NYSCF - Druckenmiller Fellow Dr. Sandra Pinho of Albert Einstein College of Medicine published her latest research on bone marrow development. The research, published in Developmental Cell, helps demystify bone marrow development by tracking a specific gene expression, Osterix, through three waves of progney cells.
Bone marrow development is not well understood, therefore this research helps identify how developing bone marrow is organized with implications for tissue regeneration after injury and blood and bone diseases.
Scientists identified a stem cell progney, called Transit-Amplifying Cells or TACs, play a key role in telling hair follicle stem cells when to become active. NYSCF - Druckenmiller Fellow Dr. Ya-Chieh Hsu of The Rockefeller University was first author on the paper, published in Cell.
While the specific signals may differ, TACs are found in many different adult tissues, making this research important for understanding stem cell function in the intestines and blood, among other tissues.
2013 NYSCF - Robertson Prize winner Dr. Amy Wagers and NYSCF Scientific Advisor Dr. Lee Rubin, both of Harvard University, published on their latest breakthrough in muscle and blood stem cell research. The team of scientists published two papers in Science, describing the ability of a protein, GDF11 - previously shown to make the aging hearts of mice appear more like those of younger and healthier mice - also improved brain and skeletal muscle function in aging mice.
The research showed that injections of GDF11 increased the exercise capacity of aging mice as well as improved function in the olfactory area of their brains. This research has vast implications for new treatments and even cures for brain, blood and muscle disorders. The scientists expect human trials with GDF11 to begin in three to five years.
NYSCF - Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Takaki Komiyama of the University of California, San Diego, published the latest work from his lab on motor learning. The research, published in Nature, describes the scientists' discovery that the motor cortex, a part of the brain long known to control motor actions, actually plays an active role in learning new motor movements.
This research could lead to new approaches for the treatment of learning and movement disorders, including Parkinson's disease.
NYSCF - Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Derrick Rossi and a team of scientists at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute have reprogrammed mature mouse blood cells into blood-forming stem cells. Published in Cell, the scientists used a combination of eight genetic switches, or transcription factors, to reprogram the cells into becoming hematopoietic, or blood-forming, stem cells. The cells created are able to self renew and give rise to all the components of blood in the same way as native blood-forming stem cells.
One of the most sought-after goals of regenerative medicine is to create functional hematopoietic stem cells for transplantation therefore eliminating the need for bone marrow transplants.
NYSCF - Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Paola Arlotta, of Harvard University, has made an exciting breakthough and paradigm shift in the basic understanding of neuroanatomy. Her research team discovered that myelin, the fatty coating that insulates nerves and neurons long though to be consistently distributed among all neurons, actually differs in distribution depending on where neurons are located in the brain. Further, the scientists discovered that more sophisticated neurons actually have less myelin that more ancestral neurons.
This finding upends 160 years of neuroanatomy understanding and opens up new avenues of understanding brain function as well as demyleinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia among many others.
NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Deepta Bhattacharya, of the Washington University School of Medicine, published his recent research on improving vaccine response and antibody production longevity through specific adjuvants, or vaccine additives.
Dr. Bhattacharya's work focuses on trying to discern why some vaccines induce immune cells to produce antibodies for a much longer period of time than others and what vaccine additives, or adjuvants, can do to mediate and lengthen this response.
NYSCF – Druckenmiller Fellow Alumnus Dr. Ian Martin published his latest research on a protein that mediates a gene connected to the neurodegenerative effects seen in Parkinson’s disease.
The researchers identified a key protein that links the LRRK2 mutation, a gene mutation commonly seen in sporadic and familial Parkinson’s disease, and neurodegeneration in fly and human neuron models, establishing a novel mechanism of Parkinson’s disease manifestation.