Blogs

Broad core member awarded National Science Foundation’s highest honor

Leah Eisenstadt, April 10th, 2014

Broad Institute core faculty member Feng Zhang has been named the 2014 recipient of the Alan T. Waterman Award from the National Science Foundation. The award, named after the NSF’s first director, is the agency’s highest honor, which annually recognizes an outstanding researcher under the age of 35. Zhang’s award will help support his work to understand how the brain works.

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Glioblastoma’s “stem-like” cells laid bare

Haley Bridger, April 10th, 2014

What : Glioblastoma, the most common and most aggressive form of brain cancer in adults, remains effectively incurable. Evidence suggests that “stem-like” cells help drive this difficult-to-treat disease. These cells may possess properties that give them the ability to resist treatment and drive cancer’s growth, but pinpointing them and understanding the circuitry that makes them behave the way they do has been a major challenge.

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Studies converge on ALS

Veronica Meade-Kelly, April 4th, 2014

What: Researchers from the Broad Institute, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI), and Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) used an eclectic combination of cutting-edge technologies to determine what’s going wrong at the molecular level in the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Their research, published online this week in two separate Cell journals, sheds light on the mechanisms that lead to the disease and highlights potential targets for new treatments.

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Kerstin Lindblad-Toh receives major award from Swedish Research Council

Paul Goldsmith, March 31st, 2014

This week, Broad scientific director of vertebrate genome biology Kerstin Lindblad-Toh became one of the first recipients of a new long-term research grant from the Swedish Research Council.

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Insights into drug resistance for a rare leukemia

Haley Bridger, March 3rd, 2014

What: For patients with T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), a rare form of blood cancer that mainly affects children and young adults, drug resistance poses a major threat to a promising treatment option currently in clinical trials. About half of patients with T-ALL have mutations in NOTCH1, but drugs that target this gene have so far produced only short-lived effects: at first, the cancer seems to respond, but in a short period of time, T-ALL returns.

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Setting the standard in proteomics

Veronica Meade-Kelly, February 27th, 2014

What: Members of the Broad’s Proteomics Platform were the lead authors of a recent paper that outlined best practices for developing and publishing studies involving one of the field’s signature tools: targeted mass spectrometry (MS).

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Putting a neglected disease in the spotlight

Paul Goldsmith, February 6th, 2014

Heard of Chagas disease? Chances are, unless you live in Central or South America where the disease affects an estimated 8 million people, you probably haven’t.

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Single driver mutation found in rare brain tumor

Leah Eisenstadt, January 30th, 2014

For patients with a rare brain tumor known as craniopharyngioma, the treatment options are slim — and often hazardous. Although the tumor is usually not aggressive, its location is perilous. Growing at the base of the skull near the pituitary gland, the tumor compresses parts of the brain as it enlarges, causing vision and learning problems and endocrine dysfunction, as well as morbid obesity. There is currently no drug to shrink the tumor, so the only options are surgical removal and radiation, which can leave patients with serious, lasting problems.

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Ancestral legacy

Veronica Meade-Kelly, January 29th, 2014

It’s part of human nature: we look at ourselves in the mirror and see links to the past. “Those bright green eyes?” we think. “Those came from grandma.” “The cleft chin? That’s from dad’s side.” Our instinct, of course, is to attribute notable traits to close relatives – those that we know personally or through family history. The reality, however, is that the genetics that influence our traits – or “phenotypes” – could date back generations.

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Broadies named to ‘30 under 30’

Paul Goldsmith, January 10th, 2014

The annual Forbes ’30 under 30’ was revealed this week, and two members of the Broad community, Cigall Kadoch and Aleksander Kostic, were named to the list. Now in its third year, ’30 under 30’ recognizes the brightest young talents in 15 different fields, including science and healthcare, technology and finance.

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