“There’s a huge unmet need in reducing the mortality rate of breast cancer,” said Li. “By identifying ENPP1’s role in suppressing the body’s immune response, our research is a significant step toward providing another effective treatment for patients living with breast cancer.”

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At Arc, we're investing heavily in the infrastructure and expertise required to push forward the frontier of machine learning in biology across our faculty and Technology Centers. Part of our vision to advance the use of machine learning in biomedical research is to develop and disseminate computational resources and tools that enable reproducibility and support discovery throughout the scientific community.

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We’re excited to provide this update on our growing scientific community, as the latest step in our 5-year trajectory towards 15 Core Investigators, five Science Fellows, five Technology Centers, and 20 Innovation Investigators.

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Next in our Arc Investigator Profiles series, we caught up with Lingyin Li. In addition to her Core Investigator role at Arc, Lingyin is an Associate Professor in the Biochemistry Department and ChEM-H Institute at Stanford, where her lab has contributed several breakthrough discoveries to transform our understanding of innate immunity. She has pioneered the development of chemical tools to better understand, manipulate, and drug immune pathways, with an eye toward harnessing innate immunity to fight cancer. Among many other honors, Lingyin was recently recognized as the 2022 recipient of the Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry.

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A new study published in Science from the groups of Kevan Shokat at UCSF and Luke Gilbert at Arc Institute and UCSF reports the discovery of a cellular uptake pathway specifically important for larger drug molecules composed of linked subunits. This knowledge can be harnessed to create new drugs that, although they are large and complex in order to bind optimally to their targets, are efficiently taken up by target cells.

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Our mission at the Arc Institute is to accelerate scientific progress in understanding and tackling complex human diseases. We are excited to launch three parallel searches to build the other major arm of Arc: our curiosity-driven Laboratories.

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While great scientific progress has been made to understand the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to develop vaccines that protect against severe outcomes, effective drugs that reduce the likelihood or impact of infection lag behind vaccine efforts and remain a critically important part of our medical response to respiratory virus outbreaks. In order to develop such treatments, a deep molecular understanding of viral infection and interplay with human host cells is essential. A new collaborative effort led by Arc Institute cofounders Patrick Hsu and Silvana Konermann and UC Berkeley virologist Eva Harris has discovered hundreds of human genes and pathways that impact SARS-CoV-2 infection and revealed that airway mucin glycoproteins play a critical role in protecting the lungs from SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses.

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For the first of our Arc Investigator Profiles, we caught up with our newest Core Investigator, Luke Gilbert. In addition to his role at Arc, Luke is an Assistant Professor at UCSF, where he and his lab have pioneered the development of CRISPR-based epigenome editing tools toward a better understanding of the genetics and epigenetics underlying cancer. He’s particularly known for his work in developing CRISPRi and CRISPRa technology for turning desired genes on and off, and bringing these technologies to genome-wide and combinatorial screens to map the genetic interaction landscape of human cells.

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The role that advanced technologies play in scientific breakthroughs is hard to ignore - CRISPR, induced pluripotent stem cells, and single cell sequencing transformed entire fields of research. By the same token, the barriers to achieving quantum leaps in biological understanding are often technical in nature.

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