News & Announcements

Timme-Laragy Recieves Grant from NIEHS Using Zebrafish to Study Possible Genetic and Molecular Links Between Pollutants and Predisposition to Diabetes

Environmental Health Sciences Department member, Alicia Timme-Laragy, has received a 5-Year $1.7 million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for a multi-level study to determine the effects of early life exposure to environmental contaminants. Effects of toxic chemicals commonly found in the environment, such as PCB 126, PFOS and phthalates, will be studied to better understand the development of the pancreas on a genetic, molecular, and biochemical level.  The research will look at how pancreas formation is affected by exposure to common pollutants, and how this contributes to diabetes. Read More

BMB Faculty, Dong Wang and Li-Jun Ma, Recognized for Research at International Meeting 

Dr. Dong Wang

Faculty Dong Wang and Li-Jun Ma from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology were recognized for their research at the 17th International Congress of the International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions held July 17-21 in Portland, Ore. Wang received the inaugural MPMI Young Investigator Award and Ma presented a plenary talk at the meeting. Read more.

Maaya Ikeda Doctoral Thesis Defense


9:00 a.m.

Friday, August 5, 2016

209 French Hall

Thesis Title: The cellular context of estradiol regulation in the zebra finch auditory forebrain

Advisor: Luke Remage-Healey

MCB PhD candidate, Mine Canakci, awarded 2016 AAI Careers in Immunology Fellowship

MCB Student, Mine Canacki 2016 AAI Immunology Fellow

The American Association of Immunologists have awarded the 2016 AAI Careers in Immunology Fellowship to Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Program student, Mine Canacki.  Ms. Canacki's research has led to collaborations between immunologists and chemists in the field of biotechnology with a focus on the engineering of antibody conjugated nanogel platforms for targeted drug delivery to T lymphocytes.  The AAI Fellowship will support the career development of Ms. Canacki for one year while she conducts research primarily in the lab of Dr. Osborne.

In Press: Edwin Murenzi's current research in NeuroToxicology validates mechanism for studying effects of environmental toxicants on mammalian targets

MCB Student, Edwin Murenzi's In Press publication forthcoming in the
journal NeuroToxicology addresses his recent work validating a novel
ex-vivo mechanism for studying the effects of various environmental
toxicants on mammalian targets such as voltage-sensitive channels. DDT a
well-known neurotoxic insecticide, has a structural activity
relationship with voltage-sensitive sodium channels (VSSCs) that has
been extensively studied and is well-characterized. Although DDT is a
neurotoxicant, its metabolite DDE has no neurotoxic effects on VSSCs.
This difference provided an excellent candidate for a
"proof-of-principle" experiment for the validation of a new ex-vivo
approach of expressing mammalian brain neurolemma in Xenopus laevis frog
oocytes and studying the effect of various environmental toxicants on
their mammalian targets. Read more

MCB alum Julian Sosnick's paper published in eLIFE

Julian Sosnick, MCB PhD '09, just published a beautiful manuscript in eLIFE, one of the newest and leading journals in Biology, titled Noise modulation in retinoic acid signaling sharpens segmental boundaries of gene expression in the embryonic zebrafish hindbrain. Dr. Sosnick is currently an assistant professor at the Wentworth Institute of Technology.

In Press: MCB student Yuzhou Tang in collaboration with MCB Alumni Fabian B. Romano and Kathryn R. Monopoli of the Alejandro Heuck Lab, have a paper in press in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

 “Type 3 Secretion Translators Spontaneously Assemble a Hexadecameric Transmembrane Complex” Authors: Fabian B. Romano, Yuzhou Tang, Kyle C. Rossi, Kathryn R. Monopoli, Jennifer L. Ross, and Alejandro P. Heuck

Type 3 Secretion translators PopB and PopD mediate the passage of P. aeruginosa toxins or effectors across target eukaryotic membranes. It is poorly understood how translocators assemble a complex at the target membrane to consequently catalyze protein translocation. In this work we showed that, although either translocator has a tendency to assemble a hexameric membrane protein complex, both translocators combined form a hexadecameric complex containing eight molecules of each PopB and PopD. This suggested that an early interaction event between translocators along the assembly pathway is required to secure the formation of this hexadecameric membrane complex. Therefore, the results presented in this work lead to a model of P. aeruginosa Type 3 Secretion translocator assembly in membranes, and may have implications for Type 3 Secretion in related bacterial pathogens. Read More

MCB Student Onur Oztas' Research on Plant Molecular Biology Published in Nature Plants

"Photo of root nodules containing nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Credit: Onur Oztas"

Onur Oztas has recently published research in the Nature Plants journal about how a gene in the host plant encodes a protein that defines host-symbiont interface. Read more  The research was also highlighted in an article in ScienceDaily. Read more  Oztas is a member of the Wang Lab research group.

Kamal K. Joshi's Research Published in Cell and Highlighted in GEN News

An Adaptor Hierarchy Regulates Proteolysis during a Bacterial Cell Cycle, a first-author publication by current MCB student, Kamal K. Joshi in the Chien lab at UMass, Amherst, highlights new information about protease selectivity of substrates during cell cycle and how priming of the ClpXP protease by CpdR is needed for adaptor recruitment. Read More

Developmental Biology Research to Develop New Liver Model with NIH Grant Funding

Kimberly Tremblay

Developmental biologist, Kim Tremblay has studied extra-embryonic tissue development since she was a graduate student, through her postdoctoral years, and now as a principal investigator in the Veterinary and Animal Sciences Department at UMass, Amherst.  Her dedication to the study of extra-embryonic tissue development has lead her to new ways of studying liver function and mechanisms, a much needed area of research due to a current lack of model systems and a rise in liver disease.  Recently awarded a two-year $426,000 grant from NIH, Tremblay will focus on using the yolk sac as a proxy for studying the early liver and how embryonic cells communicate with surrounding cells from the vascular blood vessel network.  Read More