57 Mass General Investigators Named Highly Cited Researchers of 2020

Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science Group recently released their annual list of Highly Cited Researchers, and we are pleased to announce that 57 investigators from the Mass General Research Institute made the list. According to Web of Science Group, the Highly Cited Researchers list identifies scientists and social scientists who have demonstrated significant influence through publication of multiple papers, highly cited by…
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Research into Alzheimer’s disease has long focused on understanding the role of two key proteins, beta amyloid and the tau protein. Found in tangles in patients’ brain tissue, a pathological form of the tau protein contributes to propagating the disease in the brain. In new research from their joint laboratory, Judith Steen, PhD, and Hanno Steen, PhD, show for the first time that…
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Antiviral Defense from the Gut

The role of the gut microbiome in disease and health has been well established. Yet, how the bacteria residing in our guts protect us from viral infections is not well understood. Now, for the first time, Harvard Medical School researchers have described how this happens in mice and have identified the specific population of gut microbes that modulates both localized…
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A Research Tool of a Different Color

Melanosomes are the organelles, or structures, inside our cells, that produce melanin, the molecule that gives our skin, hair and eyes their color. Melanosomes produce several different forms of melanin, including black/brown coloration and yellow/red coloration, and the many variations in levels at which each coloration can be produced in an individual generate the wide variety of skin, hair, and…
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Researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine have discovered a molecular mechanism that causes a “traffic jam” of enzymes traveling up and down neuronal axons, leading to the accumulation of amyloid beta – a key feature and cause of Alzheimer’s disease. The enzyme, BACE1, gets backed up, causing the axons to clog and swell because of the increased production of…
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Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and other institutions have applied powerful proteogenomics approaches to better understand the biological complexity of breast cancer. With this approach, the researchers were able to propose more precise diagnostics for known treatment targets, identify new tumor susceptibilities for translation into treatments for aggressive tumors and implicate new…
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Mutagenic translesion synthesis (TLS) allows cells to increase their survival after DNA damage by bypassing lesions that normally block DNA replication but at the cost of introducing mutations. Interfering with this TLS pathway genetically or with the small molecule inhibitor JH-RE-06 has been shown to improve cisplatin chemotherapy by suppressing tumor growth and enhancing survival in mouse xenograft tumor models.…
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Potential Cholera Vaccine Target Discovered

Findings from a team led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), reported in the online journal mBio, may help scientists develop a more effective vaccine for cholera, a bacterial disease that causes severe diarrhea and dehydration and is usually spread through contaminated water. The bacterium that causes cholera, called Vibrio cholerae, settles within the intestines after ingestion. There, it secretes a toxin that…
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Ana Maldonado-Contreras, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology & physiological systems, has been fascinated by the relationship between diet, bacteria in the gut and health throughout her career. “My first clinical trials were with my siblings,” she recalled of her childhood interest in medicine, in her native Venezuela. “I thought I could cure them somehow by making concoctions of tea, putting…
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