News & Announcements

Cheung and Wu receive NSF funds for study of plant fertilization and seed production

Alice Cheung and Hen-Ming Wu, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, have been awarded $1.35 million from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Integrative and Organismal Systems and Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences to support their work in plant male-female interactions, which lead to fertilization and seed production, and in exploring basic mechanisms in plant signal transduction pathways. Read more

UMass Amherst Molecular Biologist Li-Jun Ma Wins Grant to Outwit Plant Fungal Diseases

photo of Li-Jun Ma

Li-Jun Ma, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, has been awarded a five-year, $880,000 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant by the National Science Foundation to fund her research on pathogenic fungi that can cause wilt diseases in more than 100 plants species and pose serious threats to agricultural productivity. The CAREER grant is NSF’s highest award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of both. Read more

Zoeller discusses research on fetal alcohol syndrome

R. Thomas Zoeller, Biology, commented on a discovery that a common blood sugar medication or an extra dose of a thyroid hormone can reverse some signs fetal alcohol syndrome in rats may help scientists find an effective treatment for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in humans. “At this moment, there’s really no pharmaceutical therapy,” Zoeller said. Read more

Anna Ye PhD Dissertation Defense

photo of Anna Ye

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
1:00 PM
Integrated Sciences Building, Room 221
Dissertation Title:  Defining molecular pathways that ensure accurate cell division
Advisor:  Tom Maresca

Madelaine Bartlett receives National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant to investigate flower diversity

Photo of of brachypodium distachyon flower

Madelaine Bartlett has received a five-year, $837,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant to investigate the developmental processes that create diversity among species of flowering plants. The CAREER grant is NSF’s highest award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of both. Read more

David Sela and colleagues featured in Applied and Environmental Microbiology for study on the benefits of cranberries for gut microbiome

photo of David Sela

Many scientists are paying new attention to prebiotics, that is, molecules we eat but cannot digest, because some may promote the growth and health of beneficial microorganisms in our intestines, says nutritional microbiologist David Sela at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In a new study, he and colleagues report the first evidence that certain beneficial gut bacteria are able to grow when fed a carbohydrate found in cranberries and further, that they exhibit a special nontypical metabolism. Read more

Trustees Approve Tenure Awards, Appointments with Tenure

photo of Jianhan Chen Jianhan Chen was appointed professor with tenure in Chemistry
photo of Paul Katz Paul Katz was appointed associate professor with tenure in Biology

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Peyton Named to NIH Grant Review Panel

photo of Shelly Peyton

Shelly Peyton, associate professor of chemical engineering, has been named to the Bioengineering, Technology, and Surgical Sciences Study Section of the Center for Scientific Review in the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors, according to Richard D. Nakamura, director of the Center for Scientific Review. Service on a study section also requires mature judgment and objectivity as well as the ability to work effectively in a group, qualities Peyton will bring to the task, he said. Read more

Sam Hazen and Neil Forbes recognized with Valley Venture Mentors Regional Startup Awards

The Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) program of Springfield recently awarded prize money to 12 startup companies, including:

  • Genoverde Biosciences Inc., based in part on research by Sam Hazen, biology, received the top prize of $25,000 for its proposal, “Engineering trees with increased carbon dioxide (CO2) capture capabilities to combat global climate change.”
  • Ernest Pharmaceuticals Inc., based on research by Neil Forbes, chemical engineering, received $12,500 for its proposal, “Programmed bacteria to treat metastatic breast cancer.”

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Chien Lab Finds Protease Adaptors Regulate Own Destruction

photo of Peter Chien

MCB researchers Peter Chien and Kamal Joshi were in the Inside UMass news for their finding that adaptors could be degraded by proteases, but only when the adaptors weren’t already busy delivering substrates. Their work was recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Read more