Tag Archives: Michel C. Nussenzweig

Research on killer HIV antibodies provides promising new ideas for vaccine design

By detailing the molecular workings of broadly neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies, found in so-called slow-progressing HIV patients, researchers hope to devise a way to arm those who are not equipped with exceptional immunological firepower. New clues reveal that some anti-HIV antibodies are especially sticky and target a previously unrecognized part of the virus. More »

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New HIV vaccine trial first to target dendritic cells

HIV has been able to outmaneuver every vaccine that’s been tried on the virus since it was first discovered in 1981. But no vaccine has yet to directly employ what is arguably the most powerful weapon the human immune system, the dendritic cells that orchestrate the body’s response to infection. Now that’s about to change. Researchers at Rockefeller University, where dendritic cells were discovered in 1973, are building on decades worth of research to launch a novel vaccine trial in hopes of mustering an immune response strong enough to defeat the deadly virus. It’s the first clinical trial of a dendritic cell based vaccine against infection, and researchers hope it will mark a turning point in the battle against AIDS. 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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Immunologist Michel Nussenzweig elected to Institute of Medicine

The head of Rockefeller University’s Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, Nussenzweig’s considerable contributions to the field of immunology include insights into how autoimmune diseases progress and the development of methods that may lead to dendritic-cell vaccines. Nussenzweig is one of 14 current Rockefeller researchers who are members of the Institute of Medicine. More »

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Research defines dendritic cell lineage

For more than 30 years, controversy has reigned over the question of how exactly to differentiate dendritic cells from their immune cell cousins, the monocytes. Now, research published in Science identifies a precursor to classical spleen dendritic cells that defines where such cells diverge from monocytes. The findings could have important implications for research on dendritic cell-based vaccines all over the world. More »

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A natural approach for HIV vaccine

Since HIV was first recognized in the early 1980s, scientists have tried and failed to develop a vaccine based on a handful of “super antibodies” that so far have been impossible to produce in humans. Now new research detailing the dynamic, natural immune response in “slow-progressing” HIV patients suggests that an effective HIV vaccine may come from a shotgun approach targeting several parts of the virus rather than a magic bullet targeting only one. More »

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An enzyme that mutates antibodies also targets a cancer-causing oncogene

The human immune system runs a risky business. It mutates its own DNA to diversify defenses against foreign invaders it has never before encountered. Unfortunately, these mutations sometimes miss the mark, and the result can be lethal cancer. Now Rockefeller University scientists have found that the same enzyme that enables an effective immune response is also responsible for the DNA breaks that cause lymphomas. More »

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Michel Nussenzweig wins Howley Prize for Arthritis Research

Michel C. Nussenzweig, head of the Laboratory of Molecular Immunology at Rockefeller University, is one of this year’s two winners of the Lee C. Howley Sr. Prize for Arthritis Research. The award will be presented at the Evening of Honors reception of the annual Arthritis Foundation meeting November 14. More »

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A new role for a critical DNA molecule in the immune system

Researchers find that a molecule that helps repair broken DNA is required for the genetic reshuffling that enables the immune system to adapt to new threats. The finding furthers our understanding of a process that is fundamental to our immune response but can also lead to cancers and other diseases when it falters. 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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Critical protein prevents damaged DNA from persisting through generations

When B lymphocytes lack the ATM protein, chromosomal breaks created during their maturation go unrepaired, and checkpoints that normally prevent the damaged cell from replicating are lost. More »

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Dendritic cells are replenished from blood

New research helps resolve an ongoing debate about where dendritic cells, which help direct the body’s immune responses, originate and how they multiply, especially in the spleen and lymph system. The findings are especially important for scientists developing immune-cell-targeted vaccines. More »

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De Lange, Nussenzweig elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Rockefeller University faculty will become members of the independent policy and research center devoted to studying complex emerging problems. More »

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First-ever images of a living immune structure shows B cells in action

When an infection strikes, B cells act as the immune system’s tag-and-release team, hunting down the invading pathogen with incredible accuracy and labeling it with antibodies that tell other immune cells to destroy it. Now, Rockefeller University researchers have found a way to peer inside the germinal centers where B cells learn to recognize their prey, and discovered that the structures are not closed factories, as most scientists previously believed, but are open, dynamic systems through which B cells continually pass. More »

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Preparing a multi-pronged attach: Different subsets of dendritic cells help expand the immune system’s response

Dendritic cells coordinate and direct the body’s immune response, playing a crucial role in our ability to fend off disease. In findings that give a boost to vaccine research, Rockefeller University scientists show that different types of dendritic cells process antigens differently. More »

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Damaged tumor suppressor plays major role in lymphoma development

Scientists have known for years that chromosomal translocations — abnormalities in which a piece of one chromosome breaks off and fuses to another — lead to a type of blood cancer called lymphoma, but little was known about how cells accumulate translocations or defend themselves against them. Now, Rockefeller researchers say a malfunction in tumor suppressor proteins like p53 or p19 result in the development of translocations induced by AID, a “genome destroyer” that initiates DNA damage. More »

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“Genome destroyer” identified in the immune system

Our bodies have such great capacity to heal, it’s hard to imagine that we naturally manufacture a product in our immune system that can endanger our own DNA and provide a biological footstep to cancer. But this is precisely the case. More »

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Measuring early antibody aptituteds

For the first time, a group of immunologists from the laboratory of Molecular Immunology, headed by Michel Nussenzweig, Ph.D., measured the immunity aptitude of developing B cells found in the bone marrow and blood of healthy adults. They discovered that between 55-75% of premature B cells are prone to bad behavior, or auto-reactivity. More »

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“Sugar-Coating” on Proteins May Safeguard Body Against Further Insult

Much like a cadre of emergency workers at the scene of an accident, the body’s immune system cells gather at the site of an injury, whether it is a simple cut or an infection. This microscopic crowd largely consists of inflammatory cells and proteins, and together they marshal the immune system’s arsenal to bring the offending stimulus under control. More »

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Many Immune Cells Are Fine-tuned to Prevent “Friendly Fire”

About one-quarter of the body’s antibodies are produced by immune cells that have had their genetic code revised during a halt in their development, scientists at Rockefeller University and three other institutions have found. The study is the first to show that this phenomenon, called “receptor editing,” plays a major role in the creation of the body’s huge antibody array. More »

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