An Essential Factor – In a recent issue of the journal Blood, Drs. Sanjeev Gupta and Antonia Follenzi successfully challenge the long-held view that bone marrow transplantation is of little value in the treatment of hemophilia A, the more common form of this rare bleeding disorder. Their research found that, following transplantation therapy, an essential clotting factor (FVIII) appeared in the blood of hemophiliac mice, protecting these mice from bleeding challenges. The authors also traced the source of FVIII to circulating and liver-resident macrophages, a kind of white blood cell, as well as to stem cells within the bone marrow. The study thus illuminates potential new treatment avenues for hemophilia A. The College of Medicine has filed a patent application related to this research that is available for licensing to partners interested in further testing and developing this treatment.Dr. Gupta is professor of medicine and of pathology, and holds the Eleazar & Feige Reicher Chair in Translational Medicine; Dr. Follenzi is visiting assistant professor of pathology.
Live and Let Die – In a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Richard Kitsis demonstrated that the two kinds of cell death – apoptosis, a process by which cells are intentionally deleted and promptly cleaned up, and necrosis, wherein dying cells and their deteriorating contents leak out and cause bystander damage – may actually share a “unified death machinery,” despite being markedly different processes. Dr. Kitsis’ laboratory genetically manipulated the Bax protein to show that in addition to its appreciated role in apoptosis, Bax also is a key regulator of necrosis. These insights lead the way to a better understanding of complex pathological processes such as heart attacks and strokes that involve both forms of a cell death. They also suggest potential new therapeutic strategies for cancer, where augmented tumor cell death is the goal. Dr. Kitsis is professor of medicine and of cell biology, director of Einstein’s Wilf Family Cardiovascular Research Institute, and holds the Dr. Gerald and Myra Dorros Chair in Cardiovascular Disease.
Dr. Cathy Lazarus recently received first place honors for her poster presentation, “Tongue Strength, Functional Outcomes and Quality of Life after Oral Cancer Surgery,” at the annual International Dysphagia Research Society Meeting, held in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Lazarus is associate professor of otorhinolaryngology, and is research director of the Thyroid Head and Neck Research Center at Einstein affiliate Beth Israel Medical Center.