Unusual Labmates: Nature’s Peter Pans

Axolotls can regrow whole body parts, from tails and limbs to even parts of their brain and spine, making them fascinating research subjects, and their unique looks have been captured in art and culture in their native Mexico and beyond. Recently, Peter Reddien’s lab has added axolotls to their list of regenerative specimens with a research project led by graduate student Conor McMann.

April 4, 2024
Endowed Chairs fuel pioneering Whitehead Institute Science

Endowed chairs are generally created through philanthropic gifts from individual donors, organizations, or groups of donors honoring a specific person. The chairs — of which the Institute currently has five — provide steady, predictable funding to support investigations in Members’ labs, including: Whitehead Institute Member Iain Cheeseman, who — in addition to being a professor of biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) — holds the Margaret and Herman Sokol Chair in Biomedical Research; Yukiko Yamashita — Whitehead Institute Member, professor of biology at MIT, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator — the inaugural incumbent of the Susan Lindquist Chair for Women in Science; Jonathan Weissman — Professor of Biology and Whitehead Institute Core Member and HHMI Investigator — is the inaugural holder of the Landon T. Clay Professor of Biology Chair. In 2020, Mary Gehring — Professor of Biology, Graduate Officer, and Core Member of the whitehead Institute Core Member and David Baltimore Chair in Biomedical Research, Whitehead Institute was named the inaugural holder of the Clay Career Development Chair. In 2023, Gehring was succeeded by Sebastian Lourido, associate professor of Biology and Core Member of the Whitehead Institute.

April 2, 2024
Evolution in Action Series: Birth of a species

How do new species emerge over time? The Yamashita Lab studies the role of "junk" DNA in making two related species reproductively incompatible.

March 20, 2024
Uncovering answers to longstanding questions about sex differences in autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases

Whitehead Institute researchers including those in the Page Lab and Corradin Lab are investigating the role of X and Y chromosomes beyond sex determination, paying close attention to conditions that mostly — or distinctly — affect females, and mentoring the next generation of researchers to challenge the status quo for a better world.

Shafaq Zia | Whitehead Institute
March 12, 2024
De-tail-ing RNA regulation in eggs and early embryos

For a brief period during embryonic development, cells must rely on messenger RNAs provided by the maternal genome. In Developmental Cell, Bartel Lab members detail how cells regulate this limited supply of genetic material.

Greta Friar | Whitehead Institute
March 6, 2024
How signaling proteins get to the mitochondrial surface

Whitehead Institute Member Jonathan Weissman and colleagues used large-scale systematic genetic screens to identify the molecules and pathways that populate the mitochondrial surface with important and diverse signaling proteins. They deciphered the logic by which the cell ensures the proper delivery of these proteins. These findings may have important implications for understanding the impact on health and disease when these processes go awry.

Greta Friar | Whitehead Institute
February 26, 2024
Protein production glitches in Huntington’s disease revealed

Research from the Jain Lab finds that, in Huntington's disease, repeats of certain nucleotides too many times in a row interferes with splicing.

January 30, 2024
Blood cell family trees trace how production changes with aging

A new method from the Weissman Lab provides a detailed look at the family trees of human blood cells and the characteristics of individual cells, providing insights into hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs).

January 19, 2024
How cells accurately assemble complex machinery

New research from the Cheeseman Lab reveals how cells control the location of the machinery that splits apart chromosomes during cell division.

January 2, 2024
Sex chromosomes responsible for much more than determining sex

Genes expressed from the X and Y chromosomes impact cells throughout the body—not just in the reproductive system—by dialing up or down the expression of thousands of genes found on other chromosomes.

December 13, 2023