Research

Research at Whitehead

Whitehead Institute provides researchers with the resources and freedom to follow their scientific instincts, form novel collaborations, and conduct high-risk research. While probing basic biological processes, the Institute’s 17 faculty Members and 2 Fellows develop innovative technologies and lay the foundation for projects that improve human health. They run pioneering programs in cancer, immunology, developmental biology, stem cell science, regenerative medicine, genetics, and genomics.

Members

 

Fellows

Research News

Three images of human lung cells were infected with influenza A virus.

June 20, 2016

Tiny alpaca-derived antibodies point to targets preventing viral infection

Using tiny, alpaca-derived, single-domain antibody fragments, Whitehead Institute scientists have developed a method to perturb cellular processes in mammalian cells, allowing them to tease apart the roles that individual proteins play in these pathways. With improved knowledge of protein activity, scientists can better understand not only basic biology but also how disease corrupts cellular function and identify potential therapeutics to rectify these aberrations.

Photo of plate showing different strengths of prion activity in yeast

April 29, 2016

Prion-like protein found in plants

Whitehead Institute scientists have determined that a plant protein involved in the timing of flowering could in fact be a prion. This is the first time that a possible prion has been identified in plants, and it may play a role in a plant’s “memory” of cold exposure during winter.

Cartoon of how a mutation in the genome's three-dimensional structure can activate previously silent oncogenes

April 20, 2016

Identifying a genetic mutation behind sporadic Parkinson’s disease

Using a novel method, Whitehead Institute researchers have determined how mutations that are not located within genes are identified through genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and can contribute to sporadic Parkinson’s disease, the most common form of the condition. The approach could be used to analyze GWAS results for other sporadic diseases with genetic causes, such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and cancer.

Cartoon of CASTOR1's role in mTORC1 regulation

March 10, 2016

Scientists identify sensor that modulates key metabolic pathway

Whitehead Institute researchers have elucidated how the growth-regulating metabolic pathway known as mTORC1 (for mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1) senses the amino acid arginine. This nutrient sensor may represent a novel therapeutic target for controlling mTORC1, whose activity is often dysregulated in a variety of diseases, including diabetes and cancer. 

Recent papers

May 27, 2016

The history of the Y chromosome in man.

Nat Genet. 2016 May 27;48(6):588-9.


May 9, 2016

Mule regulates the intestinal stem cell niche via the Wnt pathway and targets EphB3 for proteasomal and lysosomal degradation.

Cell Stem Cell. 2016 May 11.


May 6, 2016

Comparative transcriptomics across the prokaryotic tree of life. 

Nucleic Acids Res. 2016 May 6.


All research papers

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