Scintillon Institute Investigator Awarded NIH R35 Early-Career Grant

Metabolism or the set of life-sustaining chemical reactions defines the very wellbeing of humans. But can we better understand how cellular metabolism goes awry in various human diseases? The National Institute of General Medical Sciences just granted Scintillon’s Dr. Valentin Cracan $2.4 million to find out more!

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The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) has recognized Dr. Valentin Cracan as one of the nation’s highly talented and promising scientists to receive a Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award for Early-Stage Investigators (R35 MIRA-ESI).  This grant provides about $2.4 million over five years to support the ongoing work at the Cracan’s lab that has received a number of NIH grants already since it was established about 3 years ago. We spoke with Valentin as we were interested in his research in the context of his new, special grant. 

 

PATH TO SCINTILLON

Valentin received his undergraduate degree in Biology and Biochemistry from the Moldova State University in the Republic of Moldova in 2005 and his Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from University of Michigan in 2012, where he studied the intracellular pathway for trafficking of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) in the laboratory of Professor Ruma Banerjee.  While in graduate school, Valentin significantly contributed to our understanding of vitamin B12-dependent cell metabolism. In 2012, he joined the laboratory of Professor Vamsi Mootha at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. There, he obtained further training in studying mitochondria, the energy factories of our cells and major hubs of cellular metabolism. In the winter of 2018, Valentin joined the Scintillon Institute faculty as an Assistant Professor.

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Does science save lives during this pandemic?

 

- Did science save lives during this pandemic that we are still in?

- Are Biomedical and Bioengineering Sciences interesting and important subjects?

 

 “Yes!” many of today’s high school students will say that without hesitation.  But is science research a field where you want to build a career? Many students may still want to say “Yes…” but maybe blindly.

 

Scintillon Institute, a premium San Diego research institution for nonprofit purposes, has built its now famous Scintillon “SURE” (SUmmer REsearch) program to help top-performing high school students to find out for themselves whether conducting scientific research and becoming a career scientist is for them. 

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Does science save lives?

- Did science save lives during this pandemic that we are still in?

- Are Biomedical and Bioengineering Sciences interesting and important subjects?

 

 “Yes!” many of today’s high school students will say that without hesitation.  But is science research a field where you want to build a career? Many students may still want to say “Yes…” but maybe blindly.

 

Scintillon Institute, a premium San Diego research institution for nonprofit purposes, has built its now famous Scintillon “SURE” (SUmmer REsearch) program to help top-performing high school students to find out for themselves whether conducting scientific research and becoming a career scientist is for them. 

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A New Twist in the Tale of Experimental Immunotherapies for Parkinson’s Disease

A New Twist in the Tale of Experimental Immunotherapies for Parkinson’s Disease

A new study co-led by Scintillon Institute’s Associate Professor, Dr. Rajesh Ambasudhan, and Adjunct Professor Dr. Stuart Lipton (also a practicing Neurologist at UC San Diego) shows that certain immunotherapy approaches for Parkinson’s disease (PD) may cause harmful neuroinflammation by activating microglia (brain’s immune cells) and that this adverse effect could offset therapeutic benefits elicited by the antibody treatment. The study appeared in the April 13, 2021 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America.

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A New Twist in the Tale of Experimental Immunotherapies

A New Twist in the Tale of Experimental Immunotherapies for Parkinson’s Disease


A new study co-led by Scintillon Institute’s Associate Professor, Dr. Rajesh Ambasudhan, and Adjunct Professor Dr. Stuart Lipton (also a practicing Neurologist at UC San Diego) shows that certain immunotherapy approaches for Parkinson’s disease (PD) may cause harmful neuroinflammation by activating microglia (brain’s immune cells) and that this adverse effect could offset therapeutic benefits elicited by the antibody treatment. The study appeared in the April 13, 2021 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America.

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