Scalpers Ruin It For Arcade Fire Fans And All Fans In General

first_imgYou know those low-profile (well, not really, but nice try) shows that Arcade Fire (aka The Reflektors) is putting on this weekend? Well, tickets went on sale at noon yesterday, and as anybody could imagine, sold out in about 2 seconds (literally). That’s cool. We get it. Arcade Fire is huge; of course two intimate shows will sell out quickly. Unfortunately, a good portion of those tickets were scooped up by scalpers – those vile, money-grubbing, puke buckets, that sell tickets for anywhere from 50x to 500x the actual value of the ticket.Tickets for the shows, which are to be played tonight and tomorrow, at 299 Meserole Street in Brooklyn, immediately went up on the likes of Stubhub for the reasonable scalper prices of $175-$2000. Yeah, that’s what our eyes did when we read those numbers too. Tickets were approximately $50 to start out. While any real fan has a pit in their stomach when seeing the ridiculous pricing of these tickets, we really have to ask ourselves the real important question: How do we stop this?Of course, we have the option of not purchasing these PED’d up prices, but that means that EVERYBODY has to take a stand against this practice, and not purchase tickets from scalpers at all. And, to be honest, it’s just difficult to do that. It would be great if companies like Stubhub took a stand and put ceilings on the percentage increase you are allowed to charge for tickets. Either way, it sucks to pay anymore than what a ticket is worth, but we have to start somewhere.Companies like CashOrTrade.org‘s mission is to help fans obtain tickets at face value, participate in trades with other fans for tickets to other shows, and to provide an alternative to scalping. The system is based on legitimate fans doing the right thing, and it is most certainly a start in the right direction. Spreading the word and letting people know there is an alternative is definitely one way to fight the scalping demons. However, even that won’t solve the problems; it’s a start, but we need more than that. We need laws put in place, we need authorities to come down hard on the practice of scalping, and there needs to be a lot of pressure put on these secondary ticketing companies to police their sites more efficiently.Even then, there will always be some form of scalping. It’s not simply going to go away. If someone wants to make some extra cash off a ticket to a high-profile event, they will find a way. But, it shouldn’t be this easy. With any show, not just the Arcade Fire show, or the intimate Billy Joel show the other night on Long Island, the people that suffer the most are the real fans. Some of us can barely afford the actual cost of the ticket as it is. Events like this should be enjoyed without having to put yourself in bankruptcy. People need to be held accountable. This conversation has gone on way too long, with no results.last_img read more

Tyler, the Creator Takes to Twitter to Slam YouTube Music Awards

first_imgYouTube will host the first YouTube Music Awards on Sunday, November 3, where the live-streaming event honors artists and songs you’ve heard over the past year.  The video service promised it would be a “new kind of awards show.”  Considering YouTube mostly consists of videos created by the public, the list of nominees included more award show regulars then expected: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Justin Bieber and One Direction.After the list of nominees was revealed, Tyler, the Creator, a performer at the upcoming award show, had a few choice words to say about it.  In a tweet early this morning (October 23), the rapper wrote, “YOUTUBE AWARDS COULDVE FUCKING HAD NOMINATIONS ON COOL CREATIVE VIDEOS SHIT BUT NOOOO AGAIN ITS THE MOST TEENY BOPPER POP SHIT. YOU ARE BUTT.”He adds, “WHY NOT GIVE AWARDS TO JUST DIRECTORS, THESE FUCKING WEAK ASS ARTIST DONT COME UP WITH THESE SHOTS OR SIT IN COLORING FUCK THEM THEY SUCK.”Although his tweets are hilarious and dead on, there are better ways, and better comebacks.Los Angeles artist, Flying Lotus, also took to Twitter to express his criticisms about the YouTube Music Award nominations.  “Seems like the YouTube music awards are pretty much the same as the VMAs. I don’t really see the point.”Flying Lotus goes on, “If it’s all about hits sure I get it but let’s be fair. YouTube award nominations clearly don’t care about cutting edge/innovation.”He continues, “They had an opportunity to shine a light on all the artists that they helped to gain notoriety just to shit on them for uber famous acts.” His last tweet reads, “No disrespect to the nominees yadda yadda.”Tyler, the Creator, along with Eminem, Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire, Avicii, M.I.A., and Earl Sweatshirt are all set to perform at the YouTube Music Awards held at New York City’s Pier 36.–Lindsey Winepol[Via Spin.com]last_img read more

Allman Brothers Band – Play All Night: Live At The Beacon Theatre

first_imgThe Allman Brothers Band, the tour-de-force of Southern blues-based jamming, show their everlasting magic on the latest live release, Play All Night: Live At The Beacon Theatre. Taken from two shows from March of 1992, the spectacular recording captures a young Warren Haynes settling into a permanent role in the ABB rotation, a role that has persisted for two decades, and led the guitarist to create Gov’t Mule as well.In 1992, the Allman Brothers consisted of Gregg Allman (keyboards), Dickey Betts (guitar), Allen Wody (bass), Marc Quinones (percussion), Warren Haynes (slide guitar), and Jaimoe Johanson (drums). Woody, Quinones, and Haynes were all new additions to the band at the time, and, with seasoned veterans and hand-picked recruits, this lineup just nearly harkens back to that of the Duane Allman era. Though, let’s face it: Duane is Duane.Great music aside, I personally enjoyed this recording for capturing the band in a different era. Most of the ABB archival releases highlight concerts from the late-60’s and early-70’s, and, as a 25-year-old, I’ve only been able to see the Allmans in the 2010-and-on era. Love me some Derek Trucks, don’t get me wrong, but it is nice to hear Warren wailing away on the slide guitar. His work on “Hoochie Coochie Man” is inspired, to say the least.The song selection from this double-live album captures all of the ABB standards, from the opening “Statesboro Blues” to a 20-plus-minute rendition of “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.” The album also features a handful of tracks from the then-new studio release, Shades of Two Worlds, including “End of The Line,” “Nobody Knows,” and Robert Johnson’s “Come on in My Kitchen.”The disc also includes a three-song acoustic set, smack dab in the middle of all the action. “Midnight Rider,” played on an acoustic guitar, is incredibly moving. Not to mention “Come on in My Kitchen,” played true to original Robert Johnson form, harkening back to the roots of blues music. This is some serious blues, stripped down to two acoustic guitars and the raw vocals of Gregg Allman.For any Allman-fans, this live release is a must have. Commenting about Play All Night, Haynes said, “1991-92 was a period of great creativity for that configuration of the Allman Brothers, and these shows capture a true moment in time for the group. It’s cool that the acoustic set is included, because it gives the fans a chance to hear some rare versions of particular songs. All in all, I think Play All Night represents how on fire that band could be on any given night at that point in their history.”Well said, Mr. Haynes. Well said.-David Melamed (@DMelamz)DISC 11. Statesboro Blues 7:00 2. You Don’t Love Me 6:38 3. End Of The Line 5:45 4. Blue Sky 7:34 5. Nobody Knows 13:20 6. Low Down Dirty Mean 7:20 7. Seven Turns 4:41 8. Midnight Rider 3:20 9. Come On In My Kitchen 6:02 DISC 2 1. Guitar Intro / Hoochie Coochie Man 10:01 2. Jessica 10:01 3. Get On With Your Life 8:18 4. In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed 20:58 5. Revival 5:46 6. Dreams 11:20 7. Whipping Post 11:36last_img read more

New Look at Andre 3000 as Jimi Hendrix

first_imgA photo of Andre 3000 portraying the legend Jimi Hendrix for the upcoming biopic, All Is By My Side, has been released. A pair of clips from the long-awaited film was released last month.The film premiered at SXSW in March, and will be released in theatres June 13th in the U.S. and August 8th in the UK.You can check out a scene from the film below, and the crazy resemblance between Andre and Jimi.-Brittney Borruso www.facebook.com/rockstella[via Consequence of Sound]last_img

Suwannee Hulaween Lineup: String Cheese Incident, Thievery Corporation, New Deal, Big G, and more

first_imgUmmmmm….okkkk. So, what’s everybody doing for Halloween this year? Too early to start thinking about it? Think again. Silver Wrapper and Purple Hat Productions have announced the initial lineup for the 2nd annual Suwannee Hulaween bash, and it is out-of-this-world good.For the second year in a row, The String Cheese Incident will commandeer the festival with three separate performances over Halloween weekend, from October 31st to November 2nd at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL. The diverse lineup will include sets from Thievery Corporation, Big Gigantic, The New Deal, Beats Antique, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Greensky Bluegrass, EOTO, Conspirator, and a bevy of cohorts joining the party.Fans will also be treated to three nights of Cheese, along with a surprise-filled three-set show on Halloween. Set in the midst of 800 acres of Spanish moss-draped oak and cypress along the Suwannee River, SOSMP is one of the most beautiful live music venues in the country. At Suwanee Hulaween festivalgoers can get ready for the return of Spirit Lake – an artistic glowing menagerie of multimedia metalwork, paintings, sculptures, light projections and live performances that morphs the prehistoric-looking forest into a vivid dream-like space. With no overlapping sets throughout the weekend, attendees have plenty of time to wonder the mystical campgrounds abuzz with costumed fans and interactive theme camps. A limited number of early bird tickets go on sale Tuesday, June 24 for $149 including all taxes, fees and camping. For information on Ultimate Incident VIP Packages and additional details visit www.SuwanneeHulaween.com. To join the wait list for cabins, golf cart rentals and RV hook-ups, please contact SOSMP at 386.364.1683.Stay tuned for additional artist announcements and theme nights!Suwannee Hulaween 2014 Initial Lineup:The String Cheese Incident (3 nights)Thievery CorporationBig GiganticBeats AntiqueThe New DealJoe Russo’s Almost DeadGreensky BluegrassEOTOConspiratorFuture RockNahko & Medicine For The PeopleRising AppalachiaThe Soul RebelsVan GhostThe Heavy PetsGreenhouse LoungeCopeand many more TBA!last_img read more

Crosby, Stills, and Nash Announce Spring Tour Dates

first_imgLegendary singer-songwriter trio Crosby, Stills, and Nash are ready to once again hit the road. This time, the group will embark on a tour of the Far East, before making their way back to the States for a 12-night run. The group will play shows in Japan, the Philippines, and Singapore, before coming back home for shows in Milwaukee, Chicago, Atlantic City, Brooklyn, and more.Tickets for all shows can be purchased at the band’s website HERE.Crosby, Stills & Nash Asia Dates3/5 – 6 – Tokyo, Japan @ Tokyo International Forum Hall A3/9 – Osaka, Japan @ Osaka Festival Hall3/10 – Fukuoka, Japan @ Fukuoka Sun Palace Hall3/12 – Nagoya, Japan @ Nagoya Shi Kokaido3/16 – Manila, Philippines @ Araneta Coliseum3/19 – Singapore, Singapore @ The Star TheatreCrosby, Stills & Nash U.S. Dates4/29 – Lincoln, NE @ Lied Center4/30 – Sioux City, IA @ Orpheum Theatre5/3 – Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theater5/5 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre5/9 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Caesars Atlantic City – Circus Maximus5/10 – Baltimore, MD @ Hippodrome Theatre5/12 – 13 – New Brunswick, NJ @ State Theatre5/15 – 16 – Brooklyn, NY @ Kings Theatre5/19 – Boston, MA @ Citi Performing Arts Center5/20 – Wallingford, CT @ Oakdale Theatrelast_img read more

Stunning Umphrey’s McGee UMBowl Photos Will Make You Wish You Were There

first_imgLoad remaining images Umphrey’s McGee‘s annual UMBowl run has become the most highly anticipated event of the year for fans of one of the most creative and interactive bands out there. With four “quarters” consisting of various themes including a “choose your own adventure” set, the sixth annual UMBowl set at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas did not disappoint, and we’ve got stunning photos to prove it.Check out our in-depth review and setlist here. Photos by Jake Plimack – full gallery at the bottom.last_img read more

Center for European Studies names fall fellows

first_imgThe Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES) has recently announced the arrival of its 2007 fall fellows. The center is dedicated to fostering the study of European history, politics, and society at Harvard. Its visiting scholars play an active role in the intellectual life of the center and the University. While at Harvard, the scholars will conduct research, advise students, and give public talks.The fellows who will join the center this fall follow:Thilo Bodenstein, Freie Universität Berlin, is researching determinants of policy convergence and divergence in the European Union and the United States.Tobias Brinkmann, University of Southampton, is working on a re-evaluation of the history of the Jewish mass migration from Eastern Europe between 1860 and 1950.Daniela Caruso, Boston University, is currently researching the redistributive effects of legal integration.Jon Erik Dølvik, Fafo Institute for Labor and Social Research, is researching the implications of European Union enlargement for labor migration and labor relations, especially in the Nordic/Baltic Sea area.Alexander Geppert, Freie Universität Berlin, is developing a new project on outer space and extraterrestrial life in the European imagination of the 20th century.Wolfgang Gick, Dartmouth College, will focus on political expertise, special interest politics, and voting rules under strategic disclosure.Renée Haferkamp, European Commission, organizes the CES speaker series “Challenges to the 21st Century: European and American Perspectives.”Barbara Haskel, McGill University, is exploring the integration of higher education in Europe with the Bologna Process.Dariusz Jemielniak, Leon Kozminski Academy of Entrepreneurship and Management, is currently working on a project that examines knowledge work in legal and software environments.Claudia Leeb, the New School for Social Research, is working on a book manuscript titled “Rethinking Justice with Marx, Adorno and Lacan.”Katiana Orluc, postdoctoral fellow. Orluc’s current project examines the pan-European movement in the 1920s and ’30s.Ute Planert, Universität Tübingen, is currently working on a comparative history of eugenics.Martin Spiewak, Die Zeit, is a journalist whose research interests include education and politics of science.Matthias Tischer, postdoctoral fellow. Tischer’s current main fields of research are music in the former German Democratic Republic, music under the circumstances of the Cold War, and oral history.Peter Vermeersch, Leuven University, is working on a project that examines connections between democratization and nationalist mobilization in Poland.Klaus Wilhelm West, German Trade Union Congress/DGB-Bundesvorstand, is researching the politics of innovation in France and Germany.Kathrina Zippel, Northeastern University, is currently researching and examining the internationalization of academia.José Pedro Zúquete, postdoctoral fellow. Zúquete is currently working on a book project titled “The Struggle for the World?” The project examines anti-globalization movements.last_img read more

James Harriman Jandl

first_imgDr. James H. Jandl died on July 17, 2006 after a prolonged illness. He spent his entire career at Harvard Medical School where he became one of the world’s premier experimental hematologists. He was also a highly effective teacher and a renowned textbooks author.Dr. Jandl was born in Racine, Wisconsin, in 1925. He enjoyed a happy and active childhood. With the encouragement of devoted parents, he developed a wide range of interests: academic, athletic, and artistic. Jandl was valedictorian of his high school class and editor-in-chief of his school newspaper, an early indication of his passion for writing. He played varsity football and basketball, and was an avid and highly skilled skier. In his teenage years he developed an interest in music and became sufficiently adept at the clarinet to play both in the high school band as well as in dance bands and jazz groups. Jandl was also a keen outdoorsman who, from his youth on, had an enormous affinity for nature, especially ornithology, which became a lifelong avocation.Jandl came of age during World War II and joined the Navy immediately following high school graduation. He was posted to a naval installation at Franklin and Marshall College where he completed his bachelor’s degree and received a B.S. in Chemistry after only two years of study. During that time, his Naval SAT scores were the highest in the U.S. His participation in college athletics included a basketball game with an Army team that consisted of the Harlem Globe Trotters!Jandl’s academic performance at Franklin and Marshall was so outstanding that he became the first student in many years from that college to attend Harvard Medical School. He received his M.D. degree from HMS in 1949, Cum Laude and a member of Alpha Omega Alpha. During his two years as intern and assistant resident on the II and IV (Harvard) Medical Services at Boston City Hospital he came under the aegis of Dr. William Castle, the George Minot Professor of Medicine. Castle served as his mentor for the next two decades, playing a critical role in developing Jandl’s interest in experimental hematology. After two years completing his tour of duty in the Navy, Jandl returned to the Thorndike Laboratory at Boston City Hospital, first as a research fellow in 1952, then Instructor in 1955, and was appointed Assistant Professor in 1959.Jandl’s research productivity was extraordinary. He took full advantage of the wealth of pathology at the Boston City Hospital and focused on inherited and acquired disorders of the red blood cell. He began studying patients with alcoholic cirrhosis and published definitive studies on red cell production and survival in chronic liver disease as well as the impact of cirrhosis on folic acid metabolism. Thirteen years later, he and Richard Cooper showed that in liver disease, the red cell membrane acquires excess phospholipids and cholesterol, leading to the formation of target-like and spiculated red cellsJandl soon turned his attention to hemolytic anemias. In a remarkably thorough and inventive series of studies published primarily in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Jandl explored the mechanism by which antibody-coated red cells are destroyed in the liver and spleen. He exploited the use of radio-labeled erythrocytes to monitor cell survival and to identify sites of organ sequestration. Subsequently, he and his colleagues demonstrated that antibody-coated red cells attach to macrophages via the immunoglobulin FC receptor, forming flower-like rosettes. The macrophage nibbles at the membrane of adherent red cells, transforming normal biconcave discs into spherocytes. This vivid morphologic observation provided an elegant explanation for the enhanced rigidity of antibody-coated red cells which contributes importantly to their destruction. In addition, Jandl and his colleagues published definitive studies delineating the fate of free hemoglobin in the plasma, identifying organs of uptake and the process by which the kidney handles hemoglobin.Jandl made equally important contributions in other types of hemolytic anemia. He and Harry Jacob showed increased cation leak and consequent high glucose consumption in red cells of patients with hereditary spherocytosis, providing a logical explanation for their demise in the unfriendly nutrient-depleted cords of the spleen. Jandl and Jacob also broadened our understanding of the nature of drug-induced oxidant hemolysis in individuals with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. Their experiments provided new insights into how oxidant stress can lead to denaturation of hemoglobin within the red cell resulting in development of rigid inclusion-laden red cells. Jandl’s studies of red cell metabolism produced a coherent understanding of mechanism by which deficiency in specific red cell enzymes including pyruvate kinase leads to a shortening of red cell lifespan.Jandl’s remarkably insightful and comprehensive studies of the hemolytic anemias were accompanied, and perhaps trumped, by an equally thorough and groundbreaking investigation of the utilization of iron by erythroid cells. He and Jay Katz provided the first comprehensive understanding of the entry of iron into erythroid through iron transferrin and its binding to specific receptors. They developed the concept of the “iron transferin cycle”, a process by which this iron-binding protein in the plasma efficiently transports a large amount of iron to the erythropoietic cells in the bone marrow sufficient to accommodate high level hemoglobin production. These studies were among the very first to recognize the critical importance of receptors for specific biological transport functions.Although the great bulk of his research effort was devoted to studies of the red blood cell, Jandl collaborated with Richard Aster in comprehensive studies that provided new and fundamental insights into the nature of platelet production, lifespan and sequestration in the spleen.Jandl’s conduct of science set a standard that informed and inspired a generation of trainees who had the good fortune of working with him. His intellect was as deep as it was broad. He had uncanny insights into underlying biological mechanisms and, by a combination of reasoning and instinct, could design the experiment most apt to produce a conclusive result. His trainees learned that scientific truth is a very stern mistress, and that any presumption of discovery must pass the muster of rigorous self-criticism. Jandl conveyed a reverence for the English language, not only in his scholarly writing but also in his lectures and even in informal discussion. His remarkable effectiveness as a mentor came from a synergistic blend of these highly disciplined attributes with great personal magnetism: a delightfully wry sense of humor, a high level of energy and genuine concern for the welfare of his fellows, residents and students.In 1968 Jandl succeeded Dr. Maxwell Finland as George Richard Minot Professor and Director of the Thorndike Laboratory and Harvard Medical Unit at Boston City Hospital. Although this recognition was largely based on outstanding scientific achievements, he had become increasingly involved in teaching and administration. He earned plaudits from second year medical students for his dynamic leadership of their course in hematology pathophysiology. Third and fourth year students and residents were equally appreciative of his bedside teaching on the wards at Boston City Hospital. Jandl directed the Hematology Division at the Thorndike very effectively, maintaining high levels of productivity and esprit de corps. However, when he assumed leadership of the entire department, he encountered formidable financial and political problems that led to his stepping down after only a three-year tenure. He was succeeded by Dr. Franklin Epstein.Jandl devoted the remainder of his career writing three outstanding and widely read text books devoted to blood disorders. His Blood: Atlas and Sourcebook of Hematology, done in collaboration with his long-time associate Carola Kapff, remains the most thorough and instructive compilation of peripheral blood and bone marrow morphology. His concise single-author text Blood: Pathophysiology has given a generation of medical students an understanding of the mechanisms underlying hematologic disorders. His Blood: Textbook of Hematology is a large (1200 pages) comprehensive and scholarly compendium of the entire field, appearing in two editions, 1987 and 1996. For a single author to write authoritatively on such a broad, complex and rapidly growing discipline is an exceptional tour-de-force. The writing within this tome is unfailingly precise as well as adroit, colorful, and at times witty. Understandably, this book won two national awards.Until his final illness, Jandl greatly enjoyed his retirement, having time to return to some of his boyhood passions. He and his wife Nancy took great pleasure in creatively renovating their home in Concord and cultivating their lawn and gardens. Jandl greatly enjoyed watercolor painting of outdoor landscapes. He returned to Dixieland/Big Band jazz, playing the clarinet and saxophone each summer in camps for devoted amateurs. He remained in close contact with his five children and 16 grandchildren.Respectfully submitted,Howard F. Bunn, ChairRonald A. ArkyFranklin H. EpsteinDavid G. Nathanlast_img read more

Connie Cepko

first_imgIn some ways, Connie Cepko’s job has gotten easier.The Harvard Medical School genetics professor is working to uncover the mysteries of the eye, to understand how it develops and what can go wrong. Her work ranges from understanding the genetic roots of diseases like retinitis pigmentosa, which afflicts 100,000 Americans, to basic genetic research using the latest technology.The work goes faster now than it once did because of major breakthroughs in genetics and information sharing made possible by the Internet. At the same time, there is an overwhelming amount of research needed to understand the complex interplay of genes involved in the development of the eye and the diseases that affect it.Cepko’s interest in this sort of work started long ago, sparked by a seventh-grade science fair. She grew yeast on agar plates, a completely new experience for her. Her experiment won first place and the attention of the judge, John Palmer, who ran a nearby laboratory.He invited her over to see the laboratory, and she found a new home. She grew up spending her Saturdays in his lab, which was dedicated to classifying tree fungi.“It was a fabulous experience and I just loved it,” said Cepko, who in addition to her HMS position is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigatorThere was no doubt about what she would study when she went to college at the University of Maryland. It had to be microbiology.She specialized in marine bacteria. That interest led her to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for her graduate and post-doctoral work.Though she liked the field of virology, in which she worked for her thesis and postdoctoral projects, it felt crowded. It wasn’t the competition that bothered her, but the idea that so many people were spending their efforts on the same thing, she said. She looked for an area that was getting less attention and found the nervous system.Cepko started by studying the eye. She chose it because at the time it was an easy entry point for a rookie without a strong background in neurobiology. It was physically accessible and there were a lot of basics known about it.And yet, there was so much more to discover that she’s still at it today.There are 160 different genes that lead to blindness and it’s not clear what triggers the death of the affected photoreceptors, upon which vision relies.“Any little thing goes wrong and we go blind,” Cepko said.Researchers in her laboratory are trying to link genes with specific diseases and to better understand how the cells of the eye develop and what can go wrong along the way. Eventually, understanding what can go wrong may lead to new ways to intervene.When Cepko started, the only way to connect a gene to a problem was to painstakingly remove it from an organism. Researchers had to breed mice without the gene in question. But today, advances in RNA interference allow researchers to create bits of RNA that attach to a messenger RNA, efficiently blocking the function of a gene so researchers can see what happens without it.By using the RNA interference process over and over again on different genes, researchers are collecting the pieces of a giant jigsaw puzzle whose image is a better understanding of the eye and the diseases that attack it. With the advances in science, more pieces are falling into place.“Now, we have clues. We have many pieces of the puzzle,” she said. “Before, we had a 1,000 piece puzzle but only a few border pieces.”The explosion of the Internet fosters the work because information and advances in other laboratories are more readily available. Researchers can quickly absorb the latest advances in other laboratories and apply them to their own research.While her laboratory looks at the bigger picture of what makes a rod cell or a cone cell or another piece of the eye, it’s also tackling the specific problem of retinitis pigmentosa.The disease affects 1 out of 3,000 people. It’s a genetic ailment that affects the rods of the eye, used to see in near darkness. Perhaps most vexing is that once the rod cells die, the cone cells, which are used for all of our daylight vision, also start to die even though they don’t have a genetic defect.It’s not clear how the genes cause the rod cells to die or why the cone cells follow.Researchers in her lab are trying to get a better understanding of what happens as the disease takes its toll. They are looking at what genes change in their expression during different stages of the disease. A postdoctoral fellow, Claudio Punzo, began their work in this area, and has recently published his findings in Nature Neuroscience. His work has provided a totally new view of the disease, and suggests that the cone cells might be starving, and then undergoing autophagy, a form of self-digestion. Bo Chen, another postdoctoral fellow, working on what might keep the rods alive, has found that the addition of a gene encoding histone deacetylase 4 promoted rod cell survival far longer than in untreated animals. These clues are giving the group ideas on novel therapeutic targets to help prolong vision in individuals who are genetically predisposed to go blind.There is serious work going on in her lab, but there is a collegial atmosphere, said Jeffrey Trimarchi, a post-doctoral fellow who has been working with Cepko for five years.There are four Ph.D. candidates and nine post-doctoral students in the lab. Cepko chooses not only good scientists but also good people, Trimarchi said.“It’s important to have people in the lab who get along,” he said. “You need to have people who will share what they’re doing and be willing to talk about their work.”In some ways, she is hands off, letting researchers go in their own direction. At the same time, she works with them to put what they are doing into context.Trimarchi said he had heard good things about Cepko’s lab when he was looking for a place to do his post-doctoral studies, but it was talking with her that convinced him.“When I sat down with her, the ideas kept coming, one right after the other,” he said.She keeps a white board in her office and uses it frequently for brainstorming.While her primary focus is on basic research, Cepko keeps in mind potential real-world applications. She promotes that concept as co-director of the Leder Medical Sciences Program, which integrates the Ph.D. students with Harvard Medical School.Participants take courses covering the basics of human biology and disease. They focus on organ systems and diseases ripe for investigation and novel therapeutic approaches. At the same time, they attend clinical conferences, participate in the Mentored Clinical Casebook program and attend workshops, lectures and other dinner series with people who work at the interface of basic science and clinical medicine, from all different venues.“It offers them another perspective and lets them consider the possible applications of their laboratory work,” she said.last_img read more