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 Current News Features

November 20, 2014

Penn Researchers Unwind the Mysteries of the Cellular Clock

Color coding of genesIn the current issue of the journal Cell, Mitchell Lazar, MD PhD, the Sylvan Eisman Professor of Medicine and director of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism and his team report the results of a genome-wide survey of circadian genes and genetic regulatory elements called enhancers. These are key parts of the “dark matter” of the genome; rather than encoding proteins, they control the expression of genes. Led by postdoctoral researchers Bin Fang, Logan Everett and Jennifer Jager, Lazar’s team took advantage of new tools based on high-density DNA sequencing to measure the activity of enhancers throughout the day in the livers of mice.

>> Cell article

>> Upenn Press Release

November 6, 2014

Penn-led Team Pieces Together Signaling Pathway Leading to Obesity

Kendra BenceAs scientists probe the molecular underpinnings of why some people are prone to obesity and some to leanness, they are discovering that weight maintenance is more complicated than the old “calories in, calories out” adage.

A team of researchers led by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s Kendra K. Bence have now drawn connections between known regulators of body mass, pointing to possible treatments for obesity and metabolic disorders.

>> Read More

October 13, 2014

Somatic Mutations in the ATRX Gene Reported for the First Time in Pheochromocytomas / Paragangliomas

Lauren FishbeinAt the 2014 Neuroendocrine Tumor Symposium Lauren Fishbein, MD, PhD, MTR presented findings from her group that investigated somatic mutations through whole exome sequencing of 21matched tumor/germline pairs from patients with either sporadic or inherited PCC/PGL. “The idea was to compare clinically benign versus clinically aggressive PCC/PGL in order to identify markers of tumorigenesis as well as malignant potential,” she said.

>> Read More