Stowers News

New research opens door to expanding stem cells available for transplants

Aug 3 2018

KANSAS CITY, MOResearchers from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and collaborators have identified a way to expand blood-forming, adult stem cells from human umbilical cord blood (hUCB). This development could make these cells available to more people, and be more readily accepted in those who undergo adult stem cell treatments for conditions such as leukemia, blood disorders, immune system diseases, and other types of cancers, but who do not have an appropriate available bone marrow match.

New model for predicting neuroblastoma outcomes incorporates early developmental signals

Jul 6 2018

KANSAS CITY, MONeuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer of the sympathetic nervous system, is particularly deadly because it is difficult to detect and thus generally advanced before treatment begins. Scientists know that neuroblastoma develops from embryonic neural crest cells that fail to properly migrate or differentiate, but the details about exactly what causes these cells to go astray have been unclear.

New assay reveals biophysical properties that allow certain proteins to infect others

Jul 5 2018

KANSAS CITY, MOScientists at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have identified a physical basis for the spread of corrupted proteins known as prions inside cells. Their research findings are reported in the July 5, 2018, issue of the scientific journal Molecular Cell.

Scientists have captured the elusive cell that can regenerate an entire flatworm

Jun 14 2018

KANSAS CITY, MOResearchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have captured the one cell that is capable of regenerating an entire organism. For over a century, scientists have witnessed the effects of this cellular marvel, which enables creatures such as the planarian flatworm to perform death-defying feats like regrowing a severed head. But until recently, they lacked the tools necessary to target and track this cell, so they could watch it in action and discover its secrets.

How epigenetic regulation of the Hoxb gene cluster maintains normal blood-forming stem cells and inhibits leukemia

microscopic image of a human leukemia cells
May 8 2018

KANSAS CITY, MOScientists have known for decades that the Hox family of transcription factors are key regulators in the formation of blood cells and the development of leukemia. Exactly how this large family of genes, which are distributed in four separate chromosomal clusters named A through D, is regulated has been less clear.

Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado elected to the National Academy of Sciences

May 1 2018

KANSAS CITY, MOThe Stowers Institute for Medical Research is pleased to announce that Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, Ph.D., a Stowers and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator, has been elected a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for his distinguished and continuing achievements in original scientific research.

Studying blood sugar regulation in cavefish has implications for understanding human diabetes

Mar 21 2018

KANSAS CITY, MOUnderstanding how cavefish have adapted to their extreme environments and how their metabolism is different from surface fish may be relevant for understanding metabolism-related conditions in humans.

Betty Drees, MD, named president of the Graduate School of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research

Mar 1 2018

KANSAS CITY, MOEsteemed physician and educator Betty M. Drees, MD, FACP, was recently appointed president of the Graduate School of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research.

Molecular signature of “trailblazer” neural crest cells gives insight into development and cancer

Dec 4 2017

KANSAS CITY, MOThe term “migration” may evoke grand images of birds flying south for the winter, but this phenomenon also occurs, on a smaller scale, deep within our bodies. Cells migrate whenever embryos develop, wounds heal, cancers metastasize, and immune systems respond to infection. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that drive collections of cells as they migrate from one region to another remain unclear.

Marriage of microscopy techniques reveals 3D structure of critical protein complex

Aug 2 2017

KANSAS CITY, MOResearchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have solved the three-dimensional structure of a complex that is essential for the correct sorting of chromosomes into eggs and sperm during reproductive cell division or meiosis.

When this structure, called the synaptonemal complex, doesn't assemble properly in the cell, it can lead to chromosomal abnormalities, miscarriages, and birth defects.

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