News Highlights

Special IDGP Workshop for Graduate Students and Post-Docs: Hands-on workshop aimed to help students get creative about ways they can market their skills and knowledge

Katherine Onk

Plant Biology Graduate Student Samantha Glaze-Corcoran will host Katherine Onk from LinkedIn, who will lead a workshop targeted towards IDGP Graduate Students and Post-Docs.  
French Hall, Room 209
Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018 at 10am

Patricia Wadsworth, incoming Director of the Interdepartmental Graduate Programs (IDGP), Awarded the 2018 CNS Outstanding Service/Engagement Award

Patricia (Pat) Wadsworth, Professor and Associate Chair of Biology, who will become the Director of IDGP in June 2018, has been awarded the 2018 CNS Outstanding Service/Engagement Award. CNS Outstanding Achievement Awards recognize excellence and honor faculty and staff members and students who have made important contributions to their discipline, department, college, and university. Recipients are presented with their awards at a special ceremony in the spring. Read More

Upcoming OPD Workshop: Strategies and Tools to Secure External Funding 

Goodell Building

Wednesday, May 16th - 2:30-3:30pm
LSL N610

Searching for Funding: Interdisciplinary Graduate Programsd in Life Sciences (IDGP)

Would you like to have external funding to support your research, and bolster your CV? Get started by learning about basic tools available to UMass graduate students and postdocs to help find grants and fellowships. Dr. Heidi Bauer Clapp, Assistant Director for Grants & Fellowships in the Graduate School Office of Professional Development, will present an external funding workshop to IDGP Students, Post-Docs, and Faculty We’ll discuss common funding sources for students in the life sciences, how to search for funding as an international student, and strategize how to align funding applications with your graduate career. 

UPCOMING OFFICE OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS

Wang Awarded Support as Visiting Scholar at Arnold Arboretum

Dong Wang

Dong Wang, biochemistry and molecular biology, has been honored with one of Harvard University’s two 2018 Sargent Award for Visiting Scholars at the Arnold Arboretum. The award will support his further research on bacteria known as rhizobia. They live in nodules on the roots of legumes to fix nitrogen from the soil, which nurtures the host plant. Read More

Outreach and Public Engagement Summit: Wednesday, April 11

Are you interested in finding a larger audience for your research or pursuing a career in outreach and public engagement? If so,then please attend the April 11th Outreach and Public Engagement Summit, which will help you make the connections and provide you with information necessary to achieve your goals.  Pre-registration is requested: https://tinyurl.com/OPESummit.

UMass Amherst Biologist Elsbeth Walker Will Study Plants’ Iron Regulating System

Elsbeth Walker

A decade or so ago, scientists discovered genes they thought could be turned on to make plants take up more iron from the soil, enriching cereals, grains and other staple foods that feed millions of people around the world an iron-poor diet leading to iron deficiency anemia, says molecular biologist Elsbeth Walker at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “But it didn’t work,” she adds. “Somehow the plants downregulated our efforts, and we don’t understand how.”

Now Walker has a three-year, $870,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Physiological Mechanisms and Biomechanics program to learn how plants thwarted those past efforts and further, how plants firmly control iron in their systems. Read More

Luis Aguirre Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

photo of luis agirre

Congratulations to Luis Aguirre (Lynn Adler lab), who was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! The title of his research proposal is: "Herbivory-Induced Effects on Pollinator Foraging Behavior and Network Structure: Consequences for Plant Reproduction." This semester he was also awarded a pre-dissertation research grant ($1,000) from the Graduate School and the Natural History Collections Scholarship ($2,400). Both of these grants will be used to do preliminary work (preliminary data collection, professional training, etc.) to carry out the research outlined in the NSF GRFP proposal.

Alice Cheung, Susan E. Hankinson, and Max Page Receive 2018-2019 Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowship Awards

Alice Cheung

A University of Massachusetts Amherst Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowship provides faculty members with a unique opportunity to focus on their research or creative activities.  These Fellowships are managed by the office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement (VCRE) and provide a one-year release from teaching and service duties in addition to a $3,500 cash award. Read More

First Annual UMass Interdisciplinary Neurosciences Conference: Wednesday, May 2, 12:30-7:00 PM

This conference is meant to showcase the breadth of research on the UMass campus and in Western Massachusetts highlighting neuroscience research interests that span biology, cognition, computation, engineering, medicine, and public health. This exciting event features a half-day symposium with Keynote Speaker, Dr. Wolfram Schultz (Cambridge University) and UMass Alumni Speaker Dr. Graeme Davis (University of California, San Francisco). In addition, there will be talks from researchers in four different colleges at UMass Amherst, followed by a catered reception and poster session. Researchers from UMass and other institutions are invited to attend and present a poster on their work related to the neurosciences. Registration is free and open to all career stages. For more information and to register for the conference please go to: First Annual UMass Interdisciplinary Neurosciences Conference

 

Deadline for poster registration is April 18th. 

New UMass Amherst, Stanford Research Identifies Plant Cell Wall Sensing Mechanism

Professor Alice Cheung

An international collaboration of plant researchers this week reports yet another newly discovered role for the versatile receptor kinase, FERONIA, in the model plant Arabidopsis. The researchers say it acts as a sensor in the plant cell wall to help maintain its integrity and protect the plant from environmental assaults. 

How cells sense their physical state and compensate for cell wall damage is poorly understood, say authors led by Alice Cheung at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and collaborator José Dinneny from the Carnegie Institute for Science and Stanford University. But their new analysis of plants exposed to salt stress offers the first experimental evidence and molecular mechanisms showing how FERONIA is essential for the cellular responses that ensure survival under high salinity.

Details are online now and will be in the March 5 issue of Current Biology.   Read more