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2013 News

DECEMBER 10, 2013 Rene Maehr, Ph.D., became an RTI affiliated faculty. His group works on pluripotent stem cell-based models of immune deficiencies and autoimmunity and has an exciting publication recently.  Kearns NA, Genga RM, Enuameh MS, Garber M, Wolfe SA, Maehr R.Cas9 effector-mediated regulation of transcription and differentiation in human pluripotent stem cells. Development. 2014 Jan;141(1):219-223.

OCTOBER 28, 2013  Gang Han, Ph.D., awarded  EUREKA R01.  With a perfect impact score (10) Han lab received EUREKA (Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration) RO1 grant from the National Institute of Health to develop light-activated nanoparticles to form the basis of a new wireless “optogenetic” tool that promises to help map and decode previously inaccessible neural circuitry deep in the brain. For details, click here.

OCTOBER 8, 2013 Joerg Braun won Karl Lohmann Award from Germany.  Dr. Joerg E. Braun, a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Melissa Moore’s laboratory, is awarded the 2013 Karl Lohmann Award from The Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM) for his doctoral research in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.  The Karl Lohmann Award is conferred every second year to reward young researchers under 35 years of age. For details, click here.

OCTOBER 4, 2013 Phillip Zamore, co-director of the RNA Therapeutics Institute shares his experience on childcare and his strong belief on work-family balance in The Boston Globe.  For the full articleclick here.

SEPTEMBER 16, 2013 Victor R. Ambros is awarded Keio Medical Science Prize. The 18th Keio Medical Science Prize has been awarded to Victor R. Ambros, Ph.D., the Silverman Chair in Natural Science.  Keio University in Japan annually awards the Keio Medical Science Prize “to recognize researchers who have made an outstanding contribution to the field of medicine or life sciences.”  For more details, click here.

SEPTEMBER 3, 2013  Neil Aronin, MD,  awarded grant from collaborative NIH Extracellular RNA Communication program.  He will explore the Clinical Utility of Extracellular RNA for Therapy Development focusing on Huntington's disease. For more details about his project and other UMass awardees, click here.  

AUGUST 19, 2013 Two RTI graduate students awarded prestigious HHMI awards.  Haleen Saini, who is a 3rd-year Neuroscience Program student in Dr. Melissa Moore's laboratory and, Meetu Seth, a 4th-year Interdisciplinary Graduate Program student in Dr. Craig Mello's laboratory were among only 42 awardees across the nation for HHMI 2013 International Student Research Fellowships.  Both students will receive up to three years of stipend, fees and research supports.

AUGUST 8, 2013, New publication  ASPeak: an abundance sensitive peak detection algorithm for RIP-Seq Alper Kucukural, Hakan Özadam, Guramrit Singh, Melissa J. Moore, and Can Cenik   Bioinformatics. published 8 August 2013, 10.1093/bioinformatics/btt428  [Abstract].

AUGUST 1, 2013, New publication  Long Noncoding RNA Mediates Both Activation and Repression of Immune Response Genes  Susan Carpenter, Maninjay Atianand, Daniel Aiello, Emiliano P. Ricci, Pallavi Gandhi, Lisa L. Hall, Meg Byron, Brian Monks, Meabh Henry-Bezy, Jeanne B. Lawrence, Luke A. J. O’Neill, Melissa J. Moore, Daniel R. Caffrey, and Katherine A. Fitzgerald   Science. published 1 August 2013, 10.1126/science.1240925 [Abstract].

AUGUST 1, 2013  Andrei Korostelev, Ph.D., awarded R01.  The Korostelev lab received a five-year R01 award from the NIH to study "Structural bases for cellular stress responses mediated by the stalled translation".  The project aims at understanding the molecular mechanisms that result in high pathogenicity of bacteria; elucidation of these mechanisms may lead to the development of novel antibiotics.

JULY 3,  2013, New publication from Andrei Korostelev's lab in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  The article describes a novel mode of action of an inhibitor of translation. Korostelev lab, in collaboration with the Ermolenko lab (University of Rochester), has found that blasticidin S strongly inhibits translation termination by trapping a distorted conformation of tRNA on the ribosome. This finding may serve as a platform for the development of therapeutics that specifically suppress translation termination in human diseases associated with premature termination codons.  Svidritskiy E., Ling C., Ermolenko D. N. and Korostelev A. A. "Blasticidin S inhibits translation by trapping deformed tRNA on the ribosome". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. July 2013.

JUNE 6, 2013 Joerg Braun awarded Otto Hahn Medal. Joerg E.Braun, a postdoctoral associate in Melissa Moore's lab, was awarded Otto Hahn Medal for his outstanding Ph.D. work. The Otto Hahn Medals were awarded at the Annual Meeting of the Max Planck Society in Potsdam, Germany, on June 5 and 6.  Since 1978, a few young and especially highly gifted researchers are awarded the Otto Hahn Medal each year – for their outstanding Ph.D. work and to motivate them for a future scientific career. More...

JUNE 1, 2013  Joerg Braun awarded Human Frontier Science Program Organization Fellowship.  Joerg Braun, a postdoctoral associate in Melissa Moore’s lab, was awarded a fellowship for his project “Single-molecule analysis of the mammalian alternative pre-mRNA splicing”. This three-year award will support Dr. Braun’s work dissecting the dynamics of the human spliceosome assembly.

MAY 20, 2013  Phillip Zamore and Keith Boundy receive Umass Medical School Office of Globe Health Award.  Phillip Zamore, Ph.D. and Keith Bounty, Resident Physician and Ph.D. Student, receive UMass Medical School Office of Global Health award to study antiviral RNA interference in Aedes aegypti mosquitos collected at the joint US/Thai Armed Forces Medical Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS) in Bangkok, Thailand.

MAY 15, 2013 – Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research signs Research Agreement.
Anastasia Khvorova, Ph.D., Victor Ambros, Ph.D., and Silvia Corvera, MD have signed an agreement with David Morrissey, Ph.D. and Novartis for a collaborative project titled “Inter and intracellular trafficking pathways for natural and therapeutic oligonucleotides”. This three-year agreement will support research activities in the lab and share knowledge in the areas of exosome preparation and quality control, and oligonucleotide synthesis.

MAY 13, 2013  Victor Ambros is recently profiled in JCB (Journal of Cell Biology), "Victor Ambros: The broad scope of microRNAs" For the full article, click here

APRIL 1, 2013  Andrei A Korostelev receives UMass Center for Clinical & Translational Science (UMCCTS) Award for his project, Novel Therapeutic Routes against Premature - Termination Disease.

MARCH 2013  New Molecular Cell publication from Phil Zamore's Lab:
Li, X. Z., Roy, C. K., Dong, X., Bolcun-Filas, E., Wang, J., Han, B. W., Xu, J., Moore, M. J., Schimenti, J. C., Weng, Z., and Zamore, P. D. (2013). An Ancient Transcription Factor Initiates the Burst of piRNA Production during Early Meiosis in Mouse Testes. Mol Cell 50, 67-81.

JANUARY 30, 2013  Craig Mello, at the opening of Albert Sherman Center, "The world will remember what we do here.."  For the full article, click here

JANUARY 1, 2013  EMBO Fellowship for Joerg Braun
Postdoctoral associate Joerg Braun, in the Moore Lab, was awarded an EMBO Long-Term fellowship for his proposal "Single-molecule analysis of mammalian spliceosome assembly."  This fellowship will support Joerg's work on the molecular mechanism of alternative splicing of pre-mRNAs.  Alternative splicing of pre-mRNAs allows the synthesis of multiple proteins from a single gene and is considered as a critical source of complexity in higher eukaryotes, especially in mammals.  Joerg is studying the mechanism of splicing in mammals with single-molecule techniques in collaboration with the Gelles laboratory at Brandeis University.  His work aims to improve our understanding of the regulation of human gene expression and pave the way to address diseases caused by aberrant spicing.

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