The Scripps Research Institute - At The Forefront

November 2015

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Focus on:
How to Create Leukemia-Killing Cells

While studying the effects of antibodies on bone marrow cells, a team of TSRI scientists found that one rare antibody could turn acute myeloid leukemia cells into leukemia-killing immune cells. The breakthrough could result in an entirely new type of cancer therapy that is far more tolerable and causes far less damage to healthy cells than existing treatments.

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A Natural Killer (NK) cell (left) destroys an acute myeloid leukemia target cell (right). The NK cell, formerly also a myeloid leukemia cell, was induced by four days of treatment with an antibody.






TSRI's groundbreaking research is helping pave the way for new treatments and cures for diseases and conditions like leukemia and autism that impact millions of adults and children each day. Help support our life-saving work.


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"This discovery is important for understanding the role of this specific subtype of serotonin receptor in autism-relevant behaviors and could lead to new therapeutic strategies," says Research Associate Julien Séjourné (left), here with Assistant Professor Damon Page, senior author of the study.


milestones in medical science:
A New Target for Treating Autism

Scientists have long known that the neurotransmitter serotonin, together with the serotonin receptors it activates in the brain, plays a key role in the development of social behavior.

Now, scientists from Scripps Florida, led by TSRI Assistant Professor Damon Page, have discovered that suppressing the activity of a particular serotonin receptor may reverse social deficits in a subset of individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The breakthrough could lead to new, individualized therapies for patients with the condition.

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"If our findings hold true for human patients, you could look specifically for RGS7 levels for any disabling mutation with a simple blood test," says Associate Professor Kirill Martemyanov.


Other News:
Treating Painkiller Abuse and Addiction

Since at least the 18th century, when morphine was used as currency to reverse the trade imbalance between China and Britain, the drug and its pain-killing qualities have been widely misused – and poorly understood.

Now, a new study led by Kirill Martemyanov, an associate professor at Scripps Florida, has shown that a specific molecule controls morphine receptor signaling in a small group of brain cells. The findings could lead to the development of less-addictive pain medications and even offer a clue to certain patients' genetic predisposition to addiction to morphine.

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Video: New Therapies, New Hope

Through their work at the cutting edge of biomedical research, TSRI scientists are bringing new therapies – and new hope – to patients worldwide. In this video, leading TSRI researchers talk about the impact of their research on Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and Ebola. And Ed Ricci, chair of the Scripps Florida Foundation, discusses his own Parkinson's diagnosis and what it means to him to contribute to the research that may one day lead to a cure for this devastating disease. Watch now.



facts & figures

Each year, approximately 55,000 Americans are diagnosed with leukemia. Approximately 5,000 are children or adolescents.




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