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In brief: Mutation explains why some people are more vulnerable to viral brain infection

Scientists identified mutations in a single gene that impair immunity to viruses in a region of the brain called the brain stem.

Günter Blobel, a Nobel laureate who redefined cell biology, has died

Günter Blobel, a Nobel Prize-winning Rockefeller biologist who discovered the mechanisms by which proteins are targeted for delivery to specific locations within cells, died February 18 at 81.

Scientists shed light on biological roots of individuality

A new study illuminates the biology that guides behavior across different stages of life in worms, and suggests how variations in specific neuromodulators in the developing nervous system may lead to occasional variations.

In brief: New molecular insights on a rare immune disorder

After figuring out the functions of two proteins involved in the rare genetic condition ICF, scientists pieced together the molecular process that is altered in the disease.

New images reveal how the ear’s sensory hairs take shape

Our ability to hear relies on tiny bundles of hair-like sensors inside the inner ear. Scientists have identified a key component of the machinery that makes these bundles grow in an orderly fashion.

New tool for tracking “kiss-and-run” communication between cells could advance research in multiple fields

Virtually all aspects of life and disease depend of brief exchanges between cells. A new technique to study cell-to-cell contacts lets interacting cells “smear” one another with the biological equivalent of lipstick.

Uncovering the early origins of Huntington’s disease

The symptoms of Huntington’s typically appear in middle age, but the disease may in fact originate much earlier. New research shows that a patient’s neural abnormalities may arise already during embryonic development—suggesting that treating the disease early may be beneficial.

New immunotherapy approach boosts body’s ability to destroy cancer cells

A new treatment may help cancer patients who don't respond to traditional immunotherapy. Findings from the first-ever clinical trial reveal that it is effective in activating immune cells that kill cancer cells.

In brief: Variation between strains may account for differences in people’s vulnerability to infection

New research shows that subtle differences between bacterial strains may cause dramatic differences in outcome between people infected with the same microbe.

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In brief: How the immune system curbs its own mistakes

Researchers discovered how apoptosis keeps potential cancer-causing mutations in check.

Recent Awards and Honors

Paul Bieniasz Portrait

Paul Bieniasz winner of a 2019 Biochemical Society Award

April 4, 2018

For his research on the biology and evolution of retroviruses, including HIV-1, Bieniasz will be honored with an award from the UK’s Biochemical Society.

Marina Caskey Portrait

Team led by Marina Caskey receives a 2018 Top Ten Clinical Research Achievement Award

March 12, 2018

The award recognizes the initial results from a clinical trial of an antibody-based drug that may provide a better strategy for long-term control of HIV infection as well as a model for prevention and vaccine development.

Rockefeller in the News

CUNY TV

"What we do incredibly well is fundamental life science," says Richard Lifton. "The clarity of our mission—science for the benefit of humanity—starts from the heads of laboratories and permeates through our students and staff, and really makes Rockefeller an extraordinary place for doing biomedical science."

New York Times

"Because all diseases have a molecular basis, medical experts say, Dr. [Günter] Blobel’s achievement was a fundamental step on the road to improved health, holding out the promise of understanding the mechanisms behind cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer’s disease, leukemia, schizophrenia, the virus that causes AIDS and other immune-system deficiencies, hereditary conditions and cellular aberrations, including cancers."

Wall Street Journal

"'We extract DNA directly out of soil samples,' said biochemist Sean Brady at Rockefeller’s Laboratory for Genetically Encoded Small Molecules, a senior author on the new study. 'We put it into a bug we can grow easily in the laboratory and see if it can make new molecules—the basis of new antibiotics.'"

 

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Communications and Public Affairs

The Office of Communications and Public Affairs promotes and disseminates research news and other information about The Rockefeller University.