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Penn Medicine Translational Medicine News



The latest news about translational medicine and research from Penn Medicine - the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Health System - including its associated Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT).



Copyright: 2011, The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania
 



Fatty Diet Activates Oldest Branch of Immune System, Causing Intestinal Tumors

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 16:45:00 GMT

A high-fat-diet-induced immune reaction causes inflammation leading to intestinal cancer in a mouse model – even among animals that are not obese -- according to a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Genes Essential to Life Found in Mouse Mutants are Related to Many Human Disease Genes

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 17:30:00 GMT

About one-third of all genes in the mammalian genome are essential for life. An international, multi-institutional research collaboration identified, for the first time, mutant traits in the mouse for 52 human disease genes, which significantly contributes to the understanding of the genetic bases for some human diseases, including cardiovascular defects, spina bifida, and metabolic disorders, among many others.



Minorities, Women Less Likely to Receive Life-Saving Stroke Treatment, Penn-led Study Suggests

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 20:00:00 GMT

Minorities and women suffering from a stroke may be less likely to receive the clot-busting treatment tPA, known as tissue plasminogen activator, according to a new study from Penn Medicine and other institutions published today in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. 



Case for Liquid Biopsies Builds in Advanced Lung Cancer

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 14:45:00 GMT

For patients with advanced lung cancer, a non-invasive liquid biopsy may be a more effective and suitable alternative to the gold standard tissue biopsy to detect clinically relevant mutations and help guide their course of treatment, suggests a new study published this week in the journal Clinical Cancer Research from researchers at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania (ACC).



Penn Software Helps to Identify Course of Cancer Metastasis, Tumor "Evolution"

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 14:45:00 GMT

An interdisciplinary team from the Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania developed Canopy, an approach to infer the evolutionary track of tumor cells by surveying two types of mutations derived from multiple samples taken from a single patient.



New Mouse Model Points to Drug Target Potentially Useful for Increasing Social Interaction in Autism

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 14:30:00 GMT

A study of a new mouse model identifies a drug target that has the potential to increase social interaction in individuals with some forms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Penn Medicine Geneticist to Receive 2017 Laureate Award from Endocrine Society

Tue, 06 Sep 2016 16:00:00 GMT

Klaus H. Kaestner, PhD, will receive the 2017 Roy O. Greep Award for Outstanding Research from the Washington-based Endocrine Society.



Altering Stem Cell Perception of Tissue Stiffness May Help Treat Musculoskeletal Disorders, According to Penn Bioengineering Study

Thu, 25 Aug 2016 15:30:00 GMT

A new biomaterial can be used to study how and when stem cells sense the mechanics of their surrounding environment, found a team led by Robert Mauck, PhD, the Mary Black Ralston Professor for Education and Research in Orthopaedic Surgery, in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Enigmatic Molecules Maintain Equilibrium Between Fighting Infection, Inflammatory Havoc

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 18:15:00 GMT

Special RNA molecules called long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are key controllers for maintaining immune health when fighting infection or preventing inflammatory disorders, according to research led by Jorge Henao-Mejia, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Cancer Checkpoint Drug Target Governs Metabolic Changes in Exhausted T Cells

Tue, 02 Aug 2016 18:45:00 GMT

A new study suggests that tweaking metabolic steps in combination with checkpoint blockade drugs may improve some cancer therapies, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Penn Study Verifies Human Gene Therapy in Model of Rare Metabolic Disorder

Thu, 28 Jul 2016 17:15:00 GMT

In an ongoing preclinical program using gene therapy to help cells restore normal levels of IDUA, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have shown that exposure to the human IDUA protein early in the life of an MPS I canine model increased immune tolerance to the foreign gene.



Penn Medicine Immunologist Receives Cancer Research Institute Award for New Discoveries on Exhausted T cells

Thu, 28 Jul 2016 17:15:00 GMT

E. John Wherry, PhD, a professor of Microbiology, director of the Institute for Immunology, and co-director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has been awarded the 2016 Frederick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology from the Cancer Research Institute (CRI).



Codependence of Cell Nucleus Proteins Key to Understanding Fatty Liver Disease

Tue, 26 Jul 2016 16:45:00 GMT

A new appreciation for the interplay between two cell nucleus proteins that lead both intertwined and separate lives is helping researchers better understand fatty liver disease, according to a new study by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



New Penn Neurodegeneration Genomics Center Forms National Hub for Alzheimers' Disease Research

Mon, 18 Jul 2016 18:00:00 GMT

Penn Medicine has established the Penn Neurodegeneration Genomics Center (PNGC) as a national focal point for Alzheimer's disease (AD) genetics research.



Hybrid Immune Cells in Early-Stage Lung Cancer Spur Anti-Tumor T Cells to Action

Thu, 14 Jul 2016 19:30:00 GMT

Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have now identified a unique subset of tumor associated neutrophils that exhibit hybrid characteristics of two immune cell types -- neutrophils and antigen-presenting cells -- in samples from early-stage human lung cancers.



Penn Preclinical Study Outlines Cardiovascular Side Effects of Breast Cancer Drug

Wed, 13 Jul 2016 17:30:00 GMT

A receptor protein that is the target of the breast cancer drug trastuzumab (Herceptin) is needed for proper heart blood-vessel development, reported researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



New Therapy Treats Autoimmune Disease Without Harming Normal Immunity

Thu, 30 May 2016 18:30:00 GMT

In a study with potentially major implications for the future treatment of autoimmunity and related conditions, scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have found a way to remove the subset of antibody-making cells that cause an autoimmune disease, without harming the rest of the immune system.



Penn Medicine to Develop the Next Generation of Viral Vectors -- called AAV 3.0™ -- for Gene Therapies and Genome Editing

Wed, 29 Jun 2016 14:45:00 GMT

The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has launched a new program, called AAV 3.0™, to create new viral vectors to find quicker and better treatments for an array of diseases.



New Antiviral Drugs Could Come from DNA "Scrunching"

Wed, 08 Jun 2016 20:15:00 GMT

Evidence of DNA "scrunching" may one day lead to a new class of drugs against viruses, according to a research team from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Columbia University.



Penn Study Describes a Better Animal Model to Improve HIV Vaccine Development

Mon, 06 Jun 2016 13:45:00 GMT

Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have figured out how to make a much-improved research tool that they hope will open the door to new and better HIV vaccine designs.



Identifying How Merkel Cell Polyomavirus Infection can Cause a Lethal Carcinoma

Fri, 27 May 2016 16:30:00 GMT

A benign virus normally found in the skin can lead to a type of rare, lethal skin cancer. Specifically, infection by the Merkel cell polyomavirus can lead to Merkel cell carcinoma in immune-compromised individuals. Researchers have now identified a type of skin cell as the target of the virus in humans.



Rhythm of "Detox" and Feeding Genes in Fruitflies and Mice Coordinated by Neuropeptide, According to Penn Study

Tue, 17 May 2016 15:30:00 GMT

A 24-hour rhythm of cellular detoxification in flies and mammals is coordinated by a neuropeptide that also drives feeding in both organisms, found a team led by Amita Sehgal, PhD, a professor of Neuroscience and director of the Chronobiology Program, in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Next-Gen Electrodes: Proof-of-Concept Animal Study Shows that Flexible, Dissolvable Silicon Electronic Device Holds Promise for Brain Monitoring

Thu, 05 May 2016 19:30:00 GMT

An implantable brain device that literally melts away at a pre-determined rate minimizes injury to tissue normally associated with standard electrode implantation, according to research led by a team from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Quieting Cells' Low-Oxygen Alarm Stops Flare-ups in Rare Bone Disorder, Penn Animal Study Finds

Mon, 02 May 2016 15:00:00 GMT

Scientists from the Center for Research in FOP and Related Disorders at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues examined the critical role of tissue hypoxia, or oxygen starvation, in the induction and amplification of FOP lesions, also called flare-ups.



Genetic Risk Factors of Disparate Diseases Share Similar Biological Underpinnings, According to Genomics Research Collaboration

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 17:15:00 GMT

The discovery of shared biological properties among independent variants of DNA sequences offers the opportunity to broaden understanding of the biological basis of disease and identify new therapeutic targets, according to a collaboration between the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Arizona Health Sciences, and Vanderbilt University.



A Long-noncoding RNA Regulates Repair of DNA Breaks in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells

Thu, 28 Apr 2016 20::00 GMT

Using a clinically guided genetic screening approach, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania identified LINP1, a lncRNA.



Penn Study on Fragile X Syndrome Uses Fruitfly's Point of View to Identify New Treatment Paths

Mon, 26 Apr 2016 15:30:00 GMT

Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common genetically inherited cause of intellectual disability in humans. New research shows how the hormone insulin – usually associated with diabetes -- is involved in the daily activity patterns and cognitive deficits in the fruitfly model of FXS, according to a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine.



Mechanics of a Heartbeat are Controlled by Molecular Strut in Heart Muscle Cells, Penn Study Finds

Thu, 21 Apr 2016 18:00:00 GMT

Using new high-resolution microscopy, a team from the Perelman School of Medicine and the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania found that molecular struts called microtubules (MT) interact with the heart's contractile machinery to provide mechanical resistance for the beating of the heart.



Penn and Rutgers Researchers Discover New Pathway That May Trigger Asthma

Tue, 19 Apr 2016 15:30:00 GMT

Scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers University have identified a biological pathway that potentially explains why current asthma therapies don't work well in many cases—and might be targeted to help those patients.



Drug Candidate Stops Extra Bone Growth in Animal Model of Rare, Genetic Disease

Wed, 13 Apr 2016 14:45:00 GMT

New preclinical research provides support to a drug that has been repurposed to possibly treat a rare and extremely disabling genetic bone disease, particularly in children. In that disease, fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), a mutation triggers bone growth in muscles, alters skeletal bone formation, and limits motion, breathing, and swallowing, among a host of progressive symptoms.



Penn Study Brings New Understanding to How Fundamental DNA Sequences Govern Gene Activity

Thu, 07 Apr 2016 16:00:00 GMT

A team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have shed new light on how the structure of regulatory sequences in DNA is packaged in a cell.



Seeing Cell to Cell Differences for First Time Explains Symptoms of Rare Genetic Disorders, Finds Penn Study

Fri, 01 Apr 2016 14:15:00 GMT

Until now, researchers have lacked the tools to examine -- in a single cell --the exact readout from each genome to make RNA. Using a new technology that allows researchers to do just that, an interdisciplinary University of Pennsylvania team examined a rare disease in which these two genomes are expressed differently throughout the body, even sometimes in the same organ.



Penn Study Describes the Molecular Cause of Common Cerebrovascular Disease

Wed, 30 Mar 2016 17:00:00 GMT

A team from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has discovered the molecular mechanism that underlies cerebral cavernous malformations. They published their results this week online ahead of print in Nature.



Genomes of Chimpanzee Parasite Species Reveal Evolution of Human Malaria, According to Penn-led Study

Wed, 22 Mar 2016 10:00:00 GMT

n international team led by Beatrice Hahn, MD, a professor of Medicine and Microbiology from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and MD/PhD student Sesh Sundararaman, used a selective amplification technique to sequence the genomes of two divergent Plasmodium species, Plasmodium reichenowi and Plasmodium gaboni, from miniscule volumes of chimpanzee blood to find clues about the evolution and pathogenicity of Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest malaria parasite that affects people.



Penn Study Shows a Form of Genetically Elevated "Good" Cholesterol May Actually be Bad

Thu, 10 Feb 2016 18:00:00 GMT

The generally accepted medical maxim that elevated HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) is "good" has been overturned by a multi-center, international study, led by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Penn Pioneer in Translational Medicine Remarks on New National Academy of Sciences Report on Precision Medicine

Fri, 04 Feb 2016 15:00:00 GMT

Comprehensive strategies to ensure that patients have access to effective biomarker tests and treatments will be essential to access the potential of precision medicine, according to a new report entitled Biomarker Tests for Molecularly Targeted Therapies: Key to Unlocking Precision Medicine released today by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS).



Blocking Transfer of Calcium to Cell's Powerhouse Selectively Kills Cancer Cells

Thu, 03 Feb 2016 17:00:00 GMT

Inhibiting the transfer of calcium ions into the cell's powerhouse is specifically toxic to cancer cells, according to an article published this week in Cell Reports by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Brain's "Reward" Molecule also Controls Learning to Avoid an Unpleasant Experience

Mon, 29 Feb 2016 18:30:00 GMT

The brain chemical dopamine regulates how mice learn to avoid a disagreeable encounter, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



New Mathematical Model Explains Variability in Mutation Rates Across the Human Genome

Thu, 18 Feb 2016 15:00:00 GMT

It turns out that the type, how frequent, and where new mutations occur in the human genome depends on which DNA building blocks are nearby, found researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in an advanced online study published this week in Nature Genetics.



"Beiging" White Fat Cells to Fight Diabetes

Tue, 16 Feb 2016 17:45:00 GMT

Researchers are getting closer to learning how to turn white fat cells into brown fat cells, in a process called "beiging," to bring down blood sugar levels and fight diabetes.



Penn Researchers Illuminate "Dark Side" of the Transcriptome

Tue, 09 Feb 2015 13:45:00 GMT

A new way of mapping the "transcriptome" -- the collection of RNA read-outs that are expressed by a cell's active genes -- has been devised by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Penn Medicine and LouLou Foundation Create Program of Excellence for Rare Genetic Disorder that Affects Children

Fri, 05 Feb 2016 12:00:00 GMT

The London-based LouLou Foundation and the Orphan Disease Center of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have established a Program of Excellence to develop effective treatments for children with CDKL5, a rare X-chromosome-linked genetic disorder that causes severe neuro-developmental impairment and early-onset, difficult-to-control seizures.



It's all About the Timing: Fetal Expression of Core Clock Gene Determines Lifespan in Mice

Wed, 03 Feb 2015 18:00:00 GMT

Abolishing the 24-hour clock by knocking out a key gene during development accelerates aging and shortens lifespan by two thirds in mice, but this effect is absent if the gene deletion is delayed until after birth, according to a new study published this week in Science Translational Medicine by scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Penn Study Identifies Enzyme Key to Link Between Age-Related Inflammation and Cancer

Tue, 02 Feb 2016 17:15:00 GMT

For the first time, researchers have shown that an enzyme key to regulating gene expression -- and also an oncogene when mutated -- is critical for the expression of numerous inflammatory compounds that have been implicated in age-related increases in cancer and tissue degeneration, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



"Gene Fusion" Mutation Uses Three-Way Mechanism To Drive Childhood Brain Cancers

Tue, 02 Feb 2016 16:45:00 GMT

A powerful, three-way mechanism by which a mutation drives the growth of childhood brain cancers, was discovered by scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).



Viral Gene Editing System Corrects Genetic Liver Disease in Newborn Mice

Mon, 01 Feb 2016 15:00:00 GMT

For the first time, researchers have treated an animal model of a genetic disorder using a viral vector to deliver genome-editing components in which the disease- causing mutation has been corrected.



Two Gatekeepers for One Gate: Penn Study Solves Mystery of Cell Powerhouse’s Balance of Calcium

Mon, 25 Jan 2016 19:30:00 GMT

A decades-long mystery of how the cell’s powerhouse, and its energy currency of calcium ion flow, is maintained under different physiological conditions has been solved by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Powerful Machine-Learning Technique Uncovers Unknown Features of Important Bacterial Pathogen, According to Penn Study

Wed, 20 Jan 2016 14:30:00 GMT

A powerful new machine-learning technique can be applied to large datasets in the biological sciences to uncover previously unknown features of organisms and their genes, according to a team led by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Finding the Needle in a Microbial Haystack: Penn Researchers Test New Pathogen Detection Technology

Fri, 15 Jan 2016 18:00:00 GMT

In a recently published study in Cancer Biology and Therapy, a group of Penn colleagues used a version of the PathoChip microarray, which contains 60,000 probes for all known viruses, as well as a broad range of bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and helminthes, a parasitic worm, to identify the pathogenic agent in the sample of a patient.



New Understanding of Knee Fibrocartilage Structure Could Aid in Development of Better Replacements and Injury Treatments

Fri, 08 Jan 2016 13:30:00 GMT

Fibrocartilage tissue in the knee is comprised of a more varied molecular structure than researchers previously appreciated, according to a new study by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Delaware.



Penn-Led Team Reprograms Social Behavior in Carpenter Ants Using Epigenetic Drugs

Mon, 31 Dec 2015 18:00:00 GMT

In a new study published today in Science, a multi-institution team anchored at University of Pennsylvania found that caste-specific behaviors of carpenter ants are not set in stone.



Heart Structural Gene Causes Sudden Cardiac Death in Animal Model

Mon, 14 Dec 2015 17:30:00 GMT

The presence or absence of the CAP2 gene causes sudden cardiac death in mice, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Penn Study Shows that Certain Herpes Viruses Can Infect Human Neurons

Thu, 03 Dec 2015 19:45:00 GMT

Erle S. Robertson, PhD, and colleagues published in mBio this week that Epstein-Barr virus and a related virus, Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, can infect and replicate in both cultured and primary neurons. 



"Mild Traumatic Brain Injury an Oxymoron:" New Protein Biomarker Highlights Damaged Brain Wiring After Concussion, Finds Penn Study

Mon, 23 Nov 2015 14:00:00 GMT

Physicians and others now recognize that seemingly mild, concussion-type head injuries lead to long-term cognitive impairments surprisingly often. A brain protein called SNTF, which rises in the blood after some concussions, signals the type of brain damage that is thought to be the source of these cognitive impairments, according to a study led by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.  



Transparent Zebrafish Reveal How Axons Regenerate on a Proper Path, Finds Penn Study

Thu, 05 Nov 2015 16:15:00 GMT

Using a transparent zebrafish model, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, have identified key components of a mechanism that allows the nervous system to heal itself.



Study Reveals How to Regenerate Mouse Ears Without a Scar

Fri, 30 Oct 2015 13:30:00 GMT

In contrast to amphibian tissue regeneration, traumatic injuries in mammals typically heal with a fibrous scar. Researchers discovered that some strains of mice heal without a scar, by disrupting a protein, called Sdf1, that normally recruits white blood cells to sites of injury.



Autophagy Works in Cell Nucleus to Guard Against Start of Cancer, Finds Penn Study

Wed, 28 Oct 2015 18:00:00 GMT

Autophagy, literally self-eating or the degradation of unwanted cellular bits and pieces by the cell itself, has been shown for the first time to also work in the cell nucleus. In addition, in this setting it plays a role in guarding against the start of cancer, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Two Researchers from Penn's Perelman School of Medicine Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Wed, 28 Oct 2015 14:15:00 GMT

Two researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have been elected as new members to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation's most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research.



Kojo S.J. Elenitoba-Johnson, MD, Named Founding Director of Center for Personalized Diagnostics at Penn

Mon, 26 Oct 2015 18:30:00 GMT

Kojo S.J. Elenitoba-Johnson, MD, has been named the founding director of Penn Medicine's Center for Personalized Diagnostics (CPD) and chief of the newly created division of the Molecular and Genomic Pathology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. 



Nancy A. Speck, PhD, Named Chair of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Wed, 21 Sep 2015 15:00:00 GMT

Nancy A. Speck, PhD, a widely recognized international leader in the field of blood-cell development, has been named chair of the department of Cell and Developmental Biology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



National Academy of Medicine Elects Three New Members from Penn

Mon, 19 Sep 2015 15:45:00 GMT

Three professors from the University of Pennsylvania have been elected members to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), one of the nation's highest honors in biomedicine.



Penn Researchers Decode Microbial Signature of Aggressive Form of Breast Cancer

Thu, 15 Oct 2015 13:30:00 GMT

A new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, led by Erle S. Robertson, PhD and James C. Alwine, PhD, has identified, for the first time, an association between two microbial signatures and triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), the most aggressive form of the disease.



Off-Kilter: Penn Study Identifies Differences in Treatment Effect on Out-of-Balance Microbiome in Crohn's Disease

Wed, 14 Oct 2015 16:00:00 GMT

Different treatments for Crohn's disease in children affects their gut microbes in distinct ways, which has implications for future development of microbial-targeted therapies for these patients, according to a study led by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Turncoat Protein Regulates Sensitivity of Breast Cancer Cells to Drug, Providing New Target for Preventing Relapses, Finds Penn Study

Mon, 12 Oct 2015 16:00:00 GMT

A surprising, paradoxical relationship between a tumor suppressor molecule and an oncogene may be the key to explaining and working around how breast cancer tumor cells become desensitized to a common cancer drug, found researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Penn Team Maps First Comprehensive Profile of Non-Protein-Coding RNAs to Provide Clinicians with New Way to Diagnose Array of Cancers

Mon, 12 Oct 2015 16:00:00 GMT

Most studies of genomic alterations in cancer have focused on the miniscule portion of the human genome that encodes protein. An international team, led by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has now changed all of that.



"Chromosomal Chaos:" Complex Array of Mutations Found in Rare, Aggressive Leukemia

Wed, 07 Oct 2015 16:30:00 GMT

Sezary syndrome (SS), an aggressive leukemia of mature T cells, is more complicated at a molecular level than ever suspected, according to investigators from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Two-Hit Therapy for Breast Cancer Tumors Using Approved Drugs Looks Promising in Animal Study, Penn Study Finds

Wed, 07 Oct 2015 13:30:00 GMT

Disabling a cancer-causing pathway and administering an immune-molecule-based mop-up therapy eradicated a specific type of breast tumor in mice, according to researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Cell's Waste Disposal System Regulates Body Clock Proteins, Finds Penn Study

Tue, 06 Oct 2015 14:15:00 GMT

A new Penn-led study describes a new genome screen that identified partner molecules of cell-waste disposal proteins.  



Penn Team Pinpoints Developmental Gene that Regulates Repair and Regeneration in Adult Lungs

Mon, 05 Oct 2015 15:00:00 GMT

The whimsically named sonic hedgehog gene, best known for controlling embryonic development, also maintains the normal physiological state and repair process of an adult healthy lung, if damaged, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania published online this week in Nature in advance of the print edition.  



Penn Medicine Researcher Receives Champion of Hope Award

Thu, 01 Oct 2015 10:30:00 GMT

David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSc, a research assistant professor of Medicine, division of Hematology/Oncology, in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has received the RARE Champion of Hope award for science.



Penn-developed, DNA-based Vaccine Clears Nearly Half of Precancerous Cervical Lesions in Clinical Trial

Wed, 30 Sep 2015 13:30:00 GMT

Using a novel synthetic platform for creating vaccines originally developed in the laboratory of David Weiner, PhD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, a team led by his colleagues at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has successfully eradicated precancerous cervical lesions in nearly half of the women who received the investigational vaccine in a clinical trial.



Cancer Doesn't Sleep: The Myc Oncogene Disrupts Circadian Rhythm and Metabolism in Cancer Cells, Finds New Penn Study

Thu, 17 Sep 2015 16:00:00 GMT

Myc is a cancer-causing gene responsible for disrupting the normal 24-hour internal rhythm and metabolic pathways in cancer cells, found a team led by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Penn Study Demonstrates Genes' Major Role in Skin and Organ Development

Tue, 15 Sep 2015 12:00:00 GMT

Knocking out one or both crucial regulatory genes caused cleft lip, skin barrier defects, and a host of other developmental problems in mice, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, hinting that abnormalities in these molecular pathways could underlie many birth defects that are presently not well understood.



Blood Cancers Develop When Immune Cell DNA Editing Enzyme Hits Off-target Spots in the Genome, Penn Animal Study Finds

Thu, 10 Sep 2015 16:00:00 GMT

Now, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania have shown that when the enzyme key to cutting and pasting segments of DNA hits so-called "off-target" spots on a chromosome, the development of immune cells can lead to cancer in animal models.



Sensitivity of Smell Cilia Depends on Location and Length in Nasal Cavity, Penn Researchers Find

Thu, 10 Sep 2015 16:00:00 GMT

A team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found a location-dependent pattern in cilia length in the mouse nasal cavity that affects sensitivity to odors. The discovery may also have important implications for the study of sight and touch. 



Team Decodes Structure of Protein Complex Active in DNA Repair

Thu, 03 Sep 2015 16:00:00 GMT

A team led by Roger Greenberg, MD, PhD, an associate professor of Cancer Biology at Penn, and Frank Sicheri, PhD, in Toronto, report online in Molecular Cell ahead of print, the atomic structures of several BRCC36-containing complexes.



Mutation in Well-studied p53 Tumor Suppressor Protein Uses Epigenetic Pathways to Drive Aggressive Cancer Growth

Wed, 02 Sep 2015 17:00:00 GMT

Aggressive cancer growth and alterations in gene activity without changes in DNA sequence (epigenetics) are associated with mutant p53 proteins, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Penn Neuroscientists Receive $1 Million "BRAIN" Grant from National Science Foundation

Tue, 25 Aug 2015 15:30:00 GMT

Joshua Gold, PhD, a professor of Neuroscience at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Joe Kable, PhD, Baird Term Associate Professor of Psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences, have been awarded a three-year $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation.



Targeting HIV in Semen to Shut Down AIDS

Tue, 18 Aug 2015 15:00:00 GMT

There may be two new ways to fight AIDS -- using a heat shock protein or a small molecule – to attack fibrils in semen associated with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during the initial phases of infection, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



Spread of Cancer from Pancreas Arises from the Interactions of Multiple Types of Wayward Cells

Wed, 12 Aug 2015 14:44:00 GMT

Tumor cells associated with pancreatic cancer often behave like communities by working with each other to increase tumor spread and growth to different organs. Groups of these cancer cells are better than single cancer cells in driving tumor spread, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania published in Cancer Discovery online in advance of the print issue.



Penn Medicine Researcher Receives High Impact Neuroscience Resource Center Grant from National Institutes of Health

Mon, 10 Aug 2015 16:00:00 GMT

Sergei A. Vinogradov, PhD, an associate professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has been awarded a four-year High Impact Neuroscience Research Resource Center Grant from the National Institutes of Health.



Penn Study Details Powerful Molecular Promoter of Colon Cancers

Wed, 05 Aug 2015 18:00:00 GMT

Cancer researchers already know of some oncogenes and other factors that promote the development of colon cancers, but they don't yet have the full picture of how these cancers originate and spread. Now researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have illuminated another powerful factor in this process.



Penn Medicine Scientist Receives 2015 Henry M. Stratton Medal Recognizing Contributions to Basic Hematology Research

Wed, 05 Aug 2015 14:15:00 GMT

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) has awarded Nancy Speck, PhD, a professor of Cell and Developmental Biology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the 2015 Henry M. Stratton Medal for Basic Science for her "seminal contributions in the area of hematology research."



Daily Changes in Mouse Gut Bacteria Move with Clock, Gender

Mon, 03 August 2015 19:00:00 GMT

Changes in the abundance of mouse gut bacteria, over a 24-hour cycle, particularly in females, is tied to rhythms in the internal clock, according to work published online this week in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine.



Penn Researchers Devise New Approach for Making Vaccines for Deadly Diseases

Mon, 03 August 2015 17:30:00 GMT

Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have devised an entirely new approach to vaccines – creating immunity without vaccination.



Penn Study Questions Presence in Blood of Heart-Healthy Molecules from Fish Oil Supplements

Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:15:00 GMT

Now, a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, published online this month ahead of the print issue in the Journal of Lipid Research, questions the relevance of fish oil-derived SPMs and their purported anti-inflammatory effects in humans.



Cell Aging Slowed by Putting Brakes on Noisy Transcription

Thu, 30 Jul 2015 15:00:00 GMT

Working with yeast and worms, researchers found that incorrect gene expression is a hallmark of aged cells and that reducing such “noise” extends lifespan in these organisms.



Sleepy Fruitflies Get Mellow: Sleep Deprivation Reduces Aggression, Mating Behavior in Flies, Penn Study Finds

Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:30:00 GMT

A team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania used fruitflies to probe deeper into the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern aggression and sleep.



Penn Scientists Find That Flow Means "Go" for Proper Lymph System Development

Mon, 27 Jul 2015 20:15:00 GMT

The lymphatic system provides a slow flow of fluid from our organs and tissues into the bloodstream. It returns fluid and proteins that leak from blood vessels, provides passage for immune and inflammatory cells from the tissues to the blood, and hosts key niches for immune cells. How this system develops hasn't been well understood, but now researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have found from experiments in mice that the early flow of lymph fluid is a critical factor in the development of mature lymphatic vessels.



Penn Medicine Researchers Receive $2 Million Grant from the American Heart Association

Fri, 17 Jul 2015 15:00:00 GMT

Daniel J. Rader, MD, chair of the Department of Genetics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Danish Saleheen, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, have been awarded a four-year, $2 million 2015 Grand Challenge Award from the American Heart Association (AHA).



Hydraulic Fracturing Linked to Increases in Hospitalization Rates in the Marcellus Shale Region, According to Penn Study

Wed, 15 Jul 2015 18:00:00 GMT

Hospitalizations for heart conditions, neurological illness, and other conditions were higher among people who live near unconventional gas and oil drilling (hydraulic fracturing), according to new research from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University published this week in PLOS ONE.



Vision-Restoring Gene Therapy Also Strengthens Visual Processing Pathways in Brain, According to Penn Study

Wed, 15 Jul 2015 18:00:00 GMT

Since 2007, clinical trials using gene therapy have resulted in often-dramatic sight restoration for dozens of children and adults who were otherwise doomed to blindness. Now, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), have found evidence that this sight restoration leads to strengthening of visual pathways in the brain, published this week in Science Translational Medicine.



Fruitfly Sperm Cells Reveal Intricate Coordination in Stem Cell Replication, Penn Study Finds

Thu, 25 Jun 2015 19:00:00 GMT

Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania are making headway in this area by studying stem cells in their natural environment in an organism. Stem cell populations reside in areas called niches deep within different types of organs. Scientists think that these niches control stem cell behavior, that is “telling” the stem cell when to produce more stem cells or when to produce daughter cells that will be the workhorses for that tissue or organ.



Penn Researchers Identify Stem-like Progenitor Cell that Exclusively Forms Heart Muscle

Thu, 25 Jun 2015 18:00:00 GMT

Future therapies for failing hearts are likely to include stem-like cells and associated growth factors that regenerate heart muscle. Scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have just taken an important step towards that future by identifying a stem-like "progenitor" cell that produces only heart muscle cells.



Protein "Comet Tails" Propel Cell Recycling Process, Penn Study Finds

Thu, 18 Jun 2015 18:30:00 GMT

Several well-known neurodegenerative diseases, such as Lou Gehrig's (ALS), Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's disease, all result in part from a defect in autophagy – one way a cell removes and recycles misfolded proteins and pathogens. In a paper published this week in Current Biology, postdoctoral fellow David Kast, PhD, and professor Roberto Dominguez, PhD, and three other colleagues from the Department of Physiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, show for the first time that the formation of ephemeral compartments key in this process require actin polymerization by the Arp2/3 complex, a composite of seven proteins.



Penn Researchers Receive $2.9 Million in Awards from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund to Launch Biomedical Research Careers

Wed, 17 Jun 2015 14:00:00 GMT

Five early-career researchers from three schools at the University of Pennsylvania have received funding from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF) for their excellence in biomedical research, in topics including heart disease, sleep, and infectious diseases, as part of a nationwide program totaling $22.5 million.



Reverberations in Metabolism: Protein Maintains Double Duty as Key Cog in Body Clock and Metabolic Control, Penn Study Finds

Thu, 04 Jun 2015 20:00:00 GMT

In a new study published online ahead of print in Science Express, the Mitchell Lazar, MD, PhD, and his team describes how one protein regulates the clock in most cells in the body and metabolic genes in the liver, the body's key organ for metabolism of fat as well as sugar.



Penn Researchers Home in on What's Wearing Out T Cells

Wed, 03 June 2015 14:30:00 GMT

Sometimes even cells get tired. When the T cells of your immune system are forced to deal over time with cancer or a chronic infection such as HIV or hepatitis C, they can develop "T cell exhaustion," becoming less effective and losing their ability to attack and destroy the invaders of the body. While the PD-1 protein pathway has long been implicated as a primary player in T cell exhaustion, a major question has been whether PD-1 actually directly causes exhaustion.



Invitation to Cover: Balancing Act: Conflict of Interest and Scientific Discovery

Wed, 27 May 2015 13:15:00 GMT

How can academic medical centers best manage the emerging issue of conflict of interest among scientists and physicians working to develop the next generation of treatments and cures? How do academic conflict of interest policies affect the process of scientific discovery? Exploring these questions and related issues will be at the heart of the "Conflict of Interest and Scientific Discovery" symposium organized by the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. 



Penn Study Links Better "Good Cholesterol" Function With Lower Risk of Later Heart Disease

Wed, 27 May 2015 13:15:00 GMT

A team led by scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has shown in a large, forward-looking epidemiological study that a person's HDL function—the efficiency of HDL molecules at removing cholesterol—may be a better measure of coronary heart disease risk and a better target for heart-protecting drugs.