Mobile Process — Patients with Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome (WAS), a rare immunodeficiency disorder, are susceptible to chronic infections due to defects in the migratory behavior of immune cells, such as macrophages, in response to chemical cues. In work, published in the January issue of the journal PLoS One, seventh-year M.D.–Ph.D. student Dan Ishihara made a surprising discovery showing that macrophages lacking a functional WAS protein (WASp) retain the ability to detect the chemical warning signs of infection and even respond with an increase in mobility, but are unable to migrate directionally toward the source of infection. Mr. Ishihara’s research further showed that this abnormality in the WASp-deficient macrophages’ mobility is due partly to defects in the cytoskeleton, the internal support structure of all cells. Mr. Ishihara’s research was conducted in the laboratory of his mentor, Dr. Dianne Cox, associate professor of anatomy & structural biology and of developmental & molecular biology.
Breathe Easier — On Wednesday, March 21, 2012, join Bronx BREATHES in marking the 17th annual National Kick Butts Day. Promoted by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the event is a national day of activism that empowers youth to speak up and take action against Big Tobacco at hundreds of events from coast to coast. Take part at Bronx BREATHS' various sites throughout the borough to protect children from tobacco use and help smokers to quit.
Turning Pages — The Einstein Book Club will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, May 16, 2012, from noon to 1 p.m., in the library conference room, Forchheimer 119N. The book up for discussion is Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. Copies of the novel may be borrowed from your local public library. The book club is open to the entire Einstein community. Call 718.320.3104 to RSVP, or participate online in the virtual book club.