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  • Five Questions for Dawn Thompson

    Veronica Meade-Kelly, June 21st, 2013 | Filed under

    Dawn Thompson has spent much of her career studying yeast. The experimental biologist, who is assistant director of the Broad’s Cell Circuits Program, and group leader in core member Aviv Regev’s lab says that she fell into the field “by accident.” While interviewing for her first post-college research position, she happened to hit it off with a yeast geneticist. After working in that lab, she went on to graduate school.

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  • Precocious puberty gene found

    Veronica Meade-Kelly, June 18th, 2013

    The storybook character Peter Pan may have escaped the fate, but in the real world growing up is inevitable. Biologically speaking, the turn to adulthood happens in humans when the brain tells the pituitary glands to start producing hormones, jump-starting puberty. This typically happens around age 10 in girls and 11 in boys. But, for a small percentage of children, the process can start much earlier. If the brain initiates the process before age 8 in girls or 9 in boys, the child experiences central precocious (or “early”) puberty.

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  • Meet a physician-scientist: Rameen Beroukhim

    Veronica Meade-Kelly, May 17th, 2013 | Filed under

    Rameen Beroukhim realized early in his medical training that he wanted to be an oncologist.

    “In medical school, I had the opportunity to work with patients who had cancer,” he explains. “I was struck by how vibrant – and how essentially healthy – many of these patients were, despite the fact that they were contending with such a challenging disease.”

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  • Predisposed to statistical genetics

    Veronica Meade-Kelly, May 13th, 2013

    You could say it’s in his genes: when it comes to his professional proclivities, Ben Neale takes after his parents.

    The trio share an interest in statistical analysis and behavioral research: Neale, an associated researcher at in the Broad Institute’s Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research and the Broad’s Program in Medical and Population Genetics, is a statistical geneticist who studies neurological disorders such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and schizophrenia.

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  • Meet a Broad physician-scientist: Adam Bass

    Veronica Meade-Kelly, March 29th, 2013 | Filed under

    Perhaps no one has a more complete picture of a disease than a physician-scientist does. Take Adam Bass, who this week published, with his co-authors, a study on the genome sequence of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), a deadly cancer that starts in the lower esophagus: as a physician, Bass has cared for patients afflicted with EAC, and has seen its devastating effects. As a research scientist, Bass has also seen the inner workings of the disease, and is hunting for its vulnerabilities.

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  • Fine needlework

    Veronica Meade-Kelly, March 7th, 2013

    Prick your finger with a pin, and you’re likely to have a reflexive response – possibly blood, a jerk of the hand, and an anguished cry. Penetrate the skin with a finer tool, however, such as an acupuncture needle or a mosquito’s proboscis, and the reaction – if there is one – might not be as immediate or severe; the piercing invader is simply too slight to notice.

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  • Charted islands

    Consider the classic "message in a bottle" scenario: a man is stranded on an uncharted landmass far from civilization. Thanks to his watertight missive, he is able to let others know that he's out there — that the landmass on which he is marooned exists somewhere in the world. However, without any reference points, his exact location remains a mystery.

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  • Putting proteins in their place

    Veronica Meade-Kelly, February 15th, 2013 | Filed under

    Ask anyone in civil service – taking a census isn't easy. Gathering information about a population in a specific region can be a logistical nightmare; would-be respondents are often not at home or simply don’t answer the door. Sometimes a person ends up in the mix that shouldn’t be; a visitor gets added to the count by mistake, or a clerical error places a person in the wrong residence. In a big, hectic world, accurately tracking where individuals live is a major challenge.

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  • Profiling multiple sclerosis

    Veronica Meade-Kelly, October 18th, 2012

    By its very nature, multiple sclerosis (MS) is disruptive. It’s disruptive at the cellular level, where the body’s own defenses attack the nervous system, stripping the protective myelin sheath that covers the nerve cells, causing interruptions in communication between the nerve cells and a deterioration of brain tissue. It’s also disruptive at a personal level. Sufferers not only deal with debilitating symptoms that can affect movement, vision, and speech but also face an unpredictable disease path that varies from person to person.

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