Two Rockefeller postdocs recognized by Blavatnik Regional Awards

Two Rockefeller postdocs recognized by Blavatnik Regional Awards

Hani Goodarzi and Ziv Shulman have been named a winner and a finalist, respectively, by the Blavatnik Regional Awards, which honor outstanding postdoctoral scientists in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Goodarzi is a postdoc in Sohail Tavazoie’s lab; Shulman, a former postdoc in Michel Nussenzweig’s lab, has since established his own lab at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

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Newly described ion channel structure reveals how excited neurons settle down

The long anticipated structure of an ion channel reveals how excited neurons settle downThe channel, Slo2.2, helps restore neurons’ internal electrical state, and so prevents them from firing at too high a frequency for too long, which has the potential to damage the cells. With the new information about Slo2.2’s configuration, researchers can better understand how it accomplishes this. More »

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Finches offer researchers a new tool to study Huntington’s disease

Finches offer researchers a new tool with which to study Huntington’s diseaseThe most common lab animals, rats and mice, can’t tell scientists much about speech disorders. However, a new study shows how songbirds, specifically zebra finches, may be able to aid research on neurodegenerative disorders that affect speech and vocalization. More »

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Researchers probe the physical forces involved in creating the mitotic spindle

Researchers probe the physical forces involved in creating the mitotic spindleScientists have gained new insight into the formation of the spindle, which is the molecular machine that divides up genetic material prior to cell division. Their work focuses on the motor protein, kinesin-5, which helps to organize the spindle’s filaments. More »

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Funding from Kavli Foundation to establish new institute at Rockefeller devoted to neuroscience

The Kavli Foundation and The Rockefeller University today announced the formation of the Kavli Neural Systems Institute (Kavli NSI) at Rockefeller, funded by a $20 million endowment supported equally by Kavli and Rockefeller. The Institute will become part of a network of seven Kavli Institutes carrying out fundamental research in neuroscience, and a broader network of 20 Kavli Institutes dedicated to astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience, and theoretical physics. More »

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Study offers insight on how a new class of antidepressants works

Study offers insight on how a new class of antidepressants worksThe experimental drugs target brain cells’ ability to respond to the chemical messenger glutamate, however, it has been unclear how they work. The recent discovery of a molecular amplification system helps explain how the drugs alter signaling in particular neurons to achieve an antidepressant effect. More »

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Helen Hobbs will receive the 2015 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize

Helen Hobbs will receive the 2015 Pearl Meister Greengard PrizeHobbs, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, is being recognized for her work on the genetic determinants of plasma lipoprotein levels and risk for cardiovascular disease. The prize is intended to honor the extraordinary work of established women scientists and to motivate young women considering careers in the sciences. More »

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Heilbrunn Center announces recipients of its Nurse Scholar Awards

Three nurses at New York state universities have been selected as recipients of the awards, which The Rockefeller University gives annually to support nurses while they pursue independent research. This year’s winners will study sleep disruption associated with asthma in women, the relationship between mothers’ self-perceptions and children’s diet, and how self-perception as a drinker affects smoking. More »

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New findings help explain how molecules are speedily transported into and out of the cell’s nucleus

New findings help explain how molecules are speedily transported into and out of the cell's nucleusThe nuclear pore complex, a gate into and out of the nucleus, is capable of an impressive feat: allowing large molecules to pass through, both selectively and quickly. Researchers have now identified the molecular mechanism that makes this possible. More »

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For worms, positive thinking is the key to finding food

For worms, positive thinking is the key to finding foodA newly described neural circuit in the brain of C. elegans derives precise and simple information from the smell of food, nudging the animal in the direction of the food source. This discovery shows the worm brain may be more sophisticated in processing sensory information than previously realized. More »

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Joel Cohen and Torsten Wiesel receive Golden Goose Awards for research with unexpected benefits

Joel Cohen and Torsten Wiesel receive Golden Goose Awards for research with unexpected benefits

The Golden Goose Award, which honors seemingly obscure federally funded research that has led to major breakthroughs, recognizes Cohen’s development of a map of human population by geographic altitude and Wiesel’s experiments showing cats dots or lights projected on a screen. Cohen’s project has had many applications in fields ranging from microchip manufacturing to human disease, while Wiesel’s discoveries led to a better understanding of the visual system, as well as improved treatment of childhood cataracts.

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New findings shed light on fundamental process of DNA repair

New findings shed light on fundamental process of DNA repairScientists have identified a new component of the molecular machinery a cell uses to repair damaged DNA. The discovery adds important knowledge about a fundamental life process that protects from diseases such as cancer. More »

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Newest addition to Rockefeller faculty studies how cellular metabolism contributes to disease

Newest addition to Rockefeller faculty studies how cellular metabolism contributes to diseaseAfter establishing the Laboratory of Metabolic Regulation and Genetics in January, Kivanç Birsoy will study how cells change their metabolism in the contexts of cancer, mitochondrial disorders, and inborn errors of metabolism. Ultimately, he hopes to develop therapies for these conditions. More »

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Research identifies a protein that helps determine the fate of RNA

Research identifies a protein that helps determine the fate of RNARNA can be translated into protein or turned into gene-regulating molecules. A newly discovered “reader” recognizes a chemical instruction tag affixed to RNA, an important step in determining the RNA’s destiny. Because of the processes involved, the research has implications for cells’ normal function and disease. More »

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Promising class of new cancer drugs causes memory loss in mice

Promising class of new cancer drugs causes memory loss in miceNew research shows that a family of experimental cancer drugs can induce neurological changes in mice. The findings underscore the need for more research to determine whether these compounds can enter the brain, where they potentially might cause side effects such as memory loss. More »

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Expression of a single gene lets scientists easily grow hepatitis C virus in the lab

Expression of a single gene lets scientists easily grow hepatitis C virus in the labIn devising a method to readily grow hepatitis C in the laboratory, scientists might have overcome a major hurdle for basic research into the virus and the disease it causes.
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A newly discovered molecular feedback process may protect the brain against Alzheimer’s

A newly discovered molecular feedback process may protect the brain against Alzheimer’s Researchers have identified within neurons a series of molecular interactions — known as a pathway — that can dampen the production of the Alzheimer’s protein amyloid-β. These results suggest a new route in the search for therapies for this degenerative disease. More »

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Luciano Marraffini and Robert Roeder recognized by ASBMB awards

Luciano Marraffini and Robert Roeder recognized by ASBMB awards

Marraffini, who studies the adaptive immune systems, known as CRISPR-Cas systems, found in some bacteria and used in genome editing, has won the Earl and Thressa Stadtman Scholar Award. Meanwhile, Robert Roeder, who investigates the mechanisms that regulate transcription, the process by which genes are copied into RNA, is the recipient of the Herbert Tabor Research Award.

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In exploring a fly’s choice of a mate, researchers track the neural circuits that bridge sensory perception and behavioral action

In exploring a fly’s choice of a mate, researchers track the neural circuits that bridge sensory perception and behavioral actionA new study explains how taste and smell signals travel from a male fruit fly’s sense organs and into his higher brain areas as he assesses a potential mating partner. The research may provide important clues about how our brains integrate different sense perceptions to make decisions. More »

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New research helps explain why a deadly blood cancer often affects children with malaria

New research helps explain why a deadly blood cancer often affects children with malariaChildren in equatorial Africa who suffer from malaria are at high risk of developing Burkitt’s lymphoma, a highly aggressive blood cancer. A new study sheds light on the long-standing mystery of how the two diseases are connected. More »