Science

New Approach for Producing and Purifying IL-15 Heterodimers That Have Potent Immune Effect

Elena Chertova and Cristina Bergamaschi

Platinum Highlight IconBy Nancy Parrish, Staff Writer

Cytokines are proteins that play a crucial role in the human immune system by delivering messages that trigger the activation of immune cells to fight off attacks from viruses or other invaders.

Cristina Bergamaschi, Ph.D., NCI Center for Cancer Research, has been studying the mechanism of expression and function of a cytokine known as interleukin-15 (IL-15) for the last five years, in collaboration with Elena Chertova, Ph.D., and other researchers in the Retroviral Protein Chemistry Core (RPCC) of the AIDS and Cancer Virus Program (ACVP), Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research.

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Spring Research Festival Sponsored by NICBR for First Time

A group of three men.

By Melissa Porter, Staff Writer

For the past 16 years, the annual Spring Research Festival has been sponsored by NCI at Frederick and Fort Detrick to acquaint fellow researchers, students, and the community at large with the important discoveries being made at this facility to fight cancer, AIDS, and other infectious diseases.

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Morrison Receives NIH Award for Major Ras/Raf Breakthroughs

Portrait of Debbie Morrison.

By Ashley DeVine, Staff Writer

Deborah Morrison, Ph.D., laboratory chief, Laboratory of Cell and Developmental Signaling, Center for Cancer Research (CCR), received an NIH Director’s Award in June “for major breakthroughs in elucidating the mechanisms of Ras/Raf signaling that will be critical for diagnosis and treatment of disease,” according to the NIH Director’s Awards Ceremony brochure.

She was nominated by Ira Daar, Ph.D., senior investigator, Developmental Signal Transduction Section, Laboratory of Cell and Developmental Signaling, CCR.

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IL-27 Found to Play Significant Role in Conferring HIV Resistance

Portrait of Lue Dai.

Platinum Highlight IconBy Nancy Parrish, Staff Writer

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) targets specific immune cells in the body known as macrophages because these are the cells that eliminate foreign material such as bacteria or viruses. HIV is able to reproduce and spread throughout the body if it can avoid destruction by macrophages.

A recent study by Lue Dai, Ph.D., and colleagues revealed that the human cytokine IL-27 helps promote the body’s production of macrophages that are resistant to HIV. The study further found that IL-27 suppresses a gene known as SPTBN1, which facilitates the survival of HIV cells. This breakthrough research was recently published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

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