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 »

Obesity researcher and former hospital physician-in-chief Jules Hirsch dies

Obesity researcher and former hospital physician-in-chief Jules Hirsch diesHirsch, an early leader in the study of human metabolism, was best known for his work on a landmark study that offered an explanation for why people who lose weight tend to regain it over time. He died at the age of 88. More »

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Agata Smogorzewska, who studies DNA repair, promoted to associate professor

Agata Smogorzewska, who studies DNA repair, promoted to associate professorSince arriving in 2009, Smogorzewska has investigated a type of DNA repair that occurs during cell division when cells remove misplaced links between DNA strands. To identify the genes and understand the molecular mechanisms involved, she investigates this repair through the lens of rare genetic disorders. More »

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New research sheds light on the molecular origins of Parkinson’s disease

New research sheds light on the molecular origins of Parkinson’s diseaseScientists have identified two proteins that appear to have a protective effect in the set of neurons most affected by this degenerative disease. When the activity of these molecules wanes, disease sets in. This discovery suggests new avenues for preventing or treating Parkinson’s. More »

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Mutations linked to genetic disorders shed light on a crucial DNA repair pathway

Mutations linked to genetic disorders shed light on a crucial DNA repair pathwayResearchers have identified two new genes in which mutations can interfere with a cell’s ability to remove misplaced links between DNA strands, and, as a result, cause a rare genetic disorder known as Fanconi anemia. These discoveries offer new insight on a repair process critical to maintaining certain tissues and preventing cancer. More »

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Fly brains filter out visual information caused by their own movements, like humans

Fly brains filter out visual information caused by their own movements, like humansTo cut down on the barrage of sensory information, the human brain ignores input caused by eye movements. Researchers have found a similar process in flies, whose brains mute signals generated by flight turns. This discovery gives researchers a new tool with which to study this silencing process. More »

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Atomic view of cellular pump reveals how bacteria send out proteins

Atomic view of cellular pump reveals how bacteria send out proteinsWithin the structure of the simple but previously unexamined pump, researchers found a striking feature: a large, water-filled channel, a natural environment for the hydrophilic proteins that must pass through. Their work offers new insight into the mechanics that allow bacteria to manipulate their environments. More »

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Cell division speeds up as part of antibody selection, study shows

Cell division speeds up as part of antibody selection, study showsIn response to an infection, the immune system refines its defensive proteins, called antibodies, to better target the invader. New research has revealed two mechanisms that favor the selection of B cells capable of producing antibodies finely tuned to target that invader. More »

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Mutations in a single gene underlie vulnerability to two unrelated types of infections

Mutations in a single gene underlie vulnerability to two unrelated types of infectionsResearchers have identified a surprising case in which defects in a single immune gene render children susceptible to two very different diseases: aggravating, but treatable fungal infections, as well as invasive and potentially fatal bacterial disease. This finding suggests a dual role for that gene, RORC, in human immunity to infection. More »

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Discovery points to a new path toward a universal flu vaccine

Discovery points to a new path toward a universal flu vaccineTaking advantage of a previously unknown mechanism within the immune system, researchers think they may be able to improve the immune response to the flu vaccine. If successful, this could mean less frequent flu shots that offer broad protection against the many strains of this ever-mutating virus. More »

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Lifelong learning is made possible by recycling of histones, study says

Lifelong learning is made possible by recycling of histones, study saysResearchers have discovered a new mechanism that helps neurons make new connections with one another, the basis for learning. Their discovery focuses on one particular type of DNA-supporting protein, the histone H3.3, and its role regulating gene expression. More »

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Postdoc Shruti Naik wins Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation

Postdoc Shruti Naik wins Regeneron Prize for Creative InnovationAwarded by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the prize recognizes innovative young scientists based on proposals they submit that have the potential to drive biomedical research forward. Naik proposed using stem cell-based therapies to treat inflammatory diseases, such as psoriasis, chronic pulmonary obstructive disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. More »

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New faculty member probes actions of molecular machines in gene expression

New faculty member probes actions of molecular machines in gene expressionShixin Liu, a biophysicist and Rockefeller’s newest tenure-track faculty member, investigates how these individual machines within the cell interact, and, in many cases, cooperate to accomplish critical tasks, such as DNA transcription and gene regulation. Liu will establish the Laboratory of Nanoscale Biophysics and Biochemistry as of January 1. More »

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Expert in cryo-electron microscopy to join Rockefeller faculty

Expert in cryo-electron microscopy to join Rockefeller facultyThomas Walz, a structural biologist, will establish the Laboratory of Molecular Electron Microscopy as of September 1. Walz uses cutting edge tools in electron microscopy to examine macromolecular complexes and proteins embedded in cellular membranes, and he will help biologists from other fields use the same techniques for their research. More »

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Sequential immunizations could be the key to HIV vaccine

Sequential immunizations could be the key to HIV vaccineScientists have thought for some time that multiple immunizations, each tailored to specific stages of the immune response, could be used to generate a special class of HIV-fighting antibodies, so-called broadly neutralizing antibodies. These findings provide the first evidence supporting this approach. More »

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Rockefeller sustainability initiatives are honored by the Association of Energy Engineers

DanielThe local award, for institutional energy management of the year, recognizes the consistent achievements of an entire team and is presented to a public sector institution for outstanding accomplishments in developing, organizing, managing and implementing its comprehensive energy management program. Since 2005, Rockefeller has saved an estimated 925 trillion BTUs in energy used for heating and cooling, and lowered its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent.
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First Winners of Tri-Institutional Breakout Awards Announced

Six young scientists at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, and Weill Cornell Medical College have been named the inaugural winners of a new prize for postdoctoral investigators in the life sciences. The Breakout Awards were established by three Tri-Institutional winners of the 2013 Breakthrough Prize in Life Science with additional financial support from the institutions themselves. More »

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Daniel Kronauer chosen as a Pew Scholar in Biomedical Sciences

DanielThe Pew program provides funding to young investigators of outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health. Kronauer will be using ants as a model system to study how the structure of social networks influences the spread of infections. More »

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Twenty-nine students receive doctorates at Rockefeller’s 57th Convocation

At its convocation ceremony on Thursday, June 11, the university’s doctoral candidates were presented their degrees by their mentors. Honorary degrees were given to three female scientists, one of them posthumously, and the four founders of the Women & Science program received the David Rockefeller Award for Extraordinary Service. More »

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Research reveals key interaction that opens the channel into the cell’s nucleus

Research reveals key interaction that opens the channel into the cell’s nucleusScientists have uncovered crucial steps in the dynamic dance that dilates and constricts the nuclear pore complex. Their ongoing work has shown this elaborate portal to and from the cell’s nucleus is much more than the inert structure it was once thought to be. More »

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