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A new way to watch brain activity in action

A new imaging tool makes it possible to track the firing of millions of brain cells in mice while the animals move about as normal. The method could help shed new light onto the neural processes that create behavior.

Jeffrey V. Ravetch to receive 2018 Robert Koch Award

Ravetch receives the award for his groundbreaking work analyzing the immune system’s antibody response. He has worked for decades on the Fc fragment of the antibody molecule and its binding partners, known as Fc receptors.

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New method allows scientists to study how HIV persists

Scientists have developed a new strategy to study the cells that host hidden reserves of dormant HIV, a step that may lead to new treatments that go beyond controlling the infection and instead aim to eradicate the virus entirely.

Small molecule from Kapoor lab is accepted as first Bridge Medicines drug candidate

A chemical inhibitor targeting basal cell carcinoma, originating from Tarun Kapoor’s lab, is graduating from the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute into Bridge Medicines.

From infection-dodging stem cells, new tactics for research on viral disease

Among other superpowers, stem cells have a knack for fending off viruses like dengue and zika. Scientists have gained new insight into these curious defense strategies—knowledge they say could fuel the development of drugs against a range of diseases.

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Structural studies help explain how cancer cells resist chemotherapy

New research sheds light on how some cancer cells use molecular pumps to expel chemotherapy drugs before they have a chance to work.

Astrophysicist Kip Thorne to receive Rockefeller’s 2018 science writing prize

Thorne is recognized for his deft explanations that have drawn readers into the space-, time-, and mind-bending realm of Einstein’s ideas. The prize, which honors scientists as inspirational authors, will be presented on April 17.

What happens to a dying cell’s corpse? New findings illuminate an old problem

Scientists have discovered a curious way for cells to die. In studying it, they are learning about how remnants of diseased cells are normally chewed up and removed.

Scientists map the portal to the cell’s nucleus

The gateway to cellular headquarters has 552 components. A new map that shows how all these pieces fit together could help scientists study numerous diseases.

Scientists caution that a rare childhood liver cancer can spread to the brain

A new report details three cases of secondary brain tumors in people with fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma. The researchers say imaging tests could improve treatment for patients whose cancer spreads to the brain from the liver.

Molecular doorstop could be key to new tuberculosis drugs

In discovering how an antibiotic kills the bacteria that cause tuberculosis, scientists open the door to new treatments for the disease—and possibly others, as well.

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Building the machinery that makes proteins

Scientists have used cryo-electron microscopy to capture the very first snapshots of the large ribosomal subunit—part of the ribosome responsible for forging bonds between amino acids, the building blocks of proteins—coming together.

Molecule discovered in dirt could help against multi-resistant bacteria

In mining soil for natural drugs, scientists have discovered a brand-new antibiotic potent against many bacteria. They hope it could be used to treat infections that cannot be stopped with existing drugs.

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In brief: Tweaking RNA protects cells from harmful inflammation

New research has helped explain what goes wrong in Aicardi-Goutières syndrome, a rare brain disorder. Patients with the disease have genetic abnormalities that may put their cells at risk of accidentally triggering an antiviral response.

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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.

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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 inv...

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.

Brain research points the way to new treatments for nicotine addiction

Scientists have discovered a group of brain cells that may play a role in keeping smokers addicted to nicotine. Their work could ultimately lead to new drugs to help people conquer their tobacco dependence.

Neuroscientist Vanessa Ruta promoted to associate professor

Ruta, who explores how brains produce such flexible responses to fixed stimuli, has been promoted to Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden associate professor.

Daniel Kronauer, who uses ants to study social behavior, is promoted

Kronauer has been promoted to associate professor. He has dedicated his laboratory to investigating the molecular basis underlying complex social behavior among insects.

Mosquito sex protein could provide key to controlling disease

A protein transferred from male to female mosquitoes during sex influences female mating behavior—a phenomenon that could be exploited to limit the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika and dengue.

Michel C. Nussenzweig wins 2017 Sanofi-Institut Pasteur Award

Nussenzweig was honored at a ceremony today at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.The award recognizes investigators for past or ongoing work demonstrating real scientific progress in the life sciences.

Michael W. Young receives 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Young was honored for his discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm. He accepted the Nobel medal and diploma from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

Glial cells, not neurons, lead the way in brain assembly

Researchers have found that the cells directing the very first steps of brain formation are not other neurons, as scientists have long assumed. They've also uncovered previously hidden molecular pathways that attract neurons into the brain.

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In brief: A close look at how HIV-fighting proteins slow the virus down

A new study sheds light on how the body fights back against HIV by mutating the viral DNA.

Mary E. Hatten honored with the Ralph W. Gerard Prize in Neuroscience

Hatten is awarded for her significant contributions to neuroscience. She studies the mechanisms of neuronal differentiation and migration during the early stages of embryonic development.  

New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young

Scientists have engineered a mouse model to study a rare and often-fatal form of liver cancer. They’ve used it to clarify what drives these tumors at the molecular level, and discover new drug concepts.

In the fight against viral infection, spelling counts

Scientists have discovered a peculiarity in the genetic code of HIV that might explain how this and other viruses evolved ways to dodge our immune system. The findings could make it possible to develop safer vaccines.

Targeting a single protein might treat a broad range of viruses

Scientists have identified a protein that many viruses require to spread within a host—a discovery that could lead to fighting diseases as varied as parainfluenza, West Nile, and Zika with a single drug. This finding could also lead to the development of treatments for emerging viruses.

Potential new treatment for Fragile X targets one gene to affect many

Scientists found that inhibiting a regulatory protein alters the intricate signaling chemistry that is responsible for many of the disease’s symptoms. The findings provide a path to possible therapeutics for disorders associated with Fragile X.

Inflammation trains the skin to heal faster

Scientists have found that stem cells in the skin remember an injury, helping them close recurring wounds faster. The discovery could advance research and treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory diseases.

Cori Bargmann elected to the National Academy of Medicine

Bargmann is honored for her research exploring how genes and the environment interact to generate a variety of behaviors, and how behavioral decisions are modified by context and experience.

Statistical physicist and Rockefeller Professor Emeritus E.G.D. “Eddie” Cohen dies at 94

Cohen was an emeritus faculty member at The Rockefeller University and leader in statistical physics and nonequilibrium statistical mechanics. He died September 24 at the age of 94.

Gabriel Victora named 2017 MacArthur Fellow

One of the most prestigious funding programs in the world, the MacArthur fellows program awards grants to exceptionally creative individuals as an investment in their potential.

New smell test could aid early detection of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Problems with olfaction have been linked to a variety of health conditions. Scientists have developed new tests to detect smell loss more reliably.

Stress has dramatically different effects on male and female mouse brains

Scientists have found unexpected differences in how male and female mice respond to stress. Their findings are raising big questions about sex discrepancies in the brain and their impact on neuropsychiatric disease.

Titia de Lange to receive 2017 Rosenstiel Award

de Lange is honored for her elucidation of the mechanism of telomere protection and the maintenance of genome stability.

JoAnne Stubbe of MIT will receive the 2017 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize

Stubbe is being recognized for illuminating the processes that drive DNA replication and repair. Her research has led to the development of several cancer therapies.

Rockefeller University biologist Michael W. Young honored with Nobel Prize for pioneering studies on circadian rhythm

Rockefeller University biologist Michael W. Young, who studies the biological clocks that regulate sleep, metabolism, and response to disease, is this year’s recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Simple strategy could lead to a “universal” flu vaccine

To keep up with evasive flu viruses, new vaccines must be developed each year. Scientists are devising a strategy to better prevent the disease without annual shots.

Infectious diseases pioneer and Rockefeller Professor Emeritus John Zabriskie dies at 88

Zabriskie was a leader in the investigation of streptococcal infections and their long-term side effects, including rheumatic fever and autoimmune disorders. He died August 17 at the age of 88.

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In brief: Alternative CRISPR system is less specific, more robust

Scientists found that a system called CRISPR-Cas10 can target rapidly mutating viruses.

Gut bacteria that “talk” to human cells may lead to new treatments

Scientists developed a method to genetically engineer gut bacteria to produce molecules that have the potential to treat certain disorders by altering human metabolism.

Albany Medical Center Prize awarded to Luciano Marraffini

The prestigious award honors Marraffini and four other scientists for development of the revolutionary genome-editing system known as CRISPR-Cas9.

How the brain recognizes familiar faces

Scientists have located two areas in the brain that help us recognize familiar faces. The discovery will help them delve deeper into the relationship between face recognition, memory, and social knowledge.

First mutant ants shed light on evolution of social behavior

Scientists disrupted a gene essential for sensing pheromones, resulting in severe deficiencies in the ants’ social behaviors and their ability to survive within a colony.

Rockefeller is a leading institution in Nature Index ranking of innovation

The ranking evaluates how research articles are cited in patents, showing the influence of research on the development of products and services.

Hunger-controlling brain cells may offer path for new obesity drugs

Within the oldest part of the brain, scientists have found cells in charge of controlling appetite and eating. The discovery could revitalize efforts to develop drugs for obesity that make us less hungry.

Faster-acting antidepressants may finally be within reach

Neuroscientists have taken a major step toward answering longstanding questions about how Prozac and similar drugs act in the brain. Their findings could lead to better antidepressants that don't take weeks to kick in.