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Recent research and activities at Ragon

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

Jun 13

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

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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 […]

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Ragon Institute hosts Neuro-Immune Symposium

May 28

Ragon Institute hosts Neuro-Immune Symposium

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Two-day symposium brings together experts in the growing field of neuroimmunology On March 28th and 29th, 2019, the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard hosted a Neuro-Immune Symposium with the goal of bringing together world-class experts in neuroimmunology and the related fields of neurobiology and immunology to share their cutting-edge research and discoveries, and […]

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Early antiretroviral treatment may preserve key immune responses to HIV

May 22

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 […]

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

May 20

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

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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 […]

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5 South African Traditional Healers honored in the USA

May 16

5 South African Traditional Healers honored in the USA

Five Traditional Healers from KwaZulu-Natal – who are central to an innovative program run in partnership with a local South African NGO and the KZN Department of Health – traveled to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where they were hosted for five days and honored for their work by the prestigious Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard. […]

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Ragon Institute study identifies viral peptides critical to natural HIV control

May 02

Ragon Institute study identifies viral peptides critical to natural HIV control

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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 […]

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MGH receives $200 million to advance research into complex diseases

May 02

MGH receives $200 million to advance research into complex diseases

Largest gift in hospital history will bolster the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard BOSTON – Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) announced it has received the largest gift in the hospital’s history – $200 million – to endow the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard. This landmark contribution from philanthropists and longtime hospital supporters […]

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Announcement of Record Gift to MGH to Endow the Ragon Institute

Apr 26

Announcement of Record Gift to MGH to Endow the Ragon Institute

We are thrilled to let you know that the MGH has received the largest philanthropic gift in its history – a $200 million contribution to support the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard. This extraordinary gift comes from Phillip (Terry) and Susan Ragon, long-time supporters of the hospital, whose transformational contribution will ensure that […]

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Biostatistics Course Strengthens Statistics Skills in Research Community

Apr 03

Biostatistics Course Strengthens Statistics Skills in Research Community

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The availability of a variety of free, user-friendly statistical software packages has enabled many scientists to perform their own analyses and generate results without a formal knowledge of programming languages. This democratization of data science can be hugely important to researchers wishing to analyze and interpret their research data, but can be risky without sufficient […]

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Songs of KwaZulu-Natal: Reflections from HST.434

Feb 28

Songs of KwaZulu-Natal: Reflections from HST.434

Sri Gowtham Thakku and Avilash Cramer | Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology   This past January, we traveled to South Africa as part of the IAP class HST.434: Evolution of an Epidemic. The class, taught by Ragon Institute Director Dr. Bruce Walker and Dr. Howard Heller and offered to MIT undergraduates, examines the medical, scientific, […]

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Clinical Research Coordinators Volunteer at the Celebration of Life

Nov 27

Clinical Research Coordinators Volunteer at the Celebration of Life

At the Ragon Institute, the communities and individuals affected by HIV and AIDS are the driving force behind the science. While much of our work focuses on the epicenter of the epidemic in Durban, South Africa, we know the importance of engaging communities in Boston as well. On Tuesday, November 20th, 2018 a team of […]

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

Sep 17

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 […]

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

Sep 07

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

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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 […]

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Ebola virus experts discover a powerful approach for stopping outbreaks

Aug 31

Ebola virus experts discover a powerful approach for stopping outbreaks

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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 […]

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

Aug 23

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

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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 […]

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