News & Announcements

Past news and announcements are shown below. Current news is shown on our homepage.

UMass Week of Memory and Forgetting Begins Oct. 29

Week of Memory and Forgetting 2018

UMass Week of Memory and Forgetting: Science, Society, and Senescence” brings together science and art to explore and understand memory from a variety of perspectives through a variety of events from Oct. 29-Nov. 2.  Read more

Bittman receives $2.4 million, 4-year NIH grant to support circadian rhythm research

The 4-year, $2.4 million NIH grant will allow Bittman to determine the sequence of duper, a mutation that speeds up the circadian clock and dramatically reduces jet lag by affecting the function of a master pacemaker in the hypothalamus. Millions of Americans work shift schedules, and most of us have experienced the disorientation that occurs when we travel across multiple time zones. Such abrupt shifts of the biological clock aggravate many diseases. The new grant will allow the Bittman lab  to determine how the duper mutation alters the brain's clock. In addition, Bittman will use the duper mutant to determine whether phase shifts per se, or the internal desynchronization of multiple clocks throughout the body, are responsible for the adverse health effects of jet lag. The work is done in collaboration with John Hogenesch (Cincinnati Children's Hospital).

Rat Brain Study By Richardson, Li and Colleagues Links Signal Velocity to Myelination

One of the outstanding questions in neurodevelopment research has been identifying how connections in the brain change to improve neural function during childhood and adolescence. Now, results from a study in rats just reported by neuroscientists Heather Richardson of psychological and brain sciences, Geng-Lin Li of biology, and colleagues suggest that as animals transition into adolescence, specific physical changes to axons speed up neural transmission, which may lead to higher cognitive abilities. (Read more)

Neuroscientist Rebecca Spencer on the Role of Sleep in Emotional Health

Rebecca Spencer of the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department  is investigating how Slow-wave sleep (SWS) may contribute to emotional memory processing in children, as was recently highlighted in an article in the BBC. Read more


Lacreuse lab receives $361,752 in NIH supplemental funding for Alzheimer’s disease study

The Lacreuse lab received $361,752 in supplemental funding from NIH to study whether Alzheimer’s disease-like symptoms occur naturally in  nonhuman primates with aging. Lacreuse is especially interested in determining whether female marmosets, like women, are more prone to such symptoms,  and her work seeks to identify the factors that predict pathological aging in each sex.  Lacreuse believes that comparative studies in different primate species will provide important new clues to advance our understanding of the etiology of Alzheimer's disease in humans.

Special IDGP Workshop for Graduate Students and Post-Docs: Hands-on workshop aimed to help students get creative about ways they can market their skills and knowledge

Katherine Onk

Plant Biology Graduate Student Samantha Glaze-Corcoran will host Katherine Onk from LinkedIn, who will lead a workshop targeted towards IDGP Graduate Students and Post-Docs.  
French Hall, Room 209
Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018 at 10am

A Splashy Welcome for Incoming Graduate Students

Incoming students in the interdisciplinary graduate programs in the life sciences (MCB, NSB, OEB and PB) enjoyed a day of whitewater rafting on the Deerfield River. Several faculty, staff and current students joined the group. The rafting adventure was a great way to get to know one another and have a ton of fun at the same time.

IDGP Student and Faculty BBQ August 28, 2018

New IDGP Student Outing

Please join us for an all student and faculty BBQ mixer to welcome the incoming Fall 2018 cohort!

IDGP New Student Reception BBQ
Date: August 28, 2018
Time: 5:00pm start time
Location: Durfee Lawn (the lawn just north of French Hall, near the pink pillars and Durfee greenhouse)
Please RSVP by August 20

Hope to see you there! The BBQ will include vegetarian food options and a cash bar will be available.

Spencer Receives NIH, NSF Grants for Child Sleep Studies

Rebecca Spencer, psychological and brain sciences, recently received a two-year, $423,208 grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with co-investigator Tracy Riggins at the University of Maryland, to study the role of sleep and brain maturation on memory in early childhood development, specifically when children transition out of naps. (Read more...)

Blaustein Honored by Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology for Lifetime Achievement

Jeffrey D. Blaustein, professor emeritus of psychological and brain sciences, has been named this year’s winner of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology’s Daniel S. Lehrman Lifetime Achievement Award.

He was cited for “a career of eminent scholarship in behavioral neuroendocrinology and a record of outstanding mentorship of future scientists.”  (Read more)