New research shows how experience shapes the brain’s circuitry

The adult brain, long considered to be fixed in its wiring, is remarkably dynamic, according to new research by Rockefeller University scientists. The finding explains how the circuitry of a region of the mouse brain called the somatosensory cortex, which processes input from the various systems in the body that respond to the sense of touch, is continually modified by experience. More »

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Problematic blood clotting contributes to Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease isn’t just about twisted brain cells. It’s also about the blood vessels that feed those neurons. New research at Rockefeller University has shown how the most common element of the plaque deposits found outside the brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients interacts with a blood clotting agent and causes clots to form faster and become harder to break down. The scientists suggest new drugs that would target this association could potentially treat what is increasingly recognized as a crucial element of the disease, the vascular component. More »

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Alzheimer’s brain protein may provide target for treating mental retardation

Reducing the level of β-amyloid, a protein found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome, may improve the cognitive abilities of children with Down syndrome. The new study by Rockefeller University scientists may provide a model for developing new anti-amyloid drugs. More »

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37 students to receive Ph.D.s at Rockefeller’s 52nd Commencement

In addition to graduate degrees, two honorary doctorates will be awarded, to Hanna Holborn Gray, historian, president emeritus of The University of Chicago and chairman of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and Harold E. Varmus, Nobel laureate and president and chief executive of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. More »

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Researchers modify yellow fever vaccine to fight malaria

A genetically modified vaccine originally used to eradicate yellow fever could be the key to stopping a mosquito-borne scourge that afflicts much of the developing world. More »

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Donald W. Pfaff and Bruce S. McEwen will share 2010 Fondation IPSEN Neuronal Plasticity Prize

Donald W. Pfaff and Bruce S. McEwen share the 2010 Fondation IPSEN Neuronal Plasticity Prize for their studies on the neuroendocrine control of behavior. The French foundation presents the award to researchers who publish remarkable, pioneering studies. More »

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New study of psoriatic cells could fire up the study of inflammation

Psoriasis is one of humanity’s oldest know diseases and one of the more widespread, affecting 2 percent of the U.S. population. But it remains largely a mystery. New work identifies markers that define two types of dendritic cells found in psoriatic lesions, findings that will help scientists isolate and study the most troublesome inflammatory variety. More »

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New faculty member seeks secrets of intestinal immunity

Newly named assistant professor Daniel Mucida studies the balance between tolerance and immunity by observing what happens in the intestinal tract. It’s there that the body must cope with a constant stream of foreign antigens from our food as well as a flourishing ecosystem of bacteria, viruses and parasites. More »

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Leslie Vosshall promoted to professor

A neurobiologist whose research focuses on the mechanism of smell has been granted tenure by the university’s Board of Trustees. More »

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Rockefeller immunologist receives Gates Foundation Grand Challenges grant

Jean-Laurent Casanova will launch a new project aimed at understanding how a collection of genetically diverse errors in immunity leads to susceptibility to tuberculosis in children under 15 years old. More »

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Scientists identify potential new target for schizophrenia drugs

A protein that boosts the signaling power of a receptor involved in relaying messages between brain cells may provide a new target for the development of treatments for schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease. More »

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Ralph M. Steinman receives 2010 Heineken Prize for Medicine

Rockefeller immunologist Ralph M. Steinman receives Dutch prize for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in the immune response. More »

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Paul Nurse to resign as Rockefeller president to become president of Royal Society of London in December

Paul Nurse, a Nobel Prize-winning biologist, has served as Rockefeller University’s president since 2003. More »

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Titia de Lange receives AACR Clowes Award

Titia de Lange is the 50th annual recipient of the American Association of Cancer Research’s award to an individual with outstanding recent accomplishments in basic cancer research. More »

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Cell division orchestrated by multiple oscillating proteins, new research finds

New research takes the study of biological rhythms, like the heart beat, to a new level: the cell cycle. Scientists at Rockefeller University have proposed that the orderly succession of events in cell division is governed by a master oscillator, coordinating with independent oscillators that control individual events. Their model suggests that this orderly orchestration is analogous to how our circadian rhythm syncs with the light-dark cycle in our environment. More »

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New gene for hair loss identified

Researchers have discovered a gene involved in hair loss that may lead to new, non-hormonal therapies for baldness. The work, by researchers at Rockefeller, Columbia and Stanford universities, reveals that a mutation in a gene called APCDD1 inhibits a signaling pathway that was known to affect hair growth in mice but never before in humans. More »

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New probe technology illuminates the activation of light-sensing cells

vThrough ingenious combinations of roughly 20 amino acids, the basic building blocks of life, genes can build the proteins that comprise everything from the simplest bacteria to the human brain. In new research published today in Nature, scientists unveil a new technique to illuminate the function of those proteins. The method of genetically targeting a non-natural amino acid to specific locations within a protein could theoretically be adapted to place a fluorescent probe at any position in any protein in a mammalian cell. More »

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Rockefeller University names Martin Rees 2009 Lewis Thomas Prize winner

Cosmologist and astrophysicist Martin Rees has been named the recipient of Rockefeller University’s Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science for 2009. More »

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Leslie Vosshall, Paul Greengard win Dart/NYU biotech awards

Rockefeller scientists receive honors for their contributions to next-generation insect repellents and drugs to treat neurological diseases. More »

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Rockefeller particle physicists already at work as LHC particle collider research starts

A team of high-energy physicists at Rockefeller is part of a more than 2,000-strong group of physicists working on the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. The LHC research program aims to reproduce the conditions that were present a fraction of a second after the Big Bang. More »

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