Perspectives in Research

The Interplay of Hormones and Infectious Diseases: How Our Sex Can Impact Our Risk of Getting the Flu

The Interplay of Hormones and Infectious Diseases: How Our Sex Can Impact Our Risk of Getting the Flu

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With the long days of summer well behind us, and crunchy leaves and cool temperatures beckoning us forward, we all have to prepare for winter in our own ways. For most, hopefully, that includes getting a flu vaccine! The vaccine is an important tool in our arsenal against influenza, but unfortunately, it is not sufficient(...)

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From Crisis to Consensus: Guidelines Aim to Reduce Over-Prescribing of Abused Drugs

From Crisis to Consensus: Guidelines Aim to Reduce Over-Prescribing of Abused Drugs

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Every day, 115 Americans are killed by opioid overdose. That this number is so strikingly high underlines the language of ‘“epidemics” and “emergencies” in politicians’ speeches and newspaper headlines. Thousands of articles and millions of research dollars have become components of a concerted effort to understand, quantify and alleviate the opioid epidemic in the United(...)

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Solving the CAR-T Conundrum

Solving the CAR-T Conundrum

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The development and commercialization of cancer immunotherapies, a class of treatments that fights cancer by fortifying the immune system, has advanced at a rapid pace. Prior to 2017, most cancer immunotherapies were composed of antibodies that selectively flag cancer cells for destruction by other cells in the immune system. In mid-2017, the FDA approved Kymriah(...)

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The Puppets of Parasites

The Puppets of Parasites

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We’ve all experienced illnesses where parasites or small infectious agents such as bacteria and viruses are the culprits. But what happens when those pathogens start to influence the behavior of their hosts? Here I’ll discuss three different parasites that manipulate host behavior, delineate some potential mechanisms for their influence and outline some of the theory(...)

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The Colorful World of Cancer Drug Discovery

The Colorful World of Cancer Drug Discovery

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Melanoma cells stained with PTRF (in red), RPA194 (in green) and nucleus stained in blue. RPA194 is the main subunit of the RNA polymerase I (POL 1) enzyme. Our lab discovered a first-in-class small molecule that inhibits POL 1 enzyme and causes the destruction of RPA194 protein. Here, we are investigating how these proteins are(...)

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The Link Between Metabolism and Anti-Tumor Immunity: Implications for Glioma Therapy

The Link Between Metabolism and Anti-Tumor Immunity: Implications for Glioma Therapy

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As a callow biochemistry student, I often grappled with the onerous task of memorizing metabolic pathways. Gradually, however, I came to appreciate the underlying simplicity: Complex macromolecules are broken down to the same simple molecule. Metabolism is the workhorse of the cell — efficiently mining nutrients for energy, shunting surplus nutrients to build cellular structures,(...)

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A New Animal Model for Bad Decisions

A New Animal Model for Bad Decisions

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Humans are constantly making decisions about how to spend time, yet we are pretty terrible at doing so effectively. We sit through boring movies, stay in line at a crowded restaurant and continue to pursue low-return projects, because we simply cannot bear to see the time we have already invested in these activities go to(...)

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