NYSCF in the News
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 15:58

New Tools for Simultaneous, Multi-Gene Editing

NYSCF - Robertson Stem Cell Investigator and NYSCF - Robertson Stem Cell Prize Awardee Dr. Feng Zhang, the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, published his latest work expanding, modifying, and improving the CRISPR gene editing system.
The research, published in Nature Biotechnology, describes the ability to create CRISPR RNA that can be used to simplify multi-target genome editing. The scientists demonstrated this new tool by editing four genes in mammalian cells and three genes in the mouse brain, simultaneously. 
Gene editing technologies have opened up an entirely new arm of scientific research. The ability to modify multiple genes at one time is extremely useful for researching and ultimately, treating complex multi-gene conditions and diseases.  
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 15:46

Steps Towards Engineering Biological Cascades

NYSCF - Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Ed Boyden and his team at MIT Media Lab published their latest work on how to modify genetic circuits. The research, published in Nature Chemistry, describes the successful creation of synthetic biology cascades within liposomes, structures within cells, an important step towards engineering biological reactions for a variety of functions. 


Read the paper in Nature Chemistry >>

NYSCF - Druckenmiller Fellow Alumnus Dr. Fabien Lafaille, The Rockefeller University, and NYSCF - Druckenmiller Fellow Alumnus and NYSCF - Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Alumnus Dr. Gabsang Lee, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, authored a paper discussing the use of induced pluripotent stem cells to explore why patients with familial dysautonomia exhibit differing disease severities despite identical genetic mutations. 
Published in Nature Medicine, the scientists created induced pluripotent stem cells from patient skin samples, and then turned these stem cells into the neurons affected by the disease. While the genetic mutations were identical amongst different patients, the derived neurons exhibited differences in survival and specification. 
This study demonstrates that induced pluripotent stem cell disease modeling accurately captures the differences in disease severity, presenting an important step towards personalized medicine. 
The Society for Neuroscience named NYSCF - Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Kay Tye as the recipient of the 2016 Young Investigator Award for her exceptional work studying the fundamentals of how the human brain interprets pain and pleasure. Dr. Tye is an Assistant Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Picower Institute for Learning and Memory.
Established in 1983, the $15,000 Young Investigator Award recognizes the outstanding achievements and contributions of a young neuroscientist who has recently received an advanced professional degree. The award was presented at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting.
At some point in our lives, we or the people we love become patients. The results of the 2016 election will not change that fact. But they may well have a major impact on the funding of stem cell research, our nation’s commitment to advanced research, and our ability to pursue the highest and best science free of any political obstacles.  
The New York Stem Cell Foundation was created in 2005 at an exceptionally difficult time for stem cell research, when the federal government explicitly banned the use of government funds to support embryonic stem cell research. NYSCF, as a privately funded organization, played a key role in leading the way out of that difficult period for science. Our independence and private support since then have given us the freedom to pursue the most advanced research, irrespective of politics, and to build a broad constituency for the most advanced science. 
Over the past eleven years, NYSCF has made tremendous progress and helped to elevate the entire field of stem cell research. We are hopeful that the broad coalition of both public and private support for stem cell research that we have seen over the last eight years will not be lost. Today, NYSCF remains independent as an institution and regardless of the political climate, our only priority is to do everything we can to assure that the search for better treatments and cures continues to advance unencumbered by politics. 
Thank you for your ongoing support of NYSCF and stem cell research.

Susan L. Solomon
CEO and Co-Founder
The New York Stem Cell Foundation


Leaders in stem cell biology and researchers at the forefront of translational medicine convened at the 2016 NYSCF Conference to discuss the latest advances in using stem cells to understand and treat human disease. Through presentations, panels, posters and numerous informal discussions, attendees gained exciting new insights into disease mechanisms and heard about novel approaches to treat a wide range of debilitating conditions.  
Key meeting highlights included updates on stem cell research on:
Macular Degeneration - Presentations by Drs. Masayo Takahashi, RIKEN-CDB, Japan, and Sally Temple, Neural Stem Cell Institute, on the initiation of clinical trials involving stem cell-based treatments for macular degeneration. 
Cancer - Drs. Isabelle Riviere, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Saar Gill, University of Pennsylvania, and Khalid Shah, Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, shared the latest CAR-T and stem cell-based cancer therapies, an exciting and promising approach for patients around the world.
In addition, a keynote address featured Greg Simon, Executive Director of the Cancer Moonshot Taskforce, who discussed the President's initiative to use novel collaboration structures and a boost of funding to make giant research leaps against many different types of the disease.
Tissue Engineering - Novel approachs to treating complicated disease included a presentation by Dr. Tracy Grikscheit, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the University of Southern California, who discussed how her lab uses new approaches for intestine and colon repair via stem cell-based tissue engineering. 
Diabetes - Drs. Gerald Napom, Benaroya Research Institute, and Qizhi Tang, University of California San Francisco, debated strategies for overcoming immunological barriers in cell therapy for diabetes. 
Other presentations addressed heart disease, neurodegenerative disorders, bone repair and novel drug discovery platforms.
The NYSCF conference is unique, focusing on translational stem cell research demonstrating the potential to advance cures for the major diseases of our time. It is designed for all professionals with an interest in stem cell research, including physicians, researchers, clinical investigators, professors, government and health officials, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. Stay tuned for information on The NYSCF Conference 2017! 
NYSCF CEO Susan L. Solomon gave a keynote presentation at the Missouri Cures Women in Science and Entrepreneurship conference. Kelly Jackson, an Emmy nominated journalist for KSDK TV in St. Louis, introduced Ms. Solomon, who focused on NYSCF’s efforts to encourage women and students to enter, thrive and succeed in the science, technology, engineering and math fields. The annual meeting, held in St. Louis, Missouri, provides an opportunity for women to share experiences and to discuss how to overcome challenges in STEM careers.
The Missouri Cures Education Foundation is a not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance dedicated to promote medical advances to improve the health in Missouri. 



NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Winrich Freiwald, associate professor and head of the Laboratory of Neural Systems at The Rockefeller University, received the 2016 W. Alden Spencer Award for his work researching how the brain processes faces. Studying rhesus monkeys, Dr. Freiwald and his team have discovered areas of the brain that are key to processing faces, called 'face patches,' and identified several brain areas in charge of facial movements crucial to emotional expression.

Given by Columbia University annually, the W. Alden Spences Award recognizes outstanding research contributions in the field of neuroscience. Dr. Freiwald shares the award with collaborator Dr. Doris Y. Tsao of the California Institute of Technology.


Read the press release from The Rockefeller University >>

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