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NYU Abu Dhabi Researchers Unlock the Secrets of Liver Regeneration

Fast facts:

  • The liver is the only solid organ that can regenerate itself in mammals, but what confers this special property to the liver has not been uncovered, despite decades of research.
  • NYU Abu Dhabi researchers suggest that a novel mechanism driven by the epigenome promotes liver regeneration.
  • The epigenome refers to the code that packages the DNA so that some parts can be activated (i.e. genes) and some parts remain in dormant domains – these dormant parts largely contain remnants of old viruses or transposable elements.
  • Epigenetic compensation is when parts of the epigenome that usually have one role – i.e. to suppress genes, are co-opted to do a different job – when another part of the epigenome is missing modifications in the packaging material of the DNA influence how much a genetic program is active or repressed. These modifications do not change the DNA sequence, but instead, affect how cells read genes.
  • This study reports that the primary role of the epigenome is to protect the genome against the activation of genomic parasites (transposable elements).
  • The new findings have been published in the journal Developmental Cell.

In a recent study published in the journal Developmental Cell, NYU Abu Dhabi researchers have reported a new way in which the liver is primed to regenerate itself. They found that by stripping parts of the epigenome, which play a primary role in repressing “jumping genes” (i.e. transposable elements), other epigenetic marks were redistributed.

This newly discovered form of epigenetic compensation protects the genome against transposable elements activation, but takes these compensating epigenetic marks away from their normal job in regulating gene expression. The result is that when these marks are taken away from their normal role, the genes they usually repress are activated early and are sustained during the regenerative response to the surgical removal of part of the liver.

This type of surgery is relevant to humans, as it is used in resection of liver tumors and the regenerative response is essential for the liver to respond to damage. The findings are a significant advance in the understanding of the liver regeneration process, which is unique among the organs of humans, mice, and other mammals.

The researchers from NYU Abu Dhabi’s Sadler Lab, led by Associate Professor of Biology Kirsten Sadler Edepli, removed a key epigenetic regulator, UHRF1 in the mouse liver. They found when they removed part of the liver, the remaining lobes responded more readily by activating pro-regenerative genes activated earlier, and this regeneration program stayed active longer, resulting in enhanced liver regeneration.

The epigenome refers to the code that packages the genome so that some parts can be activated (i.e. genes) and some parts remain in dormant domains – these dormant parts largely contain remnants of old viruses or transposable elements, which were made famous by the 1983 Nobel Prize discovery by Barbara McClintok.

Surprisingly, instead of causing massive activation of transposable elements or an immune response to mitigate the unleashing of transposable elements, as found in previous experiments, they discovered that there is an extra layer of protection by another repressive epigenetic mark (H3K27me3). This mark was redistributed from gene promoters to suppress transposable elements when DNA methylation was missing, thereby compensating for the loss of DNA methylation. When this mark is redistributed, it is removed from its role in repressing genes that promote liver regeneration. Thus, livers lacking UHRF1 are able to regenerate faster.

Shuang Wang, a post-doctoral fellow in the Sadler Edepli laboratory who worked in her group at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, led the study in collaboration with members of the lab at NYUAD as well as Emily Bernstein and Amaia Lujambio in NY.

 

This post comes to us from NYU Abu Dhabi and you can find the original here.

Mariet Westermann Named Vice Chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU President Andrew Hamilton today announced the appointment of Mariet Westermann — Executive Vice President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, former provost of NYU Abu Dhabi, former director of NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts, and art historian — as the Vice Chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi, effective August 1, 2019.

Her selection follows a 10-month long, international search that considered many outstanding candidates from around the world. According to President Hamilton, “We are thrilled by the appointment of Mariet Westermann. The creation of NYU Abu Dhabi was an innovative move, one that has helped make NYU pre-eminent in global education. And thanks to our shared vision with our partners, NYU Abu Dhabi has been a tremendous success: with distinguished faculty, top students from around the world from all backgrounds, and excellent leadership, it has become a regional leader in research, and its graduates have gone on to prestigious international honors, top graduate and professional programs, and leading employers and positions. Therefore, in choosing a new Vice Chancellor, we sought someone who would not only be a leader capable of taking NYU Abu Dhabi into its next stage, but who would also contribute to NYU’s leadership globally and be a real presence in the cultural and intellectual life of Abu Dhabi.”

“With her proven leadership qualities, her experience and involvement in the founding of NYUAD, her superb academic qualifications, her skill as an institution-builder, in Mariet Westermann we found just such a person,” said President Hamilton.

Dr. Westermann, the Vice Chancellor-designate of NYU Abu Dhabi, said, “It is a great honor and calling to serve as NYU Abu Dhabi’s Vice Chancellor.  In a brief nine years, NYU Abu Dhabi has become a unique, flourishing institution of higher education: in and of New York University, in and of Abu Dhabi, in and of the world, with a truly diverse and engaged student community, an outstanding and dedicated faculty, an innovative undergraduate curriculum, and an ambitious research agenda.  At a time when international engagement is vital to the future of our planet, NYU Abu Dhabi is a beacon situated in a dynamic city and a historic crossroads.”

In addition to being named to the Vice Chancellorship, she will be appointed a Professor of Arts and Humanities at NYU Abu Dhabi.

Westermann has been at the Mellon Foundation since 2010, and has been the executive vice president for programs and research since 2016.  In that role, she has launched initiatives that study and promote the value of the humanities and the liberal arts, strengthen community colleges, encourage graduate education reform, renew preservation of cultural heritage around the world, and support scholars and artists at risk.  At Mellon, she has also led pathbreaking work on diversity and inclusion in American museums, and written extensively about the liberal arts, the humanities, and higher education. Prior to the foundation, she was on the faculty at NYU, first as director of the Institute of Fine Arts and then as the first provost of NYU Abu Dhabi, where she hired the startup team and initial faculty, helped shape the curriculum and launch the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute, and developed warm relationships with the Abu Dhabi community, among other important undertakings.  Before coming to NYU in 2002, she was associate director of the Clark Art Institute. From 1995 to 2001, she was an assistant and associate professor of art history at Rutgers.

She received her undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Williams College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  She received her Masters and her PhD from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts.

Westermann’s principal area of scholarly interest is the art of the Netherlands, her native country.  She is widely published in the field, including A Worldly Art:  The Dutch Republic 1585–1718 (1996); The Amusements of Jan Steen:  Comic Painting in the 17th Century (1997); Rembrandt – Art and Ideas (2000); and numerous articles.  She has edited five books, including Anthropologies of Art (2005).  Her extensive work with museums includes her Rijksmuseum Dossier:  Johannes Vermeer (2004); the curatorship of Art and Home: Dutch Interiors in the Age of Rembrandt (Denver Art Museum and Newark Museum, 2001); and numerous exhibition catalog essays.  She is currently preparing an exhibition and book on the resonance of the Garden of Eden in the history, theology, and art of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, with significant implications for garden practice in these cultures.  She has been the recipient of fellowships, honors, and grants from a wide range of organizations, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Philosophical Society, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, Clark Art Institute, College Art Association, and Metropolitan Museum of Art.

President Hamilton said, “Along with the announcement of this good news about Mariet, two expressions of gratitude in order. First, I am grateful to Dick Foley and Una Chaudhuri, the co-chairs of the Search Committee, and all the other members of the Committee. Their thoughtfulness, discernment, and perseverance have resulted in a wonderful person to lead NYU Abu Dhabi during the next stage of its development. The Committee members took on this important task in addition to their existing responsibilities, and I thank them.

“I would also like to take this occasion to extend NYU’s profound gratitude to Al Bloom, NYU Abu Dhabi’s inaugural vice chancellor.  Turning a groundbreaking idea into a reality is one of the most exciting things one can do in one’s career, and one of the most difficult, perhaps particularly so in the field of higher education, where reputation matters so greatly and usually requires such a long time to build.  Al made sure that NYU Abu Dhabi succeeded on every measure. Over time, the establishment of NYU Abu Dhabi will, without doubt, turn out to be one of the great success stories of higher education. Al should be very proud of what he’s accomplished; we are surely proud of him.”

NYU Abu Dhabi represents a transformative shift in higher education, one in which the intellectual and creative endeavors of academia are shaped and examined through an international and multicultural perspective. Admissions selectivity and yield among students from over 120 countries equals or exceeds that of the most rigorous global institutions. And in under ten years, NYU Abu Dhabi has produced 12 Rhodes Scholars — the highest number of Rhodes Scholars per student of any university in the world – in addition to five Schwarzman Scholars and numerous other prestigious academic awards, including Truman and Luce Scholarships and Fulbright Awards.

 

This post comes to us from NYU Abu Dhabi. You can find the original here.

Fifth Edition of TEDx NYU Abu Dhabi Sheds Light on Ideas Hidden In Plain Sight

As part of the TEDx series, a program that brings the spirit of TED’s mission of ideas worth spreading to local communities around the globe, NYU Abu Dhabi’s (NYUAD) student organized TEDxNYUAD returned for its fifth edition on Saturday, April 13 under the theme In Plain Sight

Taking place in The Red Theater at the Arts Center at NYUAD this year’s event featured a diverse line-up of ten speakers who lead a series of talks about concepts hidden in plain sight.

Centered on the idea of advancing social thought and bringing about positive social impact, the fifth edition of TEDxNYUAD offered a range of topics pertaining to social science, psychology, art, engineering, and culture, among others.

The event featured a diverse line-up of ten speakers including NYU Abu Dhabi students, staff, and faculty. Some of the featured talks include:

Rock and Roll is Dead: Who Committed the Crime and Will There Be Justice?

NYUAD Graduate Academic and Engagement Manager Karl Kalinkewicz will explore how music consumption has changed throughout the last few decades, and how it affects society through the lens of his own personal journey as a 34-year-old living right in the middle of its evolution.

The Sports Majilis: Why it’s Essential to our Collective Future

Exploring the diversity in today’s locker rooms, NYUAD Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Athletics Peter Dicce will shed light on sport activism, and the sport locker room’s potential to be a powerful platform for social change.

Where Are the Female Arab Athletes?

Continuing the conversation on sport is NYUAD Class of 2021 Maitha AlSuwaidi, a student of Political Science who will address issues that impact women from the Gulf seeking to pursue sport at a professional level.

How Buildings Perform – The Invisible Actor

NYUAD Class of 2019 student Jagan Subramanian will draw on the related fields of neuroscience, phenomenology, and semiotics to see how buildings have historically contributed to the formation of social codes and how, if used correctly, it could serve as a way to undo social hierarchies and create more inclusive communities in the 21st century.

The Slippery Slope of Everyday Horror

NYUAD Director of Spiritual Life and InterCultural Education Alta Mauro will question what would happen if more individuals were willing to see, hear, and acknowledge the inhumane ways that some of us are disregarded, misrepresented, or manipulated, and whether it will ease the thought of neglect, abuse, and death.

What Climate Activists are Doing Wrong

With a strong passion for the environment, NYUAD Class of 2019 student Rastraraj Bhandari will highlight the unseen impact of accelerated glacial melting in the Himalayas and the importance of taking immediate action.

Conscious Guide to Gentrification

NYUAD Class of 2019 student Abraham Hdru will focus on the need to equip people with a better understanding of the nuances of gentrification, how it is caused by individuals embedded in a larger socio-economic condition, and ways to mitigate these effects in the future.

We Need to Start Telling Americans They are Ignorant

NYUAD Class of 2019 student Emma Tocci will reflect on her own experience navigating her feelings of ignorance when she began her undergraduate studies in Abu Dhabi and why it should matter to non-Americans.

When Being Strong is the Easy Way Out

NYUAD Community Outreach Coordinator Tala Hammash will discuss the misconception around strength and how and why it is courage, and not strength, that is the main ingredient of growth.

I Am A Child Hijabi – My Decision or My Parents?

High school student Imen Masmoudi will draw on her personal experiences to highlight the importance and effect of deciding to be veiled at a young age.

NYU Abu Dhabi Considers the City of the Future

On February 11, the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute hosted an event, Abu Dhabi and the City of the Future. Photographer Andrew Moore presented his images of Abu Dhabi in the context of other cities around the world that he has shot and done projects on. In particular, Moore’s talk focused on how the principles of intelligent urban design apply to these different cities and the lessons learned from both good and bad examples of architecture and city planning.

 

NYU Abu Dhabi Exhibits In-House Visual Design Work by Students and Faculty

Design Works offers an overview of the body of in-house visual design work by students and faculty at NYU Abu Dhabi from 2012 to present.

Visual design practice entered the curriculum of the university in January 2012 with the offering of an elective course named Designing Abu Dhabi.

The course resulted in a cohort of students who embraced the beauty and complexity of visual communication theories and practices. Following the conclusion of the course, they formed the Design Collective, an autonomous group with the objective of implementing good design practice within NYUAD. Their efforts played a major role in setting our visual identity in the city.

In-house design supported the institution’s needs in outstanding ways to help the University to define its mission and vision. The creation of an English/Arabic logotype designed by one of the students stands out as a prime example.

“Some of their work is gone for good but many of their best designs are here. And they are here to stay: every time we welcome new students at Marhaba Week, every time we cheer for our Athletics teams, every time our seniors get to hold the silver Torch on Commencement day, the relevance of in-house visual design is apparent. Important conversations on branding, wayfinding and accessibility stemmed out of the discourse around design, and as we continue to grow, these topics will become more and more impactful. It is our hope that this show will inspire new students to continue the work of their predecessors for many years to come.”

– Design professor Goffredo Puccetti
This post comes to us from NYU Abu Dhabi and can be found here.

Engineers for Social Impact at NYU Abu Dhabi

“Being there with the people who will live in the house gave us a sense that our work is really important.”

NYU Abu Dhabi is preparing students to thrive in our ever-changing world and give back to local communities through Global Education and the Engineers for Social Impact program.

Students travel to countries such as Sri Lanka, Thailand, and India to help design and build infrastructure that improves quality of life for local populations.

In a recent video, students help build a sustainable home for a family in Jordan, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. You can view the complete video via the NYU Abu Dhabi website here.

Engineers for Social Impact (EfSI) supports and complements the mission of the Engineering Division and the broad goals of NYU Abu Dhabi through courses that emphasize experiential learning and projects that focus on developing globally-relevant, locally-sustainable designs that meet challenges and deliver on opportunities that enable individuals across global communities to more effectively realize their aspirations and ambitions.

By engaging with ethics in the classroom and ethnographic fieldwork off-campus, engineering students expand their comfort zones to work from vantage points of broader mindfulness of social, cultural, and economic aspects that are inextricably connected to technology-driven solutions in today’s hyper-connected world.  Students may optionally enroll in a second, project-driven course focusing on the process of co-designing meaningful innovations, projects, and products  with members of a selected community.  Throughout all fieldwork, the goal is to connect with the processes, people, sights, sounds, experiences, and stories that are only accessible outside the classroom and bring new understanding to bear on the ways to address a wide range of issues and challenges in the courses and beyond.

The EfSI program is a collaboration between the Engineering Division and the Office of Global Education to deliver unparalleled international engagement with communities through partnerships with the Solar Energy Foundation in Ethiopia, URBZ/Urbanology in Dharavi, Mumbai, and Habitat for Humanity in Jordan, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

 

NYU Abu Dhabi Hosts the Story Behind the UAE’s First Multi-Organ Transplant Program

Today, families in the UAE wait in hope that a life-saving organ may be donated to a critically ill loved on. In 2018, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi created history in the UAE by developing a comprehensive multi-organ transplant program which is already transforming patients’ lives. This talk explores how the transplants for four major organs – kidney, heart, liver and lung – are giving hope to families in the UAE and around the region by delivering a world-class level of care here in the nation’s capital, meeting the needs of the community while contributing to the sustainability of the country’s healthcare sector. On 24 October, 2018, NYU Abu Dhabi hosted an event on this topic.

 

Speakers
Rakesh Suri, MD; Chief Executive Officer, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi
Bashir Sankari, MD; Chief of the Surgical Subspecialties Institute, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

Hosted by
NYU Abu Dhabi Institute

 

NYU Abu Dhabi Launches Fikret Science Club to Initiate Conversations on Science in Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology (CGSB) is organizing an ongoing series of informal public gatherings through its newly launched Fikret Science Club. Driven towards promoting an understanding of the scientific world to the Abu Dhabi community, the Club will explore various topics under certain themes such as: conservation of cultural heritage through science, biological rhythms and mood, climate change and environmental adaptation, and science in society, among others.

Launching on September 25, 2018, at 7pm, these two-hour long discussions will take place every month at LARTE Restaurant in Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi. Members of the CGSB will lead the monthly gatherings, including the Associate Director of CGSB Operations at NYU Abu Dhabi Enas Qudeimat, and Manager of Administration for the Provost at NYU Abu Dhabi Tiffany Kilfeather. The first talk is entitled A hydrogen atom’s view of ancient mummies and art forgers, and will be led by Assistant Professor of Chemistry at NYU Abu Dhabi Maria Baias.

“The purpose of this Club is to generate interest in science among our students and the wider Abu Dhabi public, as well as introduce participants with an appetite for science to a variety of scientific disciplines to further enhance their knowledge. We’re looking forward to launching this Club, and we hope that the wider Abu Dhabi public will benefit from these interactive sessions and realize the significant role science plays in our everyday lives.”

Associate Director of CGSB Operations at NYU Abu Dhabi Enas Qudeimat

Fikret Science Club is open to both established science enthusiasts and those curious to learn more.

 

This post comes to us from NYU Abu Dhabi. The original can be found here.

Apps to Locate Missing Refugees and Tackle Counterfeit Medicine Win NYU Abu Dhabi’s International Hackathon

Dawa, an application designed to tackle counterfeit medicine in the region using blockchain based pharmaceutical distribution, and Boosala, a refugee location application, have won top honors at NYU Abu Dhabi’s 8th Annual International Hackathon for Social Good in the Arab World.

Dawa was designed by a team of eight students who were mentored by Cloud Developer Advocate IBM Saif ur Rehman, Technology Solution Professional at Microsoft Saeed Motamed, and IBM Cloud Developer Naiyarah Hussain. The students represented universities from across the region, including NYU Abu Dhabi, University of Wollongong in Dubai, BITS Pilani Dubai Campus, and M’sila University, Al Akhawayn University and Misr International University from Algeria, Morocco, and Egypt respectively.

The team behind Boosala, designed to locate missing family members and contacts among refugees, comprised seven team members led by mentors including Cloud Developer Advocate at IBMNikita Mathur, Executive Director at OpenCurriculum Varun Arora, and CEO at Kandw Technologies International Khalid Machchate. Universities represented through Boosala included NYU Abu Dhabi and Khalifa University, as well as other universities in the region such as ESPRIT, University of Science and Technology Houari, and American universities NYU and Wellesley College.

The event was organized by Founder and Chair of the NYUAD Hackathon, Clinical Professor of Computer Science at NYU New York and Affiliated Faculty at NYUAD Sana Odeh. Commenting on the occasion, Odeh said, “This Hackathon has offered yet another round of outstanding ideas and solutions that reflect the spirit of innovation shown across all the teams that participated, which made the final decisions for the judges especially challenging this year. Each team has grown remarkably over the course of these intensive three days, learning, and gaining expert knowledge.”

“NYUAD Hackathon is designed to encourage and secure an opportunity for cross-collaboration and entrepreneurship across computer science, bringing together people from all over the world with different ideas in order to expand the scope of understanding amongst participating students. This experience allows them to grow and learn through exposure to new concepts that act as an incubator for remarkable feats of innovation,” she added.

The second prize went to Huwayeti, a blockchain-based layer on top of UNHCR refugee registration to manage trusted agents’ claims made about refugees. The team was mentored by CEO of Sahem.ae Hussam Mohsineh and Software Engineer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)/Improbable Keeley Erhardt. Four of the six members of this were from NYU Abu Dhabi, while the additional team members came from Yale University and the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne.

Third place was offered to the team responsible for devising a platform that assists refugees and asylum seekers in communicating with healthcare professionals using machine learning and natural language processing called MedLughati. Mentored by NYUAD alumna and current Rhodes Scholar pursuing a PHD at University of Oxford Farah Shamout and Software Engineer at Facebook UK Miguel Sanchez, the students behind MedLughati represented a wide range of institutions including University of Wollongong, BITS Pilani Dubai Campus, Stanford University, University of Oxford, University of Buenos Aires and Khalifa University in Egypt.

Aspiring hackers from across the globe came together at NYU Abu Dhabi from April 27 for the three-day event. Participants were divided into 10 teams and mentored by renowned international computer science professors, founders of successful startups, technology professionals, and venture capitalists.

The Audience Award for the occasion was given to Wadhafni, an SMS-based mobile app that links unemployed skilled individuals with the local labor market on a tasks-accomplishment basis. The team, comprised of students representing prestigious institutions such as the University of Edinburgh, NYU Shanghai, Middlesex University Dubai, ENSAM Casablanca and NYU Abu Dhabi, was mentored by Software Engineer at Think.iT Abir Chermiti, and Software Engineer at Google Fabricio Pontes Harsich.

For additional information on the 2018 Annual NYUAD International Hackathon for Social Good in the Arab World, visit http://sites.nyuad.nyu.edu/hackathon/

This post comes to us from NYU Abu Dhabi. You can read the original here.

Commencement across the world!

It is the time for celebrating graduating students across NYU’s global network. The All-University Commencement Exercises will take place on Wednesday, May 16 at Yankee Stadium in New York. 

 

 

 

 

NYU Abu Dhabi’s 5th Commencement ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 20 at its campus on Saadiyat Island.

 

 

 

 

 

NYU Shanghai’s second Commencement ceremony will take place on Wednesday, May 23 at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center.

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