The Motet Announces Special Guests For Two-Night Blowout During Jazz Fest

first_imgColorado-based funk-soul favorites The Motet will return to New Orleans for a pair very special late night shows on Friday, May 4th and Saturday, May 5th, during the second weekend of Jazz Fest. Today, they have announced the guests joining them for the Jazz Fest-ivities.On the first of the two nights, May 4th, The Motet will be honoring Sly and the Family Stone by selecting fan favorites and deeper cuts from the pioneering band’s extensive catalog. No strangers to collaboration, the night will feature some special guests to round out the “Family” for the evening, including Nate Werth (Snarky Puppy, Ghost-Note) on percussion and Moorea Masa on vocals.On May 5th, the following night, The Motet will join forces with Virginia heavy-hitters Butcher Brown for a night of original music with special guest Weedie Braimah (The Nth Power) on percussion.Bridging the gap between retro funk & soul, while keeping a focused eye on the future of funk, The Motet has been touring in support o­f their latest set of singles, “Supernova” and “Get It Right”. The recent addition of singer Lyle Divinsky, who joined the band in 2016, fanned the flames of this already hot band. His sinfully soulful voice and rich lyrics are powerfully prevalent throughout the newest batch of singles and light up the performances of the 7-piece funk powerhouse. The band’s second album with Divinsky is set for a 2018 release.Tickets for The Motet’s NOLA shows are now available here: (Friday, May 4th; Saturday, May 5th). For more information, head to the band’s website.Click below for a list of The Motet’s upcoming tour dates:The Motet 2018 Spring Tour Dates3/22 The Paramount | Huntington, NY * +3/23 Capitol Theatre | Port Chester, NY * +3/24 Capitol Theatre | Port Chester, NY * +3/31 Meow Wolf | Santa Fe, NM4/4 Shaka’s Live | Virginia Beach, VA4/5 9:30 Club | Washington, DC4/6 House of Independents | Asbury Park, NJ4/7 Paradise Rock Club | Boston, MA4/19 The Pourhouse | Charleston, NC4/20 Sweetwater 420 Music Festival | Atlanta, GA5/4 House of Blues | New Orleans, LA +A Tribute to Sly & The Family Stone feat. Nate Werth (Snarky Puppy, Ghost-Note) and Moorea Masa5/5 House of Blues | New Orleans, LA feat. Weedie Braimah5/27 BottleRock | Napa Valley, CA6/2 Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO7/5 – 7/8 High Sierra Music Festival | Plumas County Fairgrounds, CA* Supporting Lettuce+ feat. Nate Werth (Ghost-Note, Snarky Puppy)ExpandGet a behind-the-scenes look at The Motet’s most recent tour below:last_img read more

JJ Grey & Mofro Announce Summer 2018 Tour Dates

first_imgJJ Grey & Mofro have recently detailed their 2018 summer touring plans, announcing over a dozen new performances this summer. These new tour dates come in addition to a handful of previously announced festival sets as well as their highly anticipated performance at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre this summer supporting String Cheese Incident.JJ Grey & Mofro’s upcoming summer tour starts over Memorial Day Weekend, with performances scheduled at two music festivals, Rooster Walk and Summer Camp, in addition to a show at Pelham, TN’s The Caverns on May 26th. To close out May, the band will perform in Rochester, NY, on May 30th and Kent, OH, on May 31st, then continue on to Kalamazoo, MI, and Jackson, MS, on June 1st and 2nd, respectively. After two performances in Delaware on June 17th and 20th, the band’s summer tour truly picks up mid-June as the group heads southward.JJ Grey & Mofro’s southern leg of tour will see the band hit Charlotte, NC; Savannah, GA; Isle of Palms, SC; Atlanta, GA; and Birmingham, AL across June 24th to June 30th. From there, the group heads to the Midwest, with shows in Alta, WY; Sandpoint, ID; Boise, ID; and Salt Lake City, UT. To cap off the band’s summer tour, the band will make its triumphant return to Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO, for their show supporting String Cheese Incident. The band also has festival appearances scheduled in September at Las Vegas’ Big Blues Bender and Colorado’s Telluride Blues & Brews Festival.You can check out the full tour dates below. Head to JJ Grey & Mofro’s website for more information.JJ Grey & Mofro Upcoming 2018 Tour DatesMay 26 – The Caverns – Pelham, TNMay 30 – Funk ‘n Waffles Rochester – Rochester, NYMay 31 – The Kent Stage – Kent, OHJun 1 – Bell’s Eccentric Café – Kalamazoo, MIJun 2 – Cathead Jam – Jackson, MSJun 17 – The Queen – Wilmington, DEJun 20 – Bottle & Cork – Dewey Beach, DEJun 24 – NoDa Brewing Company – Charlotte, NCJun 27 – The Stage On Bay – Savannah, GAJun 28 – The Windjammer – Isle Of Palms, SCJun 29 – Atlanta Botanical Garden – Atlanta, GAJun 30 – Avondale Brewing Company – Birmingham, ALJul 14 – Targhee Fest – Alta, WYJul 17 – The Hive – Sandpoint, IDJul 18 – Knitting Factory – Boise, IDJul 19 – The Depot – Salt Lake City, UTJul 20 – Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre – Morrison, COView All Tour Dateslast_img read more

Mike Gordon Announces 2019 Winter Tour

first_imgOutside of his duties with Phish, the only other show on the books for Mike Gordon as of now is an appearance at Warren Haynes‘ Christmas Jam on Friday, December 7th in Asheville, NC. The first of two days of this year’s Christmas Jam will also feature Dark Side of The Mule, Grace Potter, Jamey Johnson, and Marco Benevento.Mike Gordon 2019 Winter TourMarch 08 Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GAMarch 09 The Orange Peel, Asheville, NCMarch 10 The Basement East, Nashville, TNMarch 12 Charleston Music Hall, Charleston, SCMarch 13 Harvester Performance Center, Rocky Mount, VAMarch 15 9:30 Club, Washington, DCMarch 16 Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park, NJMarch 17 White Eagle Hall, Jersey City, NJMarch 19 Town Ballroom, Buffalo, NYMarch 21-24 The Sinclair, Cambridge, MAView All Tour Dates Mike Gordon has announced an upcoming 2019 winter tour, set to begin on Friday, March 8th at Atlanta, GA’s Variety Playhouse and run throughout the majority of the month. Gordon will be joined by his regular touring outfit consisting of guitarist Scott Murawski, keyboardist/organist Robert Walter, drummer John Kimock, and percussionist Craig Myers.Mike Gordon and his band will begin the East Coast tour on Friday, March 8th at Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse before makings stops at Asheville, NC’s The Orange Peel on March 9th and Nashville, TN’s The Basement East on March 10th. The tour will continue March 12th with a performance at Charleston, SC’s Charleston Music Hall before the band heads north with stops at Rocky Mount, VA’s Harvester Performance Center (March 13th); Washington, D.C.’s 9:30 Club (March 15th); Asbury Park, NJ’s Asbury Lanes (March 16th); Jersey City, NJ’s White Eagle Hall (March 17th); and Buffalo, NY’s Town Ballroom (March 19th). Mike Gordon and his band will wrap up the tour with a special four-night run at Cambridge, MA’s The Sinclair from Thursday, March 21st through Sunday, March 24th.A fan presale for Mike Gordon’s upcoming 2019 winter tour is currently underway here, and will run through Thursday, November 15th at 5 p.m. (EST). Tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday, November 16th at 10 a.m. (EST) here.last_img read more

Todd Snider Shares “The Legend Of Col. Bruce Hampton, Ret.” Instrumental Track

first_imgOn May 1, 2017, Col. Bruce Hampton celebrated his 70th birthday at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. Bruce’s enormously talented musical family—including John Bell, Dave Schools, Jon Fishman, Warren Haynes, Karl Denson, Jimmy Herring, Chuck Leavell, John Popper, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Brandon “TAZ” Niederauer and so many more–came out to pay their respects to the jam scene elder statesman. The event quickly sold out, thousands packed the theatre, then the unthinkable happened.From the almost overwhelming musical star power featured throughout the night to the stranger-than-fiction manner in which the evening ended, Hampton 70 instantly became one of the most meaningful, beautiful, tragic, stupefying rock concerts that has ever occurred. Until the end of time, people will talk about the night that Colonel Bruce Hampton gathered the best and the brightest for one final, incredible performance, and left it all on the stage. An iconic occurrence on the timeline of music history. A truly legendary send-off.Stranger Than Fiction: The Cosmic Curtain Call Of Col. Bruce HamptonSinger/songwriter Todd Snider was one of the artists that performed at Hampton 70. In preparation for his upcoming album, Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3—due out March 15th—Snider has released an instrumental bonus track entitled “The Legend of Col. Bruce Hampton, Ret.”. The song was recorded in October of last year at Cash Cabin Studio in Tennessee, where Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash recorded most of their later music.Snider described “The Legend of Col. Bruce Hampton, Ret.” in a poem:some day duane trucks will make a comprehensive documentary about the church of zambiits origins, its mysterious rituals, its cosmic giggleand its grand imagineer the legendary col. bruce hampton retireduntil then we have only this balladto help shed some understanding on the long and complicated storythat was the life and death of a comet.You can listen to “The Legend of Col. Bruce Hampton, Ret.” and download it here.Todd Snider isn’t the only artist to release a song about Col. Bruce Hampton this month, as Tedeschi Trucks Band‘s final track on their newly released SIGNS also tells the story of “The Ending”. The influence of Col. Bruce Hampton extends far beyond the music world and into the intergalactic blast-off that exists beyond our comprehension. Keep an ear out for more from Col. Bruce Hampton because he’s certainly not finished communicating with us through music.last_img read more

New Allman Brothers Band 1971 Live Album To Premiere On SiriusXM’s JamOn This Week

first_imgThis year marks the 50th anniversary of the Allman Brothers Band, whose first rehearsal together took place on March 26th.Related: Inside The First-Ever Allman Brothers Band RehearsalIn honor of the important milestone, Sirius XM’s JamOn (ch. 29) is giving listeners the exclusive first listen of an unreleased Allman Brothers Band concert album captured live at San Francisco, CA’s Fillmore West in 1971, which is officially due out later this year.The Allman Brothers Band: Fillmore West 1971 premieres on JamOn tomorrow, Tuesday, March 26th at 2:00 pm ET, hosted by former ABB guitarist Warren Haynes and his wife, JamOn’s own Stef Scamardo. The segment will air again at various times throughout the week.The counterpart to 1971’s live album At Fillmore East, the forthcoming record is expected to include the top performances from the January 29th performance–which happened just a month before the legendary NYC run that would go on to become a platinum-certified live album. It was only eight months later that bandleader and guitar virtuoso Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident. Original bassist Berry Oakley Jr. died one year later in almost the exact same place. In honor of the original lineup–which also featured Gregg Allman, Butch Trucks, Jaimoe, and Dickey Betts–the Allman Brothers Band continued to tour with a rotating lineup for 45 years and officially had their final show in 2014.According to a 2017 interview with longtime Allman Brothers Band manager Bert Holman, there’s still a great deal of music in the Allman Brothers Band archives that has yet to be released via the band’s own label and RED distribution. “We’ll keep putting things out as long as there’s an appetite for it,” Holman told Billboard. “There’s a great deal of material [left], and still a lot of interest in hearing these things, we think.”Check out the full schedule below and pick a time to listen to this unreleased live Allman Brothers gem on SiriusXM’s JamOn (ch. 29) this week.The Allman Brothers Band: Fillmore West 1971 – Airtime ScheduleTuesday 3/26 @ 2pm ETWeds 3/27 @ 11am ETThursday 3/28 @ 6pm ETFriday 3/29 @ 8am ETSaturday 3/30 @ 3pm ETSunday 3/31 @ Noon ETlast_img read more

Jimmy Buffett Announces New Line Of ‘Coral Reefer’ Cannabis Products

first_imgReefer madness is taking over the entertainment industry, and the latest high-profile name within the music biz to dive into the booming world of cannabis is none other than Mr. Margarita himself, Jimmy Buffett. Announced late last month, the rock singer/guitarist and business mogul will launch his own line of cannabis products, fittingly titled, Coral Reefer.The new line of cannabis products, which is branded in relation to Buffett’s backing band by the same name, will see the “Margaritaville” singer partnering with Surterra Wellness to reach a new generation of music fans who are embracing a much greener lifestyle as the plant sees gradual legalization across the country. Coral Reefer will offer multiple wellness-focused cannabis products for consumers to use, ranging from oils to vape pens, pods, and cartridges.Related: David Crosby Spent 4/20 Getting Stoned While Trolling Fans Of The DoorsNames of the various products sold under Buffett’s new line include “Cabana Daydreamin’,” “Surfin’ In A Hurricane,” “Seas The Day,” and “Tiderider Premium.” Fans and cannabis users can purchase the musician’s new line of products exclusively at the 20+ Surterra Wellness centers across the sunny state of Florida. Cannabis distributors/retailers in California and Nevada will also begin selling Coral Reefer products in the near future as well.“It never dawned on me that Coral Reefer would be anything other than a cool name for a tropical band born out of the Key West lifestyle in the mid-70s,” Buffett said in a statement to go with the April announcement. “But life is supposed to be about having fun and staying healthy enough to enjoy it. I think Coral Reefer will help a lot of folks do that.”“The Coral Reefer brand reflects our intention to give consumers access to high-quality wellness and cannabis-based products through best-in-class partnerships with people and organizations that reflect our standards and values,” Surterra Chairman/CEO William “Beau” Wrigley, Jr. also added. “Jimmy and his team share our commitment to quality and the belief that individuals can find personal wellness through the relief enhancing benefits and healing properties of cannabis.”Buffett and Surterra also plan on expanding the list of products under the brand to soon include edibles, topicals, pre-rolls, and CBD only formulas.Buffett was in New Orleans recently, where he performed for fans from around the country who were in town to celebrate this year’s Jazz Fest. Fans can catch Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefers on tour throughout the summer. Tickets and info for his 2019 performance schedule can be found here. Fans can also head to the Coral Reefer website for more info on his latest business venture.Coral Reefer Vaporizer Formulations:Seas the Day: A CBD-dominant blend that offers a gentle calming effect to help you breathe in, breathe out, and move on from the tension of your day.Cabana Daydreamin’: A fresh evening breeze that delivers a balanced blend of CBD and THC for full body relaxation.Stories We Could Tell: A relaxing THC-rich blend to help you manage pain without drowsiness so you can be present with friends and family.Surfin’ in a Hurricane: a THC only formula that can help manage acute pain and bring sunshine to your stormy day.last_img read more

Bumbershoot Announces 2019 Lineup: The Lumineers, Tyler The Creator, Louis The Child, More

first_imgBumbershoot will return to Seattle, WA’s Seattle Center for its annual event, set for August 30th-September 1st over Labor Day Weekend.On Monday, the three-day music and arts festival announced its 2019 lineup, with The Lumineers, Tyler, the Creator, Rezz, Louis The Child, H.E.R., Jai Wolf, LP, and Taking Back Sunday topping the bill. Bumbershoot will also see musical performances by Hippie Sabotage, Carly Rae Jepsen, Alina Baraz, Summer Walker, Clairo, Rival Sons, Bob Moses, Snow Tha Product, Reignwolf, Arizona, Alec Benjamin, and many more. There’s also one headlining artist that is yet to be announced.In addition to the expansive musical lineup, Bumbershoot will host a variety of comedy & conversation, arts & culture, and culinary panels and events.A variety of different ticket options go on sale this Wednesday, June 5th at 10 a.m. (PST) here.See below for the festival’s full lineup and head to Bumbershoot’s website for more information.last_img read more

Introducing the i-lab

first_imgWhen Mark Zuckerberg returned to Harvard earlier this month to recruit for Facebook, there was one stop he added to his schedule — and it wasn’t his old Kirkland House dorm.Rather, Zuckerberg made an unexpected detour to visit the new Harvard Innovation Lab, or i-lab.On Friday, the concept that so intrigued America’s most famous social networker drew a crowd of hundreds to the official public opening of the lab, located at 125 Western Ave. Harvard President Drew Faust, along with Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria, and a host of University deans and administrators involved with the i-lab’s development, welcomed students, faculty, staff, and members of the Allston community for remarks, a ribbon cutting, and an afternoon of self-guided tours.The event was the first communitywide celebration of the new space, which has been buzzing with entrepreneurial activity since September. (The building, previously empty, once housed WGBH.) The i-lab — which sprouted quickly after Menino’s January 2010 call for building an “innovation agenda” in Boston and its universities — is designed to foster team-based innovation at Harvard and deepen ties among students, faculty, and the Boston business community.Harvard President Drew Faust (left) and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino did the official ribbon cutting at the opening of the Harvard Innovation Lab in Allston.“Before the i-lab, students like Mark connected and collaborated wherever they could find space,” Faust said. “Mentors mentored, and networks networked, and speakers spoke, and each of these things was happening. But now they can happen in one place.“We are gathering great minds under a single roof so that they can become greater together,” she said.The lab includes academic space, such as classrooms and meeting areas for both undergraduate and graduate students. It also provides public areas and meeting rooms designed to foster project work, as well as business development resources for Allston-Brighton and greater Boston — a population full of entrepreneurs that Harvard seeks to both help and tap into.In January 2010, Menino called for “a new era of shared innovation fueled by Boston’s combination of ingenuity and perseverance.” His words seemed to spark unusually quick action. Already, the waterfront innovation district he envisioned has attracted 90 businesses that provide 3,000 jobs, he said.“Boston is a place where big ideas are born, because we have the talent to make those ideas a reality,” Menino said. “Harvard’s new i-lab will play an essential role in fostering those new ideas.”He called on the i-lab to build connections among local businesses and University researchers, students, faculty, and surrounding neighborhoods. The Center for Women & Enterprise, the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network, and the Small Business Administration have already agreed to offer one-on-one coaching, workshops, and training sessions through the i-lab, according to Menino.“I think this is a really exciting day for the Allston community, for the University and the entrepreneurs and innovators across the city of Boston,” Menino said. “The guys in Cambridge will need a passport to get here, but we’ll let them in every once in a while.”Menino (from left) talks with Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria and Joseph Lassiter, professor of management practice, during the opening ceremonies.The i-lab represents a promise not just to the rest of Boston, but to would-be innovators and entrepreneurs around Harvard looking to connect with like-minded collaborators, Nohria told the crowd.“President Faust has been steadfast in her belief that Harvard acting as one University can achieve more than any student or faculty or School can achieve individually,” Nohria said. “The i-lab is in some ways the physical and tangible representation of that belief.”He cited recent talks at the i-lab by renowned Spanish chef and entrepreneur Ferran Adrià, “Lean Startup” guru Eric Ries, and Peter Thiel, technology entrepreneur and the founder of PayPal. Hosting those lectures and other workshops and events, the i-lab welcomed more than 4,000 guests in September and October alone.“The i-lab, indeed even the idea of the i-lab, has caused new things to happen within the University,” Nohria said. “More than anything, it represents a wonderful spirit of ‘Why not?’ and ‘How about?’ ”That spirit was on full display in the i-lab’s main workspace, roped off behind a ceremonial red ribbon. After Faust and Menino cut the tape, guests poured in to tour the sunny, free-flowing space (Xbox gaming room and fully stocked snack fridge included) and to talk with student and alumni entrepreneurs who have been using the i-lab to work on their startups.In one area, Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow Laurent Adamowicz and his team of students and recent graduates explained their personalized mobile application for healthy eating, Bon’App.  Around a corner, Lei Guo, a graduate student in statistics, and Vladimir Bok, a College sophomore studying computer science, explained Coco Voice, their iPhone app for sending quick, short voice messages (“like instant voicemail”).“We just met last weekend,” Guo said, referring to the i-lab’s recent Startup Weekend, a 54-hour scramble where 120 students gathered to pitch their ideas and develop business plans. “I presented my concept and we figured out a marketing plan the next day. …We’ve been coming here every day since then, sometimes until 1 a.m.”The i-lab demonstrates Harvard’s potential to bring disparate parts of the University together, said Provost Alan Garber, who arrived at Harvard in September.The Harvard Innovation Lab in Allston held an open house on Friday to mark its official ribbon-cutting ceremony.“My first reaction when I saw the i-lab was ‘I’ve come to the right place,’ ” Garber said as he toured the facilities. “A lot of people are interested in working more collaboratively across the boundaries of the University. … But that is much easier to do around something that’s concrete. What’s easier still is when you can see examples of success.”Gordon Jones, director of the i-lab, and the i-lab’s faculty chair, Joseph Lassiter, MBA Class of 1954 Professor of Management Practice at HBS, milled about answering questions for guests.“Today is a day of celebration,” Jones said. “Tomorrow, we’ll hit the ground running.” [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SJRly9c_qc]last_img read more

A tiny, time-released treatment

first_imgOmid Farokhzad’s vision of medicine’s future sounds a lot like science fiction.He sees medicine scaled down, with vanishingly small nanoparticles playing a big role, delivering drug doses measured in molecules directly to cancerous tumors.He sees “theranostic” particles that not only deliver nanotherapy, but also beam back diagnostic images of changing tumor cells. He sees “smart” nanoparticles that release tiny doses of drugs, such as insulin, in response to body conditions, like changing blood sugar levels.Farokhzad sees nanoparticle-based vaccines that can take the joy out of smoking and reverse allergies, and the development of therapeutic nanoparticles that can be taken orally instead of injected, opening whole new classes of medications, like cholesterol-lowering statins, to nanoparticle therapy.An associate professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Farokhzad sees these things because he’s helping bring them to reality. Of the seven targeted nanoparticle-based drug candidates currently in human trials, two are based on technologies developed in part in his lab.“I think the medicine my own kids will see in the next 30 to 40 years will be very different from what we practice today,” said Farokhzad, the director of the Brigham’s Laboratory of Nanomedicine and Biomaterials. “Targeted therapies will be the mainstay of treatment for almost all diseases.”Nanoparticles are molecular-scale capsules that can deliver tiny payloads, such as anti-cancer drugs, into the body. A common method uses fat molecules to create the particles, which release the drugs inside when the fat breaks down. Farokhzad, building on work by scientist Robert Langer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has developed controlled-release nanoparticles made of polymers instead of fat. These better resist breakdown and so release drugs over longer periods.If the disease doesn’t kill you …Using a controlled-release nanoparticle in therapy has several advantages over conventional drug delivery, Farokhzad said. Particles with molecules that bind to the outside of cancer cells can target a tumor cell and release drugs directly to the malignancy. In addition, the particles’ extended survival in the bloodstream extend the tumor cells’ exposure to the anti-cancer drug, delivering a greater cumulative dose to the tumor even while lowering the toxicity to the rest of the body.In traditional chemotherapy, for example, doctors blast a patient’s entire body with chemicals in an effort to kill tumor cells. Almost all of the drug, however — upwards of 99 percent, Farokhzad said — misses the tumor entirely. Instead, the highly toxic chemicals hit other organs and tissues, forcing physicians into a high-wire act balancing tumor-killing effectiveness and toxicity, which can lead to a range of side effects, and even kill the patient.In addition, Farokhzad said, the traditional chemo infusion results in a short-duration pulse during which the tumor sees most of the drug. Concentrations then typically fall quickly as the body clears away the chemical.In controlled-release therapy, the nanoparticle concentration is also highest in the blood immediately after infusion, but because the drug is released from the particles more slowly, its peak concentration — and its highest toxicity — is lower, blunting unwanted side effects.At the tumor site, the opposite happens. The nanoparticles’ ability to lock onto tumor cells delivers between five and 10 times the dose of traditional chemotherapy at any moment. And because particles circulate in the blood longer, the tumor’s exposure is also longer.“A tumor sees a materially increased drug concentration compared with the drug given in conventional form and the rest of the body sees about the same level of the drug,” Farokhzad said. “[But] it’s being delivered much more gently over time.”Two potential therapies based on work in Farokhzad’s lab are in human testing. The first, BIND-014, uses targeted nanotherapy for lung and prostate tumors. The drug candidate recently passed phase 1 trials, which are focused on a drug’s safety, and entered phase 2 trials, which measure the therapy’s effectiveness. Farokhzad said the molecular target on the prostate cancer cell is also found on the cells of tumor blood vessels, giving the therapy potentially broader cancer-fighting applications.Two potential therapies based on work in Farokhzad’s lab are in human testing. The first, BIND-014, uses targeted nanotherapy for lung and prostate tumors. The drug candidate recently passed phase 1 trials, which are focused on a drug’s safety, and entered phase 2 trials, which measure the therapy’s effectiveness. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerThe second therapy, which is in phase 1 trials, is a nicotine nanoparticle vaccine, meant to help smokers quit and prevent relapse for those who have done so. The vaccine works by sensitizing the immune system to nicotine, a small molecule that normally escapes the immune system on its way to the brain’s pleasure centers. The vaccine makes nicotine visible to the immune system, clearing it from the body and removing the pleasurable sensation it causes.The trials are being run by two of the three companies Farokhzad has founded since 2007. The first, Bind Therapeutics, was established to develop the early promise of targeted nanoparticles for cancer treatment. The second, Selecta Biosciences, was similarly founded to pursue nanoparticle-based vaccine development. The third company, Blend Therapeutics, is designing drug molecules that are optimized from the start to work with nanoparticles to target infectious diseases, inflammation, pain, and cancer.Passing the “who cares’’ testFarokhzad, who received his M.D. from Boston University, was drawn to nanoparticle research during his residency at BWH. In addition to his clinical duties, he was conducting research on the transcription factors that regulate the expression of genes involved in myeloid differentiation, but he was looking for a project that had a near-term potential to improve the lives of patients he was seeing in the clinic every day.“I was just stepping back … and looking at the big picture. If I did everything well and understood the transcriptional regulation of these genes, whose lives would it change? At the end of the day, does it pass the ‘who cares’ test?” Farokhzad said. “I wanted things that had a human application, a bench-side innovation that could go to the bedside.”Farokhzad heard about Langer, who runs the largest biomedical engineering lab in the world and has conducted pioneering work in tissue engineering and drug delivery systems, including long-lasting nanoparticles.  He contacted Langer, who agreed to take him on as a postdoc.Farokhzad explored creating nanoparticles with nucleic acids on their surface that bind to specific sites on cancer cells, like a key that fits a lock, as he described it. In 2004, he demonstrated that the technique worked on cells in a lab dish and, a year later, delivered a talk at an international cancer conference in Paris describing experiments showing that the technique worked in animals.“I thought if there was a way to spatially control which tissues saw more of the drug, it would be a paradigm shift,” Farokhzad said.The response was immediate. Conference organizers chose his work to be among the handful of findings they promoted out of the conference, and the media attention drew venture capitalists looking to finance the next big discovery.Farokhzad, who had left Langer’s lab in 2004 to start his own lab at the Brigham, turned to Langer, who he knew had started several companies. Together, the two co-founded Bind Therapeutics.“He totally took it to a huge new level,” Langer said of Farokhzad’s development of earlier nanoparticle research. “Omid is passionate about making discoveries into new products that can help people’s lives.”Farokhzad not only took from Langer’s lab an interest in nanoparticles, he also adopted Langer’s view that private industry is an essential partner in bringing discoveries to the patient.“My philosophy has been: ‘How do you get these things to the public?’ Our lab is a pretty good size and does pretty well in grants, but you can only go so far in what you expect students to do,” Langer said. “These companies provide a terrific vehicle for bringing these ideas from the lab to the clinic.”Tools to deliver needed drugsToday, Farokhzad’s lab takes up one entire floor plus part of another in the Brigham’s Medical Research Building in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Its 30 investigators, including fellows and students, explore ways to make nanoparticles with novel properties that might make them useful in therapy. One of his longtime fellows, Jinjun Shi, has received an appointment as an assistant professor of anesthesia and is moving upstairs to open his own lab.Nanoparticles, Farokhzad said, can be engineered to do more than just target specific cells. They can be used flexibly to answer any number of therapeutic challenges, eliminating the need to find compounds that by themselves are both effective therapies and effective delivery systems within the body.One recent thrust has been to develop a nanoparticle without using organic solvents because the solvents react with some types of therapeutic drugs, breaking them down before they can enter the bloodstream. Another effort, in collaboration with Langer and Richard Blumberg, a professor of medicine at HMS and the Brigham, has been to develop a particle that can be taken orally. The process mimics the natural process through which infants gain the antibodies that give them their initial protection on entering the world. The babies absorb the antibodies in their mother’s breast milk, and the antibodies cross the gut/blood barrier to give them immune protection. When nanoparticles are attached to antibodies, they can hitch a ride into the bloodstream through a barrier they couldn’t cross alone.“If oral delivery of biologics is so difficult, why do babies do it so effectively?” Farokhzad asked.last_img read more

A hot idea for conserving energy

first_imgWhen winter temperatures drop to frigid in Cambridge, the air inside some rooms at Eliot House soars to downright tropical.That’s because Eliot, an upperclassman dormitory built in 1931, uses a steam-driven heat exchanger to pump hot water through the building whenever the outdoor temperature drops below 48 degrees. To ensure that enough steam reaches radiators at the end of the line, radiators in rooms closer to the input get hotter than necessary.With limited temperature controls in their dorm rooms, some sweltering students resort to cracking windows to let some of the heat escape. Aldís Elfarsdóttir ’18, an environmental science and engineering concentrator at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), didn’t like the environmental implications of that.Curious about the impact of wasting all that energy, she took on an extracurricular project through her work with the Harvard Office for Sustainability (OFS) to quantify the amount of energy flying out the windows during wintertime. This inefficiency is one reason undergraduate Houses are undergoing a renewal that includes state-of-the-art heating systems and energy-efficient windows.Working with Siemens energy engineer Christopher Bitzas, Elfarsdóttir discovered that if all its windows were kept closed through the winter, Eliot House could save 358 million BTUs of thermal energy — slightly more energy than an average person in the United States consumes during an entire year. Based on the cost of purchasing steam, closing the windows would save nearly $14,000 each winter.With that data in mind, Elfarsdóttir attended a design-thinking workshop at SEAS, organized in conjunction with OFS. There she met Patrick Kuiper, M.E. ’16, then an applied mathematics master’s student, who introduced her to Patrick Day, S.M. ’16, an engineering sciences master’s student. Together, they launched a data-gathering project to help Eliot House conserve energy. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences Office of Physical Resources and Planning provided funding, and OFS advised the team. House reopens after 15-month renewal project No loss of character in new-look Dunster The project involved installing Intel Edison Internet of Things development boards, retrofitted with temperature and humidity sensors, into 15 Eliot House dorm rooms to gather real-time environmental data.“We had been using these devices for fun, and then Aldís came along and had a great application for them,” Kuiper said. “These simple devices give us a way to quantitatively analyze people’s temperature perceptions.”Fine-tuning the miniature computers and connecting them to Amazon Web Service to collect and organize data was an iterative process that involved its share of trial and error, Day said.But the biggest challenge the team faced came when they arrived at Eliot House in early August to install the devices. Due to a scheduling conflict with a move-in day, they had less than 24 hours to set up all 15 computers. They had to work late into the night to installing the sensors in all four floors of the House.The devices now provide temperature and humidity information twice an hour. The team intends to use that data, in conjunction with qualitative input from resident surveys, to help students select rooms they are likely to find more comfortable.So far, 106 residents have completed a survey that asks their temperature preferences and demographic background. In the spring, Elfarsdóttir will survey residents again to determine whether their room felt too hot or too cold for them during the winter.That data will lay the foundation for a model that can be used to make suggestions to students when it comes time for room selection, said Kuiper. For instance, a student who hails from the Deep South and loves beach weather might be more comfortable in a room that gets warmer in winter, he said.“I am so excited to see this project come to life,” Elfarsdóttir said. “Our hope is that, by increasing occupant comfort, we can simultaneously save energy because there will be reduced window-opening during winter.”In addition to reducing energy usage, the team hopes the data generated will contribute to other research projects, at Harvard and beyond.“Maybe this project will help inform the upcoming renovations at Eliot House,” Day said. “Hopefully, this will provide some real data that will help decision-makers select a heating system that will work better for the building.”Heather Henriksen, who directs the OFS, said one of her office’s primary goals is to facilitate projects like this that use the campus as a test bed for student and faculty research.For Elfarsdóttir, it was especially rewarding to work on a project that could impact the future of her House, which is due to be renovated in three years.As she travels through narrow hallways and up creaky flights of stairs, checking the sensors and chatting with housemates about the project’s progress, it’s clear to Elfarsdóttir that stately Eliot House has become a living laboratory.“This project has impressed upon me how data can show us, in a completely quantitative way, how we are interacting with our living environment,” she said. Relatedlast_img read more