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Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research Scientists Discover Powerful Gene Regulators 05/07/2013

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Whitehead Institute for Biomedical ResearchOn April 11 MBBP client Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research announced its scientists have discovered a set of powerful gene regulators that control cell state and identity which they named “super-enhancers”. They found that healthy cells employ these “super-enhancers” to control genes responsible for cellular functions and developmental transitions, but cancer cells hijack their own super-enhancers which are used to overproduce harmful oncogenes that lead to aggressive tumors. Whitehead Institute member Richard Young had this to say of the discovery:

Looking at large genome association studies, one can find disease-related mutations occurring in super-enhancers. It’s possible that super-enhancers could become biomarkers that identify key disease genes and help guide the development of approaches to treatment.

To learn more, please view the full press release here.

Whitehead Institute Corrects Disease-Causing Mutations in Stem Cells 08/04/2011

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On July 14th, MBBP client Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research announced its researchers have successfully manipulated targeted genes in both human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. Scientists working on this project published a paper in the July 22 issue of the journal Cell that describes two methods for either inserting or removing mutations that can cause early-onset Parkinson’s disease. For the first method scientists employed proteins known as zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) to change a single base pair in the genome, allowing them either to insert or remove mutations known to cause early-onset Parkinson’s disease (PD). The second method relies on proteins called transcription activator like effector nucleases (TALENs) capable of altering specific genes with similar efficiency and precision as ZFNs.

For more information on the breakthrough, please see the Whitehead Institute press release.

Whitehead Institute Member Receives 2011 Wolf Prize in Medicine 02/23/2011

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On February 17th, Israel’s Wolf Foundation announced that Professor Rudolf Jaenisch, founding member of MBBP client Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, is a recipient of the prestigious 2011 Wolf Prize in Medicine. Professor Jaenisch, along with Professor Shinya Yamanaka of Japan, was selected for his “groundbreaking contribution to stem cell research”.

The mission of the Wolf Foundation is to “award prizes to outstanding scientists and artists for achievements in the interest of mankind and friendly relations among peoples” across six categories including agriculture, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, physics and the arts.  Many recipients of the Wolf Prize have continued on to receive a Nobel Prize. 

Congratulations to Dr. Jaenisch and the Whitehead Institute!

For full article, please see Whitehead Institute News.

Whitehead Institute Scientist Wins National Medal of Science 10/22/2010

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On October 14th, President Barak Obama named Susan Lindquist, member of MBBP client Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and MIT biology professor, a recipient of the National Medal of Science.  Dr. Lindquist was awarded the nation’s highest scientific honor for her “studies of protein folding, demonstrating that alternative protein conformations and aggregations can have profound and unexpected biological influences, facilitating insights in fields as wide-ranging as human disease, evolution, and biomaterials.”

Congratulations Dr. Lindquist!

To learn more about Susan Lindquist’s work, please read full article on MIT News.

MIT’s Technology Review Names Whitehead Scientist One of the Year’s Top Young Innovators 09/01/2010

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Whitehead Institute for Biomedical ResearchMIT’s Technology Review, the oldest technology magazine in the world (est. in 1899), has announced their annual list of the world’s top 35 innovators under the age of 35 (TR35) One of the few named to this list is Jacob Hanna of MBBP client Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. Hanna is being recognized for his research and experiments on reprogramming mouse skin cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to cure mice of sickle-cell anemia. George Daley, director of the Stem Cell Transplantation Program at Boston’s Children’s Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School had this to say of Hanna’s research:

Hanna’s work was a turning point for iPS research. It was a beautiful demonstration of a mouse model of a human disease, and really demonstrated the potential of iPS cells.

The honorees of this year’s TR35 were chosen from a pool of more than 300 applicants by a panel of experts made up of technologists, inventors, and entrepreneurs. This award recognizes individuals whose superb technical work holds great promise to shape the future.

Congratulations Jacob!

For more information on the TR35, please visit MIT’s Technology Review.

To learn more about Jacob Hanna’s work, please visit Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.

Whitehead Institute Among Top 20 Life Sciences Patent Holders in New England 04/21/2010

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Whitehead Institute for Biomedical ResearchMass High Tech recently released a list of the Top 20 Life Sciences Patent Holders of New England. MBBP client Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research came in at number 20, with a total of 18 patents obtained between 2007-2009. Whitehead was granted two, six, and ten patents over those same three years, respectively.

For the full article please visit Mass High Tech.

MBBP Obtains First iPSC Notice of Allowance on Behalf of Whitehead Institute 02/17/2010

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Whitehead Institute for Biomedical ResearchMBBP has obtained a Notice of Allowance from the USPTO for Patent Application Number 10/997,146 entitled “Methods for Reprogramming Somatic Cells” on behalf of our client Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and exclusive licensee Fate Therapeutics. Upon issuance, the patent will cover foundational induced pluripotent stem cell technology for identifying agents that enable the reprogramming of human somatic cells; the application is believed to contain the earliest allowed claims in the US for induced pluripotent stem cell technology. Whitehead Institute is a leading, nonprofit research and educational institution defining the cutting edge of biomedical science, and Fate Therapeutics is a leader in stem cell and developmental biology research using the fundamental biological mechanisms that guide cell fate to develop stem cell therapeutics.

For full press release, please visit Fate Therapeutics.

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