An article describing NYSCF’s Parkinson’s disease research featuring Jack and Jeff Gernsheimer, a set of identical twins, only one of whom has Parkinson's disease, was published in Nautilus Magazine. Published as the cover story of Cell Reports in November 2014, the paper describes the work of NYSCF scientists to turn skin samples from the twins into induced pluripotent stem cells, then into the neurons affected by Parkinson’s disease.
By comparing these cells, NYSCF scientists were able to observe key features of the disease and identify targets for new potential therapeutic approaches. This research may accelerate and provide insight into new treatments and cures for all Parkinson's disease patients.
NYSCF - Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Zachary Knight and his team from the Universtiy of California, San Francisco conducted experiments that overthrow the scientific consensus on how the brain's 'hunger circuit' regulates eating. The research, published in Cell, shows that the hunger circuit in the brain responds within seconds to the presence of food, as opposed to gradually, and that neurons motivate animals to seek and obtain food, rather than directly prompting them to consume it.
These findings could reshape basic research on feeding behavior as well as direct new strategies for the development of new anti-obesity drugs.
NYSCF Robertson - Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Melissa Warden, Cornell University, and NYSCF - Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Jennifer Phillips-Cremins, Universtiy of Pennsylvania, were named 2015 Sloan Research Fellows.
This prestigious award, given annually since 1955 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, recognizes outstanding young scientists, economists, and mathematicians in the United States and Canada. A total of 126 award recipients from 57 universities were named as the 2015 class.
NYSCF - Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Alex Meissner, Harvard University, published his latest work on the role of transcription factors in stem cell differentiation in Nature. The scientists analyzed genome-wide data on the effects of 38 transcription factors during differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into the three germ layers, and showed downstream effects and context-dependent changes caused by these transcription factors during the differentiation process.
Understanding step by step stem cell development is crucial for future cell replacement treatments and technologies, as well as for basic research.
NYSCF - Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Jayaraj Rajagopal, Massachusetts General Hospital, published his latest research on stem cell response in injury repair in Cell Stem Cell. The paper describes how airway injury induces functional segregation of adult basal cells. Further, the research showed that effective regeneration involves intracellular communication between basal cells and progenitor cells.
This research has broad implications for understanding injury regeneration at a cellular level as well as on why similar stem cells behave differently and work together under the same influence.
NYSCF - Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Feng Zhang, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, published his latest work on genome editing in Nature Biotechnology. Dr. Zhang and his team showed how a targeted genome editing molecule structure called Cas9 works in mammalian cells. Further, this genome editing structure can be induced or dormant due to a split architecture that is activated by chemical induction.
This work to identify specific and targeted genome editing technologies will pave the way to future genetic based treatments.
Dr. Stephen Chang, NYSCF Vice President for Research and Development, presented the NYSCF Global Stem Cell Array technology at the National Institutes of Health Fifth AIMBE Workshop “Validation and Qualification of New In Vitro Tools and Models for the Pre-Clinical Drug Discovery Process.”
This meeting explored the latest technologies in disease modeling and drug discovery including the Array technology, NYSCF's unique automated, robotic technology capable of producing identical human stem cell lines on an industrial scale. The purpose of this series of workshops is to develop guidelines for developing new tools for the pre-clinical and clinical drug development process, and to figure out how to validate and qualify these new technologies so that they become useful, meaningful tools.
NYSCF – Druckenmiller Fellow Alumnus Dr. Bi-Sen Ding, of Weill Cornell Medical College, published in Nature Cell Biology on his latest work studying lung tissue regeneration. The researchers discovered that platelets trigger lung cell regeneration through a chemical signaling cascade. Further, they confirmed their results by showing diminished cell regeneration with a lack of platelets or the initial chemical signal from the platelets.
This research demonstrates an initial step towards full lung regeneration capabilities and, more immediately, provides a biological target niche for lung regenerative therapies and enhancement.