NYSCF in the News

NYSCF - Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Alumnus Dr. Ed Boyden, a professor at MIT Media Lab, has developed a new technique for precisely imaging biopsy samples utilizing standard microscopes. The technique, dubbed “expansion pathology,” relies on a revolutionary imaging approach developed by Dr. Boyden and his team known as expansion microscopy. 


In expansion pathology, researchers dissolve the fixing agents used in biopsy samples, such as paraffin, and chemically tag landmarks within the sample. Then, using an expanding polymer gel, they physically swell a tissue sample to 100 times its original volume before imaging it. This approach offers detailed information about disease pathology and more informative biopsies while simultaneously negating the need for expensive specialized imaging equipment like electron microscopes. 


Reported in Nature Biotechnology, this technique can be applied to a range of diseases including cancer and kidney diseases.



Read the press release in MIT News >>


Watch a video from MIT News >>


Read hte paper in Nature Biotechnology >>

NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Alumna Dr. Shuibing Chen at Weill Cornell Medical School successfully developed a protocol for deriving organoids representing the human digestive tract from stem cells. The scientists derived these 'colonic organoids' from both embryonic stem cells and from induced pluripotent stem cells derived from a patient with a genetic digestive tract disease. Utilizing the iPS cells, Dr. Chen and her team further identified a potential treatment for the condition. 

Published in Nature Medicine, the protocol for creating the colonic organoids can be used in disease modeling and drug discovery for colorectal disease, including cancer and genetic afflictions.


Read the paper in Nature Medicine >>

Thursday, 29 June 2017 11:13

Engineering Livers from Stem Cells

NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Takanori Takebe of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center led an international team of researchers in bioengineering human liver tissues. The research, published in Nature, uncovered previously unknown networks of genetic-molecular crosstalk that control the developmental processes leading to liver tissue, greatly advancing efforts to generate healthy and usable human liver tissue from human pluripotent stem cells.
This research could lead to both better drug development and testing for liver disorders, as well as to future cell and even whole organ replacement therapies using tissues derived from stem cells.
Wednesday, 07 June 2017 15:04

Noninvasive Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep brain stimulation via implanted electrodes has proven an effective therapy for Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and depression among other disorders; however, it remains an invasive and risky operation. NYSCF - Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Ed Boyden and his team at MIT Media Lab have developed a revolutionary new method of noninvasive deep brain stimulation. 
Published in Cell, the scientists, in collaboration with researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the IT’IS Foundation created a way to send electrical signals deep within the brain via electrodes placed on the scalp, as opposed to implanting them deep within the brain at the area of interest. The scientists accomplished this feat via a phenomenon called temporal interference, where two electrodes create a treatment area only where their radiating electrical currents intersect. 
This breakthrough has broad implications for patients and scientists, enabling easier and safer delivery of deep brain stimulation for treatment and opening up new avenues of research that were previously prohibitively expensive and risky. 


Read the press release from MIT News >>

Read the paper in Cell >>

How primates, including humans, easily and effortlessly process social interactions such as playing, fighting and grooming has historically been shrouded in mystery. NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Winrich Freiwald published his latest work in Science describing an exclusive brain region for social cognition. By studying the brain functions of monkeys as they watched videos using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Dr. Freiwald and his colleague at The Rockefeller University discovered that there is a dedicated network of neurons for social interaction processing in the primate brain. These findings may translate to aspects of human cognition and brain functioning. 


Read the press release on EurekAlert >>

Read the paper in Science >>

NYSCF CEO Susan L. Solomon discussed "Harnessing patient data using stem cells to power precision medicine" during her co-located keynote plenary talk at the Cord Blood World Europe, World Advanced Therapies & Regenerative Medicine Congress 2017, and the World Precision Medicine Congress 2017 conferences in London, UK. Following the plenary discussion, Ms. Solomon joined a panel to explore "The Future of Medicine: A Conversation" with Dr. Ian Campbell, Director for Health and Life Sciences, Innovate UK; Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg, Director, Carolinas Cord Blood Bank, Duke University; and Dr. Patrick Keohane, Chief Medical Officer, BenevolentAI.
The annual New York BIO conference in Manhattan also featured Ms. Solomon on a panel exploring the success of "Research Foundations with Innovative Business Models in New York" alongside Annette Bakker of the Children's Tumor Foundation, Michael Batten of the T1D Fund and JDRF, Sohini Chowdhury of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Lara Sullivan of Pfizer, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

To successfully exist, many animals keep track of their angular heading, or directionality, over time as they navigate their environments; however, the brain architecture enabling this capability has never been mapped in any species until now. Using a fly animal model, NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Alumnus Dr. Gaby Maimon and a team at The Rockefeller University successfully mapped two classes of shifting neurons, clockwise- and anticlockwise-shifting, each with two subtypes, whose wiring and physiology provide a means to rotate an angular heading estimate based on the fly’s angular velocity.

Importantly, the features of this biological circuit are similar to proposed computation models of head-direction cells in rodents. Therefore, this research may shed light on neural systems integration in a wide variety of species.


Read the paper in Nature >>

Creating consistent groups of mature neurons from stem cells remains challenging in the lab. NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Investigator and NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Prize recipient Dr. Marius Wernig and his team from Stanford University developed a method to consistently derive GABAergic neurons directly from human stem cells with high levels of maturity. The scientists used lineage-specific transcription factor programming to achieve these remarkable results. 

Published in Nature Methods, this work represents an important step towards enabling the study of diseases affecting these neurons and their signaling ability.


Read the paper in Nature Methods >>

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