Stowers News

Same musicians: brand new tune

May 14 2013

Stowers investigators discover how an unusual interplay of signaling pathways shapes a critical eye structure

Peter Baumann named Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator

May 9 2013

KANSAS CITY, MO—Stowers Institute Investigator Peter Baumann, Ph.D., has been appointed to the prestigious position of Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator. Baumann, who currently holds an HHMI Early Career Scientist appointment, is among only 27 biomedical scientists chosen from among 1155 applications submitted in a nationwide competition.

Finding Nematostella: an ancient sea creature shines new light on how animals build an appendage

May 1 2013

Study of tentacle-formation in a sea anemone shows how epithelial cells form elongated structures and puts the spotlight on a new model organism

KANSAS CITY, MO—There’s a new actor on the embryology stage: the starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis. Its career is being launched in part by Stowers Institute for Medical Research Associate Investigator Matt Gibson, Ph.D., who is giving it equal billing with what has been his laboratory’s leading player, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.

Stowers Investigator elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Apr 24 2013

KANSAS CITY, MO—Stowers Institute Investigator Jerry Workman, Ph.D., has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Workman shares the honor with some of the world's most accomplished leaders from academia, business, public affairs, the humanities, and the arts.

Polo takes the bait

Mar 13 2013

A better “mousetrap” discovered in fruit flies might stop a human cancer-driving kinase in its tracks

KANSAS CITY, MO—A seemingly obscure gene in the female fruit fly that is only active in cells that will become eggs has led researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research to the discovery of a atypical protein that lures, traps, and inactivates the powerful Polo kinase, widely considered the master regulator of cell division. Its human homolog, Polo-like kinase-1 (Plk1), is misregulated in many types of cancer.

Hit by two hammers: how deficiencies in two genes synergize to halt formation of gut nervous system

Jan 31 2013

Genetic analysis by Stowers investigators has implications for a genetic disorder known as Hirschsprung Syndrome

KANSAS CITY, MO—Mutations in single genes can cause catastrophic diseases, such as Huntington’s Disease or sickle cell anemia. However, many conditions, including cancer, diabetes and birth defects are multigenic, arising from the collective failure of the function of more than one gene.

A diffusion trap

Jan 23 2013

Sticky spots on cell membranes hold onto the master regulator of cell polarity, helping to ensure that the regulatory protein accumulates in high enough concentrations to trigger cell polarity.

Stowers investigators’ study hints that stem cells prepare for maturity much earlier than anticipated

Dec 27 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO –Unlike less versatile muscle or nerve cells, embryonic stem cells are by definition equipped to assume any cellular role. Scientists call this flexibility “pluripotency,” meaning that as an organism develops, stem cells must be ready at a moment’s notice to activate highly diverse gene expression programs used to turn them into blood, brain, or kidney cells.

Understanding the cellular patterns of development

Dec 20 2012

New paper in Cell Reports finds that one key mechanism in development involves ‘paused’ RNA polymerase

KANSAS CITY, MO –For a tiny embryo to grow into an entire fruit fly, mouse or human, the correct genes in each cell must turn on and off in precisely the right sequence. This intricate molecular dance produces the many parts of the whole creature, from muscles and skin to nerves and blood.

Activating ALC1: with a little help from friends

Nov 29 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO –Chromatin remodeling—the packaging and unpackaging of genomic DNA and its associated proteins—regulates a host of fundamental cellular processes including gene transcription, DNA repair, programmed cell death as well as cell fate. In their latest study, scientists at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research are continuing to unravel the finicky details of how these architectural alterations are controlled.


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