News and Updates

Stem Cell-Based Genomic Study Yields Insights on Viral Infection Susceptibility

immunofluorescent image of Zika infecting brain organoids

A mitochondrial gene plays a crucial role in genetic susceptibility to Zika, Dengue, and SARS-CoV-2 infections, a study by Weill Cornell Medicine investigators showed.

The study, published Oct. 6 in Cell Stem Cell, provides proof of principle that cell-based genome-wide association studies (GWAS) could be a valuable tool for studying genetic susceptibility to infections and other diseases. Genome-wide...

Circadian Clocks Play a Key Role in Fat Cell Growth

illustration of a person's head with a circadian clock

Disruption of the circadian clocks that keep the body and its cells entrained to the 24-hour day-night cycle plays a critical role in weight gain, according to a pair of studies by Weill Cornell Medicine investigators.  

One study, published June 27, in Cell Reports revealed that stress caused by chronically administering glucocorticoid stress hormones and disturbing the normal daily cycle of release...

COVID-19 Virus Can Cause Inflammation in Infected Placentas

illustration of the covid virus

SARS-CoV-2 infections of women in late pregnancy frequently spread to their placentas and led to inflammation, according to a study from investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian. The findings suggest that further research is needed on the virus’s effects in pregnancy and underscore the current recommendation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that pregnant women continue to take precautions, such as masking, social distancing and vaccination, to...

Advance in Understanding Cell Division Could Lead to New Cancer Treatments

illustration of dividing cancer cell

A protein called CDC7, long thought to play an essential role early in the cell division process, is in fact replaceable by another protein called CDK1, according to a study by investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The finding represents a fundamental advance in cell biology and may lead to new cancer therapies, since cancers frequently alter the molecular machinery of cell division to sustain their rapid growth.

The...

Are COVID-19-Linked Arrhythmias Caused by Viral Damage to the Heart’s Pacemaker Cells?

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The SARS-CoV-2 virus can infect specialized pacemaker cells that maintain the heart’s rhythmic beat, setting off a self-destruction process within the cells, according to a preclinical study co-led by researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian and NYU Grossman School of Medicine. The findings offer a possible explanation for the heart arrhythmias that are commonly observed in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

In the...

A Potential New Target for Cancer Immunotherapies

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Tumors can use an enzyme called ART1 to thwart antitumor immune cells, making the enzyme a promising new target for immunity-boosting cancer treatments, according to a study from researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine and Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

In the study, published Mar. 16 in Science Translational Medicine, the researchers found strong evidence that ART1, when...

Pre-Clinical Model May Enable Development of New Treatments for Leading Cause of Age-Related Vision Loss

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Researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine have developed a pre-clinical model of the leading cause of central vision loss in older individuals, called dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD), and used it to identify new treatment modalities and drug targets.

Previously created mouse models have not sufficiently mimicked the characteristics of dry AMD in humans. By contrast, the new model, described in a...

Brain Drain: Scientists Explain Why Neurons Consume So Much Fuel Even When at Rest

stock image of brain

Pound for pound, the brain consumes vastly more energy than other organs, and, puzzlingly, it remains a fuel-guzzler even when its neurons are not firing signals called neurotransmitters to each other. Now researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine have found that the process of packaging neurotransmitters may be responsible for this energy drain.

In their study, reported Dec. 3 in Science Advances, they identified tiny...

New Technique Allows Scientists to See Proteins Moving as They Work

diagram of microscope tip and ion channel in membrane

Researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine have shown that they can record the high-speed motions of proteins while correlating their motion to function. The feat should allow scientists to study proteins in greater detail than ever before, and in principle enables the development of drugs that work better by hitting their protein targets much more effectively.

The researchers, in a study published July 16 in Nature...

Elegant Solution: Endocrinology Chief Dr. Laura Alonso—A Specialist in Diabetes Research and Treatment—is Exploring Ways to Restore the Body’s Insulin Production

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The daughter of two nuclear physicists, Dr. Laura Alonso, was drawn to medicine while earning her undergrad degree in biochemistry from Harvard. She attended the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, followed by an internal medicine residency at the University of Chicago and fellowships in endocrinology and metabolism there and at New York University. Last September, she became chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at Weill Cornell Medicine...

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