New York News in Research: February  2017
Highlights Highlights
AMSNY CEO Discusses State Funding for Medical Research on Capital Tonight

The executive budget proposal calls for 650-million dollars to go toward the life sciences industry, including tax credits to encourage businesses to come to and stay in New York state. However, according to medical school officials, none of that money is specifically allocated to help medical schools retain employees and generate more research breakthroughs. Jo Wiederhorn, President and CEO of the Associated Medical Schools of New York, explains. 

SUNY Upstate Opens Cord Blood Bank in a Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

The $15 million, 20,000 square foot facility features a state of the art processing laboratory and cryogenic storage containers that can store nearly 14,500 units of cord blood. The bank will collect, test, process, store and distribute umbilical cord blood donated by families throughout central and northern New York to be used by those in need of life-saving medical treatments and for medical research. Read more.
Weill Cornell Medicine: Artificial Intelligence Helps Identify Effective Cancer Drug Combinations

The findings of two new studies, researchers say, could save scientists valuable research time and potentially bring new treatments to patients much more quickly.  Read More.
NYU Langone Medical Center: Changes in Gene Contribute Independently to Breast and Ovarian Cancers

Defects in a key gene--long thought to drive cancer by turning off the protection afforded by the well-known BRCA genes--spur cancer growth on their own, according to a study, which  helps to explain why some women with healthy BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes develop cancer.  Read more.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Researchers Involved in Successful Phase 3 Trial of Drug for Highly Deadly Form of Liver Cancer

An international phase 3 trial has found that the drug regorafenib improved survival in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a form of liver cancer, giving people who previously had no other options a better chance at survival.  Read more.

Columbia University Medical Center: In Alzheimer's, Excess Tau Protein Damages Brain's GPS

Researchers have discovered that the spatial disorientation that leads to wandering in many Alzheimer's disease patients is caused by the accumulation of tau protein in navigational nerve cells in the brain. The findings, in mice, could lead to early diagnostic tests for Alzheimer's and highlight novel targets for treating this common and troubling symptom. Read more.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine: Soccer Ball Heading May Commonly Cause Concussion Symptoms
Frequent soccer ball heading is a common and under recognized cause of concussion symptoms, according to a study of amateur players. The findings run counter to earlier soccer studies suggesting concussion injuries mainly result from inadvertent head impacts, such as collisions with other players or a goalpost.  Read more.
Columbia University Medical Center: PTSD Symptoms May Be Prevented With Ketamine

Researchers have found that a single dose of ketamine, given one week before a stressful event, can buffer against a heightened fear response.  The study, conducted in mice, suggests that prophylactic administration of ketamine-a drug commonly used as a general anesthetic or a rapid-acting antidepressant-might prevent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in soldiers and others who subsequently experience psychological trauma. Read more.

NYU Langone Medical Center: Roots of Related Genetic Diseases Found in Cell Powerhouses

Scientists have discovered the mechanisms behind a genetic change known to cause a set of related diseases.  A new study  shows how errors in the genetic code-introduced as it is copied and passed along to the next generation of cells-frequently result in damage and mismanaged repair attempts that end with the deletion of a stretch of 4,977 base pairs, the molecular letters that make up DNA.  Read more.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Researchers Generate First In-Depth Characterization of a Genetically Modified Rat Model for Autism and Intellectual Disability

Researchers at The Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai have generated and characterized a genetically modified rat model of autism and intellectual disability. Researchers report that in this novel rat model, the hormone oxytocin significantly improved social memory, attention, and nerve cell activity.

Take a closer look.
otherstudiesOther Studies
University of Rochester Medical Center Drug Extends Effectiveness of HIV Therapy

A drug developed at URMC extends the effectiveness of multiple HIV therapies by unleashing a cell's own protective machinery on the virus. The finding is an important step toward the creation of long-acting HIV drugs that could be administered once or twice per year, in contrast to current HIV treatments that must be taken daily. Read more
SUNY Upstate Study Highlights Key Principles of a Successful Malaria Elimination Program

An Ecuador-Peru border region with a population of more than 800,000 has been malaria free since 2012, due to a strong binational collaboration for malaria control, according to findings from a study by Upstate researchers and their national and international colleagues. The researchers say that this collaborative approach can serve as a model to rid mosquito-borne illnesses worldwide. Read more.
Weill Cornell Medical Center: Research Uncovers Bacteria Linking Crohn's Disease to Arthritis

In Crohn's disease, which affects about 800,000 Americans, the immune system can attack not only the bowels, but the musculoskeletal system as well, leading to spondyloarthritis, a painful condition that affects the spine and joints. Now new research, helps explain the connection between these seemingly unrelated symptoms, and could help physicians identify Crohn's disease patients who are more likely to develop spondyloarthritis, enabling them to prescribe more effective therapies for both conditions. Read more.
University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences: Common insecticides mimic melatonin, creating higher potential risk for diabetes and metabolic diseases

Synthetic chemicals commonly found in insecticides and garden products bind to the receptors that govern our biological clocks, UB researchers have found. The research suggests that exposure to these insecticides adversely affects melatonin receptor signaling, creating a higher risk for metabolic diseases such as diabetes.  Read more.
University of Rochester Medical Center Awarded up to $9M to Study Infectious Threats

The award renews the University's role as a member of the CDC's Emerging Infections Program , a national network that keeps hawk-like watch on the activity of several infectious threats and conducts studies that guide policy related to prevention and treatment. Read more.

NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine: NIH gives researcher $431,700 to  study effects of meth on wounds

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently awarded microbiologist Luis Martinez, Ph.D., a three-year grant to research the impacts of methamphetamines on wounds. Read More.
Einstein-Montefiore to Play Leadership Role in $21 Million NIH Grant  to  Study the Onset of Epilepsy after Traumatic Brain Injuries

The grant involves seven principal investigators at five institutions. The research team will identify biomarkers associated with the development of epilepsy and develop novel therapies designed to prevent or modify the condition, which is currently incurable. Read more.

University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences: What Would Kids Rather Do than Eat? UB Study Aims to Find Out

The goal of a NIH-funded study is to determine if providing more non-food alternatives could help prevent childhood obesity. To find out which of these activities children find more appealing than eating, UB obesity researchers are starting a new study, funded by a $2.8 million National Institutes of Health grant. Read more.
NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine: The Evolution of Walking

Scientists know that bipedalism-the ability to walk on two feet-was one of the first attributes to develop in early hominins (humans and all of our fossil human relatives). While fossil evidence shows our ancestors may have began walking upright as early as six or seven million years ago, exactly why and when, and exactly how they would have walked remains a mystery. Read more.