A Short History of the Drug Receptor Concept (Science, Technology and Medicine in Modern History)

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Massachusetts Eye and Ear clinicians pioneer the use of photodynamic therapy for neovascular macular degeneration. Innovators at Mass. Eye and Ear develop a surgical method to restore speech, swallowing and normal breathing in patients with paralyzed vocal cords. Dana-Farber scientists identify the gene that causes an inherited form of colon cancer, which leads to diagnostic screening to determine whether people are predisposed to contract the disease.

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Eye and Ear researchers discover VEGF, a molecule implicated in diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, the most common forms of blindness. Joslin clinical researchers identify blood glucose levels that limit kidney disease. Food and Drug Administration.

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Building on insights into the functioning of the human immune system, Dana-Farber researchers, led by Lee Nadler, devise a way to neutralize immune system cells responsible for graft-versus-host-disease, a potentially dangerous side effect of organ and tissue transplants. An HMS Cell Biology team discovers a novel gene, p73, which resembles the powerful tumor-suppressor gene p53, but unlike its counterpart, p73 is found on only one chromosome and acts in ways quite different from its famous relative.

McLean researchers identify four types of brain abnormalities associated with abuse and neglect experienced in childhood. Researchers at HMS and Joslin identify a pathway linked to the cartilage deterioration and bone attrition of rheumatoid arthritis.

Research conducted in resource-limited nations by the HMS Department of Social Medicine, now Global Health and Social Medicine, provides the first hard evidence that people infected with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis can be treated successfully by developing community-based outpatient treatment models. Beth Israel Deaconess researchers pinpoint the source of preeclampsia, a life-threatening complication of pregnancy and one of the leading causes of maternal and infant mortality worldwide.


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HMS Cell Biology researchers discover the architecture of the first transmembrane protein-conducting channel, paving the way for an understanding of how proteins are transferred. In studies to combat the herpes simplex virus type 2, the most common form of genital herpes, David Knipe in HMS Microbiology and Immunobiology develops a replication-deficient vaccine called dl, which stimulates the immune system from inside host cells, a quality other vaccines lack, and becomes a leading candidate in human vaccine trials.

Dana-Farber researchers identify a molecular mechanism in the liver that explains how eating foods rich in saturated fats and trans-fatty acids causes elevated blood levels of "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides, increasing the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Investigators, led by Donald Ingber, director of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, demonstrate how to turn cells on and off using magnets, leading to potential ways to correct cellular functions that diseases interrupt.

Dana-Farber scientists, led by Bruce Spiegelman, identify a molecular switch in mice that turns on the development of beneficial brown-fat cells, which generate heat and counter obesity. Dana-Farber scientists achieve a medical first by using a targeted drug to drive a patient's metastatic melanoma into remission. Daley, find that LIN28, a protein abundant in embryonic stem cells, is aberrantly expressed in about 15 percent of all cancers, revealing a possible new target for drug development. An HMS Genetics team, led by Stephen Elledge, uses a technique called RNA interference RNAi to dial down the production of thousands of proteins and determine which are required for cancer cells to survive, exposing a hidden set of drug targets for possible new cancer therapies.

Joan Brugge and HMS Cell Biology colleagues discover that cancer cells perish not only via cell suicide, or apoptosis, they can also die of starvation by losing their ability to harvest energy, findings that point toward new tumor-killing strategies. Joslin scientists, headed by Aaron Cypess, demonstrate that adults retain energy-burning brown fat, a discovery that paves the way for new treatments for obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Andrzej Krolewski and colleagues at Joslin identify two novel markers that, when elevated in the bloodstream, accurately predict the risk of kidney failure in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Challenging a half century-old theory that chemotherapy works by targeting fast-dividing cells, Dana-Farber researchers report that cancer cells on the verge of self-destructing are especially vulnerable to chemotherapy. Michael Chernew and J. Michael McWilliams, HMS Health Care Policy faculty, demonstrate that global budget models can lower health care spending while improving quality in commercially insured populations and Medicare.

HMS Systems Biology researchers, led by Galit Lahav, use a combination of mathematical models and experiments to show that the tumor suppressor gene p53 uses pulsed signals to trigger DNA repair and cell recovery, and that the rhythm of these pulses carries crucial information. In studies of aging factors, Amy Wagers and Richard T.

Lee, HMS researchers in Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, discover that a substance called GDF reverses cardiac hypertrophy, or thickening of the heart muscle, an important contributor to heart failure.

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Roland Baron, of Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Mass General, reveals pathways by which the gene cathepsin K promotes bone resorption and formation, pointing to potential new therapies for osteoporosis. Scientists in the HMS Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, led by Derrick Rossi, reprogram mature blood cells into blood-forming hematopoietic stem cells, thereby extending the possibility of transplantation to patients for whom a histocompatible donor cannot be identified.

Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology researchers, led by Douglas Melton, successfully generate mature human insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells from stem cells in vitro, which, when transplanted into mice, secrete insulin appropriately in response to glucose levels. A team at Mass General takes the first steps in creating a bioartificial replacement forelimb suitable for transplantation in humans.

These findings translate into new treatments that free the immune system to fight tumors. Spearheaded by faculty in the HMS Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, a report by The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery reveals that 5 billion people are unable to access safe, timely and affordable surgery, leading to The report also presents a blueprint for developing properly functioning surgical systems globally.

Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess discover that a pseudogene, an RNA subclass that has lost the ability to produce proteins, has a role in causing cancer.

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HMS Systems Biology scientists, led by Marc Kirschner, reveal the molecular processes involved in the disposal of malfunctioning or damaged proteins. These proteins are tagged with ubiquitin, which signals a cellular machine called the proteasome to pulverize the defective protein. Peter Park, in the HMS Department of Biomedical Informatics, leads a study demonstrating for the first time that a large number of somatic noninherited mutations are present in the brain cells of healthy people and occur more frequently in the genes that neurons use most.

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Andrew Kruse, an HMS scientist in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, is the first to reveal the molecular structure of the sigma-1 receptor, a cellular protein implicated in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ALS , a discovery that opens the door to potential therapeutic targets. Virologists at Beth Israel Deaconess find two candidate vaccines that provide complete protection from the Zika virus in animal models, suggesting a vaccine for humans may be feasible. McLean scientists link abnormalities in circadian rhythms to specific neurochemical changes in the brains of people with bipolar disorder that coincide with increased severity of symptoms in the morning.

In studies of the microbiome, HMS Microbiology and Immunobiology researchers find an array of individual bacterial species in the human gut that work together to influence immuno-inflammatory responses. Now, researchers have But topical treatments often aren't very effective because they don't Eushearilide is While known to be linked to the increase in genetic mutations, the exact mechanism at work These proteins do so by a caspaseindependent mechanism, suggesting Summaries Headlines. In this insightful review, scientists present the most recent knowledge about these sex-related The study emphasizes the importance of using protective gear when They found that while promoters are activated in a variety of cell types, enhancers tend to This is indicated in a genetic mapping of one thousand Swedish individuals, where new DNA sequences that A new study shows the number of mutations a child has compared to her parents varies dramatically with some Scientists have combined A team has now revealed how dedicated cellular control proteins, referred to as