Dr. Robert Darnell, Professor of Cancer Biology and Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Neuro-Oncology at Rockefeller University, received a $1.1 million grant from the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
This research funding will support his lab’s new approach to studying diseases of the brain through modern biotech services and more efficient informatics. He and his lab will work on harnessing the power of molecular biology to define therapeutic targets for several different types of brain diseases. Researchers will do this by combining the latest technological advances modern science has brought to neuroscience with new computational approaches.
Dr. Darnell uses high throughput sequencing and other techniques to investigate the proteins that regulate RNA and thereby affect gene expression. His work has led to many breakthroughs in biotech services over the past two decades. One of these came about from his study of patients with PND, or paraneoplastic neurologic disorders, a group of diseases believed to occur when tumors begin making proteins that are normally only made in the brain. His lab discovered that patients with PND combat tumors with what is essentially an anti-viral response. His lab also found that apoptotic tumor cells (cells programed for death due to damage) serve as strong instigators for the T cell immune response. They then worked on developing cancer vaccines to mimic PND, which provided key support to the emerging field of immuno-oncology.
In related research, Dr. Darnell’s lab focused on proteins involved in RNA regulation in certain PND antigens. Their function was studied using a powerful method the lab developed called high throughput sequencing cross-linking immunoprecipitation, or HITS-CLIP. High throughput sequencing determines the order of the four bases—adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine—in a strand of DNA at a greatly accelerated rate. With the HITS-CLIP they were able to create genome-wide maps of where RNA-binding proteins bind to RNA in living tissue. Recent computational improvements in analyses of HITS-CLIP maps have allowed robust genome-wide predictions of combinatorial RNA regulation and single-nucleotide resolution of protein interaction sites in the brain.
As a Senior Physician and life science researcher at Rockefeller University, Dr. Darnell has recieved over $1 million in NIH funding for five years in a row. His goal is to combine new high tech methods such as high-throughput sequencing and improved informatics to better understand what goes wrong at the RNA level. To make the raw data available for use in translational research, the project will also focus on developing new informatics strategies, which will make the collection, classification, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of information more efficient.
Ultimately the study is about uncovering how different cell types contribute to different brain disorders. To do this, the difference between individual cells of any one type must be better understood and those differences are manifest at the level of RNA, not DNA. Using a variety of new strategies, researchers will study RNA regulation in individual cell types. Dr. Darnell believes that by contrasting RNA regulation in individual human cell types during good health with those of individual human cell types during the disease process, they will uncover otherwise hidden cell type-specific targets for therapeutics.
Laboratory Equipment Suppliers Meet with Life Science Researchers at Bioresearch Product Fair to Bring the Future Biotech Services to Rockefeller
The 22nd Semiannual BioResearch Product Faire™ event at Rockefeller University will be held on Thursday, April 13, 2017. This biotech trade show, hosted by Biotechnology Calendar Inc. helps researchers gain access to supplies and equipment they need to continue their cutting edge work within biotech services. This vendor fair is a great opportunity for lab suppliers to meet face to face with life science researchers who are interested in learning about the latest in biotech, lab supplies and lab equipment. In the first 90 days of 2017, Rockefeller University has received over $25 million in NIH funding alone.
Those interested in increasing their lab product sales by displaying and their products should call (530) 272-6675 or click on one of the links below.
Science professionals attend for free. Click the link below to for more information and to preregister.