Biomedical Research News

  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Commencement and Convocation Honors Scientists and Scholars from MSK and Beyond

    Memorial Sloan Kettering’s 2019 Convocation and the Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Commencement ceremony honored the accomplishments of doctors, students, and scientists from both MSK and the broader research community. The ceremony recognized the 14 students from the Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSK) who received their PhD degrees in cancer science this year. It was the school’s largest class of graduates ever, bringing the total number of GSK alumni to 67. Awards were also given to notable scientists and doctors from both inside and outside MSK. In addition to the GSK graduates, MSK President and CEO, Dr. Craig B. Thompson, congratulated the 44 PhD recipients from the 2019 class of the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences who conducted their research in MSK labs. Highlighted work at the ceremony included the discovery of a new organelle, called TIGER, which plays a role in protein translation; a collaborative study that identified the gene expression patterns of more than 45,000 individual immune cells in breast tumors; and the latest advances in chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy.

  • Mayo Clinic Launches Multidisciplinary Effort to Improve Spine Pain Treatment

    In the clinical setting, attempts to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of various treatments for spine have been difficult. Currently, there is no consensus among providers on optimal spine care pathways and although experts recognize that a spine pain registry would help providers make evidence-based decisions for patients with these conditions, the development of such a registry has been challenging. To address this issue, a Mayo Clinic research team led by Wenchun Qu, M.D., Ph.D., M.S., and William D. Mauck, M.D., has launched an integrated, multidisciplinary effort called the Gerstner Spine Pain Initiative. The Gerstner Spine Pain Initiative, made possible by a grant from The Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Fund at Vanguard Charitable, is designed to have a direct impact on how clinicians care for their patients with spine pain. The initiative comprises two interrelated components: the development and implementation of a patient outcomes database and data collection platform to support critical evaluation of best practices and clinical trial planning, implementation and critical appraisal, and the completion of a randomized, controlled, clinical trial of a novel and promising therapeutic strategy based on emerging regenerative technologies developed at Mayo.

  • Mayo Clinic and Other Experts Call For Increased Focus On Brain Disease Similar to Alzheimer’s

    Through a collaboration with the University of Kentucky and other institutions, Mayo Clinic researchers helped to establish a name for a degenerative brain disease that afflicts the elderly and mimics features of Alzheimer’s disease. The working group describes "limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy," or LATE, as an underrecognized risk for public health and calls for an urgent focus on research to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. LATE has been known to clinicians for about a decade, but a common terminology was lacking. The group recommends that LATE testing be performed as part of routine autopsy evaluation in all older patients. No diagnostic tests are available to identify patients with LATE, though an exciting area of research will be the development of biomarkers for brain imaging, with the goal of revealing the disease early in the patient’s progression.

  • Study Reveals Strongest Links Yet Between Genes And ADHD Risk

    By analyzing the DNA of more than 55,000 people, scientists from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital, and more than 60 additional institutions worldwide have identified 12 regions of the genome that raise the risk of ADHD, providing valuable biological insights. In their publication the researchers note that these variants reveal important insights into the biology behind ADHD risk, and that the many of these variants also influence an individual's risk or likelihood for a variety of psychiatric, metabolic, and behavioral traits. "These findings represent the culmination of over a decade of genome-wide association studies for ADHD, and the willingness of the community of ADHD geneticists to work together and share data to advance our understanding of why people develop ADHD," said Benjamin Neale, an institute member at the Broad Institute and core faculty member at MGH.