HIV plays a direct role in causing blood cell cancers in rare instances, says a new study of HIV and tumor DNA.…

The spike protein critical for coronavirus research -- and for some COVID-19 vaccines -- slowly…

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Genetic twist helps explain unique properties of promising AIDS vaccine

AIDS and Cancer Virus ProgramPosted 5/27/2021
While a unique AIDS vaccine approach had previously shown an encouraging and unprecedented kind of protection against AIDS virus infection in nonhuman primate models, the underlying mechanism for this distinctive form of vaccine protection has remained unclear – until now. New research has provided important insights into understanding how the promising vaccine works.…

VRC01 HIV antibody falls short in trials, but don’t discount antibodies yet

Vaccine Clinical Materials ProgramPosted 5/20/2021
An anti-HIV antibody called VRC01 does not protect people from acquiring HIV, according to findings from the Antibody-Mediated Prevention (AMP) Trials.

The results were recently reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. While they indicate that this antibody alone is not a strong HIV-prevention measure, the data suggest that antibodies remain a…

FNL partnership with LSU Health New Orleans to investigate links between obesity and lung cancer

Partnership Development OfficePosted 5/13/2021
While the link between certain conditions and cancer risk, such as tobacco smoke exposure and lung cancer, has been firmly established, for other conditions, the association and the biological mechanisms behind them remain murky.

To this end, the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNL) and Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Sciences Center…

AIDS research team aims to push boundaries in science and beyond

AIDS and Cancer Virus ProgramPosted 4/29/2021
Researchers are launching a new project aimed at understanding vaginal transmission of HIV and examining what happens in the earliest stages of infection in people with a cervix, who represent about one-fifth of new cases each year.

Christine Fennessey, Ph.D. and Claire Deleage, Ph.D. in the Frederick National Laboratory’s AIDS and Cancer Virus Program received…

Study ‘sheds light’ on critical step in RAS-driven cancers

RAS InitiativePosted 4/21/2021
Results of a recent study suggest how two oncogenic proteins—KRAS and RAF kinase—interact, and the structure of this protein-protein complex provides a blueprint for designing new inhibitors that could help prevent RAS-driven cancers.



The KRAS gene provides instructions for making the KRAS protein that is part of a signaling pathway. The protein…

Victor Ssempijja: A data analyst who’s helping to diminish an epidemic

Clinical Monitoring Research ProgramPosted 4/15/2021


Victor Ssempijja remembers there being many fatherless households in his hometown in Uganda during his childhood. In fact, he says he could count the number of complete families on just his fingers. The other fathers had died of HIV and associated complications.

“I actually grew up thinking that men were not supposed to live long,” he said.…

Data set lets AI teach itself to analyze microscopy better

Posted 4/13/2021
A data set doesn’t sound like a flashy scientific advance, but that impression belies a concept with the potential to enable eye-catching science.

Such is the case with CEM500K, a new data set created by Kedar Narayan, Ph.D., and Ryan Conrad in the Center for Molecular Microscopy at Frederick National Laboratory. As reported in eLife last week, it’s a cutting-…

Digital twins for cancer care: Exploring a cross-disciplinary innovative approach  

Biomedical Informatics and Data Science DirectoratePosted 4/5/2021
Used successfully in several industries, digital twins have the potential to forge a path toward advances in cancer care and research. By melding computational science with the field of medicine, scientists aim to use digital twins to ultimately predict the effect of new therapies on cancer patients by using computer models without harming actual humans.

Metabolic mystery gives way, revealing driver of rare kidney cancer

Posted 3/23/2021
Two scientists and their colleagues have uncovered a key activity driving a rare and deadly type of kidney cancer called hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell carcinoma (HLRCC).



Their study explains how altered metabolism “rewires” these cancer cells, allowing them to be more aggressive and malignant.

The new information…

FNL collaborates with FDA to establish best practices for single-cell RNA sequencing

Biomedical Informatics and Data Science DirectoratePosted 3/10/2021
Researchers from the Sequencing Facility and Biomedical Informatics and Data Science Directorate at the Frederick National Laboratory (FNL) collaborated with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other research centers across the U.S. to conduct a benchmark study establishing best practices for high-throughput single-cell RNA sequencing.

The study,…

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