A synthetic approach to helping the immune system thwart infections
Yale researchers have developed a set of synthetic molecules that may help boost the strength of a key, virus-fighting protein. The protein, RIG-I, is an important sensor in the immune system of humans and other animals. It recognizes and responds to viral RNA by surrounding it, latching onto it, and launching the immune system into action. The Yale team, led by biologists Anna Pyle and Akiko Iwasaki, has designed molecules that jump-start the process. These synthetic, stem-loop RNA (SLR) molecules can be visualized as short cords with a knot at one end. The configuration enables the SLRs to bind with RIG-I molecules in a way that prompts an aggressive response.
Nobel Laureate Thomas A. Steitz Dies, Mapped the Structure of the Ribosome
Thomas A. Steitz, Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale and one of three winners of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, died Oct. 9 at his home in Stony Creek after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Steitz was 78.
New compound targets drug-resistant HIV mutants
Antiretroviral therapies have worked wonders suppressing HIV replication and its progression to AIDS, but their effectiveness is deteriorating due to the constant development of drug resistance in the virus. Now Yale researchers have shown their newly developed compounds maintain anti-HIV activity against drug-resistant mutants better than FDA-approved medications.
Top 50: Studies at Yale led to chemotherapy field
The year was 1942. The country was in the middle of World War II and two Yale pharmacologists were hired by the Department of Defense to study the effects of nitrogen gas as a therapeutic agent. The project was top secret, and pharmacologists Alfred Gilman, Ph.D., a faculty member at the Department of Pharmacology, and Dr. Louis S. Goodman, a faculty member at the Yale School of Medicine, were studying whether mustard agents could be used to stop the growth of rapidly dividing cells such as cancer cells. While Gilman and Goodman were able to utilize nitrogen gas in a positive way, when it was unleashed on the battlefield in World War I, it was one of the deadliest chemical weapons available. “Nitrogen mustard had a couple of uses,” said Dr. Roy Herbst, chief of Medical Oncology at Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital. “Not only for positive use, as we use it in cancer - it’s not used so much anymore - but it was used in wartime, as chemical warfare.”Source: New Haven Register
Yale’s Crews honored by the Royal Society of Chemistry
Yale’s Craig Crews is a recipient of the Khorana Prize, the Royal Society of Chemistry announced May 8. Crews is the Lewis Cullman Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, and professor of chemistry and pharmacology. He was one of 80 scientists honored by the Royal Society of Chemistry. The Khorana Prize recognizes outstanding achievement award for research at the chemistry and life science interface.
New center to advance biology research
Thanks to a $1.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation, an interdisciplinary team of Yale researchers will soon make headway on the next frontier of synthetic biology — re-engineering cells to produce novel synthetic polymers.Source: Yale Daily News
Bio Haven: How Yale and New Haven are building a future together
New Haven’s biotech community has seen fits and starts, but today it is achieving critical mass. Upwards of 50 biotech and medical device companies employ more than 5,000 people in greater New Haven. Yale School of Medicine has been instrumental in the communty's growth.
Craig Crews is recipient of cancer research award
Yale scientist Craig M. Crews is the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research Award granted by the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR). Crews is the Lewis B. Cullman Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and professor of Chemistry as well as Executive Director of the Yale Center for Molecular Discovery.
Understanding the cancer-killing properties of a chemical commando
A Yale lab has unlocked the process by which a natural anti-cancer agent is able to bind to DNA and directly break both strands. The discovery may be helpful in developing synthetic molecules for cancer therapies that can effectively disrupt the replication of DNA in diseased cells, say the researchers. The findings appeared online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of Feb. 29.
Yale biologist awarded $4.1 million for metastatic breast cancer research project
Yale cancer biologist Dr. Qin Yan has been awarded $4.1 million from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for a project that will explore finding new drug targets and more effective treatments for metastatic breast cancer.
New class of synthetic molecules mimics antibodies
A Yale University lab has crafted the first synthetic molecules that have both the targeting and response functions of antibodies. The new molecules — synthetic antibody mimics (SyAMs) — attach themselves simultaneously to disease cells and disease-fighting cells. The result is a highly targeted immune response, similar to the action of natural human antibodies.