Stock image of stethoscope and medical papers.

Ethan Dmitrovsky: X Factor

Published: 11/21/2019Tagged:

"While medicine, like physics, uses probability to help solve its problems, only medicine includes the human element as a factor in its calculations."

Biophysical Journal, The Premier Journal of Quantitative Biology, Volume 116, Number 6, March 19, 2019, www.biophysj.org, Biophysical Society, Cell Press

FREDERICK, Md. -- A study defining how an oncogenic protein gets removed from its active spot may offer new ways to target unwanted cell growth, a hallmark of cancer.

KRAS is a membrane-binding protein that functions as a molecular switch to regulate cellular activity, and is the most frequently mutated oncogene in human cancer. Normal KRAS controls cell growth. When KRAS is mutated, the signal is disrupted and cells grow continuously. 

Ulrich Baxa, senior microscopist at the National Cryo Electron Microscopy Facility, has seen the facility grow to house two additional microscopes, including the FEI Glacios (white-and-black cabinet, left of image).

FREDERICK, Md. -- Ulrich Baxa, Ph.D., and his team are helping to move a microscope the size of a minivan.

The behemoth, a Titan Krios, is making the 29-mile trek from a Gaithersburg, Maryland, laboratory to its new home at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research. It’s a highly-sensitive, $7 million device being relocated across a greater metropolitan area with some of the worst traffic in the United States.

University of Delaware campus

FREDERICK, Md. -- High-performance computing and other data science technologies are enabling critical inroads in cancer research. However, bringing together the necessary computing and cancer biology expertise to effectively leverage these technologies is a challenge—a challenge that a new partnership between the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research and the University of Delaware is working to overcome. 

Ebola mAb114 vial

FREDERICK, Md. -- Just 48 hours after an Ebola clinical trial in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was stopped early because two therapies appeared to significantly reduce patients’ fatality rates, two Frederick National Laboratory staff members boarded a plane to help with the next step.

Meanwhile, the national laboratory’s Vaccine Clinical Materials Program (VCMP) sent a shipment of mAb114, one of the therapies, to the DRC.

Purdue University. Image by David Mark from Pixabay.

FREDERICK, Md. – Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research has launched a partnership with Purdue University that aims to enhance and accelerate research initiatives, technological innovation, and workforce development in the biomedical sciences.

FNL Chief Science Officer Leonard Freedman, Ph.D. gave the keynote presentation at the 15th anniversary of the Instituto Nacional de Medicina Genómica in Mexico City. Photo courtesy of INMEGEN.

MEXICO CITY -- An engagement between the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research and the National Cancer Institute of Mexico (INCan) kicked off in July with a presentation about the FNL to a gathering of Mexican cancer researchers in Mexico City. 

FNL Chief Science Officer Leonard Freedman, Ph.D. highlighted some of the national laboratory’s key initiatives in a talk at a conference marking the 15thanniversary of the Instituto Nacional de Medicina Genómica (INMEGEN), one of Mexico’s 12 national institutes under the Secretariat of Health.

This animation created with cryo-EM structures depicts the pathway of the CRISPR Cas9 enzyme as it cuts DNA for gene editing. Animation courtesy of Xing Zhu, Miljan Simonovic and Sriram Subramaniam.

FREDERICK, Md. -- CRISPR is one of the most widely used technologies in the nascent quest to edit the human genome, and the precision “instrument” that makes it so effective is Cas9, a programmable enzyme harnessed from bacterial cells that cuts DNA strands at specific targets and replaces one gene with another.

David Pan watches the Vaccine, Immunity, and Cancer Program’s robot that performs automated testing for anti-HPV antibodies.

FREDERICK, Md. -- Ligia Pinto, Ph.D., sees science as a way to change lives and help people in need—and that is precisely what a study recently co-authored by her team at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research and collaborators at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute and Weill Cornell Medicine holds promise to do.

HIV image. Photo courtesy National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

FREDERICK, Md. -- Recent scientific papers co-authored by researchers at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research present novel discoveries about HIV and one similar infection from three fields of inquiry about the virus, all with the potential to further discoveries leading to prevention or treatment of HIV infection.

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