News & Announcements

UMass Amherst Scientists Prepare Sterile Solution for COVID-19 Tests

Answering an urgent call for assistance from regional health care systems, a volunteer team of scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is preparing, testing and delivering thousands of vials of viral transport media, a chemical solution needed for COVID-19 diagnostic testing. Their work is having a statewide impact.

A key team member is Barbara Osborne, distinguished professor of veterinary and animal sciences, who helped get the project off the ground by providing ingredients from her own lab. She continues to volunteer her time to aliquot, or measure and dispense the medium from a large container into tiny vials, a highly quantitative task being carried out in IALS’ Cell Culture Lab. “This is all being done in one place, and that really is critical for the quality control,” Osborne notes.

Adds James Chambers, director of the Light Microscopy and Cell Culture Core Facilities at IALS, who is overseeing the labeling of the vials, “Once the word got out to a few people that we were ramping up production this week, we were inundated with volunteers who want to do something to help with this fight.” Read more

Allyson Rosati MS Thesis Defense

photo of Allyson Rosati

Wednesday, April 22, 2020
2:00 pm
Zoom link:  Please contact mcb@mcb.umass.edu to be included on the email list for this announcement
Thesis Title:  "Sperm Mitochondrial DNA Biomarkers as a Measure of Male Fecundity and Overall Sperm Quality"
Advisor:  Rick Pilsner

Amye Black PhD Dissertation Defense

photo of Amye Black

Friday, April 17, 2020
1:00 PM
Zoom link:  Please contact mcb@mcb.umass.edu to be included on the email list for this announcement
Dissertation Title:  "Inter-Individual Variation in Response to Estrogen and Implications for Breast Cancer Risk"
Advisor:  Joe Jerry

Emily Houle MS Thesis Defense

photo of Emily Houle

Thursday, April 23, 2020
1:00 pm
Zoom link:  Please contact mcb@mcb.umass.edu to be included on the email list for this announcement
Thesis Title:  "Association Between Sperm DNA Methylation and Sperm Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number"
Advisor:  Rick Pilsner

Patrick Hill PhD Dissertation Defense

photo of Pat Hill

Wednesday, April 29, 2020
10:00 am
Zoom link:  Please contact mcb@mcb.umass.edu to be included on the email list for this announcement
Dissertation Title:  "Dissecting regulatory mechanisms of quorum sensing pathways in Bacillus subtilis"
Advisor:  Kevin Griffith

Peter Chien Named an American Academy of Microbiology Fellow

photo of Peter Chien

The American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) recently honored Peter Chien, professor in biochemistry and molecular biology, by naming him to the 2020 class of Fellows of the Academy, based on his record of “scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology.” The AAM is the honored leadership group within the American Society of Microbiology (ASM), one of the oldest and largest scientific societies in the world.

Chien says of the honor, “This recognition from the AAM reflects the cumulative work of the amazing group of students and trainees in my lab. I am thankful for all the work this team put into our science, and humbled by the recognition for our efforts." Read more

ADVANCE Mutual Mentoring Grants Awarded for 2020-21

The UMass ADVANCE team has announced the selection of four new teams for mutual mentoring grants, funded up to $6000 a year, over the 2020-21 year. The program is a five-year (2018-23) National Science Foundation (NSF) funded $3 million grant to support gender equity for faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with a focus on collaboration. Specifically, the program aims to support collaboration and equity among faculty by gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity and nationality.

Congratulations to Anne Gershenson, Maria Santore, Dong Wang, Ana Caicedo, Alice Cheung, Michelle Facette, Sibongile Mafu, and all of the other recipients of the award! Read more

Alice Cheung Receives Coveted Plant Biology Excellence Award  

Professor Alice Cheung

The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) recently announced that Alice Cheung, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, will receive the 2020 Lawrence Bogorad Award for Excellence in Plant Biology Research, made every other year to “a plant scientist whose work both illuminates the present and suggests paths to enlighten the future.” Read more

Congratulations to Kristyn Robinson!

photo of Kristyn Robinson

Kristyn Robinson (Fritz-Laylin group) received honorable mention for her NSF GRFP proposal on "Understanding key intervention points in a parasitic fungal infection." 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, Kristyn! Read more

Congratulations to Robert Yvon!

photo of Robert Yvon

Robert Yvon (Cheung group) received honorable mention for his NSF GRFP proposal on "Characterization of a Novel Protein/Carbohydrate Microparticle Central to Extracellular Signaling in Plants." 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, Robert! Read more

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