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2018 Press Releases

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Top story: FDA approves first drug to use RNA interference, based on discoveries made at UMass Medical School

Top story: FDA approves first drug to use RNA interference, based on discoveries made at UMass Medical School

The new drug, patisiran, approved Aug. 10 by the FDA, is based on the discovery of RNAi made by Craig Mello, PhD, and Andrew Fire, PhD. It was developed by Alnylam, an RNAi-based drug development company co-founded by Phillip Zamore, PhD.

UMMS licenses clinical-stage gene therapies for Tay-Sachs, similar diseases to Axovant

UMMS licenses clinical-stage gene therapies for Tay-Sachs, similar diseases to Axovant

Axovant Sciences, a Swiss company developing gene therapies for neurological diseases, has licensed exclusive worldwide rights for the development and commercialization of two novel gene therapy programs for Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff diseases from UMass Medical School. 

UMMS researchers receive funding from Gilbert Family Foundation to develop NF1 therapeutic

UMMS researchers receive funding from Gilbert Family Foundation to develop NF1 therapeutic

The Gilbert Family Foundation has announced that UMass Medical School will receive funding from a $12 million gene therapy initiative to address the underlying cause of neurofibromatosis type 1.

John Erwin appointed vice chancellor for government relations

John Erwin appointed vice chancellor for government relations

John Erwin, a widely known and highly regarded government affairs leader, will join UMass Medical School in early January as vice chancellor for government relations.

UMMS scientists receive $1.6M in NIH funding to improve genome editing techniques

UMMS scientists receive $1.6M in NIH funding to improve genome editing techniques

Led by Guangping Gao, PhD, and Erik Sontheimer, PhD, scientists at UMass Medical School will work to develop technology to enable safe genome editing in patients, thanks to new grant funding from the National Institutes of Health.

NIH grant supports UMMS research on ‘off switch’ for extra chromosome in Down syndrome

NIH grant supports UMMS research on ‘off switch’ for extra chromosome in Down syndrome

Jeanne Lawrence, PhD, and Jaime Rivera, PhD, received a five-year, $2.8 million grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development at the National Institutes of Health to test a strategy in a mouse model for silencing the extra chromosome that causes Down Syndrome.

The Conversation: Michael Hirsh makes case for physician role in stemming gun fatalities

The Conversation: Michael Hirsh makes case for physician role in stemming gun fatalities

Michael Hirsh, MD, said doctors must take an active role in addressing the rising number of gun fatalities across the United States in a new opinion piece published Nov. 28 in The Conversation.

Victor Ambros named fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Victor Ambros named fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Victor Ambros, PhD, has been elected by his peers as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

UMMS helps Liberian partners strengthen health care services

UMMS helps Liberian partners strengthen health care services

Significant progress has been made in the effort to establish certified public health laboratories and safe blood collection and infection prevention and control practices in Liberia, according to David Chiriboga, MD, MPH, and colleagues, who recently provided an update work to strengthen health care services in the country.

RNAi therapy mitigates preeclampsia symptoms in UMass Medical School study

RNAi therapy mitigates preeclampsia symptoms in UMass Medical School study

A new study by Anastasia Khvorova, PhD, and Melissa Moore, PhD, at UMass Medical School and colleagues at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Western Sydney University, suggests that RNA interference therapy could be a potential strategy for the treatment of preeclampsia.