Northrop Grumman and AT&T partner
to develop a digital battle network
Northrop Grumman Corporation and AT&T have entered into a collaboration agreement to research and develop a digital battle network, powered by AT&T 5G and Northrop Grumman’s advanced mission systems, to support the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
The collaboration brings together some of the best capabilities in defense and commercial communications to support the DoD’s vision for Joint All Domain Command and Control.
The companies plan to deliver a cost-effective, scalable, open architecture solution that will help the DoD connect distributed sensors, shooters and data from all domains, terrains and forces – similar to how smart devices connect and share data in our everyday lives.
The agreement establishes a joint research and development framework to prototype, demonstrate and test AT&T’s commercial 5G networking capabilities integrated with Northrop Grumman’s robust portfolio of capabilities that are at the forefront of military technological advancement that enable the Joint Force.
PHOTO: Northrop Grumman entered into a collaboration agreement with AT&T to research and develop a digital battle network.
Heidi Vonblum appointed planning
director for the City of San Diego
The City of San Diego announced the hiring of Heidi Vonblum as the city’s planning director, moving her up from deputy planning director, a post she’s held for the last two years. She brings more than 12 years of experience in city jobs.
Vonblum and her team in the Planning Department were instrumental in developing the Homes for All of Us initiative that pulls together multiple statewide and city reforms aimed at making it easier to create new homes for all income levels throughout San Diego. Mayor Gloria signed into law the first piece of the Homes for All of Us initiative last month.
Another city program, Build Better SD, which was furthered under Vonblum’s leadership in the Planning Department, creates a new citywide fund for better and more equitable delivery of infrastructure improvements across San Diego.
Vonblum started her career at the city in 2009 as a deputy city attorney in the City Attorney’s Office. There, she advised the ayor and City Council on planning and land use matters, including the development of the city’s first Climate Action Plan in 2015. Vonblum joined the Planning Department in 2018.
John Frank joins Illumina Inc.
as chief public affairs officer
Illumina Inc. announced the appointment of John Frank as the company’s chief public affairs officer. Frank joins Illumina on April 18 from Microsoft Corporation; he will report to Chief Executive Officer Francis deSouza.
Frank will be the company’s top strategic adviser and decision maker on government affairs and public policy matters. In this role, he will have strategic oversight for Illumina’s global government affairs and public policy operations, its corporate social responsibility efforts, all patient advocacy initiatives, and the privacy and ethics office.
The goal of aggregating these functions under Frank’s leadership is to combine and amplify the voices of Illumina’s critical advocacy groups to drive meaningful change for patients.
Frank most recently spent 20 years with Microsoft as vice president of United Nations affairs and international organizations, reporting to Microsoft President Brad Smith. Prior to that, Frank led Microsoft’s European Union government affairs team and held numerous leadership positions focused on digital trust and security, digital crime, competition law and compliance issues.
San Diego Community College District cancels
trustee elections when no one challenges 3 incumbents
The primary and general elections for three seats on the San Diego Community College District Board of Trustees have been canceled because no one filed to challenge the incumbents Maria Nieto Senour, Craig Milgrim and Geysil Arroyo. The cancellations saved the district about $320,000.
The three trustees will each take their oath of office later this year at the December Board of Trustees meeting.
“One of the key features of a successful organization is not only the talent and dedication, but also the longevity of its leadership. The fact that no challengers decided to come forward this year is strong evidence that our district is viewed by the public as well run and deserving of community support,” said SDCCD Chancellor Carlos O. Cortez.
Increased funding needed to benefit California’s
science and innovation system
by Robert Conn | UC San Diego
The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a spotlight on the important role science plays in addressing any public health crisis. It has also reinforced that basic research and scientific discovery require purposeful, proactive funding – and the government is part of that equation.
But such funding is not just about addressing a global health crisis. Science and innovation also drive development of the jobs of tomorrow, critical to ensuring we can compete on a global scale. President Joe Biden drove these points home during his recent State of the Union address, and support for science has been a bipartisan priority.
Congress now has an opportunity to make that happen by adopting bipartisan innovation legislation and increasing science funding in fiscal year 2023 spending legislation. Doing so would benefit not just our nation, but also California’s knowledge economy.
The largest share of research performed at California’s universities is funded by the federal government. California is also top ranked among national leaders in many metrics of science and innovation, including business research and development, academic lab space, inventions and patenting, science and engineering graduate students – and even federal and state R&D expenditures.
UC San Diego joins national trial to explore
new vaccines for COVID-19 variants
The University of California San Diego has joined a Phase II clinical trial to evaluate various additional COVID-19 booster shots. The trial seeks to understand if different vaccine regimens can broaden immune responses in adults who already have received a primary vaccination series and a first booster shot.
The study, known as the COVID-19 Variant Immunologic Landscape trial or COVAIL is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. The trial is funded through a contract to Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, operated by Leidos Biomedical Research in Frederick, Md.
Despite waning protection against infection and mild illness during the Omicron wave, COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States have thus far maintained durable protection against severe COVID-19. The concern is that future variants may evade protection provided by currently available COVID-19 vaccines.
Fortune names Scripps Health
to its 100 Best Companies List
Scripps Health has been named one of the top employers in the nation by Fortune magazine for the 14th time. The 25th annual 100 Best Companies to Work For list ranked Scripps No. 87, and it was the only San Diego County company to receive the honor.
With more than 20,000 employees, clinicians and volunteers at five hospital campuses and 28 outpatient centers and clinics, Scripps has created a high-performing, diverse workforce by accommodating the needs of its employees at the beginning, middle and later stages of their careers.
Scripps touches more than 700,000 lives each year, which represents about one-quarter of the county’s 3.3 million people.
How our immune system controls gut microbes
by Miles Martin
Sanford Burnham Prebys researchers including Carl Ware and John Sedy have discovered an immunological process in the gut that could help improve treatment for autoimmune and gastrointestinal diseases. The study, published March 22 in Cell Reports, found that this process regulates the activation of white blood cells in the intestines, which ultimately helps the body control the composition of the gut microbiome.
“The immune system is like a gardener for our gut bacteria, gently monitoring and responding to their populations and keeping an eye out for unwanted pathogens” says Ware, who directs the Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases Center at Sanford Burnham Prebys. “This ultimately helps the immune system control these microbes.”
This “gardening” relies on a molecule called BTLA, one of several checkpoint proteins used by the body to control the immune system.
Skaggs Graduate School at Scripps
Research earns another top 10 ranking
The Skaggs Graduate School of Chemical and Biological Sciences at Scripps Research is again ranked among the top 10 graduate programs in the nation, according to a recent survey by U.S. News & World Report. Since first climbing into the top 10 ranks in 1999, the Skaggs Graduate School has continually maintained its position among the nation’s elite graduate programs.
According to the survey, which was released March 29, 2022, the school’s chemistry program ranks sixth in the nation and the biological sciences program ranks ninth, up one notch from the last ranking. “These high rankings reflect the outstanding reputation of the students, staff, faculty and alumni of the Skaggs Graduate School with leaders at our peer institutes throughout the country,” says Phil Dawson, dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies at Scripps Research.
General Atomics introduces new Eagle Eye Radar
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., a leader in Multi-mode Radar technology for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, introduces the Eagle Eye radar. The new MMR is installed and has flown on a U.S. Army-operated Gray Eagle Extended Range UAS. Eagle Eye joins GA-ASI’s line of radar products, which includes the Lynx MMR.
Eagle Eye is a high-performance radar system that delivers high-resolution, photographic-quality imagery that can be captured through clouds, rain, dust, smoke and fog at multiple times the range of previous radars. It’s a “drop-in solution” for Gray Eagle ER and is designed to meet the range and accuracy to Detect, Identify, Locate & Report (DILR) stationary and moving targets relevant for Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) with Enhanced Range Cannon Artillery. Eagle Eyer adar can deliver precision air-to-surface targeting accuracy and superb wide-area search capabilities in support of Long-Range Precision Fires.