Scientists understand that socializing triggers the brain’s reward system. Brain cells in a specific region of the brain secrete dopamine, a chemical involved in addiction, movement and motivation. NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Kay Tye of MIT set out to make sense of how the brain responds to loneliness. Dr. Tye and her team discovered a role for brain cells that secrete dopamine, dopamine neurons, in a specific brain region which showed changes in activity after social isolation. Using light to control neurons, a technique known as optogenetics pioneered by fellow NYSCF – Robertson Investigator Ed Boyden, further revealed the role of these neurons in loneliness and socializing. The resulting study, published in Cell, helps researchers makes sense of loneliness on an unprecedented cellular level.
NYSCF CEO and Co-founder Susan L. Solomon spoke with Women’s Health’s Online Senior Editor Caitlin Abber for their new podcast “Uninterrupted.” Ms. Solomon participated in a lively discussion on women in science, an issue she has spearheaded to take actionable steps on and explored extensively within NYSCF’s IWISE, Initiative on Women in Science and Engineering, program. The podcast represents a new branch of Women’s Health magazine covering issues closest to women in health, culture, and politics.
The Wall Street Journal profiled Susan L. Solomon, NYSCF CEO and Co-Founder. Part of the “Weekend Confidential” series, previously headlining Robert A.M. Stern, Tom Colicchio, and Cynthia Breazeal, the piece features NYSCF’s work towards preventing mitochondrial diseases, supporting Alzheimer’s clinical trials, and finding a cure for diabetes. Writer, Alexandra Wolfe, highlights Ms. Solomon’s rich career history in executive positions in law and business before advocating for cures. The article honors Ms. Solomon’s vision of a nonprofit to accelerate critical research and improve treatments. She saw stem cell research as a field that was not moving quickly enough to realize its potential. She wanted to create a pathway to conduct research unencumbered by government regulation and funding. Since her son’s diabetes diagnosis, Ms. Solomon had long served as a patient advocate. In 2005, she co-founded NYSCF. Ms. Solomon shares with The Wall Street Journal the importance and intricacies of stem cell research and how stem cells can help scientists finally find cures for diabetes and other diseases in humans, rather than animal models.
Read the article on The Wall Street Journal >>
The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) applauds the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Institute of Medicine (IOM) report released on February 3rd, 2016 that states mitochondrial replacement therapy is ethical, as long as specific conditions and principles are met. A woman with a family history of mitochondrial diseases or who has had a child with such a disease has few options if she wants to have healthy children. NYSCF has been working for several years to bring this new therapy to patients and is pleased that one further hurdle has been overcome to bring MRT to these families.
An eager audience of women and men gathered at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to hear NYSCF CEO and Co-founder Susan L. Solomon share NYSCF’s latest actions towards gender equality. Ms. Solomon kicked off the 2016 event series for the Mount Sinai initiative Women in Science and Medicine (WiSM). In her keynote address on “Actionable Strategies for Advancing Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine,” Ms. Solomon engaged the energetic crowd speaking passionately on the issues closest to her.
NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Ed Boyden, MIT Media Lab, has won the 2016 biomedicine BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award for his work developing ‘optogenetics,’ a method of controlling brain activity with light. Dr. Boyden shares the prize with two neuroscientists who helped develop and evolve the technique: Dr. Gero Miesenböck, Oxford University, and Dr. Karl Deisseroth, Stanford University. These annual awards recognize world-class scientific research and artistic creation with an illustrious list of former and current Laureates, including fellow 2016 Laureate in basic sciences Dr. Stephen Hawking.
NYSCF – Druckenmiller Fellow Larry Luchsinger, PhD, studies the energy producing centers of the cell, mitochondria, to better understand the cells that produce blood cells, hematopoietic stem cells, and blood-based diseases. Dr. Luchsinger, Columbia University Medical Center, published a paper in Nature on his work which investigates the expression of a protein, mitofusin 2, and its affect on the blood cells that form from hematopoietic stem cells. His research showed that this mitochondria-associating protein is necessary to maintain the stem cell properties of hematopoietic stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cells can mature into lymphoid cells, specific immune system cells, or myeloid cells, which include white and red blood cells. By changing the expression of the mitofusin 2 protein, Dr. Luchsinger showed that hematopoietic stem cells would favor differentiating into lymphoid cells. For researchers, this means that after transplanting hematopoietic stem cells, such as bone marrow stem cells, one day they might be able to guide cells to mature into immune system cells.