News & Announcements

UMass Amherst Food Scientists Partner with ‘Real Pickles’ to Profile Microbes at a Fermented Vegetable Facility

pickled vegetables

Writing in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, UMass Amherst Commonwealth Honors College student and co-first-author Jonah Einson, with research fellow Asha Rani and senior investigator professor David Sela, have mapped and characterized microbial populations in a vegetable fermentation facility and report that its microbiome was distinct between production and fermentation areas and that the raw vegetables themselves – cabbages destined for sauerkraut – were the main source of fermentation-related microbes in production areas rather than handling or other environmental sources. Read more

UMass Amherst Scientists Make Polymers Containing Solid Nanoparticles

possible new coacervates with solid particles

Sarah L. Perry, chemical engineering, and Maria M. Santore, polymer science and engineering, are building a new class of environmentally friendly polymer materials (or polymer-based fluids) called complex coacervates that will contain solid nanoparticles. Supported by a three-year, $357,694 grant from the National Science Foundation, they also will uncover and chronicle the design rules for these materials creating a road map for further research in the field. Read more

Ross, Hayward Elected Fellows of American Physical Society

The American Physical Society has announced that Jennifer Ross, professor of physics, and Ryan Hayward, professor of polymer science and engineering, were elected fellows of the American Physical Society (APS) by the APS Council of Representatives at its September meeting. Read more

UMass Amherst Neuroscientists See Clues to Brain Maturation in Adolescent Rats

One of the outstanding questions in neurodevelopment research has been identifying how connections in the brain change to improve neural function during childhood and adolescence. Now, results from a study in rats just reported by neuroscientists Heather Richardson, Geng-Lin Li and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggest that as animals transition into adolescence, specific physical changes to axons speed up neural transmission, which may lead to higher cognitive abilities. Read more

Edwin Murenzi Wins Poster Competition

Edwin Murenzi, molecular and cellular biology and veterinary and animal sciences, was awarded first place in the Agrochemical Division poster competition at the 256th national meeting of the American Chemical Society held Aug. 19-23 in Boston. Read more

Pilsner Awarded $2.7 Million to Expand Study of Phthalates, Reproduction 

photo of Rick Pilsner

Richard Pilsner, associate professor of environmental health sciences in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, has received a five-year, $2.7 million National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences award to support his further research on fathers’ preconception exposure to phthalates and potential effects on reproductive health through methylation of sperm DNA. This award for work in humans complements his five-year, $2.3 million award received last year from the same agency. Read more

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

UMass Amherst Researchers Receive $953,300 NSF Grant for Technology that Records, Analyzes Complex Brain Activity

A team of scientists based at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been awarded a four-year, $953,300 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop miniature, implantable hardware that can record complex brain activity in animals and analyze it in real time. This new technical capability will allow the researchers to trace the origin of complex brain activity down to cellular levels, they say. The UMass Amherst team includes Guangyu Xu in electrical and computer engineering, David Moorman in psychological and brain sciences, and Geng-Lin Li in biology. They work collaboratively with Ethan Meyers in statistics, from Hampshire College. Read more

Fritz-Laylin Receives National Genomics Award to Study Fungi Causing Global Decline in Frogs, Salamanders

photo of Lillian Fritz-Laylin

The National Science Foundation announced today that University of Massachusetts Amherst biologist Lillian Fritz-Laylin has been named one of 11 scientists in the nation who will share a total $10 million for developing and disseminating genomic tools in diverse species, allowing biologists to address mechanistic questions about how genes affect an organism’s physical and functional characteristics. Read more

A Splashy Welcome for Incoming Graduate Students

Incoming students in the interdisciplinary graduate programs in the life sciences (MCB, NSB, OEB and PB) enjoyed a day of whitewater rafting on the Deerfield River. Several faculty, staff and current students joined the group. The rafting adventure was a great way to get to know one another and have a ton of fun at the same time.