Heady Perspective – Dr. Mark Mehler was selected to deliver the Presidential Plenary Lecture at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology on Tuesday, April 24, 2012. Dr. Mehler presented “Epigenetics: A New Science of Brain and Behavior,”detailing the revolution in the science of genes and inheritance that is changing how we view biology and medicine, particularly with respect to our understanding of how the human brain works and how it has evolved into a sophisticated organ involved in complex thoughts and behaviors. Dr. Mehler is professor and chair of The Saul R. Korey Department of Neuroscience and director of the Institute for Brain Disorders and Neural Regeneration.
Scholarly Honor – Three Einstein students are recipients of the 2012 Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) program scholarships, a competitive national program sponsored by the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), The National Institute on Aging, and The Hartford Foundation that provides students with a summer experience in aging-related research. Students can apply for positions at either a National Training Center or at their home institution. Both Yehuda Lerea and Mary Derasmo are Einstein MSTAR Awardees, who will be mentored by Dr. Helena Blumen (neurology/cognitive and motor aging) and Dr. Gil Atzmon (endocrine/genetics), respectively. In addition, Derek Wu will be mentored at UCLA, as a National MSTAR Awardee.
An Essential Factor – In a recent issue of the journal Blood, Drs. Sanjeev Gupta and Antonia Follenzi successfully challenge the long-held view that bone marrow transplantation is of little value in the treatment of hemophilia A, the more common form of this rare bleeding disorder. Their research found that, following transplantation therapy, an essential clotting factor (FVIII) appeared in the blood of hemophiliac mice, protecting these mice from bleeding challenges. The authors also traced the source of FVIII to circulating and liver-resident macrophages, a kind of white blood cell, as well as to stem cells within the bone marrow. The study thus illuminates potential new treatment avenues for hemophilia A. The College of Medicine has filed a patent application related to this research that is available for licensing to partners interested in further testing and developing this treatment.Dr. Gupta is professor of medicine and of pathology, and holds the Eleazar & Feige Reicher Chair in Translational Medicine; Dr. Follenzi is visiting assistant professor of pathology.