Alea Mills named "Woman of the Year in Health/Medicine"
"For her dedication to finding breakthroughs in autism and cancer research," the Times of Huntington has named CSHL Professor Alea Mills as Woman of the Year in Health/Medicine. The Times made the announcement in "Putting the pieces of autism together at CSHL," an article on Mills' recent work by Karen Forman, appearing December 27, 2012. Dr. Bruce Stillman, President of CSHL, explained in the article that Mills and her team discovered several years ago that large sections of chromosome 1 were deleted in many cancers and she was able to delete or remove the equivalent sections of chromosome 1 in mice. Read More
In deleting these sections, she eventually traced it down to a single gene. This is called "chromosome engineering — performing large-scale alterations to chromosomes at will," Stillman said. More recently, Mills and her team, in collaboration with Dr. Michael Wigler's lab, succeeded in using chromosome engineering to make a mouse model that mimics certain autism behaviors frequently seen in children. "She is a very collaborative scientist," Dr. Stillman noted. "Alea has played a central role in this technology. Other scientists are jumping on this research now. Scientists are collaborating with Alea to study the brains of these animals."
CSHL scientist Chris Vakoc receives ‘A’ award from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation has announced that CSHL Assistant Professor Christopher R. Vakoc, M.D., Ph.D., has been has been named as a recipient of one of its ‘A’ awards for pediatric cancer research. Vakoc, one of four scientists to receive the honor, will receive $375,000 for his research examining pediatric leukemia. Read More
He will work on a project entitled, “BET bromodomain inhibition as epigenetic therapy in pediatric leukemia.” Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). At the age of 4, Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since then, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, with thousands of volunteers across the country who carry on her legacy of hope. To date, more than $50 million have been raised toward fulfilling Alex’s dream of finding a cure, funding over 200 research projects nationally including those examining leukemia, brain tumors, neuroblastoma, Wilm's tumor, lymphoma, and osteosarcoma among others. For more information on the Foundation or to make a donation, please visit http://www.alexslemonade.org/.
AAAS council elects CSHL’s Leemor Joshua-Tor a 2012 AAAS Fellow
CSHL Professor and HHMI Investigator Leemor Joshua-Tor has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. AAAS members are awarded this honor because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. The 2012 AAAS fellows were formally announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science on 30 November 2012, as well as online at the AAAS website. As a member of the Section of Biological Sciences, Joshua-Tor was elected as an AAAS Fellow for contributions to the field of nucleic-acid enzymes, particularly in the fields of RNA interference and DNA replication. Read More
Joshua-Tor’s lab studies the molecular basis of cell regulatory processes by using the tools of structural biology and biochemistry to examine proteins and protein complexes associated with these processes. Efforts largely center on nucleic-acid regulation including the process of RNA interference (RNAi) and DNA replication initiation in papillomaviruses. In addition to her research, Joshua-Tor was the Dean of the Watson School of Biosciences at CSHL from 2007-2012 and is a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) external working group on the future biomedical workforce.
The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Currently, members can be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the Association’s 24 sections, or by any three Fellows who are current AAAS members (so long as two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee's institution), or by the AAAS chief executive officer. Each steering group then reviews the nominations of individuals within its respective section and a final list is forwarded to the AAAS Council, which votes on the aggregate list. The Council is the policymaking body of the Association, chaired by the AAAS president, and consisting of the members of the board of directors, the retiring section chairs, delegates from each electorate and each regional division, and two delegates from the National Association of Academies of Science.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science (www.sciencemag.org) among other periodicals.
CSHL Professor Nicholas Tonks is named a Vallee Visiting Professor
CSHL Professor Nicholas Tonks, Ph.D., F.R.S., has been named a Vallee Visiting Professor, a distinction conferred upon scientists by the Bert L. and N. Kuggie Vallee Foundation who have “a demonstrated record of exceptional creativity, originality, and leadership, and sustained success at an elite level.”
Professor Tonks, a biochemist and molecular biologist, is well known for having laid the foundations for the identification and functional characterization of a superfamily of 107 regulatory enzymes called protein tyrosine phosphatases, or PTPs. Protein phosphatases recognize phosphorylated amino acid residues and function to remove them; their action is thus complementary to the class of protein kinases, which add phosphate groups to amino acid residues. Together they play crucial roles in myriad cell-signaling, or signal-transduction, pathways. Read More
In recent years Tonks’ team has shown how PTP1B recognizes the insulin receptor as a substrate, thus making it possible to think of a diabetes drug based on inhibition of PTP1B. Potentially, PTP1B inhibitors have another very important application, in HER2-positive cancers, including breast cancers. The HER2 oncoprotein – the target for the drug Herceptin – is a tyrosine kinase. Published experiments have shown that mice engineered to express HER2 but to lack the PTP1B enzyme have attenuated tumorigenesis and tumors that do not metastasize. Tonks’ lab is currently working on these and other implications of his pathbreaking PTP discoveries.
The Vallee Foundation was formed to contribute to the advancement of medical education and medical science by promoting the development of interdisciplinary sciences related to human health by supporting interactions between productive scientists both in the United States and abroad; promoting dialogue between productive scientists and nonscientists who can promote the practical application of scientific research; sponsoring and/or organizing short-term visiting professorships, symposia, tutorials and lectures; and engaging in such other activities of a nature consistent with the foregoing purpose.
CSHL’s Anne Churchland awarded 2012 Trubatch Career Development Award by Society for Neuroscience
The Society for Neuroscience has announced that CSHL Assistant Professor Anne K. Churchland, Ph.D., has been selected as one of the recipients of its Janett Rosenberg Trubatch Career Development Award for 2012. The award recognizes “promise and achievement in the field of neuroscience for early-career professionals.” It comes with a $2,000 prize and will be presented on Tuesday, October 16 at the Society’s annual meeting, “Neuroscience 2012,” in New Orleans. Read More
Churchland’s research aims to elucidate how the brain integrates information from multiple senses to make decisions. To get at the neural circuitry underlying decision-making, she studies the electrophysiological responses of cortical neurons in rodents as they perform tasks. Churchland also uses theoretical models to study how neural responses drive behavior. The Society for Neuroscience is an organization of more than 42,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system. The Janett Rosenberg Trubatch Career Development award recognizes two individuals who have demonstrated originality and creativity in research. It is intended to promote success during academic transitions prior to tenure.
CSHL scientist Chris Vakoc named "V Scholar" for 2012 by The V Foundation for Cancer Research
The V Foundation for Cancer Research has announced that CSHL Assistant Professor Christopher R. Vakoc, M.D., Ph.D., has been selected as one of its “V Scholars” for 2012. Vakoc, one of 17 of the “best and brightest cancer researchers” identified nationwide by the Foundation, will receive $200,000 over the next two years to further his research. Read More
He will work on a project entitled, “Therapeutic targeting of the Polycomb Complex PRC2 in acute myeloid leukemia.” The V Foundation was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, The Foundation has funded more than $100 million in cancer research grants nationwide. It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations and net proceeds of events directly to cancer research and related programs. For more information on The V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit www.jimmyv.org.
CSHL's Adrian Krainer selected for prestigious award from National Institutes of Health
Professor Adrian Krainer of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has been selected by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) to receive a MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) Award. This prestigious award recognizes highly productive scientists by extending funding for an existing research project grant. Read More
CSHL Professor Gregory Hannon elected to U.S. National Academy of Sciences
Gregory J. Hannon, Ph.D., a CSHL Professor and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), it was announced today. Election to the NAS is among the highest honors conferred upon scientists in America. Read More
CSHL genetics education pioneer David Micklos wins Genetics Society of American award
David A. Micklos, the founder and executive director of the DNA Learning Center (DNALC) at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), has been named the recipient of the 2012 Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Education by the Genetics Society of America (GSA). Read More