Discoveries
Discoveries

By addressing fundamental scientific questions, CRI is improving our understanding of the biological basis of disease and making discoveries that have the potential to improve the treatment of diseases and help to cure somebody who would not be cured otherwise.

OUR DISCOVERIES


Discovery timeline dates represent the month discoveries were published.

May 2011

CRI founded and Sean Morrison, Ph.D. recruited as director.
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January 2012

The environment in which blood-forming stem cells are maintained within the bone marrow identified. This is an important step toward increasing the safety and effectiveness of bone-marrow transplantation.
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April 2012

Ralph DeBerardinis, M.D., Ph.D. joined CRI.
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June 2012

First measurements of energy-forming pathways discovered in living brain tumors in mice. An accurate picture of how metabolic pathways work in tumors of living animals is key to finding new treatments.
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September 2012

Hao Zhu, M.D. joined CRI.
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November 2012

Innovative experimental model for predicting the progression of skin cancer in patients discovered. This could lead to new prognostic markers that identify patients at highest risk of disease progression and new therapies.
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February 2013

Environment where specialized blood-forming cells produce infection-fighting white blood cells (T cells and B cells) identified. These findings may help increase the safety and effectiveness of bone-marrow transplants.
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July 2013

New markers found to distinguish biologically distinct subpopulations of stem cells and multipotent progenitors in the blood-forming system. This will improve the ability of scientists to study these cells.
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September 2013

Genetic and Metabolic Disease Program launched to better understand the biological basis of childhood genetic diseases and to improve therapy options.
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September 2013

Woo-Ping Ge, Ph.D. joined CRI.
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October 2013

New therapeutic targets identified for patients with the common form of lung cancer among smokers, nonsmokers and people under age 45.
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November 2013

Reactivation of the gene Lin28 accelerated tissue repair after injury, partly by altering cellular metabolism. This means metabolic drugs could potentially be used to promote tissue regeneration after injury.
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January 2014

Estrogen found to promote blood-forming stem cell function. Increased estrogen levels during pregnancy activate blood-forming stem cells and increase production of red blood cells which is necessary to maintain cell counts during pregnancy.
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March 2014

Method of measuring protein synthesis in adult stem cells discovered.
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May 2014

The ability to identify and purify neural stem cells directly from the brain made possible for the first time, allowing researchers to study these cells in vivo and in more detail than before.
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May 2014

The triggering mechanism that causes a metabolic pathway called the Krebs cycle to run in reverse identified. Tumors using this pathway can be difficult to treat because this pathway allows cells to resist chemotherapy.
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June 2014

Key biomarker needed for identification, characterization, and enrichment of bone-forming stem cells required to maintain and repair the adult skeleton discovered.
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July 2014

New “gene edited” mouse models of liver cancer that improve our ability to study the disease developed.
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August 2014

Lin28b identified as a contributor to the development of childhood liver cancer and potential therapeutic target. This research could lead to new strategies for targeting certain childhood cancers at a molecular level.
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September 2014

Jian Xu, Ph.D. joined CRI.
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November 2014

An alternative metabolic pathway that allows cancer cells to survive periods of stress identified. Understanding how this metabolic pathway works could lead to the development of new therapies.
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September 2015

CRI first to use a tissue-clearing technique to localize rare stem cells and to identify the location of blood-forming stem cells in the bone marrow, improving our understanding of the microenvironment in the bone marrow.
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October 2015

MicroRNA responsible for preventing the development of liver cancer also found to regulate liver regeneration. These findings improve our understanding of the complicated interaction of cellular processes that contribute to cancer and tissue repair.
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October 2015

Antioxidants found to promote the spread of cancer cells. These results raise the possibility that cancer should be treated with pro-oxidants rather than antioxidants and provides an explanation why treating cancer with antioxidants often leads to worse outcomes.
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November 2015

Prashant Mishra, M.D., Ph.D. joined CRI.
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November 2015

Researchers identified a secondary, emergency blood-formation system in the spleen. With this new information, therapies could be developed to enhance blood formation following chemotherapy or bone-marrow transplantation to accelerate recovery.
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January 2016

Researchers pioneer technologies to understand DNA sequences that regulate the ability of genes to be turned on and off during blood cell development. These discoveries pave the way to discover new regulatory DNA sequences that govern the production of blood cells and leukemia development.
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February 2016

New method for studying metabolism in tumors within patients developed, overturning long-standing perceptions about cancer metabolism that were based on studies of cancer cells in laboratory dishes. These discoveries could lead to new ways of diagnosing and treating cancer.
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March 2016

Inactivating Arid1a, a gene associated with some human cancers, promotes liver regeneration. This study opens up new areas of investigation related to ways of rejuvenating tissues without increasing cancer risk.
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March 2016

Diet found to determine the balance between fat formation and bone formation in adult bone marrow. This settles a long-standing controversy and could have implications for treating osteoporosis.
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April 2016

Researchers discovered a metabolic pathway that helps cancer cells thrive in conditions that are lethal to normal cells, particularly the oxidative stress that limits cancer progression.
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December 2016

New bone-forming growth factor, Osteolectin (Clec11a), which reverses osteoporosis in mice and has the potential to promote bone regeneration, discovered.
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January 2017

A novel technology to precisely control focal ischemia (strokes) with magnetic nanoparticles injected into the blood developed, which is expected to lead to a better understanding of how strokes damage the brain and how the brain attempts to regenerate.
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May 2017

A new pathway that regulates mitochondrial function during blood cell production discovered. This discovery contributes to our understanding of the hematologic defects associated with mitochondrial diseases and aging.
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June 2017

An aggressive subset of lung cancer found to rely on a previously unknown mechanism for making DNA. These findings could result in new ways to treat lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide.
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August 2017

Stem cells discovered to take up unusually high levels of vitamin C, which regulates their function and suppresses the development of leukemia. These findings have implications for older patients with a common precancerous condition known as clonal hematopoiesis.
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August 2017

A new high-throughput method developed to study regions of DNA that control which genes are turned on an off in cells. This method will allow researchers to better understand how genes become dysregulated in cancer and other diseases.
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October 2017

Lactate, long considered a waste product of cancer cells, discovered to fuel growing tumors. These findings represent a major shift in how researchers view lung cancer metabolism. They represent a new path of study for therapies and imaging techniques.
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December 2017

Michalis Agathocleous, Ph.D. joined CRI.
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February 2018

The liver has an unusual amount of polyploid cells which have multiple extra copies of each gene. These cells are less likely than normal cells to transform into cancer cells after chronic liver damage. These findings address a long-standing mystery in liver biology by suggesting that polyploidy suppresses the development of cancer.
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