Researchers in Frederick Alt's laboratory have made important strides towards resolving a long-standing question about how different classes of antibodies are made. Led by Junchao Dong, Rohit A. Panchakshari, and Tingting Zhang, the Alt lab adapted a highly specific and sensitive genetic assay to propose the existence of a guiding principle behind the production of viable antibodies by lymphocytes called B cells.
Why is wound healing delayed in people with type 1 or 2 diabetes? Blame a perfect storm of diabetic complications, such as reduced blood flow, neuropathy and impaired signaling between cells. According to research by Denisa Wagner, PhD, of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, a poorly understood feature of our immune system’s neutrophils may be one more ingredient in the storm.
The Boston Globe described a new sculpture by artist Rudolfo Quintas, named “Absorption.” This 880-pound digital media sculpture is the result of discussions had with Dr. Tomas Kirchhausen, Principal Investigator in the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and Professor Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School, regarding the essential cellular process of endocytosis.
Millions of people worldwide suffer from co-infection with tuberculosis (TB) and HIV. While prompt antibiotic and antiretroviral treatment can be a recipe for survival, over the years, physicians have noticed something: two or three weeks after starting antiretrovirals, about 30 percent of co-infected patients get worse.
Not all cancer cells are created equal. In fact, to call a cancer a cancer, in the singular, is something of a misnomer. Really, a patient could be said to have cancers, as every tumor is actually a mixture of cells with different mutations and capabilities. One of those capabilities is the ability to escape the main tumor and spread, or metastasize, to other sites in the body.
Life teems with interactions. Proteins bind. Bonds form between atoms, and break. Enzymes cut. Drugs attach to cell receptors. DNA hybridizes. Those interactions make the processes of life work, and capturing them has led to many medical advances.
Labs the world over are jumping on the gene editing bandwagon. But one question keeps coming up: How precise are these systems? After all, a method that selectively mutates, deletes or swaps specific gene sequences is only as good as its accuracy.
Researchers in the laboratory of Frederick Alt have identified a relationship between sites of convergent gene transcription, the presence of intragenic super-enhancers, and the mis-targeting of the mutagenic activity of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID).
Harvard researchers genetically ‘edit’ human blood stem cells
To help find barriers associated with a cloning technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), Drs. Yi Zhang and Shogo Matoba generated mouse embryos through either SCNT or IVF and compared their gene expression profiles at the very early stages of development.
Roi Gazit, Pankaj Mandal and Derrick Rossi have engineered a hematopoietic stem cell specific reporter mouse that permits facile detection of rare blood forming stem cells based on single color fluorescence.
Without active DNA repair, damage beyond strand breaks could accumulate, giving rise to mutations leading to age-related blood disorders.
Michael Walch, Farokh Dotiwala and Judy Lieberman unveil a new role for killer cells in bacterial defense. In a recent Cell paper they show that granulysin, an antimicrobial protein present in the cytotoxic granules of human killer lymphocytes, delivers death-inducing granzymes into bacteria, where they rapidly kill bacteria and limit the spread of infection.
Induced hematopoietic stem cells, or iHSCs, bear characteristic features of natural HSCs, represent milestone in regenerative medicine
Ubiquitin doesn't just tag proteins for recycling. It also may help keep our antiviral immune response in balance.
Researchers in the laboratory of Frederick Alt of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine (PCMM) at Children's Hospital Boston have made important strides towards resolving a long-standing question about how different classes of antibodies are made. Led by Junchao Dong, Rohit A. Panchakshari, and Tingting Zhang in collaboration with teams at several other major research centers, the Alt lab adapted a highly specific and sensitive genetic assay they originated in 2011 to propose the existence of a guiding principle behind the production of viable antibodies by lymphocytes called B cells.
These findings, published online in Nature on August 26, 2015, suggest that a novel mechanism guides the directionality of antibody class switch recombination (CSR), a crucial process in immunity.
The Alt lab has a long track record… Read More »
Denisa Wagner, a former member of the ISTH Council (2004-10), is the Edwin Cohn Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Among her many accomplishments,… Read More »
Frederick Alt, PhD, director of the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital, has… Read More »