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

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.

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.

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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