News Highlights

Interdepartmental Graduate Programs (MCB + NSB + OEB + PB) Social

Monday, October 23 5:00-7:00pm

Campus Center Marriott room

Come one, come all, for food, drink, and collegiality!

Interdepartmental Graduate Programs SOCIAL

Molecular and Cellular Biology + Neuroscience and Behavior + Organismic and Evolutionary Biology + Plant Biology

NSB's Agnes Lacreuse, Stephanie Padilla, and Jenny Rauch awarded a grant from the Alzheimer's Association

OEB PhD candidate Jacob Barnett leading teaching workshop

Jake was selected to share his expertise on active learning as part of OPD's Teaching Academy — a series of teaching workshops for UMass grad students and postdocs. Check out details here. Congratulations, Jake!

OEB PhD candidate Katrina Zarrella Smith awarded a NMFS-Sea Grant Fellowship

Katrina was selected to be the recipient of a 2023 National Marine Fisheries Service-Sea Grant Joint Fellowship. Her project is titled "Building a next-generation, climate-ready stock assessment informed by spatially explicit population processes". Since 1999, when the fellowship began, just over 120 individuals have been awarded this competitive fellowship. Amazing news, Katrina! More here.

PB PhD student Leannah Hicks selected as NCGA Research Ambassador

Leannah Hicks will be part of the 2023–24 Ambassador Program of the National Corn Growers Association, designed for graduate students involved in research relevant to corn production and that demonstrate academic excellence and leadership potential. She will receive a financial award as well as funding to attend scientific conferences. Congratulations, Leannah!

MCB PhD candidate Saman Nayyab selected to give a talk at the GRC Fertilization and Activation of Development

Saman was selected to give a 10-minute talk at the Gordon Research Conference: Fertilization and Activation of Development in Holderness, NH, after presenting her poster "Characterization of TSSK1, TSSK2, and TSSK3 as potential targets for male contraception". This was her very first talk at a conference — way to go, Saman!

OEB PhD candidate Alex Winsor wins first prize in student paper competition

Alex Winsor won first prize in the student paper competition at the annual meeting of the American Arachnological Society at the Cornell University. His paper was called "Visual object categorization in the jumping spider brain". Congrats, Alex!

Calling all CNS Grad Students!

Happy end of the semester and start of summer! To celebrate, join your fellow grad students for an evening of food, fun, and trivia presented by CNS and Life Science Café and sponsored by your Graduate Student Organizations! Show off your science, UMass, and Sci-Fi knowledge on the 29th of June at 6pm at the Hangar Bar and Grill (10 University Dr., Amherst, MA)

We’ll buy the food and you buy the drinks! We hope to see you there!

Pre-register your trivia team and win an extra trivia point! Make a team ahead of time or join one day-of! Maximum of 8 people per group please. If there are more, feel free to break into two groups!

There will be questions across 5 different topics so get ready to be challenged!

Any questions? Please email: sglasser@umass.edu

Distinguished Professor Elizabeth Vierling elected to the Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences section of the National Academy of Sciences

Elizabeth Vierling is Professor at the University of Massachusettes Amherst and Founding Member of the ASPB Legacy Society. She majored in Botany as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, and got hooked on lab research during a junior year abroad Freiburg, Germany. After a brief year as a technician at Northwestern University, she got a PhD in Biology at the University of Chicago studying the biogenesis of photosystem I. Her postdoc with Joe L. Key at the University of Georgia started her on research on heat shock proteins (HSPs), first focusing on chloroplasts. This work continued in her faculty position in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, where work expanded from chloroplast sHSPs to homologues in the cytosol and Hsp101, and then into isolating Arabidopsis thaliana mutants defective in heat tolerance. Projects now encompass not only HSPs, but also how nitric oxide homeostasis impacts growth and fertility and the control of mitochondrial gene expression and respiration. She’s now at the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Department at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA, and writes that “My research includes collaborations across the world that have been wonderfully enriching and expanded my research program in interesting and productive ways.”

Le Liu selected to be a CNS Leadership Fellow

Le Liu, a Ph.D. student in the Plant Biology program, was selected to be a CNS Leadership Fellow. Le will work with Associate Dean Karen Helfer on initiatives related to career preparation as well as on programming addressing diversity, equity and inclusion.