Tag Archives: F. Nina Papavasiliou

Rockefeller graduate Monica Mugnier wins 2016 NIH Early Independence Award

Monica MugnierA 2016 graduate of Rockefeller’s Ph.D. program, Mugnier is one of 16 junior scientists across the country to receive an Early Independence Award. The award, which is given as a five-year grant of up to $1.25 million, allows exceptional investigators to skip postdoctoral training and move immediately into independent research positions. More »

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Study suggests new way to help the immune system fight off sleeping sickness parasite

Study suggests new way to help the immune system fight off sleeping sickness parasiteThere are currently few treatments for the disease, and those that exist have substantial side effects. A new study reveals a method, involving epigenetic mechanisms, that causes the African sleeping sickness parasite to change into a new state, potentially making it easier for the host immune system to eliminate it. More »

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To survive, a parasite mixes and matches its disguises, study suggests

To survive, a parasite mixes and matches its disguises, study suggests A detailed look at the African sleeping sickness parasite’s strategy for evading its hosts’ immune systems revealed that the blood parasites assume a surprising diversity of protein coat disguises. In fact, the number of disguises necessary to maintain a long-term infection appears to exceed the functional genes that encode them. More »

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Scientists identify DNA that regulates antibody production

When foreign invaders trip the immune system’s alarm, antibodies need to be specially sculpted to attack them head on. New research now shows that gene segments called enhancers control the reshuffling of antibody genes that makes such a precise and coordinated attack possible. More »

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Parasite breaks its own DNA to avoid detection

The parasite Trypanosoma brucei, which causes African sleeping sickness, is like a thief donning a disguise. Every time the host’s immune cells get close to destroying the parasite, it escapes detection by rearranging its DNA and changing its appearance. Now, researchers at Rockefeller University reveal how the parasite initiates its getaway — by cleaving both strands of its DNA. More »

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Scientists identify a key regulator of DNA mutations

As a general rule, your DNA is not something you want rearranged. But there are exceptions — especially when it comes to fighting infections. Now, two teams of researchers at Rockefeller University independently show how a tiny, recently identified molecule once implicated in cancer can not only help defend against it but also keep invading microbes at bay. More »

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Protein linked to antibodies also has an antiviral function, researchers show

The ability to adapt is key to the immune system’s strength. Now, research shows that even old proteins sometimes take on new tasks. Rockefeller University scientists have found that AID, a protein known for its role in antibody diversity, also plays an antiviral role in B cells, a function it had long before antibodies evolved. More »

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