New front in war on Alzheimer’s & other protein folding diseases

October 16th, 2014

A surprise discovery that overturns decades of thinking about how the body fixes proteins that come unraveled greatly expands opportunities for therapies to prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which have been linked to the accumulation of improperly folded proteins in the brain.

“This finding provides a whole other outlook on protein-folding diseases; a new way to go after them,” said Andrew Dillin, the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Distinguished Chair of Stem Cell Research in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of California, Berkeley.

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UCSF, UC Berkeley Scientists Join Forces in New Glenn Center for Aging Research

October 13th, 2014

Researchers at UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley have teamed up to create an innovative, integrated center for research on neurodegenerative diseases. Supported by a $3 million grant from the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research, the new center aims to pave the way to developing novel treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease by investigating the many ways that proteins can malfunction within cells.

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New wave of brain research aims to understanding every function

October 12th, 2014

When the United States’ top public health and political leaders declared the 1990s the “decade of the brain,” Dr. Pratik Mukherjee couldn’t help but feel a little dubious.

“I was kind of laughing, because I didn’t think we’d make much progress in just a decade,” said Mukherjee, a neuro-radiologist at UCSF.

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Why we can’t tell a Hollywood heartthrob from his stunt double

October 2nd, 2014

Johnny Depp has an unforgettable face. Tony Angelotti, his stunt double in “Pirates of the Caribbean,” does not. So why is it that when they’re swashbuckling on screen, audiences worldwide see them both as the same person? UC Berkeley scientists have cracked that mystery.

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Obama’s BRAIN Initiative translates into new round of cash for Bay Area researchers

October 1st, 2014

Bay Area researchers pulled in millions of dollars of funding for projects probing the brain for clues to treatments or cures for diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s to autism.

The National Institutes of Health awards Tuesday are part of President Obama’s BRAIN — or Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies — Initiative, a potential $100 million program led by Cori Bargmann of Harvard University andWilliam Newsome of Stanford University.

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NIH awards UC Berkeley $7.2 million to advance brain initiative

September 30th, 2014

The National Institutes of Health today announced its first research grants through President Barack Obama’s BRAIN Initiative, including three awards to the University of California, Berkeley, totaling nearly $7.2 million over three years.

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