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Two NYU Scientists Named Howard Hughes Medical Institute's early career scientists
Date:3/26/2009

oes awry in blood stem cells that transform into leukemic T cells. Such insights may provide even more ways to combat deadly blood cancers.

Dr. Dasen's research focuses on deciphering the molecular code that helps developing motor neurons in the spinal cord connect with the muscles they control. Understanding this code, which relies on a large family of genes that produce proteins called Hox factors, may help scientists restore motor neuron function in people whose spinal cords have been damaged by trauma or disease. Dasen, has found that Hox proteins are not just present in motor neurons; they are pervasive throughout the nervous system. He plans to explore whether Hox proteins in interneurons and sensory neurons, which control motor neuron firing patterns and transmit feedback about muscle action, help assemble the complete circuits that control walking and running.

"Dr. Aifantis and Dr. Dasen are fantastically promising scientists and scholars whom we are so proud and please to have as colleagues," said Vivian S. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., vice dean for science and chief scientific officer & senior vice president at NYU Langone Medical Center. "The recognition of their transformative research at NYU is another example of our world renowned medical institution's talented researchers being acknowledged for making strides towards finding treatments and future cures for disease."

Early Career Scientist Selection Process

NYU School of Medicine's Early Career Scientists Dr. Aifantis and Dr. Dasen are among researchers at 33 institutions across the United States, who have led their own laboratories for two to six years making considerable contributions to biomedical research. The idea of this new initiative started in 2007, when HHMI began to look for opportunities to diversify its research portfolio. The Institute decided to establish a new research program to provide much-needed support to some of the nation's best early career f
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Contact: Lauren Woods
lauren.woods@nyumc.org
212-404-3555
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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