Congrats to the newly defended Dr. Jacobowitz!

Joe Jacobowitz successfully defended his PhD thesis today through Zoom (the first time ever in the Weng lab history). Many congrats to achieving this remarkable milestone in your career at this challenging time! We will make up for the in-person celebrations at an appropriate time, hopefully in the near future.

Celebration poster by Sophia Xu

Treatments for COVID-19 taking root in plant science

Plants have been used as medicine for thousands of years; could they contribute to a solution to the COVID-19 pandemic? This is what Whitehead Institute Member Jing-Ke-Weng set out to address in a new paper, published May 20 in the journal Molecular Plant. In the recent episode of AudioHelicase, he spoke about an herbal treatment being used to treat COVID-19 in China derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine, the work necessary for such a treatment to be translated to an FDA-approved drug, and why the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need for basic, fundamental research in plant science and beyond.

Sophia Xu talks about “converging paths”.

The second season of BioGenesis centers on the theme of “converging paths.” This episode features graduate student Sophia Xu, who’s bringing together modern scientific methods and ancient Eastern herbal remedies. She studies molecules in plants to investigate how molecules in natural products interact with proteins in the human body — and she may even find a cure for hangovers along the way.