Double Billing — Drs. John Condeelis and Robert Singer have been invited to speak at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 2013 annual meeting, in February. Each will discuss innovations in imaging technologies and applications that they use in in their own research. Dr. Condeelis’ presentation will focus on the use of multi-photon microscopy to image cells in the breast tumor microenvironment at single-cell resolution in vivo, while Dr. Singer will discuss the detection and imaging of individual mRNA molecules in single cells. Additionally, in connection with the AAAS meeting, they will take part in a special press conference hosted by the association. Drs. Condeelis and Singer are each professor and co-chair of anatomy and structural biology, as well as co-director of the Gruss Lipper Biophotonics Center.
New Way of Seeing Cells — Drs. Matthew Levy and Erik Snapp have received a grant from the Single Cell Analysis Program of the National Institutes of Health’s Common Fund, whose goal is to support transformative, high-risk/high-reward research that addresses specific knowledge gaps. Currently, there are no tools available to visualize unmodified endogenous secretory proteins in live cells, since existing technologies rely on either genetically engineering proteins with fluorescent tags or preservation methods that require killing the cells prior to labeling of target proteins. Drs. Levy and Snapp will address this gap in single-cell imaging tools by developing their proposed Secretory Targeting Aptamer Beacons (STAB) technology, which uses fluorescently labeled aptamers, a nucleic acid-based small molecule, that can enter live cells and bind to a specific protein. This technology would be used to visualize the presence and level of secretory proteins -- which are robust markers for many diseases -- that could be used for both laboratory and clinical diagnostic purposes. Dr. Levy is assistant professor of biochemistry and Dr. Snapp is associate professor of anatomy and structural biology.
Honorable Distinction — Dr. Allan Wolkoff has received the 2012 Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award from the American Liver Foundation, which is among the Foundation’s most prestigious honors. The award recognizes a scientist who has made a major contribution to the study of liver pathobiology and the prevention, treatment or cure of liver disease. Dr. Wolkoff is professor of medicine and of anatomy and structural biology, as well as chief of the division of gastroenterology and liver disease.