2019 News Archive

Otger Campàs
Mar 26, 2019

Professor Otger Campàs receives New Investigator Award from the Society for Developmental Biology.

How do we develop from a mass of undifferentiated cells into organisms of tissues and organs with specific three-dimensional morphologies and architectures? That question has been one of the perennial mysteries at the heart of developmental biology — a field that studies the processes of growth and development of living organisms. For the last few decades, most of the research has focused on the biochemical signals and genetics that orchestrate embryogenesis. However, MCDB affiliated professor Otger Campàs has made great strides in our understanding of a different, yet essential, aspect of this problem: the mechanical and physical processes that shape embryos.

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Tau neuron. Credit: Kosik Lab
Mar 21, 2019

In a great stride toward finding an effective treatment for early-stage neurodegenerative diseases, MCDB professor Kenneth S. Kosik and collaborators have uncovered a “druggable” mechanism of pathological tau protein aggregation. For the millions of people at risk for frontotemporal dementia and a host of other such conditions including Alzheimer's, this could signal a shift toward significant management of symptoms or outright prevention of some of our most devastating diseases. “We’re super excited about this,” said Kosik, the UCSB Harriman Professor of Neuroscience and co-director of the campus’s Neuroscience Research Institute. While there is much more work to be done, promising evidence for this treatable mechanism is mounting and the stage is set for future investigations. In the wake of the recent halting of clinical trials for Aducanumab, a drug that once looked to be a promising Alzheimer’s treatment, this development signals a ray of hope. The team’s paper, “A Farnesyl Transferase Inhibitor that Targets Rhes Reduces Tau Pathology in Mice with Tauopathy,” is published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

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Shining a Light on Memory
Mar 21, 2019

Neuroscientist Michael Goard receives funding for new memory research.

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Feb 1, 2019

In 2007, Ho Man “Holly” Tang took a break from her undergraduate biology studies at Iowa State University to join her older brother, Ho Lam “Hogan” Tang, then a doctoral student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, to work on a project together. In Ming-Chiu Fung’s immunology lab, Hogan had been investigating how disturbances in the cytoskeletons of cells might contribute to the fragmentation of mitochondria during apoptosis, the most familiar form of cell suicide.

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