NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Dragana Rogulja, Harvard Medical School, published her lastest research studying the sex drive of male fruit flies to glean insights into how animals choose behaviors.
Published in Neuron, the researchers showed that the mating drive in male fruit flies is controlled by dopamine levels in one specific area of the brain, shedding light on how animals make and carry out decisions to perform or not to perform a behavior. The findings showed how changes to an internal state, in this case dopamine levels, can change behavior against what an animal was previously motivated to do. This research helps shed light on how behaviors are motivated across species.
NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Gabsang Lee and a team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University recently reported that a type of lab-grown human nerve cells can partner with heart muscle cells to create contractions.
Many promising new drug candidates fail in clinical trials due to nervous system side effects. Published in Cell Stem Cell, these induced pluripotent stem cell-derived nerve cells will enable new research on disorders affecting the nervous system, including replicating patients’ diseases in a dish, as well as improved drug candidate testing.
NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Alumnus and 2014 NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Prize recipient Dr. Marius Wernig, Stanford University, published his latest research dissecting the steps through which mouse cells go through during reprogramming from stem cells into neurons.
The research, published in Nature, scrutinizes the stages through which individual cells progress during the reprogramming process. Understanding the specific path cells take during differentiation is critical to developing successful future cell replacement therapies and treatments.
NYSCF Principal Investigator Dr. Valentina Fossati shared how stem cell technology has revolutionized multiple sclerosis research during the session on remyelination at the Multiple Sclerosis Meeting hosted by the ARSEP Foundation in Paris, France.
Dr. Fossati leads the NYSCF multiple sclerosis research team and has developed an accelerated protocol to create human stem cell models of multiple sclerosis in a petri dish, a crucial step enabling new research around the globe. The goal of Dr. Fossati's research is to continually progress towards new treatments and, ultimately, cures for all types of multiple sclerosis.
Since its inception, NYSCF has taken a leading role in helping to build out the biotech sector in New York. As a step towards realizing this goal, NYSCF CEO Susan L. Solomon chaired a plenary panel at the New York BIO conference where fellow New York science, government, and institutional leaders discuss ”Building New York Into a Biotech Hub.”
Panelists Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President, The Rockefeller University, Dr. Gillian Small, Vice Chancellor for Research, The City University of New York (CUNY), and Maria Torres-Springer, President and CEO, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) discussed policies and initiatives that each of their respective institutions have put into motion or are planning to pursue to grow the New York bioscience industry into a global competitor.
In the human body, adult tissues replace lost cells via pools of stem cells. However, the mechanisms of this process are not fully understood. NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Valentina Greco, Yale University, shed light on this process by studying the lifetime of individual skin cells from the ears and paws of mice using specialized imaging techniques.
The research, published in Science, suggested that skin stem cells have equal potential to divide or directly differentiate, and that cell behavior is not coordinated between cellular generations. This research sheds light on how a tissue is maintained through stem cell behaviors, a key piece of future regenerative medicine therapies. NYSCF – Druckenmiller Fellow Alumnus Dr. Panteleimon Rompolas was first author on the paper.
NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Ravindra Majeti, Stanford University School of Medicine, improved on human blood disease modeling using mouse models. The research, published in Nature Medicine, describes advanced stem cell and transplant biology techniques used to create a system that more fully mimics the human bone marrow environment in mouse models.
This advance will be useful for investigating a wide variety of human blood and bone marrow diseases including blood and bone marrow cancers.
NYSCF’s origin story and philanthropic mission were a highlight at the 2016 Town and Country Philanthropy Summit, held at the New York Historical Society. NYSCF CEO and Co-founder Susan L. Solomon joined Katharina Harf of DKMS, Jessica Seinfeld of Baby Buggy, Brooke Garber Neidich of the Child Mind Institute, and moderator Whitney Williams of williamsworks in a panel discussion on “Turning a personal issue into a foundation.” Each of the panelists shared how they started and built successful foundations around causes they were deeply invested in. In addition, Town & Country Magazine named Ms. Solomon a Top 50 Philanthropist of 2016.