Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute
The Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute is an independent nonprofit biomedical research institute located on the campus of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed or LABioMed). Though an independent organization, it is academically affiliated with the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and works in partnership with Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
It was founded in 1952, and, as of 2010, has more than 150 researchers among its 1300 staff. It generates $155 million in economic activity.
LA BioMed Innovations
Institute scientists achieved successful fertilization through artificial implantation of the ovum, a breakthrough that would lead to the world’s first ovum transfer birth some 20 years later. The Institute’s investigators created the paramedic model for emergency care that is now a life-saving standard nationwide and identified the genetic basis for the skin disease, x-linked ichthyosis.
The institute's developmental biology research team discovered the key to stimulating human growth. Other teams of Institute investigators pioneered diagnostic tests that remain the standard today, including the modern cholesterol test. They created a testing and outreach program that has virtually eliminated new cases of Tay-Sachs disease in high-risk populations. They also developed a thyroid deficiency test for infants now used in most of the industrialized world to help prevent irreversible developmental disabilities. In addition, the Institute patented an implant that helped surgeons reconstruct severely injured jaws.
In the 1980s, the institute founded a Perinatal Clinical Research Center, one of eight in the United States. Institute investigators helped develop refined synthetic surfactants that have saved the lives of thousands of premature babies, and they evaluated vaccines for influenza, herpes simplex and much more. They also performed the first ovum transfer, laying the groundwork for a procedure that’s resulted in more than 47,000 births to infertile couples in the U.S. alone.
Institute advances included the use of non-invasive techniques for detecting breast cancer, development an inexpensive treatment for eye diseases that’s saved the sight of thousands of children in underdeveloped nations, the use of antiviral medications to treat HIV infections, stent technology to treat devastating abdominal aneurysms and an enzyme replacement therapy to help victims of a devastating genetic disorder, Hurler-Scheie disease. The Institute’s scientists also played key roles in the development of innovative approaches to prenatal care which have virtually eliminated in this country maternal-fetal transmission of the virus which causes AIDS.
2000 & beyond
Institute investigators developed new rehabilitation strategies for millions of sufferers of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and other disorders. The Institute spawned four new biotechnology startups, which are already generating $6 million in economic activity in the region.