News & Announcements

Pilsner’s Research Highlighted in Environmental Health Perspectives

J. Richard Pilsner, assistant professor of environmental health sciences, is among the researchers featured in an article on the burgeoning field of sperm epigenetics appearing in the February 2018 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives. The focus article explores current research trends on paternal environmental exposures and how they might affect the health of his unborn children. Read more

Study Suggests Evolutionary Change in Protein Function Respects Biophysical Principles

photo of Elizabeth Vierling

Some molecular biologists who study the proteins that regulate cell operations, including Elizabeth Vierling, do not confine their research to understanding the molecules’ current roles. They also look deep into the proteins’ evolutionary past to explore what structures have allowed proteins with new functions to develop in response to new needs. Read more

Christina Chisholm PhD Dissertation Defense

photo of Christina Chisholm

Monday, March 5, 2018 
10:00 AM
Life Sciences Laboratory, room S330/S340
Advisor:  Min Chen

Babbitt Receives a Three-year $330,000 NSF Grant for Research

Courtney Babbitt

Courtney Babbitt, Biology, has received a three-year, $330,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to use new state-of-the-art computational, evolutionary and experimental methods to examine how natural selection has shaped gene expression in the human brain. Babbitt and colleagues will test the hypothesis that there are functional links between adaptation in the genome and changes in neural types that occurred during human evolution. Read more 

Research Identifies Plant Cell Wall Sensing Mechanism 

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. Read more

That's Life [Science] grad student blog publishes their 150th post

That's Life Science 150th blog post photo

Graduate students in the UMass IDGP programs created That's Life [Science], an interdisciplinary outreach blog, in 2016. Since then, the group has published 150 articles covering interesting topics across life science fields for the general public. "A Day in the Life of a Bird Nerd" is their 150th article!

Black to Discuss Animal African Trypanosomiasis to Open Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series

photo of Samuel Black

Samuel Black, professor of veterinary and animal sciences, will speak on “Approaching the Endgame: Seeking Sustainable Control of Animal African Trypanosomiasis” on Monday, Feb. 5 at 4 p.m. in the Great Hall of Old Chapel. Black will be presented with the Chancellor’s Medal, the highest recognition bestowed to faculty by the campus, at the conclusion of the lecture. Read more

Elsbeth Walker Named Public Engagement Faculty Fellow 

photo of Elsbeth Walker

Eight faculty members from across seven departments and six colleges have been named Public Engagement Faculty Fellows by the Public Engagement Project (PEP). They will draw on their substantial research record to impact policy, the work of practitioners and public debates. The fellows, who will receive a stipend and technical training in communicating with non-academic audiences, will also travel to Beacon Hill to share their research with lawmakers. Read more

Gierasch Wins American Chemical Society Award

photo of Lila Gierasch

Lila M. Gierasch, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, has been named the 2018 recipient of the American Chemical Society’s Ralph F. Hirschmann Award in Peptide Chemistry. She was honored for “her seminal contributions to peptide structure and function, peptide models for protein folding and function, and roles of peptide and protein aggregation in disease,” according to her award citation. Read more

Sela’s Paper Among Most-Viewed of 2017

photo of David Sela

A paper by nutritional microbiologist David Sela, food science, and colleagues at Harvard and Arizona State University was recently named one of the top five most viewed papers of 2017 in the open access journal, PeerJ, in four topic areas: food science and technology, gastroenterology and hepatology, nutrition, and pediatrics. The article, “Handling stress may confound murine gut microbiota studies,” had 1,553 views over the year. Read more