News & Announcements

IDGP Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement

The Interdepartmental Graduate Programs in Life Sciences (IDGPs) believe that a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment is critical to all that we do.  We recognize that systemic racism exists in our society and we pledge to educate ourselves so that we can change our ingrained habits and beliefs. We are committed to make our programs accessible to all and to increase the success of all our members. We dedicate our time, effort and financial resources to these activities. We work with Institutional leaders, faculty, staff and students to achieve these goals. We are providing this pdf link so that you are able to view a working document of our activities. 

We are proud of our amazing students and post docs who have worked tirelessly for the betterment of our community. Our students have fostered a tight-knit, progressive community and their recent efforts have resulted in this petition for systematic change.  We stand with them in recognizing that change is required in order to make progress toward a more equitable, just, diverse and inclusive environment. 

The University has established an Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and their website provides links to many resources. We encourage you to make use of these tools, including links to videos, books and podcasts as well as programing, as we embark together on our journey to improve our community for all our members.  

Juan Guillermo (Guillo) Cadena Memorial Fund

photo of Dr. Juan Guillermo (Guillo) Cadena

Dr. Juan Guillermo (Guillo) Cadena

Guillo was born in Chicago, IL. on November 22, 1969, and grew up in Tampa, Florida. Guillo was a graduate of Jesuit High School in Tampa where he excelled in athletics and was a member of the state champion soccer team. He moved to New England in the mid-1990s and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2000. After a brief return to Florida, Guillo moved back to Amherst in 2002 to join the Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) graduate program as a Ph.D. candidate. Guillo received his Ph.D. in 2009 under the mentorship of Dr. Larry Schwartz. Dr. Cadena’s research focused on understanding why a certain population of cells called dopaminergic neurons are uniquely vulnerable to degeneration in individuals with autosomal juvenile parkinsonism (ARJP).

Guillo was extremely dedicated to his research and had always credited the successful completion of his Ph.D. to the strong support of his advisor Dr. Schwartz, as well as many distinguished faculty members in the MCB program who guided him throughout the process. Guillo also conducted research at the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute in Springfield, MA.

In his teenage years, Guillo was diagnosed with aplastic anemia and sought a suitable bone marrow donor for nearly 30 years. In 2010, Guillo was diagnosed with metastatic cancer and within a few months had succumbed to complications from chemotherapy treatment. At the time of his passing in July, 2010 Guillo was survived by his wife, 2-year old twins (Amaya and Gabriel), parents, siblings, and many close friends.

The Cadena Travel and Training Fund

The Cadena Travel and Training Fund was established in 2020, 10 years after Guillo’s passing. In memory of his dedication to science and teaching, Guillo’s close friends Nasser and Susanne Rusan, with help and support from Guillo’s family, believed it was only fitting to keep Guillo’s memory alive by giving back to the MCB program, a program that Guillo deeply cherished. Read more

Margaux Audett PhD Dissertation Defense

photo of Margaux Audett

Friday, June 4, 2021
1:00 PM
Zoom link:  Please contact mcb@mcb.umass.edu to be included on the email list for this announcement
Dissertation Title:  Mechanisms of mitotic checkpoint silencing by the disordered kinetochore protein Spc105
Advisor:  Tom Maresca

Nathan Kuhlmann PhD Dissertation Defense

photo of Nathan Kuhlmann

Friday, June 18, 2021
3:00 PM
Zoom link:  Please contact mcb@mcb.umass.edu to be included on the email list for this announcement
Dissertation Title:  Mechanistic Insights into Diverse Protease Adaptor Functions
Advisor:  Peter Chien

Alam García-Heredia PhD Dissertation Defense

photo of Alam Garcia-Heredia

Thursday, August 19, 2021
10:00 AM
Zoom link:  Please contact mcb@mcb.umass.edu to be included on the email list for this announcement
Dissertation Title:  TBA
Advisor:  Sloan Siegrist

Timme-Laragy Publication Selected as NIEHS Extramural Paper of the Month

photo of Alicia Timme-Laragy

A new publication from Alicia Timme-Laragy, associate professor of environmental health sciences, has been selected as an extramural paper of the month by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).

The article, titled “Developmental exposures to perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) impact embryonic nutrition, pancreatic morphology, and adiposity in the zebrafish, Danio rerio,” appears in the April 2021 issue of the journal “Environmental Pollution.” Timme-Laragy’s co-authors include first author Karilyn Sant, who conducted the study while a postdoctoral researcher in Timme-Laragy’s lab, as well as UMass Amherst faculty members Gerry Downes, biology, and Yeonhwa Park, food science, and postdoctoral and student researchers Kate Annunziato, Sarah Conlin, Gregory Teicher, Phoebe Chen and Olivia Venezia. Read more

Kevin Guay receives honorable mention for NSF GRFP

photo of Kevin Guay

Kevin Guay (Hebert group) received honorable mention for his NSF GRFP proposal on "Understanding the Selectivity of a Key Quality Control Sensor within the Secretory Pathway of the Endoplasmic Reticulum." The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. Congratulations, Kevin! Read more

Vaishali Malik MS Thesis Defense

photo of Vaishali Malik

Wednesday, April 28, 2021
12:00 PM
Zoom link:  Please contact mcb@mcb.umass.edu to be included on the email list for this announcement
Thesis Title:  Liposomal nanoparticles target TLR7/8-SHP2 to repolarize macrophages to aid in cancer immunotherapy
Advisor:  Ashish Kulkarni

Timme-Laragy Receives Women in Toxicology’s Outstanding Young Investigator Award

photo of Alicia Timme-Laragy

Associate professor of environmental health sciences Alicia Timme-Laragy received the 2021 Outstanding Young Investigator Award from the Society of Toxicology (SOT) Women in Toxicology Special Interest Group during the SOT’s annual meeting held March 12-26, in a virtual format. The award is given annually to individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of toxicology in the early stage of their careers.

“I am so honored to receive this award,” says Timme-Laragy. “I work with a great team of researchers and students here at UMass, and this award reflects their hard work as well. I’m excited to continue to build my research program and advance the fields of developmental toxicology and redox biology.” Read more

Madeline Tompach named finalist in Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition

photo of Madeline Tompach

Madeline Tompach (2nd year MCB, Timme-Laragy Lab) has been named a finalist in the Graduate School’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition.

Of the 35 preliminary round participants, 10 were selected as Finalists. These Finalists will compete for a $1,000 first place prize at the Campus Final, with the runner up receiving $500. Additionally, a People’s Choice award ($500) will be selected by audience vote at the virtual final. 

The virtual 3MT Final will be held on Thursday, March 18, 4-5:30pm via this link. Mark your calendars so we can all show our support for Madeline in the finals!

Pages