News Archive

 

Breast tissue showing both breast cancer cells and normal breast epithelial cells

High levels of master heat shock protein linked to poor prognosis in breast cancer patients

October 31, 2011

Whitehead Institute scientists report that patients whose estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancers have high levels of an ancient cellular survival factor experience poor outcomes—including increased mortality.

How major signaling pathways are wired to our genome gives new insight into disease processes

October 27, 2011

Whitehead Institute scientists have determined that master transcription factors determine the genes regulated by key signaling pathways. In this way, signaling pathways are targeted to genes that are most relevant to each cell type and tailor gene expression to control cell state, growth, differentiation, and death.

Yeast cells indicating that Aβ disrupts normal cellular trafficking

Yeast model connects Alzheimer's disease risk and amyloid beta toxicity

October 27, 2011

In a development that sheds new light on the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a team of Whitehead Institute scientists has identified connections between genetic risk factors for the disease and the effects of a peptide toxic to nerve cells in the brains of AD patients.

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.

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