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

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. 

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

March 3, 2016

There goes the neighborhood: Changes in chromosome structure activate cancer-causing genes

In a finding with enormous implications for cancer diagnostics and therapeutics, Whitehead Institute scientists have discovered that breaches in looping chromosomal structures known as “insulated neighborhoods” can activate oncogenes capable of fueling aggressive tumor growth. 

Recent papers

march 1, 2016

Growth of human breast tissues from patient cells in 3D hydrogel scaffolds.

Breast Cancer Res. 2016 Mar 1;18(1):19.


February 23, 2016

Improved ribosome-footprint and mRNA measurements provide insights into dynamics and regulation of yeast translation.

Cell Rep. 2016 Feb 23;14(7):1787-99.


February 18, 2016

Visualizing antibody affinity maturation in germinal centers.

Science. 2016 Feb 18.


All research papers

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