Nannoparticle Vaccines Providing Boost To Cellular and Humoral Immune Responses

For subunit vaccines, adjuvants play a key role in shaping immunological memory. Nanoparticle (NP) delivery systems for antigens and/or molecular danger signals are promising adjuvants capable of promoting both cellular and humoral immune responses, but in most cases the mechanisms of action of these materials are poorly understood. However, NP vaccines may be a promising strategy to enhance the durability, breadth, and potency of humoral immunity by enhancing key elements of the B-cell response.

Read details in PNAS:  Enhancing humoral responses to a malaria antigen with nanoparticle vaccines that expand Tfh cells and promote germinal center induction.

National Academies Select New Executive Officer

WASHINGTON– Bruce B. Darling, currently vice president for laboratory management at the University of California, will soon join the National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council as executive officer.  His transition from the university to NAS will occur over the next several months.  He will succeed E. William Colglazier, who now serves as science and technology adviser at the U.S. Department of State.    Read More. 

Recommended Readings: Jeannie T. Lee, M.D., Ph.D.

Friday Lecture Series

Richard M. Furlaud Distinguished Lecture

X-Chromosome Inactivation as a Model for Epigenomic Regulation by Long

Noncoding RNAs

Jeannie T. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., professor of genetics and pathology,

Harvard Medical School, investigator,

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

January 27, 2012

3:45 p.m.-5:00 p.m. (Refreshments, 3:15 p.m., Abby Lounge)

Caspary Auditorium

Recommended Readings:

Lengner, C. J., A. A. Gimelbrant, J. A. Erwin, A. W. Cheng, M. G. Guenther, G. G. Welstead, R. Alagappan, et al. 2010. Derivation of pre-X inactivation human embryonic stem cells under physiological oxygen concentrations. Cell 141, (5): 872-883

Namekawa, S. H., B. Payer, K. D. Huynh, R. Jaenisch, and J. T. Lee. 2010. Two-step imprinted X inactivation: Repeat versus genic silencing in the mouse. Molecular and cellular biology 30, (13): 3187-3205

Sarma, K., P. Levasseur, A. Aristarkhov, and J. T. Lee. 2010. Locked nucleic acids (LNAs) reveal sequence requirements and kinetics of xist RNA localization to the X chromosome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107, (51): 22196-22201

Tian, D., S. Sun, and J. T. Lee. 2010. The long noncoding RNA, jpx, is a molecular switch for X chromosome inactivation. Cell 143, (3): 390-403

Zhou, D., C. Conrad, F. Xia, J. -S Park, B. Payer, Y. Yin, G. Y. Lauwers, et al. 2009. Mst1 and Mst2 maintain hepatocyte quiescence and Suppress hepatocellular carcinoma development through inactivation of the Yap1 oncogene. Cancer Cell 16, (5): 425-438

How The Malaria Parasite “Hides” From the Immune System

A research team at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute has identified one of the crucial molecules that instructs the parasite how to employ its invisibility cloak to hide from the immune system, and helps its offspring to remember how to ‘make’ the cloak.

Research published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe details the first molecule found to control the genetic expression of PfEMP1 (Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1), a protein that is known to be a major cause of disease during malaria infection.

PfEMP1 plays two important roles in malaria infection. It enables the parasite to stick to cells on the internal lining of blood vessels, which prevents the infected cells from being eliminated from the body. It is also responsible for helping the parasite to escape destruction by the immune system, by varying the genetic code of the PfEMP1 protein so that at least some of the parasites will evade detection. This variation lends the parasite the ‘cloak of invisibility’ which makes it difficult for the immune system to detect parasite-infected cells, and is part of the reason a vaccine has remained elusive.

Recommended Readings: Marie Manceau Ph.D Wednesday February 1, 2012

Monday lecture Series

Formation And Evolution Of Color Patterns In Natural Populations

Marie Manceau, Ph.D. 

Post Doctoral Fellow

Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

 Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University

Wednesday, February 1  2012

4 p.m. , Caspary Auditorium.   Refreshments 3:45 p.m.

Recommended Readings:

Manceau, M; Domingues VS; Mallarino R; et al.  2011.  The developmental role of Agouti in color pattern evolutionSCIENCE.  331(6020):1062-1065.   DOI:10.1126/science/1200684

Yamamuro Y; Shiraishi A.  2011.  Genotype-dependent participation of coat color gene loci in the behavioral traits of laboratory mice.   Behavioral Processes.   88(2):81-87.   DOI:10.1016/j.beproc.2011.08.004

Metz HC; Manceau M: Hoekstra HE.  2011.  Turing patterns: how the fish hot its spotsPigment Cell & Melanoma Research.  24(1):12-14.  DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-148X.2010.00814.x

Kinglsey EP; Manceau M; Wiley CD: et al.  2009.   Melanism in Peromyscus is caused by independent mutations in Agouti.  PLOS ONE.  4(7):e6435.   DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0006435.

Fraser, HB.  2011.  Genome-wide approaches to the study of adaptive gene expression evolution. Systematic studies of evolutionary adaptations involving gene expression will allow many fundamental questions in evolutionary biology to be addressed.   BIOESSAYS.  33(6):469-477.   DOI:10.1002/bies.201000094.

Barsh GS.  1996.  The genetics of pigmentation: from fancy genes to complex traits.  Trends in Genetics.  12(8): 299-305.  DOI:10.1016/0168-9525(96)10031-7

Recommended Reading: Elena Gracheva Ph.D Monday January 30, 2012

Monday Lecture Series

Molecular Basis of Sensory Adaptations

Elena Gracheva, Ph.D. 

Post Doctoral Fellow

Department of Physiology, University of California, San Francisco

Monday, January 30,  2012

4 p.m. , Caspary Auditorium.   Refreshments 3:45 p.m.

Recommended Readings:

Kang K; Panzano VC; Chang EC;  et al.  2012.  Modulation of TRPA1 thermal sensitivity enables sensory discrimination in Drosophila.  NATURE.  581(7379):76-    DOI: 10.1038/nature10715

Cordero-Morales JF; Gracheva EO; David J.   2011.  Cytoplasmic ankyrin repeats of transient receptor potential A1 (TRPA1) dictate sensitivity to thermal and chemical stimuliPNAS.  108(46):E1184-E1191.  DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1114124108.

Gracheva EO; Cordero-Morales JF; Gonzalez-Carcacia JA: et al.  2011.  Ganglion-specific splicing of TRPV1 underlies infrared sensation in vampire bats.  NATURE.  476(7358):88 – DOI: 10:1038/nature10245

Brock, F.  2011.  Neuroscience: Heat-thirsty bats.   NATURE.  475(7358):40-41. 

Goris, RC.  2011.  Infrared organs of snakes: an integral part of vision.  Journal of Herpetology.  45(1):2-14.  Request from Markus Library. 

Faroogi AA; Javeed K; Javed JZ; et al.  2011.  TRPM channels: same ballpark, different players, and different rules in immunogenetics.   Immunogenetics.  63(12):773-787.  DOI:10.1007/s00251-011-05790-4 

Gracheva EO; Ingolia NT; Kelly YM: et al.  2010.   Molecular basis of infrared detection by snakes.  NATURE. 464(7291):1006-  DOI:10.1038/nature08943.

Latorre R; Brauchi S; Orta G; et al.  2007.  Thermo TRP channels as modular proteins with allosteric gating.  Cell Calcium.  42(4-5):427-438.  DOI: 10.1016/j.ceca.2007.04.004.

Recommended Readings: Fred Gage, Ph.D.

Friday Lecture Series

Jerry A. Weisbach Memorial Lecture

Neuronal Diversity and Neural Plasticity

Fred Gage, Ph.D., Vi and John Adler Chair for Research on Age-Related

Neurodegenerative Diseases, head, laboratory of genetics,

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies

January 20, 2012

3:45 p.m.-5:00 p.m. (Refreshments, 3:15 p.m., Abby Lounge)

Caspary Auditorium

Recommended Readings:

Aimone, J. B., W. Deng, and F. H. Gage. 2010. Adult neurogenesis: Integrating theories and separating functions. Trends in cognitive sciences 14, (7): 325-337

Aimone, J. B., and F. H. Gage. 2011. Modeling new neuron function: A history of using computational neuroscience to study adult neurogenesis. European Journal of Neuroscience 33, (6): 1160-1169

Aimone, J. B., J. Wiles, and F. H. Gage. 2009. Computational influence of adult neurogenesis on memory encoding. Neuron 61, (2): 187-202

Gage, F. H., J. Ray, and L. J. Fisher. 1995. Isolation, characterization, and use of stem cells from the CNS. Annual Review of Neuroscience 18, : 159-192

Saijo, K., B. Winner, C. T. Carson, J. G. Collier, L. Boyer, M. G. Rosenfeld, F. H. Gage, and C. K. Glass. 2009. A Nurr1/CoREST pathway in microglia and astrocytes protects dopaminergic neurons from inflammation-induced death. Cell 137, (1): 47-59

Shihabuddin, L. S., P. J. Horner, J. Ray, and F. H. Gage. 2000. Adult spinal cord stem cells generate neurons after transplantation in the adult dentate gyrus. Journal of Neuroscience 20, (23): 8727-8735

Van Praag, H., G. Kempermann, and F. H. Gage. 2000. Neural consequences of environmental enrichment. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 1, (3): 191-198

Recommended Readings: Brenda Bloodgood PH.D. Monday January 23, 2012

Monday Lecture Series

Activity-Dependent Transcriptional regulation of Inhibitory Synapses

Brenda L. Bloodgood, Ph.D. 

Post Doctoral Fellow

Harvard Medical School / Children’s Hospital

Monday January 23,  2012

4 p.m. , Caspary Auditorium.   Refreshments 3:45 p.m.

Recommended Readings:

Leslie, J.H; and Nedivi, E.  2011.  Activity-regulated genes as mediators of neural plasticity.  Progress in Neurobiology.  94(3):223-237.

Ploski, J.E; Monsey, M.S; Tam, N; et al.  2011.  The Neuronal PAS Domain Protein 4(Npas4) is required for new and reactgivated fear memories.   PLOS One.  6(8):e23760.

Lyons, M.R; and West, A.E.  2011.  Mechanisms of specificity in neuronal activity-regulated gene transcription.  Progress in Neurobiology.  94(3)259-295.

Prentice, L.M; de Tassigny, X; McKinney, S; et al.  2011.  The testosterone-dependent and independent transcriptional networks in the hypothalamus of Gpr54 and Kiss1 knockout male mice are not fully equivalent. BMC Genomics. 12:article 209.

Loebrich, S; Nedivi, E.  2011.  The function of activity-regulated genes in the nervous system.  Physiological Reviews.  89(4):1079-1103.

Lin, Y.X; Bloodgood, B.L; Hauser, J.L; et al.  2008.  Activity-dependent regulation of inhibitory synapse development by Npas4.  Nature. 455(7217):1198-U23.

Bloodgood, B.L; Sabatini, B. L.  2007.  Regulation of synaptic signaling by postsynaptic, non-glutamate receptor ion channels.  Journal of Physiology-London.  586(6):1475-1480.

Need A Good Read? Opinions On Best Books of 2011

The most interesting people I know, or have known, generally are those who are widely read on many different topics, and who enjoy many genres.  I know this to be true of our own community.   We are readers.  If you are looking for a good read, here is a look at some opinions from those whose business it is to know, judge, and recommend good books.

The New York Times    The year’s 10 “best”  books: 5 fiction and 5 non fiction

100 Notable Books of 2011.  The New York Times.    A little wider variety.

Amazon  100 Best books of 2011 

Chicago Tribune Thoughts on Year’s Best Reads    list by Tribune staff Julia Keller and Elizabeth Taylor

The Librarians’ Picks for 2011 at The Los Angeles Public LIbrary 

The Boston Globe Picks the Year’s Best Science Books     

My own pick for favorite book in 2011:  David McCullough’s The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris.    In the early decades of the American experiment in democracy, the nation had yet to develop its own great institutions for art, education, and science. Americans were drawn to Europe to complete their educations, to experience culture, to expand their minds beyond the parochial limits of a young and poor nation.  Paris was a shining beacon of all the best the world had to offer, and Americans fell in love with Paris.  David McCullouogh’s book explores the experiences of these pilgrims and how they in turn changed America.  In the 1830’s Paris was a world center of medical knowledge and treatment.  I was particularly impressed with the author’s descriptions of this subject.  The early days of medicine were fascinating, exciting, and gruesome, but here are some of the roots of what we do at Rockefeller.    – Carol Feltes