Millions of children in low- and middle-income nations suffer from environmental enteric dysfunction (EED), a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestine that is the second leading cause of death of children younger than five years of age. EED is a devastating condition that is associated with malnutrition, stunted growth, and poor cognitive development, permanently impacting patients’ quality of life. In…
Read More
Recent studies have shown that COVID-19 vaccination is safe for expectant mothers and can protect them against infection, severe illness, and death from COVID-19. We also know that mothers vaccinated during pregnancy pass coronavirus antibodies to their babies. The latest research — drawing on 30 children’s hospitals in 22 states — now confirms that vaccinating pregnant mothers protects their babies…
Read More
Why do we sleep? Scientists have debated this question for millennia, but a new study by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), conducted in col-laboration with colleagues at Brown University, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and several other institutions, adds new clues for solving this mystery. Their findings, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, may help explain how humans form memories…
Read More
Violeta Durán Laforet, PhD, a postdoc in the lab of Dorothy P. Schafer, PhD, associate professor of neurobiology, has been awarded two fellowships totaling $375,000 to support her research into how cells in the brain affect aging. The new funding is from the BrightFocus Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Alzheimer’s Disease Research, which supports young researchers in their final stages of…
Read More

Awards & Recognitions: June 2022

Christopher A. Walsh, the Bullard Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, has been named one of four recipients of this year’s Kavli Prize in Neuroscience. Awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, the Kavli Prize honors scientists for transformative breakthroughs in astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience. Every other year, three $1 million prizes are…
Read More
Scientists from the Precision Cardiology Lab (PCL) of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Bayer have generated detailed maps of a variety of cell types in the heart that are involved in two major causes of heart failure: dilated and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (DCM and HCM), which both impair the heart’s pumping ability. The team’s findings, published today in Nature, suggest specific…
Read More
Eukaryotic cells organize their large genomes into a compacted structure called chromatin. The condensed structure of chromatin, with its fundamental unit the nucleosome, represents a challenge to nucleic acid–transacting machines including RNA polymerase II (Pol II), the enzyme responsible for the transcription of most protein-coding genes. How RNA Pol II overcomes nucleosomes without disrupting chromatin organization remains unknown. Using cryo–electron…
Read More
MIT Provost Cynthia Barnhart has announced three Professor Amar G. Bose Research Grants to support bold research projects across diverse areas of study including biology, engineering, and the humanities. The three grants honor the visionary and bold thinking in the winning proposals of the following nine researchers: John J. and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and Electrical Engineering and…
Read More
More than 70 percent of the antibiotics used as clinical therapeutics today are derived from compounds made by soil bacteria. Elizabeth Shank, PhD, associate professor of systems biology, studies soil bacteria and is focused on potentially developing new antibiotics. “In the soil, bacteria are surrounded by hundreds of other microbial species, and they talk to these other bacteria using chemical…
Read More
Cancer cells can have thousands of mutations in their DNA. However, only a handful of those actually drive the progression of cancer; the rest are just along for the ride.   Distinguishing these harmful driver mutations from the neutral passengers could help researchers identify better drug targets. To boost those efforts, an MIT-led team has built a new computer model…
Read More