Baltimore, MD—A tremendous amount of genetic material must be packed into the nucleus of every cell—a tiny compartment. One of the biggest challenges in biology is to understand how certain regions of this highly packaged DNA can be called upon, so that the genes encoded in them can be “turned on,” or expressed and used to manufacture RNA and proteins. New work published in Molecular Cell by a team of biologists from Carnegie, Soonchunhyang...
Baltimore, MD—Allan C. Spradling, Director Emeritus of Carnegie’s Department of Embryology, has been awarded the 23rd March of Dimes and Richard B. Johnson, Jr., MD Prize in Developmental Biology as “an outstanding scientist who has profoundly advanced the science that underlies our understanding of prenatal development and pregnancy.” Department director and Carnegie co-interim president Yixian Zheng remarked, “Allan is a legend in...
Marnie Halpern's Mendel talk In September, Embryology staff member Dr. Marnie Halpern spoke at an event to honor the work of famed czech geneticist Gregor Mendel. Dr. Halpern spoke along with Dr. Ondrej Dostal, Director of the Mendel Museum at the Abbey where Mendel did his genetics work. Mendel’s research paved the way for the research performed at Embryology today, and Dr. Halpern spoke about the influence Mendel's work has had on agriculture...
Predoctoral Fellow James Thierer of the Farber lab wins poster award Each year, Johns Hopkins’ University, of which the Department of Embryology is an affiliate, hosts a Cell, Molecular, Developmental Biology, and Biophysics (CMDB) retreat, complete with a poster session. During the retreat in Fall 2017, the Farber Lab’s predoctoral fellow James Thierer won a poster award with his poster "Illuminating beta-lipoprotein dynamics with larval...
On Monday, April 16th, the Department of Embryology’s Dr. Joe Gall hosted Nobel Laureate Dr. Carol Greider as a special seminar speaker in the weekly seminar series. Dr. Greider is currently the Daniel Nathans Professor & Director of Molecular Biology & Genetics at Johns Hopkins Medicine.   Dr. Greider was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2009 for her work on telomeres, along with Drs. Elizabeth Blackburn and...
Washington, DC—Not too long ago, biologists would induce mutations in an entire genome, isolate an organism that displayed a resulting disease or abnormality that they wanted to study, and then work backward to determine which gene was responsible for the defect.  This process often took years to yield definitive results. Now, thanks to the CRISPR/Cas9 genome-editing tool, biologists can target specific genes for mutation and then see how this...
Baltimore, MD— The brain is the body’s mission control center, sending messages to the other organs about how to respond to various external and internal stimuli. Located in the forebrain, the habenular region is one such message-conducting system. Two new papers from Carnegie scientists explain how the habenulae develop and their unsuspected role in recovering from fear. Found in all vertebrates, the bilaterally paired habenulae regulate the...
Washington, D.C.--Yixian Zheng has been selected to direct Carnegie’s Department of Embryology in Baltimore, Maryland. She has been Acting Director since February 1st of 2016. Carnegie president Matthew Scott remarked, “Yixian has been an exceptional leader of the department as Acting Director. We are extremely pleased that she took on this job permanently.  Her fascinating science, independent thinking, vision, extraordinary management skills,...
Washington, D.C.—BioEYES was accepted to participate in a National Science Foundation (NSF) video competition on May 15-22, 2017. BioEYES supporters are encouraged to go to the competition website at stemforall2017.videohall.com and share and vote for the BioEYES video! (Note the guidelines for the three ways to vote. Watch the video directly here http://stemforall2017.videohall.com/p/1025) Project BioEYES, based at Carnegie’s Department of...
Baltimore, MD—Studying how our bodies metabolize lipids such as fatty acids, triglycerides, and cholesterol can teach us about cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other health problems, as well as reveal basic cellular functions. But the process of studying what happens to lipids after being consumed has been both technologically difficult and expensive to accomplish until now. New work from Carnegie’s Steven Farber and his graduate student...
Baltimore, MD—A first-of-its-kind study on almost 20,000 K-12 underrepresented public school students shows that Project BioEYES, based at Carnegie’s Department of Embryology, is effective at increasing students’ science knowledge and positive attitudes about science. Younger students had the greatest attitude changes. The study covered five years and tested students before and after the one-week BioEYES program. The research is published in the...
Baltimore, MD— New work led by Carnegie’s Steven Farber, with help from Yixian Zheng’s lab, sheds light on how form follows function for intestinal cells responding to high-fat foods that are rich in cholesterol and triglycerides. Their findings are published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Enterocytes are specialized cells that line the insides of our intestines. The intestinal surface is like a toothbrush, with lots of grooves and...
Baltimore, MD---Athletes, the elderly and those with degenerative muscle disease would all benefit from accelerated muscle repair. When skeletal muscles, those connected to the bone, are injured, muscle stem cells wake up from a dormant state and repair the damage. When muscles age, however, stem cell number and function declines, as do both tissue function and regenerative ability.  Carnegie’s Christoph Lepper and team*, including researchers...
Washington, D.C.—  Zehra Nizami has been a graduate student and postdoc in Joe Gall’s lab at the Department of Embryology. She is the fourth recipient of the Postdoctoral Innovation and Excellence (PIE) Award, which are made through nominations from the department directors and chosen by the Office of the President. Her career at Embryology includes outstanding accomplishments in the three areas recognized by the PIE Award—science, education,...
Baltimore, MD--BioEYES, the K-12 science education program headquartered at  Carnegie's Department of Embryology, was recognized with four other organizations by the General Motors Foundation, at the GM Baltimore Operations plant where they make transmissions. The BioEYES group was honored for their environmental education program, “Your Watershed, Your Backyard, a middle school learning experience that teaches students about stream ecology.GM...
Baltimore, MD— As we age, the function and regenerative abilities of skeletal muscles deteriorate, which means it is difficult for the elderly to recover from injury or surgery. New work from Carnegie’s Michelle Rozo, Liangji Li, and Chen-Ming Fan demonstrates that a protein called b1-integrin is crucial for muscle regeneration. Their findings, published by Nature Medicine, provide a promising target for therapeutic intervention to combat muscle...
Baltimore, MD— Tiny transparent zebrafish are changing lives through the BioEYES program. A former BioEYES student in Baltimore, Sih Oka Zeh, shared that BioEYES was the catalyst for following a career path in the sciences: “I had BioEYES in 7th grade. Before they came I was told we were going to do an experiment with fish and microscopes. I wasn’t interested. But then they showed up with all this equipment I’d never seen before. We got to work...
Baltimore, MD—New work from Carnegie’s Allan Spradling and Lei Lei demonstrates that mammalian egg cells gain crucial cellular components at an early stage from their undifferentiated sister cells, called germ cells. This mechanism had previously only been documented in lower animals, and may be a key to understanding the egg’s unique properties. Their work is published via Science First Release. Egg cells are the only cells in humans and other...
Washington, D.C.—Matthew Sieber, a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Embryology, has been honored for his extraordinary accomplishments, through a new program that recognizes exceptional Carnegie postdoctoral scholars who have demonstrated both scientific accomplishments and creative endeavors beyond what is expected. Nominations for the Postdoctoral Innovation and Excellence (PIE) Awards are made through the department directors, and...
Baltimore, MD— Reproduction is highly dependent on diet and the ability to use nutrients to grow and generate energy. This is clearly seen in women, who must provide all the nutritional building blocks required to support a growing embryo. As a result, metabolic diseases like diabetes and obesity are closely linked with several female reproductive disorders such as: Infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome, and ovarian cancer. However, the precise...
San Diego, CA— Ghosts are not your typical cell biology research subjects. But scientists at the Carnegie Institution for Science and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) who developed a technique to observe muscle stem/progenitor cells migrating within injury sites in live mice, report that “ghost fibers,” remnants of the old extracellular matrix left by dying muscle fibers, guide the cells into position for...
Baltimore, MD – On November 12, 2015, students from ConneXions Academy will address water-quality issues in Baltimore through the General Motors Global Rivers Environmental Education Network (GM GREEN) managed by the Earth Force program, part of Carnegie’s BioEYES’ Your Watershed, Your Backyard education effort. Students will partner with engineers on Gwynns Falls Trail, Leakin Park in Baltimore, from 10 am to noon. The media is invited to...
The American Society for Cell Biology profiles Yixian Zheng and her recent papers on the elusive spindle matrix. "Zheng’s lab identifies new regulators in spindle assembly, all associated with the spindle matrix, a structural scaffold that promotes mitosis.The problem here is that some scientists aren’t convinced that the spindle matrix exists. In one of these new papers, Zheng begs to differ." More
Two researchers, Martin Jonikas of Carnegie’s Department of Plant Biology and Zhao Zhang of the Department of Embryology, have been awarded the New Innovator and Early Independence Awards, respectively, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Traditionally, NIH has supported research projects, not individuals. However, “to identify scientists with ideas that have the potential for high impact, but that may be too novel, span too diverse a...
Baltimore, MD— Every high school biology class learns about the tiny cells that comprise our bodies, as well as about many of the diverse actions that they perform. One of these actions is called mitosis, the series of steps through which a cell divides itself into two daughter cells, each of which has the same genetic material. Mitosis involves copying or “replicating” each of the cell’s DNA-containing chromosomes, and then separating them so...