A team of researchers has developed a new vaccine design strategy that could confer improved immunity against certain viruses, including those that cause AIDS, the flu, and COVID-19. Using this technique, the scientists attached proteins from the surface of a virus, called antigens, to custom-made protein nanoparticles. This approach enables an unprecedented level of control over the molecular configuration of…
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Though common, bladder cancer has been the focus of relatively little research. Dr. Andrew Hsieh hopes to change that. The physician-scientist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is kicking off a new project to learn how a fundamental cell process promotes the growth of aggressive bladder tumors. He hopes that the insights he gains open a door to a new paradigm for…
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OrbiMed, Novartis Venture Fund and RA Capital Management have joined forces to fund and help launch GentiBio. The Boston, Massachusetts-based biotech starts life with a $20 million seed funding with an aim of creating new engineered regulatory T cells to deliver immune tolerizing meds for autoimmune, allergic and inflammatory diseases. GentiBio lands with tech out of the Seattle Children’s Research…
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Adaptive Biotechnologies (Nasdaq: ADPT) announced today the launch of immunoSEQ® T-MAP™ COVID, a proprietary research product and data analysis service to accurately and reproducibly measure the T-cell immune response to vaccines in development and track the persistence of that response over time. This product leverages data by Snyder et al., made available today that map T cells from over 1,000 patients to specific SARS-CoV-2 antigens that elicit…
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Aggregation of the beta cell secretory product human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP) results in islet amyloid deposition, a pathological feature of type 2 diabetes. Amyloid formation is associated with increased levels of islet IL-1β as well as beta cell dysfunction and death, but the mechanisms that promote amyloid deposition in situ remain unclear. We hypothesised that physiologically relevant concentrations of…
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Whether a liver cancer cell is primed to grow or move affects its ability to resist cancer drugs, according to new work from scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington. The team identified key molecules that orchestrate these different cell states in hepatocellular carcinoma, or HCC. In lab dishes, experimental compounds that target these molecules can shift…
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Dr. Carmen Mikacenic Joins Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason

Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI) welcomes Carmen Mikacenic, MD, as an Associate Member in the Center for Translational Immunology. Dr. Mikacenic’s research studies interstitial lung disease, which results from some autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis; and explores aspects of acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS, using airway samples collected from the lungs of local COVID-19 patients. In addition to…
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SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 10 million infections and more than 500,000 fatalities by June 2020. To initiate infection, the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) glycoprotein promotes attachment to the host cell surface and fusion of the viral and host membranes. Prefusion SARS-CoV-2 S is the main target of neutralizing antibodies and the focus of vaccine design. However,…
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The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation has named two outstanding young scientists as recipients of the Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Cancer Fellowship Award, committing nearly $500,000 to help address a critical shortage of funding for pediatric cancer research.   The Fellowship Award provides funding to basic scientists and clinicians who conduct research with the potential to significantly impact the prevention, diagnosis…
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Engineering Heart Morphogenesis

There is high potential for current technologies to be used to recapitulate heart development in vitro by focusing on its earliest stage of morphogenesis: the embryonic heart tube. Recent advances in stem cell biology have enabled the production of cardiac progenitor lineages for bioengineering approaches. Biofabrication techniques can create structures and features of the heart tube at the appropriate scale. Biochemical cues…
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