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Prestigious Paul Marks Prize awarded to MGH/HMS’s Bernstein

first_imgMassachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Department of Pathology and Cancer Center investigator Bradley Bernstein is one of three recipients of the 2015 Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research, given by the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Bernstein is a professor of pathology at MGH and Harvard Medical School, and an institute member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.Bernstein is being honored for his investigations into how the structural organization or “packaging” of our DNA within cells influences the functions of our genes. The packaging provides an additional layer of ‘epigenetic’ regulation that controls cellular differentiation and, when disrupted, contributes to cancer development.  He is the first MGH researcher to receive this prestigious prize.The genes that code for the generation of proteins make up only 2 percent of the human genome. While much is yet to be learned about the remaining noncoding sequences, it has become clear that a major function is to regulate where and when coding genes are switched on and off — a process known as epigenetics.The work has important implications for the development of precision therapies that address epigenetic defects in tumors.The Paul Marks Prize was established in 2001 and is given every other year to up to three investigators age 45 or younger, “who are making significant contributions to the understanding of cancer or are improving the treatment of the disease through basic or clinical research.” Bernstein and his co-recipients — Howard Chang of Stanford University and Daniel Durocher of the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute — will receive their awards and speak on their research at a Dec. 3 scientific symposium at MSKCC.Bernstein is a professor of pathology at MGH and Harvard Medical School, and an institute member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. Read Full Storylast_img read more

16-year-old among virus dead in France’s highest daily toll

first_imgThe mother of France’s youngest coronavirus victim has spoken of the “unbearable” loss of her 16-year-old daughter, as the country reported its highest daily toll from the pandemic.French authorities said on Thursday that 365 people had been killed by COVID-19 over the previous 24 hours, taking the national total of those who have died in hospital to 1,696.The figure does not include those who died from the virus at home or at retirement homes, top French health official Jerome Salomon told reporters. Her condition deteriorated and her death was announced on Thursday, with health officials emphasizing that severe cases are very rare in young people.”From the start, we were told that the virus doesn’t affect young people. We believed it, like everyone else,” Sabine said. Her daughter had no known underlying health problems. The teenage girl named Julie A died in Paris, becoming the youngest French victim of the disease that more often afflicts the elderly or people with underlying health conditions.”It’s unbearable,” the girl’s mother Sabine told AFP by phone from her home in the Parisian suburbs. “We were meant to have an ordinary life.”A week ago, Julie developed a mild cough but on Saturday she began to feel short of breath, her mother said.She underwent scans in hospital and several tests for COVID-19, the disease first detected in China late last year that has now killed more than 23,000 worldwide. Train evacuation France has been in lockdown since March 17 in a bid to slow the spread of the epidemic and officials have repeatedly warned it will take time for the measures to bear fruit.Salomon said 29,155 people had tested positive for the virus so far nationwide — adding that the real number of cases was likely far higher as testing was reserved for high-risk patients.He said 3,375 patients were currently in intensive care out of nearly 14,000 people hospitalized after becoming infected.Data showed 42,000 people had been registered by their GP as having the coronavirus over the last week alone, Salomon added — again revealing that testing in France has only revealed a minority of cases.People in the country are only allowed to step outside for pressing matters, such as shopping.”It is very difficult to estimate when the peak will come… people who are ill now were infected before the confinement began,” explained Salomon.”Now there is less contact, people are going out less and get infected less. So we hope there will be fewer people getting sick next week,” he said.French President Emmanuel Macron said he had held a “very good discussion” with his US counterpart Donald Trump about the pandemic.”In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we are preparing with other countries a new strong initiative in the coming days,” he tweeted early Friday, without elaborating.The first train evacuation saw 20 coronavirus patients moved from the country’s hard-hit east to help relieve overstretched hospitals.The specially adapted high-speed train, whose carriages were transformed into intensive care units, took the group to the western Atlantic coast where they will be treated.Another evacuation is planned for Friday, this time by air. Topics :last_img read more