2001-2008 NEWS ARCHIVES

2008

Mitchell Selected as 2008 Fellow of AAAS 
Thomas G. Mitchell, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and director of the Molecular Mycology and Pathogenesis Training Program (MMPTP) has been selected as a 2008 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general federation of scientists.
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Duke Receives Gates Foundation Grant to Study HIV Resistance 
Duke University has received a two-year, three million dollar grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to study resistance to HIV infection among people with hemophilia.
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Tiny Fungi May Have Sex While Infecting Humans 
Collaborative studies between Duke, the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and the University of Murcia in Spain have revealed that a fungus called microsporidia that causes chronic diarrhea in AIDS patients, organ transplant recipients, and travelers has been identified as a member of the family of fungi that have been discovered to reproduce sexually.
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Duke Researchers Find Genetic Link Between Immune and Nerve Systems
Duke University Medical Center researchers have discovered genetic links between the nervous system and the immune system in a well-studied worm, and the findings could illuminate new approaches to human therapies.
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Duke Professors Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Two Duke University professors have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, an honorary society and independent policy research center whose members have included George Washington and Albert Einstein.
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Evolution of the Sexes: What a Fungus Can Tell Us
Fungi don’t exactly come in boy and girl varieties, but they do have sex differences. In fact, a new finding from Duke University Medical Center shows that some of the earliest evolved forms of fungus contain clues to how the sexes evolved in higher animals, including that distant cousin of fungus, the human.
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Hsueh Receives Genetics Society of America (GSA) DeLill Nasser Award
Yen-Ping Hsueh, a graduate student in the Heitman lab, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University Medical Center, was selected to receive a Genetics Society of America (GSA) DeLill Nasser Award for Professional Development in Genetics.
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2007

Marchuk and Perfect Selected as 2007 Fellows of AAAS
Douglas Marchuk, PhD, professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and co-director of the University Program in Genetics and Genomics (UPGG); and John Perfect, MD, professor in the Departments of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, and director of the Duke University Mycology Research Unit (DUMRU) have been selected as 2007 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general federation of scientists.
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Genetic Variant Linked to Odor Perception 
Why the same sweaty man smells pleasant to one person and repellant to another comes down to the smeller’s genes. Duke University Medical Center researchers demonstrated that genetic variants of odor receptors within the nose determine how a particular odor is perceived. The researchers, led by Duke’s Hiroaki Matsunami, Ph.D., assistant professor of molecular genetics and microbiology, published the results of their experiments early online September 16 in the journal, Nature.
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Genomic Analysis Uncovers New Targets for HIV Vaccine
An international team of researchers, including David Goldstein, PhD, a professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University Medical Center, has identified three gene variants in the DNA of 486 people infected with HIV that appear to have helped some of the patients fight off the virus and delay the onset of full-blown AIDS.
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Valdivia Receives Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award
Raphael Valdivia, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the Duke University Medical Center, was selected to receive the Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award from the ASM for 2007. Dr. Valdivia is honored for his established record of creative and independent research in the area of molecular and cellular microbiology.
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2006

Living View in Animals Shows How Cells Decide to Make Proteins 
Scientists at Duke University Medical Center have visualized in a living animal how cells use a critical biological process to dice and splice genetic material to create unique and varied proteins.
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2005

Chlamydia Escapes Defenses by Cloaking Itself With Lipids
Duke University Medical Center microbiologists have discovered that the parasitic bacteria Chlamydia escapes cellular detection and destruction by cloaking itself in droplets of fat within the cell.
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Study May Reveal Custom-Tailored Cancer Treatments
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have taken another step toward curing cancer. Joseph Nevins, Barbara Levine Professor of Breast Cancer Genomics, has headed a new study that may eventually allow doctors to tailor drug prescriptions for individual patients.
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Novel Plague Virulence Factor Identified
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have identified a previously unknown family of virulence factors that make the bacterium responsible for the plague especially efficient at killing its host.
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New Strategy Guides Selection of Best Drugs for Individual Cancer Patients 
Choosing the best cancer treatments is often akin to throwing darts at a massive corkboard, hoping to hit the desired target. But scientists have now developed a novel method for selecting the most effective anti-cancer drugs based on the patient’s unique tumor activity.
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Thomas Petes Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences 
Three members of the Duke University faculty, including Thomas D. Petes, professor and chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, were elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences this week.
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2004

Genetic Discovery Paves Way to Decode Sense of Smell in Mammals
Duke University Medical Center geneticists have discovered new proteins that help the olfactory system in mammals organize properly.
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Thomas Petes Named Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University Medical Center
Thomas D. Petes, Ph.D., a professor in the department of biology and a member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been named the new chair of the molecular genetics and microbiology (MGM) department at Duke University Medical Center.
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Fungus’ Sex-Determining Genes Resemble Some in Humans
Fungi and animals, including humans, have a lot in common when it comes to the arrangement of genes that determine their sex, according to new work by Howard Hughes Medical Institute geneticists at the Duke University Medical Center.
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Discovery of Brain Disorder Gene Paves Way for Genetic Test
Duke Medical Center researchers led by Dr. Douglas Marchuk in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology have identified the second of three genes that can each independently cause a rare, familial disease, which typically lies dormant in patients for decades.
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2003

Fruit Fly Pheromone Receptor First Ever Discovered Linked to Specific Sexual Behavior
For the first time in any animal, Duke University Medical Center researchers have linked a single pheromone receptor in the fruit fly to a specific sexual behavior.
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Genomic Tools Identify Profiles of Gene Activity Underlying Cancer
Researchers have developed a new gene-profiling technique that can define complex patterns of gene activity in cancerous tumors having different genetic origins.
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Heitman Elected to ASCI
Dr. Joseph Heitman, director of the Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and an associate investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation.
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2002

Duke Molecular Biologist Receives Commendation
Dr. Joseph Heitman, a molecular biologist at Duke University Medical Center, has been awarded the Amgen Award for research that has led to an enlightened understanding of human disease and therapy in the areas of transplantation biology and infectious disease.
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Sex-Specific Genes Identified
Researchers at Duke have identified several sex-specific genes that have male or female specific roles in the physiology of the adult fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.
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New Metabolic “Switches” Discovered
Researchers from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Duke University Medical Center have identified a new class of metabolic switches, called G proteins, in yeast, which if found to be conserved in humans, could lead to the development of new drugs for treating diseases including diabetes, alcoholism, and heart disease.
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A Model for Coordinating Posttranscriptional Gene Control
Duke scientists have developed a model for coordinated gene control through the action of RNA binding proteins that regulate classes of mRNAs during cell growth and development.
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Artificial RNA Inhibitors of Gene Function
Duke scientists have developed a method for the efficient inactivation of gene function using specifically designed RNA molecules.
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Fungal Drug Mechanism Studied
Molecular biologists in the Mycology Research Unit at Duke University Medical Center have traced cellular pathways that are targeted to enhance the action of drugs used to treat fungal infections in people with compromised immune systems, such as those undergoing organ and bone marrow transplants.
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2001

Using Genomics to Diagnose Breast Cancer
Researchers at Duke University have developed a new statistical approach to classifying breast cancers based on profiles of their gene expression.
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2000

$7.5 Million Grant Establishes Toxicogenomics Center
Duke University and four other U.S. academic medical centers were awarded more than $37 million to unravel the interplay between genes and the environment to better understand why some people develop disease and why some remain unaffected when exposed to the same environmental factors.
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