Eichner began studying cancer while pursuing her PhD at McGill University in Montreal. She was drawn to the Salk Institute for her postdoctoral studies because Reuben Shaw, director of the Salk Cancer Center and a professor in Salk’s Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory …
“Being part of the Salk past, present and future is what motivates me. It is this community of people who share a passion for asking big questions and pursuing bold ideas—a core philosophy of Salk—that inspires me.”
The metabolic protein AMPK has been described as a kind of magic bullet for well-being because it can improve cardiovascular health, treat mitochondrial disease and even extend life span.
Now, Professor Reuben Shaw, first author Daniel Garcia and collaborators have developed a new system that lets them study in detail exactly how, where and when AMPK carries out its molecular and therapeutic functions.
Professor Joseph Ecker, co-first author Chongyuan Luo and collaborators at Stanford University and Baylor College of Medicine showed that cells induced to grow into nerve cells have molecular signatures matching neurons in the brain.
The study opens the door for better ways to model an individual patient’s disease and could help advance research into gene therapies that are derived from a patient’s own cells.
It might seem like fruit flies would have nothing in common with computers, but Assistant Professor Saket Navlakha and collaborators from Salk and UC San Diego found that fruit flies and computers identify novel information in similar ways.
The work not only sheds light on an important neurobiological problem—how organisms detect new odors—but also could improve algorithms for novelty detection in computer science.