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A new way to reset gene expression in cancer cells shows promise for leukemia treatment

New findings from Rockefeller University researchers could guide the development of potent combination therapies that deliver more effective and durable treatment of leukemia. In recent work published in Nature, they show it’s possible to deactivate cellular programs involved in tumor growth by d...

New research explains why a common bacterium can produce severe illness

As much as we try to avoid it, ­we are constantly sharing germs with those around us. But even when two people have the same infection, the resulting illnesses can be dramatically different—mild for one person, severe or even life-threatening for the other. Now, new research from The Rockefell...

Talking Science lecture introduces students to the genetic aspects of infectious diseases

As he opened this year’s Talking Science lecture, geneticist Jean-Laurent Casanova made a stark observation to his teenage audience: “If we had been here 150 years ago, about half of you would already have died.” The primary reason, he told the 350 high school students and 60 teachers present,...

Scientists discover an unexpected influence on dividing stem cells’ fate

When most cells divide, they simply make more of themselves. But stem cells, which are responsible for repairing or making new tissue, have a choice: They can generate more stem cells or differentiate into skin cells, liver cells, or virtually any of the body’s specialized cell types. As r...

Researchers explore how protein production gets distorted in skin cancer

Each cell in the body follows a strict protocol for manufacturing the proteins it needs to function. When a cell turns cancerous, however, its protein production goes off script. A new study led by researchers at the Rockefeller University takes a close look at one way in which this procedure goe...

Elaine Fuchs wins 2017 McEwen Award for Innovation

Elaine Fuchs, Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor and head of the Robin Chemers Neustein Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development, has been honored with the 2017 McEwen Award for Innovation. The prize, given by the International Society for Stem Cell Research, recognizes groundbreaking wo...

Research on sweat glands suggests a route to better skin grafts

As early humans shed the hairy coats of their closest evolutionary ancestors, they also gained a distinct feature that would prove critical to their success: a type of sweat gland that allows the body to cool down quickly. Those tiny glands are enormously useful, allowing us to live in a wide var...

Human embryo discovery wins People’s Choice of Science Breakthrough of the Year

A revolutionary method developed by Rockefeller University scientists that allows researchers to study human embryo development in the lab has been voted Breakthrough of the Year by Science magazine readers. The technique, pioneered by Ali Brivanlou, Robert and Harriet Heilbrunn Professor of the ...

Elaine Fuchs to receive 2016 Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science

Elaine Fuchs, Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor and head of the Robin Chemers Neustein Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development, has won the 2016 Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science for her innovative use of reverse genetics to understand skin diseases and cancer stem cells. The priz...

Jean-Laurent Casanova receives the 2016 Inserm Grand Prix

Jean-Laurent Casanova, professor and head of the St. Giles Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases, has won the 2016 Inserm Grand Prix for his work on the genetic basis of infectious diseases. The prestigious award, given annually by Inserm—the French National Institute of Health and ...

New research clarifies why wounds heal more slowly with age

Older bodies need longer to mend. This reality of aging has been documented since World War I, with the observation that wounds heal slower in older soldiers. Yet until now, researchers have not been able to tease out what age-related changes hinder the body’s ability to repair itself. Recent e...

Four Rockefeller scientists named 2016 HHMI Faculty Scholars

Four Rockefeller University scientists—Daniel Kronauer, Luciano Marraffini, Agata Smogorzewska, and Sohail Tavazoie—have been named Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Scholars. The Faculty Scholars program, a new collaboration between HHMI, the Simons Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gate...

Charles M. Rice wins Lasker Award for groundbreaking work on the hepatitis C virus

Charles M. Rice, Maurice R. and Corinne P. Greenberg Professor in Virology and head of the Laboratory of Virology and Infectious Disease, has been honored with the 2016 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award, the country’s most prestigious science prize. Rice shares the award with Ralf F....

Four postdocs honored with 2016 Tri-Institutional Breakout Awards

NEW YORK, NY—Four young life scientists from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University, and Weill Cornell Medicine are the winners of the 2016 Tri-Institutional Breakout Awards for Junior Investigators. The awards, established last year by three winners of the 2013 Breakt...

Resistance to antidepressants linked to metabolism

Often, clinical depression has company; it shows up in the brain alongside metabolic abnormalities, such as elevated blood sugar, in the body. While studying an experimental antidepressant in rats, Rockefeller University researchers and their colleagues at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden found so...

Postdoc John Maciejowski wins 2016 Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation

John Maciejowski, a postdoctoral fellow in Titia de Lange’s Laboratory of Cell Biology and Genetics, has received the 2016 Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation. The award, given by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., recognizes innovative young scientists based on proposals they submit that have ...

New insights into muscular dystrophy point to potential treatment avenues

The average healthy man is 54 percent muscle by mass, but people with muscular dystrophy, an incurable, genetic condition, have almost no muscle at terminal stages of the disease. New research from The Rockefeller University provides insights about what causes patients’ muscles to degenerate and ...

Researchers find new signs of stress damage in the brain, plus hope for prevention

Chronic stress can make us worn-out, anxious, depressed—in fact, it can change the architecture of the brain. New research at The Rockefeller University shows that when mice experience prolonged stress, structural changes occur within a little-studied region of their amygdala, a part of the brain...

35 labs and counting: How the Robertson Therapeutic Development Fund speeds translational research at Rockefeller

by Alexandra MacWade, assistant editor Developing a new medical product is a complex, high-risk endeavor. Of the thousands of clinically promising concepts scientists formulate each year, only a small fraction move beyond the lab. The Robertson TDF was created to advance work that has gone beyon...

Scientists find evidence that cancer can arise from changes in the proteins that package DNA

A mutation that affects the proteins that package DNA—without changing the DNA itself—can cause a rare form of cancer, according to new findings in this week’s Science from researchers at Rockefeller University. The mutation is present in histones, the protein scaffolding around which DNA w...

C. David Allis receives the 2016 Gruber Genetics Prize

C. David Allis, Joy and Jack Fishman Professor and head of the Laboratory of Chromatin Biology and Epigenetics, has won the 2016 Gruber Genetics Prize. He shares the $500,000 award with Michael Grunstein of the University of California, Los Angeles. The award, given by The Gruber Foundation, reco...

New method allows first look at key stage of human development, embryo implantation

Accompanying commentary recommends revisiting current bioethical guidelines in light of advance       Despite significant biomedical advances in recent decades, the very earliest events of human development­—those that occur during a critical window just after fertilization—h...

Charles Rice wins Belgium’s highest scientific prize

Charles M. Rice, Maurice R. and Corinne P. Greenberg Professor in Virology and head of the Laboratory of Virology and Infectious Disease, has been honored with the 2016 InBev-Baillet Latour Health Prize for his work on the hepatitis C virus. Queen Mathilde of Belgium presented Rice with the prize...

An experimental Alzheimer’s drug reverses genetic changes thought to spur the disease

Aging takes its toll on the brain, and the cells of the hippocampus—a brain region with circuitry crucial to learning and memory—are particularly vulnerable to changes that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease or cognitive decline. With the hope of counteracting the changes that can lead to these t...

In the News - The New Yorker - Allis

Same but Different: How epigenetics can blur the line between nature and nurture "Allis walked me to his lab, a fluorescent-lit space overlooking the East River, divided by wide, polished-stone benches. A mechanical stirrer, whirring in a corner, clinked on the edge of a glass beaker. 'Two featur...

Mice engineered with rare kidney disease provide new insights about how cells repair broken DNA

Like jewels in a vault, our precious genetic material is stored in the nucleus of a cell—sequestered away from potentially damaging cellular components and toxins so that no harm can come to it. Yet over the course of a life moving through this world, our DNA does get damaged, and our cells have ...

A common brain cell shapes the nervous system in unexpected ways

More than half of our brains are made up of glial cells, which wrap around nerve fibers and insulate them—similarly to how the plastic casing of an electric cable insulates the copper wire within—allowing electrical and chemical impulses to travel faster. In the past, neuroscientists considered ...

A newly discovered way for cells to die

Some cells are meant to live, and some are meant to die. The linker cell of Caenorhabditis elegans, a tiny worm that is a favored model organism for biologists, is among those destined for termination. This cell helps determine the shape of the gonad in male worms—and then it dies, after two days...

Rockefeller scientists in the news

by Katherine Fenz, media relations manager Mutant mosquitoes Earlier this month, PBS Newshour featured Leslie Vosshall in a segment on the use of mutant mosquitoes to fight Zika and dengue fever. “Mosquitoes—especially the mosquitoes that are spreading Zika, dengue, and chikungunya...

A virus common among livestock depends on a microRNA to replicate

In the ongoing arms race between pathogenic viruses and the cells they infect, each side needs every advantage it can get. One way wily viruses can get a leg up is by subverting the microRNAs (miRNAs) of their host. These miRNAs are small stretches of RNA made by host cells to regulate gene expre...

In the News - Mental Floss - Brivanlou

What Iran May Be Able to Teach Us About Stem Cells "Now, there are opportunities for collaborations with non-Iranian scientists—which has Ali Brivanlou, who leads the Stem Cell Biology and Molecular Embryology lab at The Rockefeller University, intrigued about the possibilities."

In the News - Huffington Post - Pfaff

Neuroscience Has An Important (But Complicated) Place In The Courtroom "Rockefeller University neurobiologist Dr. Donald Pfaff explained one way that neuroscience evidence can be important in the courtroom -- juries can consider testosterone levels, as high testosterone can cause violent behavior...

New research clarifies how stem cells get activated to produce new hair—and what happens when their regenerative powers wear out

Adult stem cells provide the body with a reservoir from which damaged or used up tissues can be replenished. In organs like the intestines and skin, which need constant rejuvenating, these stem cells are dividing frequently. But in other body structures, including the hair follicles, they are hel...

Rockefeller hosts the first New York City symposium on human genetics

by Katherine Fenz, media relations manager Tapping into human genetics holds great promise for understanding and treating disease, but there is still much to be learned. Scientists continue to have questions about how our DNA is altered in various afflictions, and how to effectively sort thr...

Awards, arrivals, and promotions

Congratulations to our latest award winners: Jean-Laurent Casanova has been recognized with the Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award for his work investigating the genetic basis of pediatric infectious diseases. The award is given by the American Society for Clinical Investigation, an honor society of phys...

In the News - Newsweek - Casanova

To fight superbugs, scientists are turning toward antibodies   "'The bottom line is that the bacteria now develop resistance to anti-infectious agents faster than we can develop the anti-infectious agents,' says Dr. Jean-Laurent Casanova, a professor at Rockefeller University who studies how ge...

Jean-Laurent Casanova honored with the Korsmeyer Award

Jean-Laurent Casanova, professor and head of the St. Giles Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases, is the recipient of the 2016 Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award for his work investigating the genetic basis of pediatric infectious diseases. The award, given by the American Society for Clini...

Study identifies signals that make early stem cells

Stem cells work throughout our lives as a sort of handyman, repairing damaged tissues and renewing some normal ones, like the skin we shed. Scientists have come to understand much about how stem cells function when we are adults, but less is known about where these stem cells come from to begin w...

Awards, arrivals, and promotions

Congratulations to our latest award winners: Luciano Marraffini has been recognized with the Hans Sigrist Prize for his work developing a new approach to fight antibiotic resistance. The Hans Sigrist Prize recognizes work in a different academic field each year based on a decision by a faculty co...

Researchers develop gene-filtering tool to identify disease-causing mutations

Despite their bad reputations, the vast majority of mutations are not harmful. Even in very rare genetic disorders, only one or two genetic variations ­— out of tens of thousands — is actually the cause of disease. Distinguishing between harmful and harmless mutations has long been a challenge....

Newly discovered windows of brain plasticity may help with treatment of stress-related disorders

Chronic stress can lead to changes in neural circuitry that leave the brain trapped in states of anxiety and depression. But even under repeated stress, brief opportunities for recovery can open up, according to new research at The Rockefeller University. “Even after a long period of chronic st...

Experiments explain the events behind molecular ‘bomb’ seen in cancer cells

Since scientists have begun sequencing the genome of cancer cells, they have noticed a curious pattern. In many different types of cancers, there are cells in which a part of a chromosome looks like it has been pulverized, then put back together incorrectly, leading to multiple mutations. For yea...

In the News - STAT - McEwen

There's no such thing as a male or female brain, study finds   "These results add to a complex picture that you’d never guess from media accounts and pop psych books. After decades of research, 'we’re still debating the question of whether there are sex differences in the [human] brain and ...

Awards, arrivals, and promotions

Congratulations to our latest award winners: Jesse Ausubel has been awarded an American Geographical Society honorary fellowship. The fellowship recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of geography. Certificates of this honor will be presented during the so...

DNA strands often “wiggle” as part of genetic repair

Sometimes, the molecules that make up life exhibit strange behavior. For instance, in simple organisms such as yeast, when genetic material becomes damaged, the affected DNA strands increase their motion, waving about inside the cell like a sail unfurled. Over the years, scientists have seen more...

Discovery of genes involved in inner ear development hints at a way to restore hearing and balance

Loud noise, trauma, infections, plain old aging—many things can destroy hair cells, the delicate sensors of balance and sound within the inner ear. And once these sensors are gone, that’s it; the delicate hair cells don’t grow back in humans, leading to hearing loss and problems with balance. ...

Jean-Laurent Casanova elected to the National Academy of Medicine

Jean-Laurent Casanova, who investigates genetic vulnerability to infectious diseases among children, has been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, the health and medicine arm of the National Academy of Sciences. Casanova is professor and head of the St. Giles Laboratory of Human Gen...

Helmsley Trust renews $15 million grant for novel digestive disorders research

by Wynne Parry, Science Writer The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has awarded a new three-year, $15-million grant to The Rockefeller University to help support the interdisciplinary Center for Basic and Translational Research on Disorders of the Digestive System. Established in 2...