SMN protein (red) is necessary for the survival of spinal cord neurons (motor neurons) responsible for breathing and all movement. Harvard researchers have found a compound that stabilized this protein in mouse and human motor neurons.
Human noxious stimulus detecting sensory neurons produced by converting skin cells with a set of five genes to this new fate—enabling study of "pain"in a dish. (Credit: Elizabeth Buttermore, PhD)Read more about Pain in a dish
Using a new, stem cell-based, drug-screening technology that could reinvent and greatly reduce the cost of developing pharmaceuticals, researchers at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) have found a compound that is more effective in protecting the neurons killed in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) than are two drugs that failed in human clinical trials after large sums were invested in them. Read more about New use for stem cells identifies a promising way to target ALS
HSCI Executive Committee member Lee Rubin is one of seven scientists selected by biotech leader Biogen Idec to identify and develop new approaches for treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) - more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Rubin and the other six scientists at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Rockefeller will form a consortium to bring to bear their complementary research interests, talents, and areas of expertise on the hitherto untreatable and fatal neurodegenerative disease. Read more about HSCI Executive Committee member selected to join Biogen Idec's ALS consortium