News Archive

 

Whitehead Member Rudolf Jaenisch honored with National Medal of Science

September 27, 2011

For the second straight year, President Barack Obama is recognizing a member of the Whitehead Institute faculty with the nation’s highest scientific honor.

Electron micrograph of Ebola virus.

Scientists identify point of entry for deadly Ebola virus

August 24, 2011

Using an unusual human cell line of this type, Whitehead Institute researchers and their collaborators performed a genetic screen and identified a protein used by Ebola virus to gain entry into cells and begin replicating. The discovery may offer a new approach for the development of antiviral therapeutics.

Diagram of cancer cell type equilibrium

Cancer stem cells made, not born

August 18, 2011

New findings by scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Whitehead Institute point to a decentralized society in tumors, with cancer cells able to interconvert between different types. These results have potential implications for the treatment of tumors, in particular, that attacking cancer stem cells alone may not be enough to fight cancer.

Protein unmasks pathogenic fungi to activate immune response

August 8, 2011

Whitehead Institute researchers have uncovered a novel association between two fungal recognition receptors on the surface of certain immune cells, called macrophages.  The interaction of these receptors (dectin-1 and galectin-3) sheds new light on how the innate immune system discriminates between non-pathogenic and pathogenic fungi.

Andreas Hochwagen

How yeast chromosomes avoid the bad breaks

August 7, 2011

Whitehead Institute researchers have discovered how yeast cells protect themselves against a novel type of chromosome fragility that occurs in repeated DNA during meiosis—the cell division that produces spores in fungi or eggs and sperm in plants and animals.

Key metabolic pathway implicated in intractable form of breast cancer

July 18, 2011

Using a new in vivo screening system, Whitehead Institute researchers have identified a protein in a key metabolic pathway that is essential in estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer.

Precision gene targeting in stem cells corrects disease-causing mutations

July 14, 2011

Using two distinct methods, Whitehead Institute researchers have successfully and consistently manipulated targeted genes in both human embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells (adult cells that have been reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell-like state).

MicroRNAs jumpstart production of obesity-fighting brown fat

July 10, 2011

Whitehead Institute scientists have identified the first microRNAs (miRs) that regulate the development of brown fat. Brown fat, which is found in small deposits in the neck, along the shoulders, and down the spine in adult humans, generates heat by burning the lipids. These miRs provide an opportunity to understand better how brown fat develops and may lead to methods for stimulating brown fat production to counter obesity.

Pew Charitable Trust logo

Whitehead Member Mary Gehring named a Pew Scholar

June 14, 2011

The Pew Charitable Trusts has named Whitehead Institute Member Mary Gehring a 2011 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences.

Scientists discover new component of key growth-regulating signaling pathway

June 10, 2011

Researchers in the lab of Whitehead Institute Member David Sabatini have identified a previously unknown substrate of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase, called Grb10. Linking Grb10 activity to mTOR provides a more detailed understanding of the function of mTOR and may open up new areas for mTOR research.

Image of epithelial and mesenchymal cells

Signaling pathways point to vulnerability in breast cancer stem cells

June 9, 2011

Whitehead Institute researchers have identified signals impinging on breast epithelial cells that can induce those cells to acquire and stably display migratory and self-renewing characteristics.

Leucine deprivation proves deadly to malignant melanoma cells

May 16, 2011

Whitehead Institute researchers have found that depriving human melanoma cells of the amino acid leucine can be lethal to the cells, suggesting a possible strategy for therapeutic intervention. The researchers observed the effect in melanoma cells with a mutation in the RAS/MEK signaling pathway—the most common mutation found in the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Pages

© Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research              455 Main Street          Cambridge, MA 02142