The National Academy of Sciences has elected 120 new members and 30 international associates, including three MIT professors — Angela Belcher, Pablo Jarillo-Herrero, and Ronitt Rubinfeld — in recognition of their achievements in original research. Angela Belcher is the James Mason Crafts Professor of Biological Engineering and Materials Science, a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, and the…
Read More
MIT cell biologist Lindsay Case and computational neuroscientist Guangyu Robert Yang have been named 2022 Searle Scholars, an award given annually to 15 outstanding U.S. assistant professors who have high potential for ongoing innovative research contributions in medicine, chemistry, or the biological sciences. Case is an assistant professor of biology, while Yang is an assistant professor of brain and cognitive sciences…
Read More
People with Parkinson’s disease and their doctors confront many unknowns, including the answer to exactly how deep brain stimulation (DBS) relieves some of the motor symptoms patients experience. In a new study, scientists at Boston University and The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT present a detailed model explaining the underlying circuit dynamics, providing an explanation that, if…
Read More
Sixteen MIT students and postdocs recently traveled to Washington to advocate for federal funding of scientific research for the 2023 fiscal year. Congressional Visit Days (CVD) are an effort organized by the MIT Science Policy Initiative (SPI), a student group that works at the intersection of policy and research. On April 5-6, students met with 34 congressional offices representing 18…
Read More

A Better Antibiotic for Tuberculosis Treatment

Over the past few years of his PhD research, Harim Won has been laying the groundwork to develop a new type of antibiotic to treat tuberculosis (TB), addressing the long-standing problems of lengthy treatments and antibiotic resistance. Won is using a new approach to turn a normal protein system in the bacterial cell against itself. Won, who works in the lab of Eric…
Read More
To understand how the cerebellar cortex transforms mossy fiber (MF) inputs into Purkinje cell (PC) outputs, it is vital to delineate the elements of this circuit. Candelabrum cells (CCs) are enigmatic interneurons of the cerebellar cortex that have been identified based on their morphology, but their electrophysiological properties, synaptic connections and function remain unknown. Here, we clarify these properties using…
Read More
In type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune response attacks the pancreas’s insulin-producing beta cells, leading to marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Lifelong daily insulin treatments are standard for patients, but replacing lost beta cells through transplants of islets, a group of cells in the pancreas, represents an attractive option. This strategy requires that patients take lifelong immunosuppressive drugs to prevent…
Read More
In a project jointly led by the Kunes and Engert laboratories, co-first authors Caroline Wee, Erin Song, and Maxim Nikitchenko used the larval zebrafish to take a deep dive into how social cues are represented in the brain and how those cues modulate behavior. Their results appear in a paper published this week in Nature Communications (PDF). Social interactions are an essential aspect of human experience, and the absence…
Read More
Genetic studies have revealed many genes linked to both common and rare disease, but to understand how those genes bring about disease and use those insights to help develop therapies, scientists need to know where they are active in the body. Research on single cells can help achieve this goal, by surveying gene activity in specific cell types. Scientists need…
Read More