Monica May
Congressman Mike Levin visits SBP
U.S. Congressman Mike Levin poses with Bobby Ng, who works in the lab of Hudson Freeze. This lab studies a rare childhood disease called congenital disorders of glycosylation, or CDG.

On October 1, 2019, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) toured Sanford Burnham Prebys and met with several faculty members to learn more about the innovative biomedical research taking place in his backyard. Levin represents California’s 49th Congressional District, which includes North County San Diego, South Orange County and neighbors our La Jolla campus. 

The visit kicked off with a visit to a lab working to find medicines for a heart arrhythmia condition called atrial fibrillation (AFib), a disorder that hits home for Levin: His grandmother struggled with the disease. Levin peered into a microscope to view beating heart cells and learned how a team of experts from Sanford Burnham Prebys and Scripps Clinic are working to develop personalized treatments for the condition, which affects nearly six million Americans (meet the A-team.)

“Sanford Burnham Prebys is a great example of the vibrant biomedical research taking place in San Diego that has the potential to improve the quality of life for families across the country,” says Levin. “Seeing the Institute’s critical research up close and hearing firsthand how National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding has accelerated medical discovery only strengthens my commitment to supporting biomedical science. Following my visit to Sanford Burnham Prebys, I was proud to introduce legislation that would invest $10 billion in the NIH to support biomedical research, and I will continue to fight for this much-needed funding.”

Following the lab tour, Levin met with faculty members who—thanks to federally funded research—are working to find treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and addiction, and study the aging process to address age-related diseases such as cancer. The visit wrapped up in the lab of Hudson Freeze, Ph.D., the director of our Human Genetics Program, who studies a rare childhood disease called congenital disorders of glycosylation, or CDG. 

“Americans today are living longer and healthier lives because of federally funded medical research,” says Chris Larson, Ph.D., the adjunct associate professor of Development, Aging and Regeneration at the Institute who arranged the visit. “We are grateful that Mike took the time to sit down with us to learn about our NIH-funded work and how he can help support us on our mission to find cures for human disease.”

Editor's note: Shortly after his visit Levin introduced legislation that calls for a $10 billion investment in biomedical research.