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Study Provides New Insight on Stem Cell Function

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Researchers in the Department of Biomedical Genetics have unraveled one of the key molecular mechanisms that regulate stem cell behavior, a discovery that could provide important insight into regenerative medicine and certain forms of cancer.

The study – led by Benoit Biteau, Ph.D. – appears in the journal Cell Reports, and was conducted in fruit flies, or drosophila.  While diminutive in stature, fruit flies have proven to be an invaluable research tool and have made oversized contributions to medicine, particularly in the fields of molecular biology and genetics.

Benoit and his colleagues focused on a transcription factor called Sox21a which is uniquely found in the stem cells of the drosophila intestine.  Transcription factors are proteins that control the expression of genes and, subsequently, help regulate cellular activity.  Sox21a is the equivalent of Sox2, a transcription factor found in humans that is known to play an important role in the function of stem cells and cell reprogramming.

Read More: Study Provides New Insight on Stem Cell Function

Wilmot Cancer Institute’s Research Director Wins $6.3M Outstanding Investigator Award

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hartmut “Hucky” Land, Ph.D., the Robert and Dorothy Markin Professor of Biomedical Genetics at the University of Rochester, received a newly established multimillion dollar award from the National Cancer Institute that supports exceptional scientists with seven years of uninterrupted funding.

The NCI Outstanding Investigator Award (OIA) is in its inaugural year. It was designed to reward productive and influential researchers by giving them the freedom to pursue long-term goals without having to re-submit grants each cycle. He will continue to test a bold hypothesis that’s been the cornerstone of his work for 30 years—that different cancers have many shared features, and understanding the common characteristics of cancer might unlock the next generation of targeted treatments.

“I feel very grateful and a bit humbled,” said Land, director of research and co-director at UR Medicine’s Wilmot Cancer Institute. “It’s a wonderful affirmation of our focus on the common core of cancers and the work of our research team.”

Read More: Wilmot Cancer Institute’s Research Director Wins $6.3M Outstanding Investigator Award

Flaum Eye Institute Scientist Gets Funding to Study Vision Loss in Batten Disease

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ruchira Singh, PhD

Ruchira Singh, Ph.D.

University of Rochester Medical Center scientist Ruchira Singh, Ph.D., received a grant from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation to investigate how neurodegenerative diseases, such as juvenile Batten disease, cause blindness.

Singh, assistant professor of Ophthalmology and Biomedical Genetics, will use the $60,000 grant to create a human model of Batten disease (CNL3) using patient’s own cells. The project may lead to better understand the disease mechanisms, aiding in the development of drug therapies to preserve vision in affected patients.

For the complete article, visit the URMC newsroom.

Read More: Flaum Eye Institute Scientist Gets Funding to Study Vision Loss in Batten Disease

MSTP Announces 40th Anniversary Celebration!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Edward Rubin

Edward M. Eddy Rubin

The Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) is excited to announce a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the MSTP NIH training grant on Friday, October 9, 2015.

The keynote speaker will be an MSTP alumni from the Class of 1980: Edward Rubin, MD, PhD, Director, DOE Joint Genome Institute.

Edward M. Eddy Rubin is an internationally-known geneticist and medical researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, where he became head of the Genomic Sciences Division in 1998. In 2002 he assumed the directorship of the DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI) to lead the JGI's involvement in the Human Genome Project (HGP).

For more information and schedule of events for the day, please visit the MSTP 40th Anniversary page.