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 4 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

Images of yeast inside macrophages that have not and have been treated with Inz-5

August 11, 2016

Disrupting mitochondrial function could improve treatment of fungal infections

By identifying new compounds that selectively block mitochondrial respiration in pathogenic fungi, Whitehead Institute scientists have identified a potential antifungal mechanism that could enable combination therapy with fluconazole, one of today’s most commonly prescribed fungal infection treatments. Severe, invasive fungal infections have a mortality rate of 30-50% and cause an estimated 1.5 million deaths worldwide annually. Current antifungal therapies are hampered by the increasingly frequent emergence of drug resistance and negative interactions that often preclude combination use.

August 2, 2016

Jaw-dropping research explains mouth formation during embryonic development

Whitehead Institute researchers have identified an area in the developing face of embryonic frogs that unzips to form the mouth. The scientists, who named this region the “pre-mouth array”, have also discovered the cellular signaling that triggers its formation. Elucidating this critical aspect of craniofacial development in a model organism enhances understanding of and potential treatment for human facial birth defects.

Graphical abstract of the research described below

July 14, 2016

Defining what it means to be a naive stem cell

Whitehead Institute scientists have created a checklist that defines the “naive” state of cultured human embryonic stem cells (ESCs).  Such cells provide a better model of early human embryogenesis than conventional ESCs in later stages of development.

Illustration of DNA helices in tubes

July 4, 2016

Engineers design programmable RNA vaccines against Ebola, influenza

MIT and Whitehead Institute scientists have developed a new type of easily customizable vaccine that can be manufactured in one week, allowing it to be rapidly deployed in response to disease outbreaks. So far, they have designed vaccines against Ebola, H1N1 influenza, and Toxoplasma gondii (a relative of the parasite that causes malaria), which were 100 percent effective in tests in mice.

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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