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UCLA Magazine Fall 2003
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Fall 2003
Idea factory
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The newly revamped Office of Intellectual Property Administration is working to get the ideas and inventions of UCLA researchers into the marketplace

By Judy Lin-Eftekhar
Illustration by Dung Hoang

Idea factory

For a decade, Farhad Parhami ’89, Ph.D. ’94 has studied the science of lipid biology. Now he is hoping that the advances he’s made may contribute to the prevention or cure for osteoporosis, the debilitating disease that makes bones porous and brittle and prone to excruciating injuries.

“The outcome can be devastating,” says Parhami, an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “Losing function of one’s arms or legs. Chronic pain from vertebral fractures. Becoming bedridden. It’s really horrible.”

Parhami believes that the groundbreaking discoveries he and his research team have made about oxysterols — by-products of cholesterol oxidation that stimulate bone-forming cells called osteoblasts — can help.

“It’s very exciting,” he says. “Every time I talk about this, people in the bone field show a lot of enthusiasm and excitement about its possible implications.”

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