NYSCF in the News

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 >>

Tuesday, 01 November 2016 16:03

Manipulating Neurons to Understand the Brain

Multiple NYSCF Research Institute scientists and NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Michael Long, NYU Medical Center, authored a paper published in Nature Neuroscience. The researchers used a novel virus to manipulate a specific type of neuron in mouse models, allowing them to use these mouse models to mimic the neuron behavior in other vertebrate species. 

This extremely important research allows scientists to use mouse models to extrapolate how neural mechanisms behave in higher order species including humans. Understanding human neural mechanisms is a critical step towards new treatments and cures for many different brain disorders and injuries.


Read the paper in Nature Neuroscience >>

Tuesday, 01 November 2016 15:55

NYSCF Innovator Explores Short Term Memory

NYSCF - Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Christopher Harvey and his team at Harvard Medical School published their latest research exploring how short term memories are formed. Using mice and a virtual navigation task, the scientists showed that short term memories can emerge from different groups of neurons in the general dynamics of learning the task over and over again, not necessarily from a winner-take-all model of one neuron group beating out all others. 

Understanding how memories form is a critical step to discovering new treatments for memory and thought disorders and injuries. 


Read the paper in Nature Neuroscience >>

NYSCF partnered with the American Museum of Natural History in New York on their learning exhibition “The Science of Stem Cells in the Sackler Educational Laboratory.” This exhibition explores the basic biology of stem cells and what promise they hold for future treatments and includes live animals and specimes for exploration.
The NYSCF Research Institute provided live stem cell samples, including beating heart cells, for viewing and sparking conversation amongst museum attendees.
This exciting learning opportunity is free with museum membership or admission and is open for two more weekends, October 1-2 and October 8-9.  
Misunderstanding and misrepresentation of science in the media is a pervasive and age-old problem for research institutions. David McKeon, NYSCF Chief of Staff, explored this important issue and shared the steps NYSCF takes to correct false media representation of our work at the annual Health Research Alliance (HRA) Conference in Bethesda, Maryland. 
Mr. McKeon discussed NYSCF’s strategies for clearly communicating our work and working with the media to accurately describe the science. He provided case studies using NYSCF’s discoveries, and the actions he and his colleagues take to prevent distortion of the science in the media. 
HRA is an organization that fosters collaboration among non profit and non-governmental funders to support health research and training to advance health. The annual conference brings together HRA members to share best practices and new ideas all with a goal of advancing health. 
The NYSCF Innovator Programs feature top scientists from around the world in their respective fields of study. Recognition of six NYSCF - Robertson Investigators as 2016 Faculty Scholars by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Simons Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation highlights the strength and quality of all of the NYSCF Innovator Programs. 
The Faculty Awards name early-career scientists who have great potential to make unique contributions to their field. Eighty-four scientists representing fourty-three institutions were selected for the awards in this inaugural program year. 
The NYSCF - Robertson Investigators who received the award are: 
  • Ed Boyden, PhD, MIT Media lab
  • Edward Chang, MD, University of California, San Francisco
  • Valentina Greco, PhD, Yale University
  • Jayaraj Rajagopal, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Marius Wernig, MD, PhD, Stanford University
  • Feng Zhang, PhD, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard


Learn more about the 2016 Faculty Awards >>

Learn more about the NYSCF Innovator Programs >>

Tuesday, 27 September 2016 15:21

Explaining Schizophrenia with Multiple Genes

NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Kristen Brennand and her team at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai published their latest research exploring the genetic risk of schizophrenia in Nature Neuroscience. The paper showed that schizophrenia is polygenic, meaning that multiple different genes are implicated in causing the disease as opposed to only one. 
In addition, the scientists' work highlighted the importance and utility of the CommonMind Consortium as a resource for gene expression and genetic regulation research, using the sequenced RNA from brain samples of over 500 people including patients with schizophrenia provided by the Consortium.
Tuesday, 27 September 2016 15:19

NYSCF University - What It Means To Me

Each year, NYSCF University, our ten-week summer internship program, gives top college students from around the world the opportunity to work in the NYSCF Research Institute laboratories with NYSCF scientists and engineers. This video features the students in the 2016 NYSCF University class sharing what this experience has meant to them in their own words.


Learn more about NYSCF University >>

Learn more about NYSCF Science Education Programs >>

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