NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Deepta Bhattacharya, of the Washington University School of Medicine, published his recent research on improving vaccine response and antibody production longevity through specific adjuvants, or vaccine additives.
Dr. Bhattacharya's work focuses on trying to discern why some vaccines induce immune cells to produce antibodies for a much longer period of time than others and what vaccine additives, or adjuvants, can do to mediate and lengthen this response.
NYSCF – Druckenmiller Fellow Alumnus Dr. Ian Martin published his latest research on a protein that mediates a gene connected to the neurodegenerative effects seen in Parkinson’s disease.
The researchers identified a key protein that links the LRRK2 mutation, a gene mutation commonly seen in sporadic and familial Parkinson’s disease, and neurodegeneration in fly and human neuron models, establishing a novel mechanism of Parkinson’s disease manifestation.
NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Kristen Brennand, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, published her latest work on the physical differences between different lines of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells made from patients with schizophrenia.
Her results demonstrated that human iPS cells resemble fetal brain tissue and, therefore, are an ideal model for investigating disease predisposition. NYSCF is collaborating with Dr. Brennand on using iPS cells to research schizophrenia and other mental illness.
ALS research that NYSCF has supported for 8 years is now progressing to clinical trials for patients with this devastating disease. NYSCF began supporting Dr. Kevin Eggan's laboratory in 2007 when he was unable to obtain funds to make ALS diseased cells in a dish. NYSCF has been supporting his laboratory since then and the continued success of this research has culminated with two related papers that were published today on a potential ALS treatment that will now go to clinical trials.
The two papers, published today in Cell Stem Cell and Cell Reports, outline a discovery in which an epilepsy medicine may be useful in the treatment of ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. First author on both papers was Evangelos Kiskinis, PhD, a NYSCF - Druckenmiller Fellow alumnus, working in the laboratory of Dr. Eggan at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.
While a great deal more research needs to be done before determining the drug's sucess, the researchers are currently designing an initial clinical trial to test the safety of the drug in ALS patients with clinicians at Massachusetts General Hospital.
NYSCF – Druckenmiller Fellow Dr. Wee-Wei Tee of New York University published a paper earlier this month in Cell on the key role a specific gene plays in priming the developmental genes of embryonic mouse cells. Gene priming is a nuanced and little understood process leading to gene activation and deactivation leading to pluripotentcy, or the ability for a cell to become any type of cell in the body.
NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Ed Boyden of MIT published his latest research in Nature Methods describing a new technique to study brain function by controlling two separate populations of neurons with different colors of light. Dr. Boyden is the creator of the reserach field of 'optogenetics' which uses wavelengths of light to study brain and neuron activity.
Dr. Scott Noggle, Director of the NYSCF Laboratory and NYSCF – Charles Evans Senior Research Fellow for Alzheimer’s Disease, presented the latest in Alzheimer’s research at the Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center’s (ADRC) 10th Annual Alzheimer's Disease Education Conference & Expo. Dr. Noggle gave a talk on the ability of stem cells to model the disease ‘in a dish’ and the implications of this technology on Alzheimer’s research and potential future treatments and cures. The event was held on March 6th in Melville, NY.
NYSCF - Druckenmiller Fellow Dilek Colak was the lead author on a study uncovering a genetic trigger for the most common form of intellectual disability and autism. Published in Science, the Weill Cornell study describes the identification of a mechanism that shuts off a gene associated with Fragile X syndrome. Additionally, the scientists showed that a drug blocking this silencing mechanism could prevent the disease from developing, suggesting a potential therapeutic treatment for all related Fragile X disorders including but not limited to mental retardation and multisystem failure.