Northwestern Research Breakthroughs
Northwestern University is at the forefront of research into the causes and cures of many life-threatening diseases and conditions. The following are just a few examples of the amazing and impactful work our researchers are doing.
New Drug Could Treat Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis and Brain Injury
Martin Watterson developed a new class of drug that, by reducing inflammation of the brain, shows early promise of being a one-size-fits-all therapy for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injury.
First Blood Test to Diagnose Depression in Teens
Eva Redei has developed the first blood test to diagnose major depression in teens, a breakthrough approach that allows an objective diagnosis by measuring a specific set of genetic markers found in a patient’s blood.
VIDEO: NUGENE helping to advance genetic knowledge
At Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, a unique project called NUGENE is helping advance genetic knowledge. Through one of only a few academic gene banks in the U.S., the project helps researchers and doctors better understand the role genetics plays in diseases such as cancers, diabetes and heart disorders.
Researchers discover common cause of all forms of ALS
Discoveries by Teepu Siddique provides a common target for drug therapy and show that all types of ALS are tributaries pouring into a common river of cellular incompetence.
Additional coverage: Big Ten Network video
VIDEO: Spinal Cord Injury/Stem Cell Research
Following a skiing accident that left his daughter paralyzed, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Professor Dr. Jack Kessler changed the direction of his lab's research to focus on spinal cord injuries
Peanut Allergy Turned Off by Tricking Immune System
Stephen Miller and Paul Bryce turned off a life-threatening allergic response to peanuts by tricking the immune system into thinking the nut proteins aren’t a threat to the body. The peanut tolerance was achieved by attaching peanut proteins onto blood cells and reintroducing them to the body -- an approach that ultimately may be able to target more than one food allergy at a time. Researchers also have used the same approach in autoimmune diseases and have shown that the technique stops the progression of multiple sclerosis and Type 1 diabetes in animal models. This approach is currently being tested in multiple sclerosis patients in a clinical trial.
Alzheimer's Study Targets Early Memory Loss
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is enrolling participants for the first national study to detect Alzheimer’s disease in older people before they begin to have significant memory loss.
Synthetic nanoparticles mimic naturally occurring nanoparticles that remove cholesterol from cells and tissues
C. Shad Thaxton has developed a new method for synthesizing nanoparticles that mimic nanoparticles in the body that remove cholesterol from cells and tissues where cholesterol accumulation may lead to heart attacks. Thaxton was just awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for his research. His research may pave the way to potent therapies for many disease processes beyond heart disease, such as cancer, for which the techniques he is developing may be leveraged for targeted drug delivery.
Scientists crack code to create neurons whose early death causes memory loss
Dr. Jack Kessler and colleagues for the first time transformed a human embryonic stem cell into a critical type of neuron that dies early in Alzheimer’s disease and is a major cause of memory loss. This new ability to reprogram stem cells and grow a limitless supply of the human neurons will enable a rapid wave of drug testing for Alzheimer’s disease, allow researchers to study why the neurons die and could potentially lead to transplanting the new neurons into people with Alzheimer’s.
VIDEO: Stroke Rehab Program
Each year, more than 700,000 people in the United States suffer a stroke. At Northwestern University's Balance and Falls Laboratory, students and scientists are focusing on how stroke and brain injury survivors recover and relearn how to walk. They're doing it with the help of experimental cobots, intelligent robots that collaborate with physical therapists and patients.
Northwestern University's 18th Annual Cancer Survivors' Celebration and Walk
Last summer Rich Stremp walked his only daughter down the aisle on her wedding day. It was a “defying the odds” moment, because nearly two years ago this retired Chicago pipefitter was diagnosed with the aggressive brain cancer glioblastoma.
High Impact-Factor Research
Researchers at Feinberg publish thousands of articles in peer-reviewed journals every year. Click to see a selection of the school's recent work.