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Now Available: Innovators Under 35 2013 See The 2013 List »

Thijn Brummelkamp, 30

Silencing the genes that cause cancer

Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

Amassing detailed information about which human genes play a role in cancer and what their roles are is central to many efforts to fight the disease. One of the most promising new approaches to the identification of cancer-causing genes is called RNA interference, a method for suppressing genes to learn their functions. But RNAi is costly, and silences genes for only a few days at a time -- not long enough for researchers to study slow-developing diseases. Thijn Brummelkamp has developed an inexpensive way to make the effect last, silencing a single gene indefinitely. Brummelkamps work "will lead to new treatments" for cancer, says MIT biologist and Nobel laureate Phillip Sharp.

2005 TR35 Winners

Thijn Brummelkamp

Silencing the genes that cause cancer

Martha Bulyk

Discovering how genes are regulated

Matthew DeLisa

Delivering more medicine from microbes

Kevin Eggan

Using cloning to study degenerative diseases

Paul Hergenrother

Discovering drugs that defy convention

Trey Ideker

Defining and advancing systems biology

Hang Lu

Designing microfluidic chips to study cells

Melissa Mahoney

Making materials to treat brain damage

Daniel Riskin

Developing devices for wound closure and early heart-attack intervention.

Shiladitya Sengupta

Delivering drugs to cancer cells

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