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Kavli NSI News Archive

New microscopy technique peers deep into the brain

Using new imaging technology, researchers can now record the activity of large populations of brain cells with unprecedented speed, and at new depths.

New hope for treating a childhood brain cancer

Recent research has shown that a drug known as MI-2 can kill cells that cause a fatal brain cancer. But only now have scientists been able to explain how the compound works: by targeting cholesterol production in tumors.

Researchers discover a common link among diverse cancer types

Some cancers have been traced to changes in histones, proteins responsible for packaging DNA and regulating genes. Now, research from Rockefeller scientists shows that, among tumors, mutations to these proteins are a lot more common than previously suspected.

Scientists find brain mechanism that naturally combats overeating

Studying a brain region involved in memory, researchers discovered a set of neurons that help mice control their appetite.

Scientists identify genetic factors that may cause some people to become obese

New research on leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite, reveals a previously unknown mechanism that may be responsible for at least 10 percent of obesity cases. The findings could help identify individuals with treatable forms of the condition.

Seek: Even small brains make big decisions

Understanding choice is the next frontier in neuroscience

Seek: Priya Rajasethupathy

Our understanding of memory is being overwritten. Meet the neuroscientist whose new lab is rethinking how our brains handle the past.

Seek: Priya Rajasethupathy

Our understanding of memory is being overwritten. Meet the neuroscientist whose new lab is rethinking how our brains handle the past.

Seek: The 7,000 fields that science forgot

Research on rare diseases has more to offer than meets the eye—including the promise of discoveries that could help advance all of medicine.

Seek: Science, society, right and wrong

How far should scientists go to obtain new knowledge? We asked Ali Brivanlou, an explorer of human development for whom the question is always top of mind.

Inside the brains of hungry worms, researchers find clues about how they hunt

When looking for food, the roundworm C. elegans searches the same area for up to 20 minutes before trying its luck at more distant locales. New research on the worm’s brain explains how this behavior arises at the level of molecules and cells.

New findings could make mosquitoes more satisfied—and safer to be around

Scientists have learned new tricks that could be useful in preventing mosquito-borne illnesses such as Zika and yellow fever. A new study shows that some appetite-reducing drugs can curtail the insects’ impulse to feed on warm-blooded hosts.

Daniel Kronauer discusses “The Social Lives of Ants” at this year’s Talking science event

More than 350 high school students from across the tri-state area attended this year’s event where Kronauer shared how ants can help answer questions about the principals that govern life.

Study identifies genetic mutation responsible for tuberculosis vulnerability

Scientists discovered a genetic variant that greatly increases a person’s likelihood of developing tuberculosis. Their research elucidates how this mutation affects the immune system, and points to a possible treatment for people with the disease.

New method for studying gene expression could improve understanding of brain disease

By analyzing gene expression patterns, researchers have identified previously unknown distinctions between mouse and human neurons. They have also developed a new way to track cellular changes associated with brain disorders.

“Discoveries are delicate things”: What a century-old war can teach us about science today

In the 1910s, Rockefeller biochemist Israel Kleiner came close to discovering insulin, but missed his opportunity to find a much-needed treatment for diabetes. In a recent Harper’s Magazine essay, neuroscientist Jeffrey M. Friedman explores the factors that set back Kleiner’s work and their relevance for modern times.

Mosquito genome opens new avenues for reducing bug-borne disease

Researchers have assembled a new and improved DNA catalogue for the mosquito Aedes aegypti. This tool will help researchers understand the insect’s biology, and may lead to new strategies for preventing diseases like Zika and dengue.

Embryos remember the chemicals that they encounter

A new study shows that embryonic cells retain a memory of the chemical signals to which they are exposed. Without these memories, cells fail organize into distinct tissue types.

Seek: Life, Illuminated

Innovations in imaging are unblurring our world, pixel by pixel.

Seek: Deep Secrets

The human brain is capable of understanding gravitational waves. It can produce equations, arguments, music. But will it ever make sense of its own inner workings? We posed the question to neuroscientist Cori Bargmann.

Seek: Against the grain

For years, people thought Sidney Strickland was barking up the wrong tree. He wasn’t.

To see what’s right in front of you, your brain may need some rewiring

As you encounter new experiences and form new memories, your brain changes. Now, researchers show that some of these change occur in a brain region devoted to visual perception.

In tiny worms, researchers find spiking neurons—and clues about brain computation

Studying neurons in C. elegans, researchers made a surprising discovery: these roundworms, like most animals, process information using a digital, electric code.

In tiny worms, researchers find spiking neurons—and clues about brain computation

Studying neurons in C. elegans, researchers made a surprising discovery: these roundworms, like most animals, process information using a digital, electric code.

C. David Allis accepts Lasker Award for insights into gene regulation

During the time-honored Lasker Award ceremony, Allis outlined the five-decade-long history of research on histones and their modification.

Scientists investigate how DEET confuses countless critters

DEET, a chemical in bug sprays, affects the behavior of highly diverse organisms—but how it works remains unclear. New research in C. elegans shows that the compound exploits unique receptors and neurons to interfere with the animals’ response to odors.

Study of protein “trafficker” provides insight into autism and other brain disorders

Researchers have discovered that the protein ASTN2 shuttles receptors away from the surface of neurons, a process that facilitates efficient brain activity.

C. David Allis wins 2018 Lasker Award for discovery of new mechanisms regulating gene expression

Allis receives the nation’s top science award for research on epigenetic gene regulation and its role in disease.

Ant-y social: study of clonal raider ants reveals the evolutionary benefits of group living

A new study in ants demonstrates that living in groups leads to improved fitness. The researchers show that, in larger groups, ants take on specialized roles and colony stability increases.

Structure of ion channel reveals how insects smell their way around the world

Researchers describe, for the first time, the structure of a smell-receptor protein common among insects. Its inner architecture illuminates how insects evolved to detect an amazing diversity of odors.

Researchers uncover molecular mechanisms of rare skin disease

Scientists describe a group of proteins that protect cells from a subtype of human papilloma virus. They also outline genetic mutations that make this virus unusually harmful in people with epidermodysplasia verruciformis, a rare skin condition.

Lack of a single molecule may indicate severe and treatment-resistant depression

Researchers find that a deficiency of acetyl-L-carnitine is associated with a particular subtype of depression. Individuals with very low levels of this molecule often have highly severe symptoms and don’t respond to traditional antidepressants.

Ant study sheds light on the evolution of workers and queens

A new study in ants identifies a peptide that plays an important role in regulating reproduction. This research illuminates a potential trajectory for the evolution of distinct social castes—workers and queens.

Giant neurons in the brain may play similarly giant role in awareness and cognition

Scientists find that certain neurons release nitric oxide onto nearby blood vessels, and potentially use this mechanism to control awareness in the brain.

Erich Jarvis receives grant from W.M. Keck foundation

With a new grant from the W.M. Keck foundation, the Jarvis Lab will further their research on the genes and neural circuits involved in speech production.

Monkey studies reveal possible origin of human speech

Scientists have long debated the evolutionary origins of human speech. New research reveals neural circuits in the brains of monkeys that may represent the source of our unique speech capabilities.

Three Rockefeller scientists promoted to professor

Sean Brady, Winrich Freiwald, and Luciano Marraffini have been promoted to professor. Respectively, these scientists have characterized previously unknown small molecules, provided insight into how the brain processes faces, and revolutionized gene editing.

Deep in the fly brain, a clue to how evolution changes minds

A new study sheds light on the mysterious ways in which evolution may tweak the brain to shape behavior. It started with a close look at two Drosophila species and their mating maneuvers.

Scientists solve the case of the missing subplate, with wide implications for brain science

A new study shows that a group of neurons, previously thought to die in the course of development, in fact become incorporated into the brain’s cortex. This research has implications for understanding—and possibly treating—several brain disorders.

Drowsy worms offer new insights into the neuroscience of sleep

Scientists studying worms have discovered a group of cells that help the body transition from wakefulness to slumber.

A. James Hudspeth to receive Kavli Prize in Neuroscience

Hudspeth is receiving the honor for pioneering work on the molecular and neural mechanisms of hearing.

Genetic mutation identified as culprit in rare infectious disease

Researchers have uncovered the genetic factors that make some people susceptible to Whipple’s disease, an intestinal inflammatory disorder that causes diarrhea, pain, and weight loss.

New molecular views of how neurons pace their signals

Detailed structural images reveal how an ion channel helps curtail a neuron’s firing. The work has relevance for diseases in which this molecule malfunctions.

A first look at the earliest decisions that shape a human embryo

For the first time, scientists have shown that a small cluster of cells in the human embryo dictates the fate of other embryonic cells. The discovery of this developmental “organizer” could advance research into many human diseases, and it suggests we have more in common with birds than meets the eye.

Gaby Maimon and Luciano Marraffini are named HHMI investigators

Maimon, who studies cognition and decision-making, and Marraffini, who studies the bacterial defense system CRISPR-Cas, are among 19 scientists nationwide to receive this designation.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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: 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Seek: C. David Allis

Can cancer cells be rehabilitated?

Seek: Beyond recognition

Those suffering from prosopagnosia live in a bewildering world, inhabited by people whose faces are impossible to tell apart. Profoundly mysterious and virtually untreatable, the disease is leading neuroscience into uncharted nooks of the brain.

Seek: Michael W. Young

Tracking time isn’t something we do with just our brains and our wrists. Most cells in the human body can mark the passage of Earth’s 24-hour rotation. Meet the scientist devoted to the biology of the day.

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.

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.

In brief: How a microRNA protects against liver cancer

New insights about gene regulation in liver cells could lead to better treatments for a common tumor type.

In brief: Mapping the errors that disrupt heartbeat

By determining the structure of a protein linked to a deadly form of arrhythmia, scientists have gained new insights about the condition.

Scientists use algorithm to peer through opaque brains

A new algorithm allows scientists to record the activity of individual neurons within a volume of brain tissue.

In brief: A closer look at why some drugs cause arrhythmia

Scientists have identified the features that render a potassium channel in the heart vulnerable to interference by a range of drugs.

Researchers create interactive touchscreen for dolphins

To learn more about dolphin cognition and communication, researchers have developed an underwater touchscreen using optical technology, the first of its kind.

Scientists identify a neural circuit that rotates a fly’s internal compass

Researchers have uncovered the neurons that spin a fly’s internal compass when the insect turns—the first such mechanism identified in any animal.

Newly discovered brain network offers clues to social cognition

By studying rhesus monkeys, researchers have identified a brain network dedicated to processing social interactions—a discovery that offers tantalizing clues to the origins of our ability to understand what other people are thinking.

C. David Allis wins 2017 March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology

Allis has received the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology. The award, given to investigators whose research offers hope for the prevention and treatment of birth defects and other infant diseases, honors Allis for his groundbreaking work on gene regulation.

Mary E. Hatten is elected to the National Academy of Sciences

With Hatten’s election, the Rockefeller faculty now has 39 members or foreign associates of the National Academy of Sciences.

Reem–Kayden Early-Career Innovation Award is established to support newly promoted associate professors at Rockefeller

The unique award, funded by a $7 million gift, is designed to encourage Rockefeller’s early-career faculty members to pursue the most imaginative science in the years leading to a tenure decision. All heads of laboratories are eligible upon their promotion to associate professor.

Study identifies “night owl” gene variant

Scientists have discovered a common mutation that might explain why some people have trouble going to sleep at night and getting up early. The gene alteration slows the internal biological clock that regulates our sleeping patterns.

Seek: In an embryo’s second week, a surprise

Rockefeller biologists opened a window into the mysterious period when a human embryo first attaches to its mother’s uterus—and what they saw amazed them.

Seek: Flipping a Switch Inside the Head

With new technology, scientists are able to exert wireless control over brain cells of mice with just the push of a button. The first thing they did was make the mice hungry.

Seek: A sugar bomb in disguise

It’s a time-honored, if sometimes ill-advised, tradition in medical research: Try it first on yourself. Thomas Huber’s own weakness for diet soda led to his search for evidence that chemical attempts to fool the human sweet tooth may have unanticipated effects. Now, he is conducting a clinical trial to better understand if artificial sweeteners alter metabolism.

Changes in the vascular system may trigger Alzheimer’s disease

In some people whose cognitive functions are weakened due to Alzheimer’s, the disease can be traced back to changes in the brain’s blood vasculature. Scientists have found that a protein involved in blood clotting and inflammation might offer a potential path to new drugs.

For biologists studying tiny worms, new technologies make big improvements

Two new technologies are helping scientists understand new aspects of organ and nervous system development in C. elegans. One allows them to image worms developing in a natural environment, while the other makes it possible to track single neurons as the worms grow.

Study tests the “three-hit” theory of autism

Since the first case was documented in the United States in 1938, the causes of autism have remained elusive. Hundreds of genes, as well as environmental exposures, have been implicated in these brain disorders. Sex also seems to have something to do with it: About 80 percent of children diagnosed w…

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 di…

Raphael Cohn wins 2017 Weintraub Graduate Student Award

Raphael Cohn, a graduate fellow in Vanessa Ruta’s Laboratory of Neurophysiology and Behavior, is a recipient of this year’s Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award, one of the country’s most prestigious graduate student prizes in the biosciences. The award, given by the Fred Hutchinson Canc…

Paul Greengard Professorship established with $5 million gift from the Fisher Center Foundation

Late last year, guests at the President’s House raised a glass in celebration of one of Rockefeller’s most beloved colleagues. In his nearly 35 years at Rockefeller, Paul Greengard has led pioneering studies that have transformed our understanding of how the nervous system works, and have paved …

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,…

Crowdsourcing effort helps researchers predict how a molecule will smell

You can anticipate a color before you see it, based solely on the length of light waves. Music can be interpreted from notes on a page without being heard. Not so with odor. The only way to tell if something will smell like roses or turpentine, sea breeze or gasoline, is to sniff it. New re…

Mouse studies offer new insights about cocaine’s effect on the brain

Cocaine is one of the most addictive substances known to man, and for good reason: By acting on levels of the “feel-good” chemical dopamine, it produces a tremendous sensation of euphoria. Now the laboratory of Rockefeller University Professor and Nobel Laureate Paul Greengard has shown…

Newly discovered beetle species named after Rockefeller’s Daniel Kronauer

Scientists can rack up many awards, but to have one’s name cemented in scientific nomenclature is a special kind of honor. In an homage to his mentor Daniel Kronauer, former Rockefeller postdoctoral associate Christoph von Beeren has named a new species of beetle Nymphister kronaueri. …

MacKinnon lab charts the anatomy of three molecular channels

Using a state-of-the-art imaging technology in which molecules are deep frozen, scientists in Roderick MacKinnon’s lab at Rockefeller University have reconstructed in unprecedented detail the three-dimensional architecture of three channels that provide a path for specific types of ions to travel …

New research offers clues into how the brain shapes perception to control behavior

What you see is not always what you get. And that, researchers at The Rockefeller University have discovered, is a good thing. “Every time you move your eye, the whole world moves on your retina,” says Gaby Maimon, head of the Laboratory of Integrative Brain Function. “But you don’t perce…

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 Lab…

New molecular map reveals how cells spew out potassium

New research from Roderick MacKinnon’s Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology and Biophysics at The Rockefeller University has determined, for the first time, the complete structure of an ion channel that plays an important role in cellular electrical signaling by sending potassium ions out of the ce…

Rockefeller’s annual Celebrating Science benefit raises $2.8 million, an all-time record

Last month, 400 guests gathered on campus for cocktails, a lecture on next-generation genomics given by Robert B. Darnell, and a festive dinner. The event—Rockefeller’s fifth annual Celebrating Science benefit—raised a record $2.8 million for the uni…

Fifty years after landmark methadone discovery, stigmas and misunderstandings persist

Methadone, the first pharmacological treatment for heroin addiction, was pioneered 50 years ago by Rockefeller University’s Mary Jeanne Kreek and her colleagues. Since then the drug, which is widely used in treatment programs across the globe, has saved countless lives and allowed millions of hero…

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 M…

Gaby Maimon, who studies sophisticated brain functions in fruit flies, is promoted to associate professor

Neuroscientist Gaby Maimon, who heads the Laboratory of Integrative Brain Function, will become an associate professor as of January 1, 2017. His research program explores how the brain performs calculations to estimate values like angles and time, and is based on the idea that fruit flies, his rese…

Awards, Arrivals, and Promotions

Congratulations to our latest award winners: Winrich Freiwald has won the 2016 W. Alden Spencer Award. The prize, given by Columbia University, recognizes outstanding contributions in neuroscience. Dr. Freiwald, who shares the prize with his long-time collaborator Doris Y. Tsao of Caltech, presente…

Gaby Maimon, who studies sophisticated brain functions in fruit flies, is promoted to associate professor

Neuroscientist Gaby Maimon, who heads the Laboratory of Integrative Brain Function, will become an associate professor as of January 1, 2017. His research program explores how the brain performs calculations to estimate values like angles and time, and is based …

Scientists prove how genetics change behavior by studying worms’ foraging strategies

“Organisms pay attention to what other members of their species are doing,” says Cori Bargmann, a neuroscientist at Rockefeller University. “It’s a very robust phenomenon that you see from humans on Twitter to bacteria, and everything in between.” That’s why Bargmann, Torsten N. W…

Researchers watch in 3D as neurons talk to each other in a living mouse brain

No single neuron produces a thought or a behavior; anything the brain accomplishes is a vast collaborative effort between cells. When at work, neurons talk rapidly to one another, forming networks as they communicate. Researchers led by Rockefeller University’s Alipasha Vaziri are developing techn…

Winrich Freiwald wins Columbia University’s 2016 W. Alden Spencer Award

Winrich Freiwald, associate professor and head of the Laboratory of Neural Systems, has received the 2016 W. Alden Spencer Award. The prize, given by Columbia University, recognizes outstanding research contributions in the field of neuroscience. Freiwald shares the award with his long-time collabor…

Study uncovers how cells organize the growth of their structural filaments

To take shape, to move and to reproduce, cells need internal scaffolding composed of slender filaments known as microtubules. Before the cell can use microtubules for these and other essential functions, it must first organize them into carefully crafted bundles, which become the basis for three dim…

A possible explanation for why male mice tolerate stress better than females

The nerves we feel before a stressful event—like speaking in public, for example—are normally kept in check by a complex system of circuits in our brain. Now, scientists at Rockefeller University have identified a key molecule within this circuitry that is responsible for relieving anxiety. Intr…

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…

Rockefeller neuroscientist Cori Bargmann to lead science work at Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Cori Bargmann, an internationally recognized neuroscientist who heads the Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior at The Rockefeller University, has been named the incoming president of science at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), the philanthropy funded by Facebook foun…

Neuroscientist Cori Bargmann to lead science work at Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Cori Bargmann, an internationally recognized neuroscientist who heads the Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior at Rockefeller, has been named the incoming president of science at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), the philanthropy funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuck…

Awards, Arrivals, and Promotions

Congratulations to our latest award winners: Veronica Jove is one of 34 graduate students who have received this year’s Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study, a program aimed at increasing diversity in the scientific workplace. The fellowship, given by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, support…

Structural images shed new light on a cancer-linked potassium channel

Most cells in the body carry on their surface tiny pores through which potassium ions travel. In controlling the flow of these positively charged ions, the channel helps the cell maintain its electrical balance. One particular type of potassium channel, called Eag1, has been found…

Daniel Mucida, who studies the gut’s specialized immune system, receives promotion

As of September 1, Daniel Mucida, who heads the Laboratory of Mucosal Immunology and studies the immune system along the vast surface of the intestine, will become an associate professor. The Board of Trustees approved his promotion on July 29. Although hidden from view, the gut has more interactio…

Daniel Mucida, who studies the gut’s specialized immune system, receives promotion

As of September 1, Daniel Mucida, who heads the Laboratory of Mucosal Immunology and studies the immune system along the vast surface of the intestine, will become an associate professor. The Board of Trustees approved his promotion on July 29. Although hidd…

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…

Study suggests humans can detect even the smallest units of light

Just how dark does it have to be before our eyes stop working? Research by a team from Rockefeller University and the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology in Austria has shown that humans can detect the presence of a single photon, the smallest measurable unit of light. Previous studies had est…

Awards, arrivals, and promotions

Congratulations to our latest award winners: Cori Bargmann has been awarded an honorary doctor of science degree from the University of Oxford. Dr. Bargmann was one of nine distinguished figures who was celebrated at Encaenia, the university’s annual honorary degree ceremony, on June 22. Dr. Barg…

Rockefeller’s newest faculty member studies birdsong to illuminate the origins of human language

The ability to speak has allowed our species to pass knowledge between generations, articulate complex ideas, and build societies. Erich Jarvis, the newest addition to Rockefeller’s faculty, uses songbirds as a model to study the molecular mechanisms that underlie how individuals learn spoken lan…

New approach exposes 3D structure of Alzheimer’s proteins within the brain

Alzheimer’s disease clouds memory, dims the mind, and distorts behavior. Its ravages also show up within the physical structure of the brain, perhaps most prominently as sticky clumps of a naturally occurring but harmful protein called amyloid-β. A team at The Rockefeller University used a new…

Rockefeller’s newest faculty member studies birdsong to illuminate the origins of human language

The ability to speak has allowed our species to pass knowledge between generations, articulate complex ideas, and build societies. Erich Jarvis, the newest addition to Rockefeller’s faculty, uses songbirds as a model to study the molecular mechan…

Mary E. Hatten and Daniel Kronauer honored with teaching awards

Mary E. Hatten, Frederick P. Rose Professor and head of the Laboratory of Developmental Neurobiology, and Daniel Kronauer, assistant professor and head of the Laboratory of Social Evolution and Behavior, were honored at this year’s Convocation lunche…

Neurobiologist interested in memory to join Rockefeller faculty

For humans, the ability to form and recall memories is what gives meaning to existence. Memory is what allows us to learn, to form relationships, and to feel emotions. Priya Rajasethupathy, the most recent addition to Rockefeller’s faculty, studies the mechanisms that make memories possible, worki…

Neurobiologist interested in memory to join Rockefeller faculty

Currently a postdoc at Stanford, Dr. Rajasethupathy will join the university as a tenure-track assistant professor and head of laboratory in May. She is the third new scientist to emerge from Rockefeller’s fall 2015 open recruitment process, making this year…

An unexpected origin for calming immune cells in the gut

Biologically speaking, we carry the outside world within us. The food we ingest each day and the trillions of microbes that inhabit our guts pose a constant risk of infection—and all that separates us from these foreign entities is a delicate boundary made of a single layer of cells. The immune…

New faculty member investigates how genes are born and proliferate

It’s a central question in evolution: How does something new emerge? Li Zhao, an evolutionary biologist and the most recent addition to Rockefeller’s faculty, approaches this problem by investigating the birth of new genes. Appointed a tenure-track assistant professor and head of laboratory, Zha…

New faculty member investigates how genes are born and proliferate

It’s a central question in evolution: How does something new emerge? Li Zhao, an evolutionary biologist and the most recent addition to Rockefeller’s faculty, approaches this problem by investigating the birth of new genes. Appointed a tenure-track assistan…

Do artificial sweeteners live up to the promise of sweetness without harm? An ongoing clinical study investigates

There was a time when Thomas Huber, a molecular biologist at The Rockefeller University, was drinking about 36 ounces of diet cola a day. More than a year ago, Huber, a research assistant professor in Thomas P. Sakmar’s Laboratory of Chemical Biology and Signal Transduction, became curious…

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 o…

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 …

Awards, arrivals, and promotions

Congratulations to our latest award winners: David Allis has won the 2016 Gruber Genetics Prize. The prize is given by The Gruber Foundation of Yale University and honors scientists whose work inspires fundamental shifts in knowledge and culture. Allis shares the award with Michael Grunstein of UCL…

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, recogni…

Torsten Wiesel wins Karolinska Institute’s Jubilee Gold Medal

Torsten Wiesel, President Emeritus and Vincent and Brooke Astor Professor Emeritus, will receive the Karolinska Institute’s Jubilee Gold Medal in recognition of his outstanding contributions to Sweden’s scientific community and to the medical university itself. Wiesel shares the award with Rune …

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…

Nathaniel Heintz and Stanislas Leibler elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Nathaniel Heintz, James and Marilyn Simons Professor and head of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, and Stanislas Leibler, Gladys T. Perkin Professor and head of the Laboratory of Living Matter, have been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. They are among 84 new national and 21 new f…

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…

Awards, arrivals, and promotions

Congratulations to our latest award winners: Paul Cohen has won a Young Investigator Award together with two of his collaborators. The prize is given by the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization to recognize projects under the theme of “complex mechanisms in living organisms,…

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,…

Sweet tooth? Flies have it too—and new research explains how they know what to eat and when to stop

All animals, including humans, love sweet food. But if you’re someone who never turns down dessert under normal circumstances, try wolfing down six donuts as a scientific experiment. Even the moistest, most velvety piece of chocolate cake will seem a lot less appetizing—and you will likely eat l…

Using magnetic forces to control neurons, study finds the brain plays key role in glucose metabolism

To learn what different cells do, scientists switch them on and off and observe what the effects are. There are many methods that do this, but they all have problems: too invasive, or too slow, or not precise enough. Now, a new method to control the activity of neurons in mice, devised by scientists…

Jeffrey Friedman receives the 2016 Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine

Jeffrey Friedman, Marilyn M. Simpson Professor and head of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, has won the 2016 Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine. The award, given by the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Harrington Discovery Institute, recognizes physician-scientists w…

Awards, arrivals, and promotions

Congratulations to our latest award winners: Cori Bargmann has won the 2016 Edward M. Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience, an award given by the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT to recognize outstanding advances in the field. She is being honored for her work on the genetic and neural mech…

Rockefeller scientists in the news

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 express…

Cori Bargmann honored with the 2016 Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience

Cori Bargmann, Torsten N. Wiesel Professor and head of the Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior, has won the 2016 Edward M. Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience, an award given by the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT to recognize outstanding advances in the field. T…

Metabolism protein found to also regulate feeding behavior in the brain

The molecular intricacies of hunger and satiety, pivotal for understanding metabolic disorders and the problem of obesity, are not yet fully understood by scientists. However, new research from The Rockefeller University reveals an important new component of the system responsible for regulating foo…

Rockefeller hosts the first New York City symposium on human genetics

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…

Scientists learn how young brains form lifelong memories by studying worms’ food choices

Members of neuroscientist Cori Bargmann’s lab spend quite a bit of their time watching worms move around. These tiny creatures, Caenorhabditis elegans, feed on soil bacteria, and their very lives depend on their ability to distinguish toxic microbes from nutritious ones. In a recent study, Bargman…

Talking Science takes high school students on a journey through the history of drug development

On a recent Saturday, about 350 students and 70 teachers from 50 New York City–regional schools took their seats in Caspary Auditorium for a whirlwind tour through the history of drug discovery. Their guide during the two-part lecture, which is part of the u…

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 Clinical…

The neurons in our gut help the immune system keep inflammation in check

The immune system exercises constant vigilance to protect the body from external threats—including what we eat and drink. A careful balancing act plays out as digested food travels through the intestine­. Immune cells must remain alert to protect against harmful pathogens like Salmonella, but the…

New findings challenge popular explanation for why a social insect becomes a worker or queen

The exquisite social hierarchy of insect colonies has long fascinated scientists. Take two eggs—both contain identical genetic material, but while one becomes a sterile worker, the other may develop into a queen that can reproduce. Workers perform brood care and other crucial tasks that keep the c…

Winrich Freiwald, who studies facial processing, is promoted to associate professor

Winrich Freiwald, a neuroscientist who studies one of the most basic aspects of social interaction—how the brain processes faces—has been promoted to associate professor as of January 1. Freiwald, who heads the Laboratory of Neural Systems, works on understanding how a specialized system in t…

No borders to excellence: Rockefeller’s graduate students come from everywhere, including Cuba

Students arrive from around the world to join Rockefeller’s graduate program; the ratio of international students is higher here than in most equivalent programs in the United States. This year’s entering class has a particularly global character. Of the 27 stude…

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…

Study links epigenetic processes to the development of the cerebellar circuitry

From before birth through childhood, connections form between neurons in the brain, ultimately making us who we are. So far, scientists have gained a relatively good understanding of how neural circuits become established, but they know less about the genetic control at play during this crucial deve…

New research explores how the fly brain reroutes odor information to produce flexible behavior

Some responses come automatically, like reflexes. Others vary with circumstance and experience. A once-delicious smell can be easily overlooked during a stressful moment or when it calls to mind a bout of food poisoning, for instance. This happens because, within the brain, molecules known as neurom…

Rockefeller fundraising breaks new record

It’s been a year of tremendous progress at Rockefeller. In 2015, we welcomed six new faculty members, most recently immunologist Gabriel Victora and biological physicist Alipasha Vaziri; began construction of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation—David Rockefeller Ri…

Mosquitoes are tuned to seek out temperatures that match warm-blooded hosts

Many animals gravitate towards heat, most often to regulate their own body temperatures. In rare cases, certain species—ticks, bedbugs, and some species of mosquitoes—seek out heat for food. For female mosquitoes, finding heat is essential for survival, as they need to feast on warm-blooded prey…

New research helps to explain how temperature shifts the circadian clock

For many living things, a roughly 24-hour internal clock governs the rhythms of life—everything from sleep in animals, to leaf opening in plants and reproduction in bread mold. Scientists have come to understand much about this internal time-keeping system, but one important aspect, its complex re…

Study reveals new mechanism in nicotine addiction

Part of the reason people find smoking difficult to quit is that each time they have a cigarette, feelings of craving, irritability and anxiety melt away. This component of addiction is known as negative reward and is controlled in part by a region of the brain called the habenula. The neurotransmit…

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…

Researchers examine how a face represents a whole person in the brain

The sight of a face offers the brain something special. More than a set of features, it conveys the emotions, intent, and identity of the whole individual. The same is not true for the body; cues such as posture convey some social information, but the image of a body does not substitute for a face. …

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…

New faculty member develops light-based tools to study the brain

When the brain is at work, large numbers of neurons within it interact rapidly, passing messages, sometimes across large distances. The most recent addition to Rockefeller University’s faculty, Alipasha Vaziri, devises optical tools for capturing and manipulating these interactions…

New faculty member develops light-based tools to study the brain

When the brain is at work, large numbers of neurons within it interact rapidly, passing messages, sometimes across large distances. The most recent addition to Rockefeller University’s faculty, Alipasha Vaziri, devises optical tools for capturing and manipulating …

New neuroscience institute established at Rockefeller with funding from the Kavli Foundation

Earlier this month, a group of Rockefeller representatives travelled to Washington, D.C, to take part in an announcement of the university’s newly established Kavli Neural Systems Institute (Kavli NSI). Funded by a $20 million endowment supported equally by The Ka…

Awards, arrivals, and promotions

Congratulations to our latest award winners: Hani Goodarzi has been named a Blavatnik Regional Awards Winner in the life sciences. Given by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Science, the award honors outstanding postdocs in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Winners …

Newly described ion channel structure reveals how excited neurons settle down

Within the brain, some neurons fire off hundreds of signals per second, and after ramping up for such a barrage, they need to relax and reset. A particular type of ion channel helps bring them down, ensuring these cells don’t get overstimulated—a state that potentially can lead to severe epilept…

Finches offer researchers a new tool to study Huntington’s disease

Many neurological disorders can rob someone of the ability to speak clearly, causing them to stutter, mispronounce words, and struggle to put together coherent sentences. However, the molecular and neurological dysfunctions that cause these symptoms aren’t well understood.

Funding from Kavli Foundation to establish new institute at Rockefeller devoted to neuroscience

The Kavli Foundation and The Rockefeller University today announced the formation of the Kavli Neural Systems Institute (Kavli NSI) at Rockefeller, funded by a $20 million endowment supported equally by Kavli and Rockefeller. The Institute will become part of a network of seven Kavli Institutes carr…

Study offers insight on how a new class of antidepressants works

A new class of drugs under development to treat depression has shown some success by targeting brain cells’ ability to respond to the chemical messenger glutamate. But the mechanism by which these experimental therapies work has remained unknown.

Awards, Arrivals, and Promotions

Congratulations to the following researchers, who have recently been honored with prestigious awards: Joel Cohen has received the Golden Goose Award in honor of his work developing the first global map of human population distribution by elevation. Award winners, selected by a panel of respected sci…

For worms, positive thinking is the key to finding food

Caenorhabditis elegans, a tiny roundworm, spends much of its lifetime searching for soil bacteria to eat. This humble creature possesses 302 neurons, which may not seem like a lot compared to the billions of nerve cells that make up the human brain. Nonetheless, it uses sophisticated…

Joel Cohen and Torsten Wiesel receive Golden Goose Awards for research with unexpected benefits

Joel E. Cohen, Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor and head of the Laboratory of Populations, and Torsten Wiesel, President Emeritus and Vincent and Brooke Astor Professor Emeritus, have each received a Golden Goose Award. The award honors federally funded research that may seem obscure but has le…

Promising class of new cancer drugs causes memory loss in mice

Cancer researchers are constantly in search of more-effective and less-toxic approaches to stopping the disease, and have recently launched clinical trials testing a new class of drugs called BET inhibitors. These therapies act on a group of proteins that help regulate the expression of many genes, …

Milestones

Awarded: C. David Allis, the Jonathan Kraft Prize for Excellence in Cancer Research, presented by the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. The newly established award celebrates achievements in cancer research and includes a monetary prize of $20,000, endowed by Robert Kraft…

A newly discovered molecular feedback process may protect the brain against Alzheimer’s

It is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease: Toxic protein fragments known as amyloid-β clumped together between neurons in a person’s brain. Neurons themselves make amyloid-β, and for reasons that aren’t fully understood, its accumulation ultimately contributes to the memory loss, personality c…

In exploring a fly’s choice of a mate, researchers track the neural circuits that bridge sensory perception and behavioral action

If you’ve ever found a banana overtaken by a swarm of tiny flies, you were in fact witnessing an orgy of amorous Drosophila melanogaster. These trespassers engage in fervent courtship and mating atop ripe fruits, and the sex is anything but casual. In particular, male flies are very precise in cho…

New research sheds light on the molecular origins of Parkinson’s disease

As Parkinson’s disease progresses in patients, a puzzling dichotomy plays out in their brains. One set of neurons degenerates, while a similar population nearby is spared the same degree of damage. Why the difference? An answer to this question could clear the way for preventions and treatments fo…

Fly brains filter out visual information caused by their own movements, like humans

Our brains are constantly barraged with sensory information, but have an amazing ability to filter out just what they need to understand what’s going on around us. For instance, if you stand perfectly still in a room, and that room rotates around you, it’s terrifying. But stand still in a room a…

Gaby Maimon and Vanessa Ruta honored with teaching awards

For Rockefeller graduate students there is labwork, and there is coursework. This year, the university recognizes two teachers who have devoted substantial time, energy, and creativity to designing and leading one of the most challenging and innovative courses within the university’s graduate curr…

Mutations in a single gene underlie vulnerability to two unrelated types of infections

When a genetic error weakens a child’s immunity, otherwise nonthreatening microbes can sicken and sometimes kill. In work published July 9 in Science, researchers at The Rockefeller University and their colleagues identify one surprising case in which mutations in a single gene render children vul…

Lifelong learning is made possible by recycling of histones, study says

Neurons are a limited commodity; each of us goes through life with essentially the same set we had at birth. But these cells, whose electrical signals drive our thoughts, perceptions, and actions, are anything but static. They change and adapt in response to experience throughout our lifetimes, a pr…

Daniel Kronauer chosen as a Pew Scholar in Biomedical Sciences

Daniel Kronauer, head of the Laboratory of Social Evolution, has been named a 2015 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences. Given by the Pew Charitable Trusts, this award provides funding to young investigators of outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health. Kronauer…

A. James Hudspeth elected to the American Philosophical Society

A. James Hudspeth, F.M. Kirby Professor and head of the Laboratory of Sensory Neuroscience, has been elected to the American Philosophical Society in the biological sciences, the society has announced. The American Philosophical Society is an honorary society that elects new members each year w…

Gaby Maimon honored with a McKnight Scholar Award

Gaby Maimon, assistant professor at The Rockefeller University and head of the Laboratory of Integrative Brain Function, has received a McKnight Scholar Award for his research on the neuronal basis for behavior. Maimon and five other young scientists will each receive $75,000 per year for three year…

Odd histone helps suppress jumping genes in stem cells, study says

A family of proteins known as histones provides support and structure to DNA, but for years, scientists have been puzzling over occasional outliers among these histones, which appear to exist for specific, but often mysterious reasons. Now, researchers have uncovered a new purpose for one such histo…

Leslie Vosshall and Jean-Laurent Casanova elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Two Rockefeller scientists have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Leslie B. Vosshall, Robin Chemers Neustein Professor and head of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior, has been named a member, and Jean-Laurent Casanova, senior attending physician, professor…

Under the microscope, strong-swimming swamp bacteria spontaneously organize into crystals

Insects form swarms, fish school, birds flock together. Likewise, one species of bacteria forms dynamic, living crystals, says new research from Rockefeller University. Biophysicists have revealed that fast-swimming, sulfur-eating microbes known as Thiovulum majus can organize themselves into…

Genetic mutation helps explain why, in rare cases, flu can kill

Nobody likes getting the flu, but for some people, fluids and rest aren’t enough. A small number of children who catch the influenza virus fall so ill they end up in the hospital — perhaps needing ventilators to breathe — even while their family and friends recover easily. New research by Roc…

Researchers master gene editing technique in mosquito that transmits deadly diseases

Traditionally, to understand how a gene functions, a scientist would breed an organism that lacks that gene — “knocking it out” — then ask how the organism has changed. Are its senses affected? Its behavior? Can it even survive? Thanks to the recent advance of gene editing technology, this …

Changes in a blood-based molecular pathway identified in Alzheimer’s disease

By the time most people receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease — based on clinical signs of mental decline — their brains have already suffered a decade or more of damage. But although the mechanisms that spur the destruction of neurons in Alzheimer’s disease are not yet fully understood…

Analysis of worm neurons suggests how a single stimulus can trigger different responses

Even worms have free will. If offered a delicious smell, for example, a roundworm will usually stop its wandering to investigate the source, but sometimes it won’t. Just as with humans, the same stimulus does not always provoke the same response, even from the same individual. New research at Rock…

Charles Gilbert to receive Scolnick Prize for visual perception work

Rockefeller’s Charles Gilbert, who studies visual perception, has won the 2015 Edward M. Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience, an award given by the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT to recognize outstanding advances in the field. The prize, announced yesterday, will be formally presented on …

Facial motion activates a dedicated network within the brain, research shows

A face is more than a static collection of features. A shift in gaze, a tightening of the lips, a tilt of the head, these movements convey important clues to someone’s state of mind. Scientists know that two particularly social and visual creatures, humans and rhesus macaque monkeys, have a networ…

 


Kavli Neural Systems Institute
The Rockefeller University
1230 York Avenue, Box 257
New York, NY 10065

Administrator:
Lindsey Cole