Feature Story

Assassinating cancer

November 1, 2018

Mario Suva and Ramesh Shivdasani are tackling some of the toughest, meanest cancers to clear a path to better treatments.

  • Suva and Shivdasani are using every approach in their arsenal to figure out what makes cancer cells arise from healthy tissue.
  • Armed with enough new knowledge about how cancer arises, they want to take truer aim at cancer cells, the cancer cell lineage, and factors that make cells go awry.
  • Their new approach to cancer management would combine gene and cell therapies to kill the cancer...
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Cell therapy for all

November 1, 2018

Chad Cowan is on a quest for the universal donor, which would make cell therapy available to populations – not just individuals.

  • Harvard scientist Chad Cowan aims to make off-the-shelf cellular products, and democratize access to new medicines.
  • His lab is working to make cellular therapies that can work for anyone, not just a single patient. 
  • Their ambitious goal is to modify therapeutic cells that can be transplanted into many people, without being rejected.

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One good drug

November 1, 2018

HSCI physician-scientists Daniel Tenen and Li Chai want to turn off a gene to stop cancer without poisoning the patient.

  • The ideal cancer drug would harm cancer cells without hurting normal cells.
  • In their quest to discover one good therapy, HSCI scientists Dan Tenen and Li Chai have zeroed in on SALL4, a gene that is essential for growth in both embryos and cancers.
  • A cellular therapy that deprives cancer cells of SALL4 would stop a third of cancers in their tracks.

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Building community, one neighborhood at a time

August 15, 2017

In spring, 2017, Khalid Shah and Tracy Young-Pearse were settled in their new research home in Brigham and Women’s ‘Building for Transformative Medicine’ on Fenwood Road. Like good neighbors, they were very eager to get to know their HSCI colleagues in the Longwood area. With the HIP interns about to arrive, they figured, why not build a community around these new arrivals to our research family?

Khalid and Tracy thus organized three meetings over the summer of 2017 bringing together HSCI PIs in the Longwood area along with their HIP interns. The PIs came to know each other...

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Ya-Chieh Hsu named 2017 Pew scholar

June 19, 2017

Ya-Chieh Hsu, PhDWe are proud to announce that Ya-Chieh Hsu, PhD, has been selected by the Pew Charitable Trust to receive an early-career award that will fund her research for the next four years.

Hsu joined the Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (HSCRB) as an assistant professor in 2014, at which time she also became Principal Faculty at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. Her research is focused on uncovering the function and potential of transit-amplifying skin cells, which play a key role in tissue development, regeneration, and are especially sensitive to chemotherapy drugs. Understanding the role these cells play in skin regeneration could lead to the development of therapies that alleviate or prevent some of the side effects of chemotherapy, such as hair loss and compromised wound healing.

We asked Hsu to share her impressions upon receiving the award.

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