Richa Saxena, PhD, Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport MGH Research Scholar 2017-2022, was part of a research team that identified genetic differences that make individuals more likely to get up early or stay up late.
The team also found night owls have a greater risk of developing disorders such as depression and schizophrenia than those who go to sleep earlier in the night.
They suggest that making subtle changes to shift towards an earlier bedtime could help to reduce those risks. The study gathered wide media attention, including this story in the New York Times.
Does Stress Influence the Onset and Progression of Alzheimer's Disease?
You wouldn't think twice if someone told you that eating healthy, getting enough sleep and reducing your stress levels could significantly reduce your risk of a heart attack.
But could implementing these healthy lifestyle factors decrease your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease as well?
That's the compelling question that Filip Swirksi, PhD, Patricia and Scott Eston MGH Research Scholar 2016-2021, and Matthias Nahrendorf, MD, PhD, Weissman Family MGH Research Scholar 2014-2019, are investigating in a new research project. Learn more.
Tiny Lasers Could Provide New Insights into Tumor Cell Behavior
S. H. Andy Yun, PhD, Patricia and Scott Eston MGH Research Scholar 2016-2021, has created a process for inserting tiny lasers into cells that could help with researching tumors and the immune system.
"If we could study tumor cells individually, we could learn a great deal more about our biology and understand how cells work," says Yun. "Maybe we could devise better drugs to halt tumor growth." Learn more.
PET Imaging Helps Shed Light on the Inner Workings of the Brain
Despite recent scientific breakthroughs that have vastly improved our understanding of some drivers of disease, there's one part of the body that remains shrouded in mystery—the human brain.
This is due, in part, to the unparalleled complexity of the brain—a 3-pound organ with billions of nerve cells and fibers connected by trillions of synapses—as well as the difficulty in observing brain processes in living humans.
These unknowns make it challenging to identify changes that occur in the brains of individuals with disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. If we're still not sure how a healthy brain works, how can we figure out what goes wrong in disease?
Mass General researcher Jacob Hooker, PhD, Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport MGH Research Scholar 2016-2021, is working to answer some of these questions using creative brain imaging strategies. Learn more.
MGH Research Scholars Featured on Mass General's Charged Podcast
HIV: Treating a Changing Epidemic Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH Steve and Deborah Gorlin MGH Research Scholar 2015-2020 Listen to the podcast.
Tackling Childhood Obesity Elsie Taveras, MD, MPH Ofer and Shelly Nemirovsky MGH Research Scholar 2015-2020 Listen to the podcast.