NYSCF in the News
Tuesday, 01 March 2016 15:55

Raising the bar on quality cells

NYSCF wants to transform stem cell treatments from dreams to reality. In order to move stem cell-based cures from the theoretical and into clinics, scientists must standardize and ensure the quality and safety of stem cell lines. NYSCF CEO and Co-founder Susan L. Solomon, NYSCF Vice President of Scientific Programs Dr. Michael Yaffe, and NYSCF Vice President of Stem Cell Research Dr. Scott Noggle co-authored a paper in Nature Cell Biology proposing strategies to lay the foundations for improving stem cell lines and establishing the authenticity of cells. The paper discusses the obstacles researchers face in confirming the authenticity and quality of current stem cell lines. Thousands of stem cell lines exist, generated through a variety of methods and scores of different labs. The publication explores how to understand quality and authenticity for this assortment of existing stem cell lines and how to set standards moving forward to reduce the variability and improve the quality of stem cell lines. As NYSCF leads the field of stem cell research towards greater standardization and reduced variability, NYSCF simultaneously pushes the field towards greater reproducibility. With standardized stem cell lines, scientists around the world can conduct the same experiments and attain the consistent results, further accelerating and generating efficiency in research and in the pursuit of cures. 


Read more in Nature Cell Biology >>

Every year, the President awards a group of scientists with the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. This year, two NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigators received this recognition for their “early accomplishments show[ing] the greatest promise for assuring America’s preeminence in science and engineering” as stated by The White House Office of the Press Secretary. Assistant Professor Kay Tye of MIT controls neurons with light to understand social behaviors. Most recently she published a paper in Cell deciphering loneliness on an unprecedented microscopic scale. Hillel Adesnik, Assistant Professor of Neurobiology at University of California, Berkeley, studies perception in human and animals at the level of the neuron. Both Dr. Tye and Dr. Adesnik have made incredible strides in understanding what drives human and animal behaviors elucidating what it means to be human. Previous recipients include NYSCF-Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Gaby Maimon of Rockefeller University and NYSCF Advisor Kevin Eggan of Harvard University.


Read the Whitehouse press release >>

Learn more about Kay Tye >>

Learn more about Hillel Adesnik >>

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.


Read more in Cell >>

Read more in MIT News >>

Read more about Kay Tye in Bustle >>

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. 


Listen to the podcast >>

Learn more about the series >>

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.



Thursday, 28 January 2016 15:38

Advancing Women in Science

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.


Learn more in MIT News >>

Learn more about the BBVA Foundation Awards >>

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