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2012 News

DECEMBER 2012  Paper from Han Lab featured in Nanotech News of National Cancer Institute
"Nanoparticles Glow through Thick Layer of Tissue"  An international research team has created unique photoluminescent nanoparticles that shine clearly through more than three centimeters, or more than an inch, of biological tissue, a depth that makes them a promising tool for deep-tissue optical bioimaging.  For the full article, click here

DECEMBER 17, 2012  News from the Luban Lab
Though retroviruses like HIV are best known as the cause of diseases such as AIDS, a huge portion of the human genome consists of fossil remnants of retrovirus infection from millions of years ago. The Luban Lab has discovered that one of these so-called endogenous retroviruses generates RNA that is likely to be essential for human pluripotent stem cells. Ongoing work at UMass to understand the role of this endogenous retrovirus in stem cells will aid attempts to harness stem cells for therapies of a wide range of human diseases.

DECEMBER 10, 2012 David Grunwald Ph.D. receives CFAR development grant

DECEMBER 3, 2012  Anastasia Khvorova Ph.D. joins RTI  
Dr. Khvorova brings outstanding accomplishment and innovation as a team leader and chief science officer with major oligonucleotide reagent and pharmaceutical companies.  Dr. Khvorova's lab will focus on the development of novel oligonucleotide-based therapeutics and drug development; mechanism of small RNA trafficking; RNA medicinal chemistry and delivery.

NOVEMBER 1, 2012  RNA silencing to treat Huntington's disease
Two UMass Chan Medical School researchers report on promising new developments in the quest for a treatment for Huntington's disease on Thursday, Nov. 1, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. 

OCTOBER 17, 2012  UMass Chan, Carnegie Institute receive U.S. patent for RNAi
Discovery by Mello, Fire holds the promise of shutting down disease-causing genes in humans.  

JUNE 19, 2012 Victor R. Ambros Ph.D. receives Janssen Award for Biomedical Research
With collaborator Gary B. Ruvkun PhD, of Mass General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, the two were awarded the 2012 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research today by Johnson & Johnson for their co-discovery of microRNA (also known as miRNA), tiny molecules that are now understood to play a powerful role in gene expression and regulation. 


MAY 15, 2012 David Grunwald Ph.D. joins RTI   Dr. David Grunwald has decided to join the RTI faculty. He started his own group two years ago at the Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands. Dr. Grunwald's lab is working on the interface between microscopy development and (nuclear) cell biology, with a strong focus on the travels of mRNA and nucleocytoplasmic transport. Observing the functions of individual molecules within high-resolution spatial topographies with millisecond dynamics adds a unique perspective on the function of the living cell. Dr. Grunwald will move his lab to the new Albert Sherman building in early 2013.


MAY 1, 2012 Jane Freedman Ph.D. one of two sites chosen for Translational Research Centers in Thrombotic and Hemostatic Disorders clinical studies using miRNA/mRNA.
This NIH U54 award will utilize multiple technologies and screening of an early-phase translation mRNA nanochip in humans with metabolic syndromes and determine the impact on thrombosis. Jane Freedman, MD, Director Translational Research Professor in Medicine, was awarded $3,355,400 to complete 3 clinical and translational studies over five years examining the role of mRNA and miRNA in obesity and weight loss and cardiovascular disease.

MARCH 4, 2012 Potential therapy for dyslipidemia & other diseases caused by miRNA deregulation.  Long-term, efficient inhibition of microRNA function in mice using rAAV vectors. Xie J, Ameres SL,Friedline R, Hung JH, Zhang Y, Xie Q, Zhong L, Su Q, He R, Li M, Li H, Mu X, Zhang H, Broderick JA, Kim JK, Weng Z, Flotte TR, Zamore PD, Gao G.  Nat Methods. 2012 Mar 4;9(4):403-9