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Harry Campbell

Molecular Biology

Molecular biologists study how molecules interact in the cells of organisms, from the simple roundworm C. elegans to human beings. Their focus is on mechanisms—how cells fold, pack and transport proteins, or how stem cells differentiate into muscle, blood vessels or bone. Researchers at MGH now can wind back the clock, returning cells to developmental infancy, then coaxing them into models of disease; for example, using skin cells to generate neurons affected by Parkinson’s. They’re even discovering essential cell components—such as telomeres, which protect cells from aging—that deeply influence our physiology.

  • stem cells Full of Potential
    Human stem cells can do it all, differentiating themselves into every kind of muscle, blood, bone and organ. The trick is to make them do that on command, to create models of disease or even to grow replacement parts. //  More

  • living lasers Living Lasers
    Researchers at MGH have engineered living cells to emit green laser light, which might one day kill cancer cells with light-based therapeutics. //  More

  • jack szostak Back to the Beginning
    Nobel Prize winner Jack Szostak wanders off the beaten path to figure out how cellular life got started. //  More

  • molecular biology From Micro to Macro
    To fully understand disease mechanisms, MGH researchers study life’s building block: the cell. //  More

  • Fighting Parkinson’s With Genes
    The first successful double-blind study on gene therapy in a neurological disorder has given scientists cause for optimism. //  More

  • Of Worms and Men
    The tiny worm C. elegans may hold clues to extending life, correcting the harm done by diabetes and inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. //  More

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Video: Back to the Beginning

jack szostak Jack Szostak discusses how basic research begets transformative discoveries. // MORE

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