Moore Foundation Gives $5.6 Million to Caltech for New Center to Study Cell Regulation

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded $5.6 million to the California Institute of Technology for the creation of the Center for Integrative Study of Cell Regulation. The goal of the center is to develop new computational methods for understanding how the many genes and proteins that make up individual cells work together to carry out specialized functions of different cell types, including neurons, plant cells, and bacteria.

New Drugs for Smoking Cessation to Be the Target of Grant-Funded Partnership

The California Institute of Technology has been awarded a five-year grant for $4.6 million from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to develop a program for discovering medications aimed either at helping people avoid nicotine addiction or at helping smokers to quit. The project will include researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder and from Targacept, a North Carolina-based biopharmaceutical company whose scientists are leaders in research focused on a class of receptors known as neuronal nicotinic receptors.

Caltech and UC San Diego School of Medicine Create Program to Train Academic Physicians

High-school seniors looking for a futuristic way of studying medicine may want to take note. Beginning next year, six newly admitted freshmen at the California Institute of Technology will also be offered early admission to the University of California, San Diego, (UCSD) School of Medicine, pending completion of their Caltech degrees as "medical scholars."

Study of embryonic sea lampreys provides new insight into the evolution of vertebrates

Among the sea beasts commonly displayed at public aquariums is a rather odd-looking fellow known as a lamprey. Possessing a circular mouth that looks like a suction cup with teeth, lampreys have the distinction of being the most primitive of all creatures with backbones.

Biologists Uncover New Details of How Neural Crest Forms in the Early Embryonic Stages

There's a time soon after conception when the stem cells in a tiny area of the embryo called the neural crest are working overtime to build such structures as the dorsal root ganglia, various neurons of the nervous system, and the bones and cartilage of the skull. If things go wrong at this stage, deformities such as cleft palates can occur.

Watson Lecture: Modeling Mental Illness

Several landmark discoveries over the past two years have linked the immune system with schizophrenia and also with autism. These findings provide support for a new mouse model of mental illness in which the activation of a pregnant mother's immune system alters the brain development and behavior of her offspring.

Aerospace Engineers and Biologists Solve Long-Standing Heart Development Mystery

An engineer comparing the human adult heart and the embryo heart might never guess that the former developed from the latter. While the adult heart is a fist-shaped organ with chambers and valves, the embryo heart looks more like tube attached to smaller tubes. Physicians and researchers have assumed for years, in fact, that the embryonic heart pumps through peristaltic movements, much as material flows through the digestive system.

Two from Caltech Faculty Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Two faculty members at the California Institute of Technology are among this year's newly elected fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. They join 173 other Americans and 20 foreign honorees as the 2006 class of fellows of the prestigious institution that was cofounded in 1780 by John Adams.

Benzer Receives $500,000 Albany Medical Center Prize

Seymour Benzer, a California Institute of Technology neuroscientist, molecular biologist, and physicist who uncovered genetic links to behavior in fruit flies that today serve as the foundation for the study and treatment of human neurological diseases, has been named the recipient of the $500,000 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research.

McDonnell Foundation Grant Will Be Used to Study Neurons Involved in Snap Decisions

Where do you get your "gut feelings," that intuition that leads you to distrust someone who appears trustworthy? It could be your Von Economo brain cells in action, and a neurobiologist at the California Institute of Technology intends to find out for sure.

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