The United States' National Academy of Sciences today elected Gladstone Senior Investigator Shinya Yamanaka MD, PhD, to its membership, bestowing yet another honor on the Japanese scientist whose discovery of a promising new stem-cell technology has major implications for human health.
A scientist at the Gladstone Institutes has made two significant stem-cell discoveries that advance medicine and human health by creating powerful new approaches for using stem cells and stem-cell-like technology.
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have identified networks of genes that play an important role in embryonic-heart development, advancing knowledge of how healthy hearts develop—and offering clues about how to combat a common birth defect known as congenital heart disease.
The Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) announced today that Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, will receive the 2011 Warren Triennial Prize. Dr. Yamanaka discovered a method to convert adult cells into cells with characteristics of embryonic stem cells. He is on the faculty of both the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco and Kyoto University in Japan. He will share the award with Rudolph Jaenisch, MD, of the Whitehead Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Jaenisch extended Dr. Yamanaka's work to generate animal models of important human diseases. The award will be presented at a daylong symposium in October 2011, part of the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the founding of the MGH.
A new center called the National Resource for Network Biology (NRNB) will help researchers and clinicians analyze an ever-growing wealth of complex biological data and apply that knowledge to real problems and diseases.
Scientists at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease (GICD) have found a new way to make beating heart cells from the body's own cells that could help regenerate damaged hearts. Over 5 million Americans suffer from heart failure because the heart has virtually no ability to repair itself after a heart attack. Only 2,000 hearts become available for heart transplant annually in the United States, leaving limited therapeutic options for the remaining millions. In research published in the current issue of Cell, scientists in the laboratory of GICD director Deepak Srivastava, MD, directly reprogrammed structural cells called fibroblasts in the heart to become beating heart cells called cardiomyocytes. In doing so, they also found the first evidence that unrelated adult cells can be reprogrammed from one cell type to another without having to go all the way back to a stem cell state.
Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease (GICD) and Kyoto University, has won the 2010 Kyoto Prize for Advanced Technology. Yamanaka, who is the L.K.Whittier Investigator in Stem Cell Biology at Gladstone, and professor of anatomy at UCSF, was cited for his discovery of a method of reprogramming adult skin cells to become embryonic-like stem cells. The discovery has opened up the field of stem cell research and dramatically changed the field of cell biology.
Deepak Srivastava, MD, director of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease and Professor of Pediatrics and Biochemistry at UCSF, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Srivastava joins former Gladstone president Robert W. Mahley as a member of the Academy. Established 230 years ago by John Adams and other founding fathers, the Academy is one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and a center for independent policy research.
Robert W. Mahley, MD, PhD, president of The J. David Gladstone Institutes, will receive Research!America's 2010 Builders of Science Award. The award recognizes his leadership as Gladstone's founding director and president, guiding its growth to become one of the world's foremost independent research institutions, known for its groundbreaking basic science and substantial impact on disease prevention.
Although obesity is a risk factor for diabetes and coronary heart disease worldwide, only some obese individuals go on to develop these metabolic complications, while others are relatively protected. Defining these protective factors could help scientists prevent disease in the wider population.