NYSCF - Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Takaki Komiyama, University of California San Diego, identified a key step in how neurons process motor learning. Using two-photon imaging in awake mice, the scientists showed that somatostatin inhibition within a specific class of neurons is a key regulator of learning-related changes and the acquisition of motor skills.
Understanding how normal neural circuits work in motor skills learning has vast implications on research and ultimately finding treatments and cures for diseases and injuries related to these neural pathways.
NYSCF - Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Jacob Hanna, Weizmann Institute of Science, tested an alternate method of stem cell transdifferentiation - the process of a somatic cell turning into other cell types without passing through a pluripotent state - showing that the vast majority of reprogrammed mouse heart and brain stem cells created using this method did, in fact, briefly pass through a pluripotent state.
These findings, published in Nature Biotechnology, underscore the importance of understanding the steps and phases during cell reprogramming using different methods.
NYSCF hosted the Sixth Annual Innovators Retreat bringing together over 50 NYSCF-supported scientists for a full week of presentations, introductions, and discussion on the latest research in the field. Talks during the week included a keynote address featuring Dr. Christopher White of Microsoft, formerly at DARPA, who spoke about software he developed to search the entire internet – including the dark web – to help stop human trafficking.
NYSCF Research Institute scientists, NYSCF – Druckenmiller Fellows, and NYSCF – Robertson Investigators comprise the global NYSCF Innovator community, the preeminent network of stem cell scientists doing cutting-edge research to bring us closer to cures.
Susan L. Solomon presented at the Days of Molecular Medicine Conference at the Karolinska Institutet, the institution responsible for awarding the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, in Stockholm. The theme for this year focused on Emerging Partnerships in Translational Science and Medicine: Academia, Hospitals, Foundations and the Private Sector. Ms. Solomon spoke about “Getting to cures: A new model of high-tech collaborative research.”
In addition, Ms. Solomon hosted a panel about the future of regenerative medicine at the New York BIO 25th Anniversary Conference and served as a keynote interviewee in London at the World Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Congress. The interview, titled, Realising the promise: How the NYSCF is enabling the acceleration of cures through stem cell research, offered attendees a glimpse of NYSCF’s unique game-changing approach to modern medicine.
A team of NYSCF scientists demonstrated that small volumes of cryopreserved peripheral and cord blood can be reprogrammed efficiently in a convenient, cost-effective, and scalable way. Further, the scientists developed induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell colonies 2-3 weeks faster than previous reports. The iPS cells derived were also transgene-free, meaning they did not have genomic rearrangements.
This method, published in Stem Cell Reviews and Reports, enables the reprogramming potential and, therefore, potential for use in research and future treaments of innumerable limited biobanked blood samples, including those from children and newborns that cannot easily provide larger blood samples.
NYSCF - Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Kay Tye, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, provided a mechanistic explanation characterizing how neurons in the amygdala - the part of the brain responsible for memory, decision-making, and emotional reactions - differentiate between positive and negative associations.
The ability for an organism to differentiate between negative and positive situations or outcomes is critical for survival. In addition, defects or errors in this process may underlie many psychiatric diseases. This research was published in Nature.
NYSCF - Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Paul Tesar, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, and a team of scientists discovered that two drugs, one used to treat athletes foot and the other used to treat eczema, stimulated stem cells to replace the brain cells lost in multiple sclerosis.
This research, published in Nature and conducted using both mice and human brain cells, could lead to the first treatments capable of stopping and actually reversing the damage seen in multiple sclerosis and other neurologic conditions.