NEWS

Recent research and activities at Ragon

Indunas and ITEACH Combat COVID-19

Nov 13

Indunas and ITEACH Combat COVID-19

The Ragon Institute’s ITEACH program is enlisting local leaders in South Africa’s rural communities to combat COVID-19 ITEACH (Integration of TB in Education and Care for HIV/AIDS), a Ragon Institute program in South Africa, is enlisting leadership within rural communities in the country’s KwaZulu-Natal province to counter a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. By delivering […]

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Reaching the Final Stage: Antibody Evolution in COVID-19 Response

Nov 12

Reaching the Final Stage: Antibody Evolution in COVID-19 Response

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Image: SARS-CoV-2 virus, courtesy of the NIH For COVID-19, the difference between surviving and not surviving severe disease may be due to the quality, not the quantity, of the patients’ antibody development and response, a new Cell paper published by Ragon Member Galit Alter, PhD, suggests. The study, published in the journal Cell, used Alter’s […]

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Focusing In: Modeling Immunodominance in the Flu Antibody Response

Oct 06

Focusing In: Modeling Immunodominance in the Flu Antibody Response

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Image credit: Influenza virus, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health   Ragon and MIT researchers develop computational model to understand drivers of immunodominance; create vaccine strategy in mice that focuses antibody response to universal flu vaccine target.     When the body responds to an infection like the flu virus, it […]

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New MIT Class: “COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and the Pandemic”

Sep 21

New MIT Class: “COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and the Pandemic”

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Ragon Institute Associate Director Facundo Batista and MIT Professor Richard Young create new MIT Biology public access COVID-19 course.   Image courtesy of MIT Biology and NIAID/Wikimedia Commons   With COVID-19 sweeping the nation and the world, biomedical science simultaneously paused and accelerated in unprecedented ways. Many labs were required to shut down during the […]

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Engineered to Fight: Dual CAR T cells show promise against HIV

Aug 31

Engineered to Fight: Dual CAR T cells show promise against HIV

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Researchers from the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania developed a new Dual CAR T cell immunotherapy that combats HIV infection in humanized mice. Image: HIV infecting a human cell, courtesy of NIH Image library A recent study published in the journal Nature […]

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Single Gene, Broad Response

Aug 27

Single Gene, Broad Response

Single VH Gene Allows for Broad-Spectrum Antibody Response to LPS   Image: Immunoglobulin heavy chain variable domain, VH   Daniel Lingwood, PhD, Ragon Group Leader, recently published a paper in Cell Reports entitled, “A single human VH gene allows for a broad-spectrum antibody response targeting 2 bacterial lipopolysaccharides in the blood.” This paper, whose lead […]

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Blocked and Locked:  Unique HIV Reservoirs in Elite Controllers

Aug 26

Blocked and Locked: Unique HIV Reservoirs in Elite Controllers

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Ragon Institute researchers show elite controllers have HIV viral reservoirs in gene deserts which may help prevent viral rebound and contribute to natural control of HIV.   

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Losing the Center: COVID-19 Cytokine Storms May Prevent a Durable Immune Response

Aug 19

Losing the Center: COVID-19 Cytokine Storms May Prevent a Durable Immune Response

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Image: Germinal centers in a lymph node, courtesy of Shiv Pillai Lack of germinal centers in COVID-19 immune response may prevent patients from developing long-lasting immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus Shiv Pillai, MD, Ph.D, Member of the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard and professor at Harvard Medical School, recently published a paper in […]

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Seeing the Forest For the Trees:   Predictive Immune Markers in COVID-19 Response

Aug 06

Seeing the Forest For the Trees:

Predictive Immune Markers in COVID-19 Response

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Results of partnership between the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard and UW Medicine identify five markers of the humoral immune response that may be able to predict COVID-19 patient outcomes.   A recent study published in Immunity identifies five immune response markers which, collectively, were able to correctly classify both convalescent COVID-19 patients […]

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Single-shot COVID-19 vaccine protects non-human primates

Jul 30

Single-shot COVID-19 vaccine protects non-human primates

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by: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center   Findings lay groundwork for clinical development program     Boston, Mass. – The development of a safe and effective vaccine will likely be required to end the COVID-19 pandemic. A group of scientists, led by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) immunologist Dan H. Barouch, MD, PhD, now report […]

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It Takes Two: Immune Correlates of Protection in RTS,S/AS01 Malaria Vaccine

Jul 22

It Takes Two: Immune Correlates of Protection in RTS,S/AS01 Malaria Vaccine

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Image: Immune cells in malaria patient. Credit: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH   Researchers at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, in collaboration with the global health non-profit PATH and pharmaceutical company GSK, have discovered two markers of immunity in response to the RTS,S/ASO1 malaria vaccine that correlated strongly with […]

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Kneel-In Vigil: In Support and Solidarity

Jun 04

Kneel-In Vigil: In Support and Solidarity

We want to express our deep sadness over the recent and violent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor in the US—three of the latest victims of the systemic racism that continues to plague our society. The last week has brought into crisp focus the deep racism that remains pervasive throughout our country, […]

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Gathering Critical Clues

Jun 04

Gathering Critical Clues

To understand how any given disease affects the body, scientists need a wide array of tools. One of the most valuable and indispensable instruments in their toolkit are clinical samples—small amounts of blood, urine, mucus, spit, and tissue that can be used to study a disease in a patient.  For COVID-19, a disease that has an […]

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Ragon Institute Members Receive Funding from MassCPR for COVID-19 Projects

May 13

Ragon Institute Members Receive Funding from MassCPR for COVID-19 Projects

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As part of its COVID-19 response, the Ragon Institute is working within the Massachusetts Consortium for Pathogen Readiness, a multi-institutional initiative convened by Harvard Medical School and the Ragon Institute, to combat the disease and to prepare for future outbreaks. Ragon Institute director, Bruce Walker, MD, serves as co-director and founding member, and many of […]

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The Ragon Institute: Harnessing the Immune System to Combat COVID-19

Apr 22

The Ragon Institute: Harnessing the Immune System to Combat COVID-19

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Image: Scanning electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2 virus emerging from cells. Image courtesy of NIAID   Cambridge, MA, April 22, 2020: The Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, a world leader in human immunology and infectious diseases, is leading efforts to understand and combat the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the cause of the global COVID-19 pandemic. […]

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