Using CRISPR technology, Whitehead Institute Member Jonathan Weissman is tracking the lineage of individual cancer cells as they proliferate and metastasize in real time. 

Mike Torrens-Spence is a postdoc in Whitehead Institute Member Jing-Ke Weng’s lab investigating how plants make molecules of medicinal and agricultural interest and how to recreate those molecules using synthetic biology. We sat down with Torrens-Spence to learn more about him and his experiences in and out of the lab.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other “synucleinopathies” are known to be linked to the misfolding of alpha-synuclein protein in neurons. Less clear is how this misfolding relates to the growing number of genes implicated in PD through analysis of human genetics. Two new studies from researchers affiliated with Whitehead Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology explain how they used a suite of novel biological and computational methods to shed light on the question.