News & Announcements

Mine Canakci PhD dissertation defense

photo of Mine Canakci

Monday, April 8, 2019
9:00 AM
Life Sciences Laboratory, Room S330
Dissertation Title:  “Engineering of an Antibody-Conjugated Nanogel Platform for Targeted Drug Delivery to T Lymphocytes"
Advisors:  Barbara Osborne and S. Thayumanavan

UMass Amherst Graduate Programs Receive National Recognition in U.S. News & World Report Rankings

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Graduate programs in several science and social science disciplines at the University of Massachusetts Amherst rank among the best in the nation in fresh rankings featured in the 2020 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools, which was released this month. According to this list, UMass Amherst ranks 54th of Graduate Programs in Biological Sciences. Read more

Alexandria Wells PhD dissertation defense

photo of Alexandria Wells

Monday, March 18, 2019
10:00 AM
Life Sciences Laboratory, Room S330/340
Dissertation Title:  “Let-7 miRNAs program the fate of CD8 T cells"
Advisor:  Leonid Pobezinsky

Jiménez Gets Five-Year NSF CAREER Grant to Study Blood Flow and Arterial Stents

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Juan M. Jiménez, assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, has received a five-year, $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study how blood flows around artificial stents in coronary arteries affects the cells that line the arteries and directs how they heal. The grant is from the NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program. Jiménez says his research project is focused on heart disease, the leading cause of death globally and in the U.S. Read more

Gierasch Honored with Merrifeld Award

photo of Lila Gierasch

In the latest of her many career honors, Lila Gierasch, Distinguished Professor of chemistry and biochemistry and molecular biology, was recently recognized for her “outstanding contributions to peptide science” by the American Peptide Society (APS). She will formally receive its lifetime achievement honor, the Merrifield Award, at a ceremony at the society’s annual meeting in Monterey, California, in June. Marcey Waters, president of the APS, wrote to Gierasch,“The society is excited to recognize you for your research accomplishments, and we also appreciate your service to the society as former editor of Peptide Science.” Gierasch will present a lecture at the annual meeting and will receive a $25,000 honorarium. Read more

Goldner and Ross Among Faculty Named Chancellor Leadership Fellows for 2019

Six faculty have been awarded Chancellor’s Leadership Fellowships for 2019, according to John McCarthy, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and Anna Branch, associate chancellor for equity and inclusion. Lori Goldner, professor of physics, is working with McCarthy in academic affairs. Two fellows, Melissa Wooten, associate professor of sociology and Linda Tropp, professor of social psychology, are working with associate chancellor Anna Branch in the office of equity and inclusion. Jennifer Ross, professor of physics, Angela de Oliveira, associate professor of resource economics and Karen Helfer, chair and professor of communication disorders, will work with Michelle Budig, vice provost for faculty development in the office of faculty development. Read more

Study Explores the Role of Citrus Peel in Reducing Gut Inflammation

photo of Hang Xiao

University of Massachusetts Amherst Professor Hang Xiao, Clydesdale Scholar of Food Science, has received a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study how substances produced in the gut from citrus compounds are involved in decreasing inflammation in the colon. The ultimate goal of his research is to develop diet-based strategies to prevent and treat inflammation in the colon and associated diseases, such as irritable bowel disease and colorectal cancer. Read more

Timme-Laragy Named as One of Eight 2019 Public Engagement Project Fellows

photo of Alicia Timme-Laragy

Eight faculty members from across eight departments and five colleges have been chosen as 2019 Public Engagement Faculty Fellows by the Public Engagement Project (PEP). The faculty fellows will draw on their substantial research records to impact policy, the work of practitioners and public debates. Faculty fellows receive a stipend and technical training in communicating with non-academic audiences, and will travel to Beacon Hill to share their research with lawmakers. This is the fifth cohort of Public Engagement Faculty Fellows. Read more

Discovery of Colon Cancer Pathway Could Lead to New Targeted Treatments

photo of Guodong Zhang

University of Massachusetts Amherst food science researchers have pinpointed a set of enzymes involved in tumor growth that could be targeted to prevent or treat colon cancer. “We think this is a very interesting discovery,” says Guodong Zhang, assistant professor of food science, whose study was published in the journal Cancer Research. “Our research identifies a novel therapeutic target and could help to develop novel strategies to reduce the risks of colon cancer.” Read more

Gross Receives First Normanly Award for Leadership and Innovation in Teaching

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David Gross, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology (BMB), has been named the recipient of the department’s first Normanly Award for Leadership and Innovation in Teaching, established recently to recognize exemplary teaching and service by its faculty. He will be recognized at the department’s annual awards ceremony on May 2. 

Among the efforts he is recognized for include redesigning two courses to employ evidence-based, student-centered teaching. He was an early adopter of such new techniques as team-based learning, enhanced classroom technologies and “flipped” teaching, where instructors present much of the lecture material online and students are encouraged to view it before attending the face-to-face class. This opens the classroom session for student activities such as problem-solving, or what used to be considered homework, he explains. Read more