NYSCF in the News

NYSCF's latest paper could have important implications for human reproductive technologies. The scientists showed proof of principle that genome transfer can rescue developmentally incompetent eggs, making them viable for use in reproduction. NYSCF Research Institute scientist Dr. Mitsutoshi Yamada and NYSCF – Robertson Investigator Dr. Dieter Egli used a mouse model to investigate the causes of the decline in developmental potential in aged oocytes.

Through a battery of complementary experiments transferring the genomes of differently aged mouse oocytes post ovulation, the scientists showed that the developmental decline in oocytes is primarily due to abnormal function of cytoplasmic factors, not to deterioration of the genome. This research was published in Stem Cell Reports.


Read the paper in Stem Cell Reports >>

NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Michael Yartsev, of the University of California Berkeley, was named a 2017 Sloan Research Fellow in Neuroscience. The Sloan Research Fellowships recognize the most promising scientific researchers working today with the potential to transform into the next generation of scientific leaders in the US and Canada. 
Fellowships are awarded in eight areas: chemistry, computational & evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience, ocean sciences, and physics. 


Meet the 2017 Sloan Research Fellows >>

NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Jayaraj Rajagopal, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, was named as the 2017 ISSCR Dr. Susan Lim Outstanding Young Investigator Award recipient for his work studying lung stem cells and lung tissue. Dr. Rajagopal's research has provided new insights into cystic fibrosis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), and lung cancers. The Award recognizes exceptional achievements by an ISSCR member and investigator in the early part of their independent career in stem cell research.

In four of the past five years, NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Investigators have been recognized with this prestigious award.

Previous NYSCF recipients of the Dr. Susan Lim Outstanding Young Investigator Award:

  • 2015 Dr. Paul Tesar, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • 2014 Dr. Valentina Greco, Yale University
  • 2013 Dr. Marius Wernig, Stanford University

The 2017 ISSCR Award Recipients will be acknowledged and recognized at the ISSCR 2017 Annual Meeting on June 14-17 in Boston, Massachusetts. 


Read more about the 2017 ISSCR Award Recipients >>

Learn more about the Outstanding Young Investigator Award >>

NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Alumnus Dr. Christopher Gregg and his team at the University of Utah School of Medicine discovered that neurons may favor genes from one parent over the other more than previously thought, which could impact risk for mental disorders. In a paper published in Neuron, the scientists found that, in mice and in monkeys, one parent’s copy of a gene was randomly turned off while the other remained active, and that this occurred most often in the developing brain. These changes effected gene expression in most genes, including those implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, and many others.
This research has potential implications on the understanding of mammalian brain genetics including human brain genetics and our understanding of neuropsychiatric disorder development and risk.


Read the paper in Neuron >>

Read more in Discover Magazine >>

Watch Video Abstract >>

Wednesday, 22 February 2017 17:18

Dr. Oz Exposes Bogus Stem Cell Treatments

NYSCF Chief of Staff David McKeon appeared on the Dr. Oz Show investigation “Exposing Experimental Stem Cell Treatments.” The segment highlighted the dangers of unproven stem cell therapies and questioned the medical practitioners and clinics involved in taking advantage of patients with nowhere else to turn. The investigation went undercover, exposing the exhorbitant charges and outlandish claims made by these unscrupulous practitioners. Dr. Sally Temple, a research scientist and President of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), and Montel Williams, a talk show host and multiple sclerosis patient also participated in the segment.


Watch the Investigation >>

NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Kristen Brennand at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai published her latest research using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to study psychosis in Stem Cell Reports. When deriving iPS cells from two patients, each with a psychotic disorder, the scientific team serendipitously generated a non-disease-carrier control iPS cell line. This finding highlights a problem scientists face when using iPS cells for disease modeling, particularly in patients with complex genomic rearrangements. 

While iPS cell lines are emerging as a go-to technology to model human disease, this paper provides evidence that scientists should use caution while doing so. Ideally, scientists would confirm that the mutations they are studying are present at every step in the process of creating iPS cell lines; however, this is difficult and sometimes impossible using current techniques. This finding sheds light on an important area of inquiry in stem cell research, and provides an impetus to identify new methos of deriving iPS cell lines with specific genetic mutations.  


Read the paper in Stem Cell Reports >>

It is a well known fact that vision modifies behavior; however, behavior can also modify vision. NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Alumnus Dr. Gaby Maimon and his team at The Rockefeller University explored the biophysical underpinnings of how ongoing behavior modulates vision in fruit flies. Using a complex, multifaceted research approach, the scientists illustrate how the fruit flies’ brains can filter out one sensory signal from many similar signals as demonstrated by a set of head movements during flight turns that require the silencing of their gaze-stability reflexes. This research was published in Cell.
Basic research into the function and mechanisms of how behavior changes brain processing, including vision, has vast and important implications on understanding brain function in all animals and humans. 
A team of researchers at Columbia University Medical Center including NYSCF - Robertson Investigator Dr. Dieter Egli have discovered that a specific enzyme deficiency in the brain is linked to most of the abnormalities in Prader-Willi syndrome, a rare genetic condition that causes extreme hunger and severe obesity beginning in childhood. The researchers used induced pluripotent stem cells, made from skin samples of patients with Prader-Willi, to create the neurons affected and identify the deficient enzyme. The enzyme, prohormone covertase, captures the link between the well known genetic mutation leading to Prader-Willi and the symptoms of the syndrome. 
The discovery, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, provides insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying the syndrome and highlights a novel target for drug therapy. This research has large implications not only on exciting new treatment targets and approaches for Prader-Willi patients, but also on the treatment and managment of obesity in general.
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