Thanks to your support, our MGH Research Scholars are accomplishing extraordinary things every day. We've included some recent highlights below. Please be sure to click here for a full list of updates.
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Nahrendorf Lab Discovers Tiny Channels Connecting the Skull to the Brain
Matthias Nahrendorf, MD, PhD, Weissman Family MGH Research Scholar 2014-2019, and his research team recently discovered small channels in the bones of the skull that enable immune cells to travel directly to the brain following a stroke or similar brain injury.
The discovery could help to inform new treatment strategies and provide a more efficient way to deliver drugs to the brain.
Slaugenhaupt Discusses Leadership on Mass General's Charged Podcast
Sue Slaugenhaupt, PhD, Elizabeth G. Riley and Dan E. Smith Jr. MGH Research Scholar 2013-2018, was recently featured on Massachusetts General Hospital's new Charged Podcast, which was launched to celebrate the women at Mass General who are leading the charge in medicine.
Dr. Slaugenhaupt has spent her career at Mass General focused on understanding two rare diseases.
She also tackled the challenges of building a thriving scientific career at the same time she was building her family. She is now working to change the culture of scientific research for the better. Listen to the podcast.
Can Beauty Salons Connect South African Women to Lifesaving Health Services?
If you've ever spent time in a beauty salon, you know that hair stylists give their clients more than just a new cut, color or style. They often serve as friends and confidants, dispensing advice on relationships, family and work challenges.
But could they also help to prevent unwanted pregnancies and stop the spread of a deadly disease?
That's the question Massachusetts General Hospital researcher Ingrid Bassett, MD, MPH, Weissman Family MGH Research Scholar 2018-2023, will be exploring in a pilot study in the township of Umlazi near Durban, South Africa. Read more.
Kathiresan Recieves Prestigious Award, Advances the Study of Inherited Heart Attack Risk
The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) has named Sekar Kathiresan, MD, Ofer and Shelly Nemirovsky MGH Research Scholar 2013-2018, as the 2018 recipient of the Curt Stern Award.
This annual award, named for the late pioneering geneticist Curt Stern, PhD, recognizes genetics and genomics researchers who have made significant scientific contributions during the past decade.
"Dr. Kathiresan's research leverages genetic predisposition in preventive care; his work is helping the millions of people at risk for heart attacks and cardiovascular disease, said David L. Nelson, PhD, President of ASHG. "This prestigious award is given to Dr. Kathiresan for his tireless efforts to apply his research to the clinic."
In related news, a team led by Dr. Kathiresan recently reported that a new kind of genome analysis could identify large fractions of the population who have a much higher risk of developing serious common diseases, including coronary artery disease, breast cancer, or type 2 diabetes.
"The big takeaway is that we can now capture the inherited component to heart attack risk with a single number," he says. Dr. Kathiresan explains more about the study in this video.
Pursuing New Treatments for Shigella
In the battle between bacteria and humans, the best defense may be a good offense. That's the promising approach being pursued by Cammie Lesser, MD, PhD, a researcher and clinician in the Massachusetts General Hospital Infectious Diseases Division and d'Arbeloff MGH Research Scholar 2016-2021.
Dr. Lesser is using her scholar funding ($500,000 distributed over five years) to investigate a technique used by harmful bacteria such as Shigella to infect humans and reengineer it to provide a helpful function instead. Read more.
A research team led by Jayaraj Rajagopal, MD, Kevin and Polly Maroni MGH Research Scholar 2014-2019, has found a new cell type in the lung that appears to be specialized in the pathways that cause cystic fibrosis.
Check out Dr. Rajagopal's creative white board explanation of the study on our website.
Recording the Wild Lives of Immune Cells
An illustration by Mikael Pittet, PhD, Samana Cay MGH Research Scholar 2015-2020, was featured on the September cover of Science Immunology. The sketch accompanies a review by Pittet and other Mass General researchers, "Recording the Wild Lives of Immune Cells."