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Jeffrey Macklis receives 2017 NIH Director's Pioneer Award

October 5, 2017

A New Way of Looking at Neurons: Jeffrey Macklis receives NIH Pioneer Award funding to study complexity of the subcellular systems within individual neurons

As a neuron develops, the axon grows from the central cell body like an arm with many fingers reaching out to explore the surroundings. These fingers, known as growth cones, travel long distances seeking out specific other neurons to form synapses, connective links that create the circuitry in the brain controlling sensation, movement, thinking, and...

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ScienceDaily: Scientists replay movie encoded in DNA

July 12, 2017

 'Molecular Recorder' would reveal secrets of brain development

For the first time, a primitive movie has been encoded in -- and then played back from -- DNA in living cells. Scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health say it is a major step toward a "molecular recorder" that may someday make it possible to get read-outs, for example, of the changing internal states of neurons as they develop.

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Rita Allen Foundation: Jeffrey Macklis: Making and Mending the Brain’s Machinery

August 8, 2016

Early in his research career, Jeffrey Macklis set out to unite two seemingly disparate fields of neuroscience: neural development and brain repair. At the time, this was an unorthodox idea, and “being a brain repair guy was a little shady,” he says. Still, he thought, “if we figured out how the brain was built, then maybe we could figure out how to rebuild it or fix it, and we might also be able to figure out something about why it breaks.”

Macklis has made strides in understanding the cells and pathways of the brain’s cerebral cortex, the outer layers of...

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CISION: The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Awards $7.5 Million To Study Brain Cell Growth And Development

April 30, 2016

SEATTLE, April 30, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation announced today the award of Allen Distinguished Investigator (ADI) grants to six groups of researchers with projects at the frontier of one of the most challenging roadblocks in neuroscience: growing mature human brain cells in the laboratory. The projects are funded at a total of $7.5 million over three years. 

"This new cohort of Allen Distinguished Investigators and their research is especially...

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The Harvard Gazette: New drug target for Rett syndrome

February 2, 2016

Researchers identify potential new route to therapy

Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers have identified a faulty signaling pathway that, when corrected in mice, ameliorates the symptoms of Rett syndrome, a devastating neurological condition. The findings could lead to the discovery of compounds or drugs that may benefit children affected by the disease, says neurobiologist Jeffrey Macklis, a member of the HSCI Executive Committee.

The research was published recently in Nature Communications. Noriyuki Kishi and Jessica MacDonald...

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ScientificAmerican: Neuronal transplants for treatment of obesity

February 6, 2012

 

Czupryn et al. "Transplanted Hypothalamic Neurons Restore Leptin Signaling and Ameliorate Obesity in db/db Mice" Science, 2011.

We'll start with the db/db mouse [...]. This mouse is genetically designed to develop severe morbid obesity and diabetes soon after birth. This is because it lacks a receptor for a hormone called leptin. Leptin is a hormone that plays a major role in appetite and metabolism. Decreasing your sensitivity to leptin, by decreasing leptin receptors, say (as in the the db/db mouse), produces striking obesity and...
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The Harvard Gazette: Mad cow protein found to have a sane side

April 27, 2006

It’s a devastating disease, changing behavior, causing uncontrolled movements, blindness, coma, and, finally, death. And we all have the makings of it in our heads.

When it topples cows, it’s known as mad cow disease. The human form is called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. In sheep, it’s scrapie. It’s a rare malady caused by a misshapen protein known as prion protein, or PrP. The big mystery is why people, cows, sheep, and other mammals have so much of the protein in their bodies, particularly in the brain.

“It’s intriguing to find that PrP, which,...

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The Harvard Gazette: Macklis, McMahon win Javits Award

April 18, 2004

Two Harvard faculty members were among eight noted investigators recently awarded the prestigious Senator Jacob Javits Award in the Neurosciences. Associate Professor of Surgery Jeffrey Macklis at the Medical School and Andrew P. McMahon, the Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, were honored for their research. The prize provides for up to seven years of research funding from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). A component of the National Institutes of Health, NINDS is the nation’s primary federal sponsor of...

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