Researchers seek universal treatments to impede coronavirus

New research from a team of Cornell collaborators points to a possible target for antiviral treatment for COVID-19.

Their review paper, “Coronavirus Membrane Fusion Mechanism Offers a Potential Target for Antiviral Development,” published April 6 in Antiviral Research. The multidisciplinary group was led by Susan Daniel, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and Gary Whittaker, professor of virology at the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Cell-free biotech could drive COVID-19 therapeutics

A biomanufacturing company spun out of Cornell research is seeking to rapidly translate an antibody therapy against COVID-19 by using cell-free biotechnology based on glycoengineered bacteria. And it could scale up the production 10 times faster than conventional methods. The company, SwiftScale Biologics, was co-founded by Center member Matt DeLisa.

Read the full story here.

Campus community donates essential medical supplies

As hospitals across the country try to manage a surge in coronavirus patients while also facing a global shortage in the protective gear needed to treat them, the Cornell community has banded together to donate crucial medical supplies to local health care providers.

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Center announces Core Facilities Seed Fund grantees

The Cornell Center for Immunology is thrilled to share the individuals and projects that have been selected to receive Core Facilities Seed Funds.

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Research interrupted: Lab groups find their way together

Everyone is working together, pitching in to find solutions while suspending research and closing down laboratories. Find out what is going on and how researchers plan to be productive remotely.

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COVID-19 working group gears up

While many researchers have faced a temporary work stoppage, Gary Whittaker, is leading a working group of core laboratories trying to better understand COVID-19, with the hope of future treatment and containment.

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Awards honor exceptional microbiology and immunology research

The Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the College of Veterinary Medicine celebrated this year’s recipients of the Biocytogen Best Research Paper Awards on March 5. In a brief ceremony, department chair Dr. Ted Clark recognized fourth-year Ph.D. student Cybelle Tabilas for her first-place paper, as well as recent graduate Angela Yan, Ph.D. ’19, for the runner-up prize.

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Study: Infectious gut bacteria may predict UTI risk

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) in kidney transplant patients may be caused by bacteria that originate in the digestive tract, according to investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University, and NewYork-Presbyterian.

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New experimental system proves tuberculosis bacteria have friends and foes in vivo

Dr. David Russell, the William Kaplan Professor of Infection Biology in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, has used a cutting-edge method for illuminating the interaction between the bacteria that cause tuberculosis and two different kinds of host cells.

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Two life scientists win 2020 Schwartz awards

A researcher investigating the role a certain gene plays in periodontal disease and another studying why some mammals develop breast cancer and others don’t are each winners of a 2020 Schwartz Research Fund for Women and other Underrepresented Faculty in the Life Sciences. Congrats to Angela Poole and Gerlinde Van de Walle for wining this prestigious award.

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Discoveries detail role of stem cell in deadly gastric cancer

A study, published Jan. 3 in the journal Nature Communications, identifies a key pathway in gastric SCJ cancers that provides a promising target for future study and therapy. The researchers found that the progeny of a type of stem cell (Lgr5+) collect in large numbers and promote cancer in areas where two types of stomach tissues meet.

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Mutant proteins linked to DNA damage, muscular dystrophy

Jan Lammerding is the senior author on new Cornell-led research paper which reports a strong connection between DNA damage triggered by mutations in proteins that surround the cell nucleus, known as lamins, and muscular dystrophy. By exploring the mechanisms that cause the damage, the researchers are hopeful their discovery can help shape better treatments. “Mutant Lamins Cause Nuclear Envelope Rupture and DNA Damage in Skeletal Muscle Cells,” was published Dec. 16 in Nature Materials.

Read the full article here.

Simulating amino acid starvation may improve dengue vaccines

Researchers from the University of Hyderabad in India and the College of Veterinary Medicine have identified a compound that could be part of a strategy to improve the effectiveness of the dengue vaccine.

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Immunologist Dr. Carl Nathan Wins Sanofi – Institut Pasteur Award

Dr. Carl Nathan, chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Weill Cornell Medicine, has been awarded the Sanofi – Institut Pasteur Senior International Scientist Award for Biomedical Research in Microbiology and Infection.

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Multiplexed C dots track cancer cells to improve patient care

Researchers are using glowing nanoparticles called C dots to detect multiple cancer markers during surgery in a way that is both precise and safe.

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Immunology workshop to demystify cutting-edge tech

An Immunoprofiling Workshop – sponsored by the Cornell Center for Immunology, Dec. 13 in Stocking Hall – will feature technology experts who will provide case studies and best practices on various core technologies.

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Sled dogs lead the way in quest to slow aging

A $4.2 million project at Cornell focused on 100 Alaskan sled dogs, former athletes past their glory days, is part of a quest for one of the holy grails of medicine: how to slow aging.

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Scientists identify protein that promotes brain metastasis

A protein that breast, lung and other cancers use to promote their spread – or metastasis – to the brain, has been identified by a team led by Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian investigators.

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Study links high-salt diet and cognitive impairment

A high-salt diet may impair cognitive function by causing a deficiency of nitric oxide, which is vital for maintaining vascular health in the brain, according to a new study from Weill Cornell Medicine.

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Universal flu vaccine developed at Cornell nearing human trials

A universal influenza vaccine developed with the potential to be longer lasting and more effective than commercially available vaccines is destined for human clinical trials, thanks to a $17.9 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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Immunology a theme of Intercampus Cancer Symposium

The second annual Intercampus Cancer Symposium, Oct. 11 at the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, will highlight the wide range of cancer research taking place at Cornell’s Ithaca campus and at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. The many links between immunology and cancer will be a theme of this year’s symposium.

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Fall 2019 Newsletter

The Center for Immunology has been busy since it’s launch in March of 2019 and has several great opportunities planned for the future. Center membership has grown tremendously and boasts 260 members from 27 departments in 6 Cornell colleges who bring complementary expertise to our community.

Read our Fall 2019 Newsletter for more!

Visit by esteemed immunologist launches new center

To help launch the Cornell Center for Immunology, world-renowned immunologist Mark Davis traveled Cornell University in early September to to give a talk and meet faculty and students. He attended a luncheon for postdoctoral researchers and graduate students from a variety of fields including four who are participants in the National Institutes of Health T32 Training Grant.
Read the full story here.

Renowned Immunologist Mark Davis to visit campus

Stanford University Immunologist Dr. Mark M. Davis has been selected as a Fall 2019 University Lecturer. His lecture, “Standing on the Shoulders of Mice: Rebooting Human Immunology” will take place on Monday, September 9 at 4:00pm in Lecture Hall 4/5, College of Veterinary Medicine. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Learn more about this event.

Viral co-infection results in higher pathogenic potential for Nipah and Hendra

The latest edition of the Journal of Virology featured a study by Hector Aguilar-Carreno details how two highly lethal viruses, Nipah and Hendra, have greater pathogenic potential when their cell-sabotaging proteins are combined. Aguilar-Carreno’s lab is also working on related research that may lead to vaccine-free therapies or improved vaccines to treat enveloped viruses, which include infectious diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and influenza.

Read the full story here.

Sonnenburg Receives Inaugural Cancer Research Institute STAR Award

The Cancer Research Institute’s “Lloyd J. Old Scientists Taking Risks (STAR) program” recognizes immunologists who are conducting high-risk, high-reward research in tumor immunology. Dr. Gregory Sonnenberg is one of five scientists to receive a $1.25 million, five-year grant, to explore disruptive and uncommon cancer research paths following an international competition.

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Pediatric Rheumatologist featured in faculty spotlight

Pediatric Rheumatologist Virginia Pascual, Drukier Director of the Gale and Ira Drukier Institute for Children’s Health at Weill Cornell Medicine, is featured in featured in the May 2019 EZRA faculty spotlight.

Read on here!

Discovery reveals potential pathway for treating obesity

Avery August with his research team

A molecule that helps prevent fat accumulation in mammals is produced within fat tissues by stem-like cells that may be therapeutic targets for obesity and related disorders, according to a new study from scientists at Weill Cornell Medicine. Obesity has become a global pandemic in recent decades, affecting more than 90 million Americans and hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Obesity can be debilitating on its own, but it also increases the risk of other major diseases including cancers, heart disease, diabetes and immunological disorders.

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Cornell invests 2 million dollars to transform flow cytometry

Hailed as “transformative” and “a historic achievement” by faculty members, a strategic investment of close to $2 million directed by Provost Michael Kotlikoff has improved Cornell’s capabilities in flow cytometry, which is pivotal in cell research. The investment from the provost’s office – along with significant contributions from the colleges of Veterinary Medicine, Engineering, Human Ecology, Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Arts and Sciences – allowed the purchase of four new flow cytometers. These will complement two existing instruments, one of which will be upgraded.

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Gale and Ira Drukier Prize in Children’s Health Research awarded

Dr. Helen Su, a clinical immunologist who has made key discoveries into the genetic causes of rare immune system diseases in children, has been awarded the fourth annual Gale and Ira Drukier Prize in Children’s Health Research by Weill Cornell Medicine. The Drukier Prize honors an early-career pediatrician whose research has made important contributions toward improving the health of children and adolescents. Su, chief of the Human Immunological Diseases Section at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, is being recognized for her innovative research into rare pediatric immunodeficiency diseases and translating findings into potential treatments.

Read the full story here.

Nanovaccine boosts immunity in sufferers of metabolic syndrome

A new class of biomaterial developed by Cornell researchers for an infectious disease nanovaccine effectively boosted immunity in mice with metabolic disorders linked to gut bacteria – a population that shows resistance to traditional flu and polio vaccines. The study is the first to explore the interrelationship among nanomaterials, immune responses and the microbiome, an increasingly important area of research. The microbiome – the collection of microorganisms living in the body – is believed to play a critical role in human health.

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Immunologist Carl Nathan wins Weill Achievement Award

Dr. Carl Nathan, chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Weill Cornell Medicine, has been awarded the institution’s Joan and Sanford I. Weill Exemplary Achievement Award. The award was presented during a gala March 5. The Weill Award was established in 2018 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the medical college’s renaming in honor of Weill Cornell Medicine’s foremost benefactors, Joan and Sanford I. Weill. The award recognizes outstanding faculty members whose transformational work enhances health and health care worldwide.

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Richard Cerione and Claudia Fischbach featured in Ezra

Dr. Cerione researches cancer cell metabolism, looking at the biological signaling cues and pathways that regulate cell growth, differentiation and development, and the protein-protein interactions underlying the metabolic changes required for cancer development; Dr. Fischbach uses tissue engineering, microfabrication and biomaterials strategies to study cancer cells’ interactions with other cells and the extracellular matrix and their importance to the development and progression of cancer. Together they study cancer biology. Cerione and Fischbach are members of the provost’s Genome Biology Task Force, which Cerione co-chairs with professor of molecular biology and genetics John Lis.

Read the full interview here.


Cornell Center for Immunology launches

DirectorBuilding on Cornell’s decades of fundamental and comparative research in the immunological sciences, Provost Michael Kotlikoff has announced the creation of a new Cornell Center for Immunology.

The virtual center will combine multiple research efforts across several departments and colleges on the Ithaca campus and strengthen ties to the university’s ongoing immunological research at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.

Read the full story here.