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  • Rockefeller postdoc Stephen Brohawn named Blavatnik Award regional finalist | Newswire
    The winner in each of three categories life sciences chemistry and physical sciences engineering will be announced at that time and will receive an additional 20 000 in unrestricted funds Brohawn received his Ph D in biology in 2010 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was awarded a Koch Fellowship and a Vertex Scholarship In MacKinnon s laboratory Brohawn studies how proteins called mechanosensitive ion channels sense mechanical forces He focuses on one particular mechanosensitive ion channel in humans named TRAAK that is involved in pain sensation showing that the force that opens TRAAK comes directly through the cellular membrane to the channel He also has used X ray crystallography to generate the first atomic level shapshots of human TRAAK providing scientists with the first visualization of the physical structure of any animal mechanosensitive ion channel Past Blavatnik recipients from Rockefeller include Jonathan Fisher a postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Sensory Neuroscience in 2013 postdocs Andrey Feklistov and Nicholas Stavropoulos in 2012 Shai Shaham head of the Laboratory of Developmental Genetics and Sreekanth Chalasani a postdoctoral associate in the Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior in 2009 and Leslie B Vosshall Robin Chemers Neustein Professor head of

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2014/10/02/rockefeller-postdoc-stephen-brohawn-named-blavatnik-award-regional-finalist/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Jonathan Fisher receives Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists | Newswire
    area and comes with a 30 000 prize for postdocs There are five faculty winners All prizes are awarded as unrestricted funds made possible by the Blavatnik Family Foundation This award recognizes Jonathan s dedication to excellent research in the auditory system and is a well deserved honor says Marc Tessier Lavigne Rockefeller s president As a postdoc you are taking responsibility for a significant portion of a lab s work and at the same time establishing an independent focus with an eye toward your first faculty appointment The encouragement provided by the Blavatnik Awards can be extremely helpful in advancing an investigator s career at this critical junction Fisher s research looks at the biophysics and neurophysiology of the auditory system He is also interested in the development of new neuroimaging techniques in biomedical optics and auditory processing Fisher received his Ph D in physics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 after which he joined the Laboratory of Sensory Neuroscience at Rockefeller Past Rockefeller recipients include postdocs Andrey Feklistov and Nicholas Stavropoulos in 2012 professor Shai Shaham and postdoc Sreekanth H Chalasani in 2009 former Tom W Muir in 2008 and Robin Chemers Neustein Professor Leslie B Vosshall

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2013/06/20/jonathan-fisher-receives-blavatnik-award-for-young-scientists/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Two Rockefeller postdocs win Blavatnik Awards | Newswire
    Feklistov is being recognized for his work resolving a fundamental transcription mechanism also important for drug design He received his Ph D in molecular biology from Moscow State University in 2005 and joined Darst s lab in 2006 to study structural biology of bacterial transcription His research focuses on the molecular basis of promoter recognition and opening by bacterial RNA polymerase Feklistov is also a recipient of Rockefeller s Merck Postdoctoral Fellowship Stavropoulos is being honored for his research on the function and regulation of sleep He received his Ph D in genetics from Harvard University in 2003 and continued postdoctoral work there before joining Young s laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow in 2005 His research uses the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to study the genes and molecular pathways that regulate sleep Stavropoulos has also received a Ruth L Kirschstein National Research Service Award The Blavatnik Awards are an important distinction for an early career scientist and I m proud that Rockefeller has not one but two postdoctoral researchers being recognized this year says Marc Tessier Lavigne Rockefeller s president The awards recognize the innovation and ingenuity in Andrey and Nicholas work I m sure we will continue to see many accomplishments from both of them as their careers progress The Blavatnik award program is distinct in its effort to compare applicants across all scientific and technological disciplines This year s winners were selected from more than 170 nominations of investigators working New York New Jersey and Connecticut During the final round of evaluations judges were deadlocked in their decisions regarding many top applications Due to this unprecedented situation the New York Academy of Sciences decided to name the greatest number of winners thus far a testament to the quality of research being conducted in the New York tri state

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2012/05/23/two-rockefeller-postdocs-win-blavatnik-awards/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Two Rockefeller scientists named finalists for Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists | Newswire
    uses the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to study the control of programmed cell death or apoptosis during animal development and the numerous functions of glial cells of the nervous system dysfunctions in which are linked to most diseases of the brain In addition to discovering a number of mechanisms that regulate apoptotic cell death the Shaham lab in 2007 identified a novel nonapoptotic cell death program that is conserved from C elegans to vertebrates The lab further identified several genes involved in the new cell death program that may also be linked to certain neurodegenerative diseases Shaham received his Ph D in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and completed postdoctoral studies at the University of California San Francisco before joining Rockefeller He is a recipient of the Klingenstein Fellowship Award in the Neurosciences a Breast Cancer Alliance Masin Young Investigator Award and a Weill Caulier Herschel Fellowship among other honors Chalasani who received his Ph D in biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003 joined the UC San Francisco laboratory of Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Cori Bargmann as a postdoctoral fellow that year and moved with Bargmann to Rockefeller University in 2004 His research focuses on how the C elegans nervous system responds to changes in the environment by generating behaviors that last several minutes Chalasani has also received a Damon Runyon Cancer Foundation Fellowship This year s 12 finalists including eight faculty and four postdocs from the Tri state area are selected for exceptionally elegant innovative and significant interdisciplinary research projects in life sciences physical sciences and engineering The finalists will be honored and the winners announced at the New York Academy of Sciences sixth annual Science and the City Gala on November 16 Previous Blavatnik Awards went to Leslie B Vosshall HHMI investigator and head

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2009/09/14/two-rockefeller-scientists-named-finalists-for-blavatnik-awards-for-young-scientists/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Four Rockefeller researchers named finalists in Blavavtik Awards for Young Scientists | Newswire
    to be announced in November will receive an additional 10 000 to 15 000 respectively Muir who is Richard E Salomon Professor and head of the Selma and Lawrence Ruben Laboratory of Synthetic Protein Chemistry studies the physicochemical basis of protein function in complex systems of biomedical interest His lab has combined the tools of organic chemistry biochemistry and cell biology to develop new technologies that provide insight into how proteins work research with wide potential for elucidating protein function in the postgenomic era Horsley a postdoc in Elaine Fuchs s Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development studies the transcriptional regulation of skin development Recent investigations led by Horsley and Fuchs identified a protein NFATc1 that triggers proliferation of skin stem cells and leads to hair growth in mice Keller a research associate in Leslie B Vosshall s Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior investigates the genetics of olfaction Recent work by Keller and Vosshall pinpointed genetic variations in a single odorant receptor OR7D4 that determine whether an individual perceives the scent of androstenone a derivative of testosterone as pleasant like vanilla unpleasant like urine or odorless Evans who completed postdoctoral training in Charles M Rice s Laboratory of Virology and Infectious Disease in June and is now assistant professor of microbiology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine studies the mechanisms underlying viruses ability to identify suitable host cells and then enter them Evans s research focuses on the hepatitis C virus but the work offers potential insight into the workings of other viruses including dengue and yellow fevers ebola and HIV Among this year s 16 finalists nine faculty and seven postdocs two faculty winners and three postdoctoral winners will be announced at the New York Academy of Sciences fifth annual Science and the City Gala November 17 at

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2008/10/10/four-rockefeller-researchers-named-finalists-in-blavavtik-awards-for-young-scientists/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Research on killer HIV antibodies provides promising new ideas for vaccine design | Newswire
    neutralizing antibodies cloned from 433 B cells of six slow progressing HIV patients were as capable of knocking down a broad range of HIV strains as any one of the super antibodies The ability to isolate and clone antibodies from B cells was first worked out by the lab in a pioneering 2003 paper in Science Now having applied that method to the B cells in HIV patients with high titers of broadly neutralizing antibodies the new research explores in more detail what their antibodies target and how they attack In work published today in Nature postdoc Hugo Mouquet Nussenzweig and colleagues found a surprising result Most antibodies are traditionally thought to bind to their target or antigen in a bivalent fashion meaning they get a firm grip by taking hold of two specific handles But HIV virions do not allow for that possibility because the gp160 spikes are too far apart Therefore antibodies to the virus are handicapped because they can only use one of their two high affinity arms to recognize the viral spike The researchers found that on average 75 percent of the anti gp160 HIV antibodies in their large collection were selected by the immune system for polyreactivity a property that allowed the second free arm of the antibody to enhance overall affinity by binding to the virion non specifically Generally the immune system weeds out polyreactive antibodies even though they are naturally produced in significant quantities because polyreactive antibodies could in theory attack the body itself But the experiments suggest that these sticky antibodies may be an opportunistic adaptation to difficult cases such as HIV in which homotypic bivalent bonding may not be an option This particular cadre of polyreactive antibodies takes a long time years to develop in slow progressing HIV patients and much remains to be discovered about the process but the researchers believe that a vaccine designed to elicit antibodies that mimic these properties could be a promising strategy to beat the deadly virus In related research published in August in The Journal of Experimental Medicine visiting student John Pietzsch Nussenzweig and colleagues mapped the target of the largest single group of neutralizing antibodies found in HIV infected patients with broadly neutralizing serologic activity These antibodies including one of the recently described super antibodies targeted a previously undefined region of the HIV envelope protein a region that is nearby but distinct from the site targeted by previously described super antibodies By mutating individual amino acids of this target and discovering that the result was an impotent virus they showed that the largest group of broadly neutralizing antibodies targets a region on the HIV envelope spike that is indispensable for infection The largest group of the HIV neutralizing antibodies was unmapped this group might have been specific for a number of different sites on the virion Nussenzweig says But they are directed to a single core epitope on the viral spike near the CD4 binding site Our findings extend the footprint of what

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2010/09/30/research-on-killer-hiv-antibodies-provides-promising-new-ideas-for-vaccine-design/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Researchers modify yellow fever vaccine to fight malaria | Newswire
    scientists have shown they can boost the immune system s response to infection in mice The advance could lead to an effective way of fighting the mosquito borne illness among the most pressing health crises in the developing world Photo James Gathany CDC We needed to come up with another way to get the benefits of sporozoite immunization says Charles M Rice head of the Laboratory of Virology and Infectious Disease Along with researchers from Michel C Nussenzweig s Laboratory of Molecular Immunology at Rockefeller and colleagues at New York University Rice and his team considered that fighting infection with infection might be the key They began experimenting with the attenuated yellow fever strain used in the yellow fever vaccine known as YF17D which has been used to successfully vaccinate more than 400 million people since 1937 Previous work in the Rice laboratory and by others had shown that this vaccine strain could be modified to include short sequences from other pathogens including malaria In experiments published last month in Vaccine the researchers inserted the nearly complete sequence of a malaria gene into the YF17D vaccine and found that the gene could produce its protein in cultured cells The protein they chose called CSP covers the surface of the malaria sporozoite and is thought to be the main reason that this form of the parasite stimulates the immune system so effectively Immunization of mice with the YF17D CSP vaccine led to a measurable jump in immune activity against the malaria protein but the single shot was not enough to protect the animals from infection with the mouse form of the malaria parasite The group therefore added a booster shot to the vaccination regimen Animals that had been immunized with YF17D CSP or with a saline solution control were given a

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2010/06/08/researchers-modify-yellow-fever-vaccine-to-fight-malaria/ (2016-02-13)
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  • malaria | Newswire
    was unable to detect carbon dioxide and studies showed that this hindered its ability to detect a host even in the presence of other sensory cues like heat and odor The results can help inform the design of chemical repellents to block host seeking behavior in both Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae which spreads malaria More Tags aedes aegypti dengue fever Leslie B Vosshall malaria mosquitoes yellow fever June 8 2010 Science News Researchers modify yellow fever vaccine to fight malaria A genetically modified vaccine originally used to eradicate yellow fever could be the key to stopping a mosquito borne scourge that afflicts much of the developing world More Tags Charles M Rice Laboratory of Molecular Immunology Laboratory of Virology and Infectious Disease malaria Michel C Nussenzweig yellow fever YF17D CSP March 7 2006 Science News By targeting dendritic cells HIV and malarial vaccines outperform competitors Although DNA based vaccines are often in the limelight scientists at Rockefeller University are developing a completely different approach to inducing immunity one that directs a vaccine straight to the immune cells of living animals and eventually humans More Tags dendritic cells HIV malaria Ralph M Steinman Search for Categories Science News Awards and

    Original URL path: http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/tag/malaria/ (2016-02-13)
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