The Wall Street Journal profiled Susan L. Solomon, NYSCF CEO and Co-Founder. Part of the “Weekend Confidential” series, previously headlining Robert A.M. Stern, Tom Colicchio, and Cynthia Breazeal, the piece features NYSCF’s work towards preventing mitochondrial diseases, supporting Alzheimer’s clinical trials, and finding a cure for diabetes. Writer, Alexandra Wolfe, highlights Ms. Solomon’s rich career history in executive positions in law and business before advocating for cures. The article honors Ms. Solomon’s vision of a nonprofit to accelerate critical research and improve treatments. She saw stem cell research as a field that was not moving quickly enough to realize its potential. She wanted to create a pathway to conduct research unencumbered by government regulation and funding. Since her son’s diabetes diagnosis, Ms. Solomon had long served as a patient advocate. In 2005, she co-founded NYSCF. Ms. Solomon shares with The Wall Street Journal the importance and intricacies of stem cell research and how stem cells can help scientists finally find cures for diabetes and other diseases in humans, rather than animal models.
Read the article on The Wall Street Journal >>
The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) applauds the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Institute of Medicine (IOM) report released on February 3rd, 2016 that states mitochondrial replacement therapy is ethical, as long as specific conditions and principles are met. A woman with a family history of mitochondrial diseases or who has had a child with such a disease has few options if she wants to have healthy children. NYSCF has been working for several years to bring this new therapy to patients and is pleased that one further hurdle has been overcome to bring MRT to these families.
An eager audience of women and men gathered at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to hear NYSCF CEO and Co-founder Susan L. Solomon share NYSCF’s latest actions towards gender equality. Ms. Solomon kicked off the 2016 event series for the Mount Sinai initiative Women in Science and Medicine (WiSM). In her keynote address on “Actionable Strategies for Advancing Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine,” Ms. Solomon engaged the energetic crowd speaking passionately on the issues closest to her.
NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Ed Boyden, MIT Media Lab, has won the 2016 biomedicine BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award for his work developing ‘optogenetics,’ a method of controlling brain activity with light. Dr. Boyden shares the prize with two neuroscientists who helped develop and evolve the technique: Dr. Gero Miesenböck, Oxford University, and Dr. Karl Deisseroth, Stanford University. These annual awards recognize world-class scientific research and artistic creation with an illustrious list of former and current Laureates, including fellow 2016 Laureate in basic sciences Dr. Stephen Hawking.
NYSCF – Druckenmiller Fellow Larry Luchsinger, PhD, studies the energy producing centers of the cell, mitochondria, to better understand the cells that produce blood cells, hematopoietic stem cells, and blood-based diseases. Dr. Luchsinger, Columbia University Medical Center, published a paper in Nature on his work which investigates the expression of a protein, mitofusin 2, and its affect on the blood cells that form from hematopoietic stem cells. His research showed that this mitochondria-associating protein is necessary to maintain the stem cell properties of hematopoietic stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cells can mature into lymphoid cells, specific immune system cells, or myeloid cells, which include white and red blood cells. By changing the expression of the mitofusin 2 protein, Dr. Luchsinger showed that hematopoietic stem cells would favor differentiating into lymphoid cells. For researchers, this means that after transplanting hematopoietic stem cells, such as bone marrow stem cells, one day they might be able to guide cells to mature into immune system cells.
NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Michael A. Long studies how birds learn songs to understand how patients might re-learn skills following traumatic injuries. Dr. Long, New York University School of Medicine, followed how one bird species, zebra finch, master a song by imitating another bird’s, tutor’s, song. Science featured the resulting report as its cover story. Following the finches revealed that they learn songs “piece-by-piece.” As they master certain elements of a song, inhibition suppresses learning for already-learned components. Dr. Long’s group measured inhibitory currents in the birds’ brains, which showed that the inhibition signals, rather than correlated to bird age, were related to learning. In this picture of song learning, birds imitate what they hear, and as they learn, their premotor neurons show increased activity. Once birds mature, and have learned the song, synaptic inhibition drives down the previous increase in activity in the neurons. By further understanding the mechanism and interplay between suppression and learning activity, researchers can enhance how brain injury patients receive treatment and re-learn lost skills. Dr. Long also authored a study featured in Current Biology on how male and female zebra finches alter the timing of their calls to synchronize their sounds.
NYSCF – Druckenmiller Fellow Zhongwei Cao, PhD, conducts research that may yield breakthrough treatments for lung injury. Dr. Cao, Weill Cornell Medical College, focuses on experiments that move research towards harnessing the innate capacity of lung cells to self-repair. She authored a study in Nature Medicine that elucidates the mechanism behind how fibrosis, thickening and scarring of tissue between cells, can inhibit lung regeneration. The study zooms in on the hematopoietic-vascular niche, the microenvironment where stem cells are located, and parses how the niche regulates lung cell repair. Dr. Cao identifies specific receptors and genes activated when modeling the inflammation that occurs following lung injury and finds that recurring lung injury activates cell types that promote fibrosis and hinder lung repair. The paper, senior authored by Bi-Sen Ding, a NYSCF-Druckenmiller Fellowship alumnus and current Assistant Professor at Weill Cornell Medical College, further suggests that targeting the hematopoietic-vascular niche may provide fruitful therapies to induce lung regeneration.