BMB Welcomes Dr. Savinov to the Faculty
BMB is pleased to welcome Extension Associate Professor Sergey Savinov, formerly a Senior Research Scientist at Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, to the Faculty. Dr. Savinov will liaise with the leadership of the Institute for Applied Life Sciences research centers to develop a core facility for structure-based drug design. He will also work with the UMass Worcester Small Molecule Screening Facility to develop, acquire and manage chemical libraries, and collaborate with researchers on both campuses to design small molecule screens, in addition to developing structure-based drug design and computational biology education modules to give students real-life experience in this burgeoning field.
Plant Cell Library Donated to UMass
A collection of tissue samples from over 3,500 plants around the world has been doanted to UMass Amherst and will be available for widespread use by researchers who will be able to test organisms in the collection for novel natural compounds. Initial funding for the collection is from a $150,000 UMass President's Office Science and Technology Award with Prof. Elizabeth Vierling as lead PI. Read more
Chien Lab Awarded Grant to Study Bacterial Stress
Assistant Professor Peter Chien was awarded a five-year grant totaling $1.4 million from the National Institutes of Health to understand how bacteria destroy their own proteins when dealing with stress. His research focuses on molecular machines in bacteria that selectively target particular proteins when the environment becomes damaging, such as during antibiotic treatments, which could reveal avenues for discovery of new drugs to treat infectious diseases. Read more
Prof. Vierling Awarded NSF Funds for Research and Outreach
Distinguished Professor Elizabeth Vierling received a four year grant for a total of $800,000 from the National Science Foundation to investigate features of plant energy metabolism that determine survival under stress conditions in order to optimize agricultural productivity. The research will examine the function of specific proteins in mitochondria (energy factories found in all cells), and involves collaborations with researchers in Germany and Australia. The award also supports outreach activities to encourage teenage girls to consider science as a career option and to inform the public about the scientific basis of genetically modified plants. Read more
Gierasch Named to NIH Council of Councils
Lila M. Gierasch, Distinguished Professor, was appointed to the National Institute of Health's Council of Councils. The council serves the NIH Director by recommending areas of research that the council members feel deserve attention for reasons of public health, because they have been underserved, or because they are areas of scientific opportunity. Read more
Alice Cheung Delivers Distinguished Faculty Lecture
Professor Alice Cheung was chosen as one of this year's four Distinguished Faculty Lecturers. She delivered the lecture, "The Birds and the Bees: How Do Plants Produce Seeds?" on March 25th in which she described how the female lures or rejects a mate and the journey of the male to target and fertilize a female. Read more
Reaching Out to the Community
The Eureka! program is providing research experience in science and technology projects to thirty eighth-grade girls from Holyoke. Faculty members will work with the students on the Amherst campus over five summers, as the students move through middle and high school. Read more
Lila Gierasch Selected to Receive Mildred Cohn Award
Distinguished Professor Lila M. Gierasch has been selected to receive the 2014 Mildred Cohn Award in Biological Chemistry, given annually by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). The award recognizes and honors scientists at all stages of their careers who have made substantial advances in understanding biological chemistry using innovative physical approaches.
Science Comes Naturally at UMass Amherst
Undergraduates in the College of Natural Sciences, two of whom are Biochemistry majors, discuss their experiences in the sciences at UMass Amherst.