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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.

Proof of principle: Tri-I TDI drug candidates “graduate” to next phase of development

As inaugural Sanders Director Dr. Michael Foley is set to depart the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute later this year, two projects from a portfolio of 57 that the Tri-I TDI has supported are now ready for the next phase of therapeutic development—a phase intended to lead to investigational new drugs.

3D imaging of fat reveals potential targets for new obesity treatments

With new imaging methods, scientists hope to make significant progress in the fight against obesity. A new report reveals striking images of neural projections within fat tissue, and clues for the development of new drugs.

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In brief: Immune cells surveil intestine to prevent infections

Scientists found that immune cells called intraepithelial lymphocytes act as a surveillance force at the intestine, helping to generate an appropriate immune response to both friendly bacteria and dangerous pathogens.

In brief: New clues about how cells restart stalled replication

Scientists studying the cell’s DNA-copying machinery have discovered a molecular mechanism that helps reactivate it should it stop prematurely. Its function may prevent genetic errors like those that cause cancer.

Recent Awards and Honors

Gregory M. Alushin

Gregory M. Alushin honored as a 2018 Pew Scholar

June 14, 2018

Alushin has been named a biomedical science scholar for his investigation of how cells sense and respond to mechanical force.

Kivanç Birsoy

Kivanç Birsoy is a 2018 Pew-Stewart Scholar for Cancer Research

June 14, 2018

Birsoy received the honor for his study of the metabolic changes that occur in cancer cells during tumor formation and metastasis.

Rockefeller in the News

Scientific American

As [A. James] Hudspeth explored the neural mechanisms of hearing over the years, he developed a special appreciation for the intricate anatomy of the inner ear—an appreciation that transcends the laboratory. “I think we as scientists tend to underemphasize the aesthetic aspect of science,” he says.

Science

"'It is mind-blowing' that cells from such evolutionarily distant species can share these developmental instructions, says Ali Brivanlou, a stem cell biologist at The Rockefeller University in New York City and a senior author on the new study. The organizer 'has been conserved evolutionarily over hundreds of millions of years, so not seeing it would have been a surprise,' he says. But, 'There is something really emotional about looking that far back at human origin.'"

NIH Director's Blog

"[Michael] Rout and [Brian] Chait have spent more than 20 years trying to solve the structure of NPCs. Not only are NPCs large and constantly engaged in shuttling molecules in and out, they also represent moving machines."

 

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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.