News & Announcements

Petersen presents work on predicting PhD attainment

photo of Sandra Petersen

Sandra Petersen, Veterinary & Animal Sciences and director of the Northeast Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate, presented a workshop at the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring on Oct. 27 in Atlanta. Her workshop, “Predicting PhD Attainment: The Efficacy of the GRE,” focused on results of a recent study of 2,000 STEM PhD students in four NEAGEP flagship state universities. Read more

Serio and fellow researchers consider ways to improve postdoc training

photo of Dean Serio

CNS Dean Tricia Serio and a group of colleagues from other institutions published an article in eLife that considers the future of research, proposing that improving the postdoctoral training experience could be a way to address problems in the sustainability of biomedical research. To optimize the biomedical research workforce, they write, “we need to determine how best to support researchers at each level of their career, including faculty, staff scientists and trainees at all levels.” Read more

Siegrist receives $2.3 million NIH grant for TB research

Sloan Siegrist

Sloan Siegrist, Microbiology, has received a five-year, $2.3 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) New Innovator Award, which supports “unusually innovative research from early career investigators.” She will use the award to study the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB), with a focus on understanding the behavior of antibiotics that kill the disease to shorten TB therapy. Read more.

Burand interviewed about insect-related death

John P. Burand, Microbiology, was interviewed by the Rhode Island Public Radio about a recent incident where a Massachusetts man died after being stung by a swarm of insects identified as bees, and then suffered a heart attack. Burand suggested the death may not have been caused by honeybees, noting that they are often confused with yellow jackets, which are more aggressive. Read more

MCB faculty participate in the Open Classroom Experience (OCX)

Open Classroom Experience image

Faculty and staff are invited to join the Open Classroom Experience (OCX), a unique event Nov. 6-10 during which faculty “hosts” will open their classrooms to colleagues who will observe a range of pedagogical approaches, teaching strategies, and instructional tools in different disciplinary areas. The OCX faculty participating in the year's theme, “Common Thread: Interdisciplinary Perspectives,” will be weaving ideas from multiple disciplines into a single course. MCB participants include Madelaine Bartlett and Craig Albertson. Read more

Riley speaks to NBC about “post-antibiotic era”

Margaret A. Riley, Biology, was featured in an NBC news story about how to deal with the post-antibiotic era in medicine. Riley is working to develop a special bacteriocin to deal with E. coli that causes urinary tract infections and is also working on one for tuberculosis and cystic fibrosis. NBC News

Soft Materials for Life Sciences NSF NRT program in the news

Highly creative research advances come not only from individual effort but from collaboration across different disciplines. This calls for young scientists to have more team-oriented skills, especially in industry and government labs where work is often done by groups of scientists and engineers trained in fundamentally different ways, says polymer science researcher Gregory N. Tew. Read more

Zoeller speaks about risks posed by flame retardants

Thomas Zoeller, Biology, was interviewed by the Baltimore Sun about efforts to ban toxic fire-resistant chemicals in children’s products such as furniture, mattresses, and household electronics, noting that the chemicals interfere with hormones during early brain development. Read more

Heidi Hu PhD Dissertation Defense

photo of Heidi Hu

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
2:30 PM
Life Sciences Laboratories, Room N610
Dissertation Title:  The Role of the Metallochaperone HypA in the Acid Survival and the Activities of Nickel Enzymes in Helicobacter pylori
Advisor:  Michael J. Maroney

Dominique Alfandari, Hélène Cousin and colleagues report in eLIFE that they have uncovered unexpected regulation of transcription factors critical to development

photo of Hélène Cousin and Dominique Alfandari

Dominique Alfandari and a team of researchers at UMass and MIT report in a new paper that they have for the first time described how two transcription factors that are “absolutely essential for human development” are regulated by a cell surface metalloprotease known as ADAM13. ADAM13 belongs to a group of proteins called proteases that cut other proteins to change their function. Alfandari says, “Five years ago we discovered that ADAM metalloproteases control gene expression in a cell; no one had done that before. In this new paper, we describe the details of the mechanism by which the ADAM13 protein on the cell surface can affect gene expression in the nucleus, which is remarkable.” The discovery adds to knowledge of how cells migrate in vertebrate embryos, how stem cells differentiate and how cancer cells metastasize. Read more