Category Archives: research

Breaking the Code: How is a mother’s immunity transferred to her baby?

Ragon Institute-led study identifies factors contributing to placental transfer of antibodies CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – One of the most successful interventions in reducing infectious disease worldwide, vaccination still has limited effectiveness in protecting one group of patients – newborn infants. Now a study based at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard has determined how […]

Read more
Early antiretroviral treatment may preserve key immune responses to HIV

Ragon Institute study findings could pave the way to vaccine development CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Instituting combination antiretroviral (ART) treatment at the earliest stages of HIV infection may allow the generation of functional CD8 “killer” T cells and preservation of the CD4 helper T cells that are the virus’s primary target.  Investigators from the Ragon Institute […]

Read more
New immune markers of exposure to Mycobacterium tuberculosis challenge decades of clinical practice

Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading infectious cause of death worldwide, and is caused by the slow growing bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Because the time between infection and disease can be long – years or even decades – a major challenge for public health is knowing who is at risk for becoming ill so that they […]

Read more
Ragon Institute study identifies viral peptides critical to natural HIV control

T-cell targeting of essential amino acids may underlie spontaneous HIV suppression, define path to a vaccine CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Investigators at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard have used a novel approach to identify specific amino acids in the protein structure of HIV that appear critical to the ability of the virus to […]

Read more
FRESH program combines basic science with social benefits for women at risk of HIV

Ragon Institute initiative addresses socioeconomic factors affecting HIV risk in young women in South Africa A program established by investigators from the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), MIT and Harvard is addressing the persistently elevated risk of HIV infection among young women in South Africa from two angles – first, investigating biological factors […]

Read more
Novel insights into antibody protection mechanisms mark a step forward in the search for an HIV vaccine

Vivian Chou | Harvard University   The search for a safe and effective HIV vaccine is a major scientific and clinical challenge. In an exciting new Nature Medicine paper published earlier this week, researchers at the Ragon Institute and their collaborators uncover important insights into how antibodies provide protection following vaccination. These findings bring researchers […]

Read more
Ebola virus experts discover a powerful approach for stopping outbreaks

Bronwyn Gunn and Galit Alter | Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard   From 2013–2016, West Africa faced the deadliest Ebola outbreak the world has ever seen. By the time the outbreak was declared over, 11,325 people had died. Antibody therapy is considered among the most promising treatments for the Ebola virus infection, and […]

Read more
Study: Cellular changes lead to chronic allergic inflammation in the sinus

Findings suggest mechanisms for the persistence of nasal polyps and possible new treatment strategies. Anne Trafton | MIT News Office   Chronic rhinosinusitis is distinct from your average case of seasonal allergies. It causes the sinuses to become inflamed and swollen for months to years at a time, leading to difficulty breathing and other symptoms […]

Read more
New Evidence for the Role of PKCβ in B Cell Fate Decision

Vivian Chou | Harvard University   The immune system plays the crucial role of defending the body against pathogens that can cause dangerous and deadly infections. How the immune system performs this incredible function has spurred numerous research questions, many still unanswered. In a recent study published in Immunity, researchers at the Ragon Institute in […]

Read more
Ragon Institute Hosts Cellular Immunity Workshop

On January 4th and 5th, 2018, leading researchers in the field of cellular immunology participated in an interactive workshop entitled “Prospects for designing and testing vaccines to elicit cellular immunity against HIV”, hosted by the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard.   The meeting focused on how cell-mediated immunity can be incorporated into the […]

Read more