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Courtesy of STAT News

Whitehead Institute research featured in STAT Madness

Spring is nearly here, and it’s time for #STATMadness, an annual bracket-style tournament to determine a biomedical research champion. Two papers from Whitehead Institute are on the bracket and will be competing against 62 other projects from around the United States.

Featured this year is Whitehead Fellow Silvi Rouskin’s work on how the structure of the HIV virus’ RNA allows it to create all the proteins it needs from a tiny genome. Rouskin’s algorithm predicts how the RNA folds into different shapes to control gene expression. In the future, the tool could help develop drugs to target viral replication. 

Also in the running is Whitehead Institute Member Rick Young’s work on how cancer drugs find their targets in cells. Many cellular processes take place in condensates — tiny membraneless organelles held together by scaffolding proteins and chemical interactions — and these condensates can affect how drugs are partitioned throughout the cells. 

The first round of voting opened March 1 and will close Sunday March 7. Papers are eligible for two prizes: fan favorite, decided by thousands of online voters, or editors’ pick, determined by staff at STAT. Cast your vote here, and be sure to check back each week to vote for your favorites in the coming rounds. The final winner will be announced April 5.



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