Department News

Below are articles from various sources about members of MCB and their research.

New research from the lab of MCB Associate Professor Diana Bautista demonstrates that a single molecule, sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), can cause both pain and itch in the skin of male mice. In the future, treatments that block the receptor for that molecule may control pain and itch sensations in those who suffer from certain skin diseases.

MCB graduate student Rose Hill is first author of the paper, published this week in The Journal of Neuroscience.

August 09, 2018

Hitomi Asahara and Alison Killilea were recently recognized for their contributions to the University with campus staff awards. Both scientists are directors of MCB research facilities and have found creative, innovative ways to improve or enhance their facilities. In turn, their work will help other UC Berkeley scientists perform their research more efficiently.

July 31, 2018

Recent MCB graduate Carolyn Elya, who studied with HHMI Investigator and Professor of GGD Michael Eisen, discovered a fungus that infects fruit flies, invades their nervous system, and manipulates the fly's behavior to its advantage. Infecting flies back in the lab, they were able to study how the E. Muscae pathogen infected the host and induced the behavioral changes. A paper was just published in eLife with their findings. 

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July 31, 2018

New Research from the lab of MCB Assistant Adjunct Professor and Scientific Director of the Innovative Genomics Initiative Jacob Corn sheds light on the 'black box' of how cells repair their DNA after the CRISPR-Cas9 enzyme makes its incision, and demonstrates that many of the common assumptions on how this repair occurs are incorrect.

July 31, 2018

MCB graduate student Kurtresha Worden and I&P Assistant Professor Kaoru Saijo are one of 45 student-adviser pairs to receive a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Gilliam Fellowship. Designed to support students aspiring become academic leaders from groups who are underrepresented in science, and to help their thesis advisers build inclusive training environments, they will receive an annual award including a student stipend and training allowance for up to three years.

Dr. Saijo's mentoring skills will be honed by a year of mentor development activities, crucial to supporting a student's research and professional skills. The pair will help to build a strong community of scientists who are committed to advancing diversity and inclusion. Congratulations Kurtresha and Kaoru! 

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July 30, 2018

MCB Professor & HHMI Investigator Eva Nogales is the 2019 recipient of the Grimwade Medal, awarded by the University of Melbourne to an outstanding researcher in biochemistry and molecular biology. The award is also accompanied by a prize of AU$5,000.

Nogales will present on her research in the field of cryoelectron microscopy at the annual Lorne 'Proteins' Conference in Lorne, Australia, in February 2019.

July 30, 2018

MCB Assistant Professor Polina Lishko and MCB, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Bioengineering Professor David Schaffer have joined the ranks of the Bakar Fellows, a program that provides up to 5 years of funding for faculty whose STEM innovations can translate to valuable commercial solutions.

July 30, 2018

A new research paper published in Nature Cell Biology from the lab of MCB Assistant Professor Roberto Zoncu reveals surprising new observations on the mechanism of activation of the master growth regulator mTORC1, a protein kinase implicated in cancer, diabetes and neurodegeneration.

July 30, 2018

Research from the labs of MCB Professors Chris Chang and Ehud Isacoff reveals new information on the role of copper in the brain on regulating circadian patterns. Zebrafish with lowered levels of copper in the brain exhibited symptoms of poorer sleep quality due to disrupted circadian patterns.

These findings may lead to improvements in the treatment of neurological and sleep-related disorders in humans.

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July 28, 2018

MCB Assistant Professor of Immunology and Pathogenesis, Michel DuPage, is the recipient of a Hope with Hazel St. Baldrick's Scholar grant. His funded project aims to target regulatory T cells (Tregs) as a novel method to enhance immune responses to Neuroblastoma (NB) - the third most common form of childhood cancer, and the leading cause of cancer deaths in children 1-4 years of age.

They will investigate the role of Tregs and the capacity to target them by modulating the function of the epiginetic regulator Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 (EZH2) to simultaneously target neoplastic cells and Tregs as a novel method to enhance immune responses to NB.

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July 20, 2018

MCB Professor & HHMI Investigator Eva Nogales has been awarded the 2018 Sandra K. Masur Senior Leadership Award by the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). The award recognizes an outstanding scientist with "a record of active leadership in mentoring both men and women in scientific careers," and is one of the ASCB's three Women in Cell Biology awards.

Nogales will be awarded a plaque and a $1,000 prize at the ASCB Annual Meeting in December 2018.

July 12, 2018

Nicolas C. Pégard, postdoctoral scholar in the Adesnik lab, is one of eleven awardees (chosen from almost 300 applicants) to receive a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface (CASI). The award recognizes scientific excellence and innovation, depth and quality of training, and the potential to establish an independent research career. 

The CASI will fund his advanced postdoctoral training at MCB, where he currently works on methods for 3D in vivo holographic optogenetic photostimulation and optical tracking of neural activity, and his transition into a faculty position. Congratulations, Nico!

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July 10, 2018

Congratulations to MCB Professor Jeremy Thorner, the 2019 recipient of ASBMB's Herbert Tabor Research Award! This award recognizes scientists who have made outstanding contributions in biochemistry and molecular biology.

Thorner will receive a $30,000 research award, a plaque, and present a lecture on his research at ASBMB's annual meeting in April 2019 in Orlando, FL.

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June 29, 2018

MCB Professor of the Graudate School Hiroshi Nikaido is the 2018 recipient of the American Society for Microbiology's Lifetime Achievement Award. This award honors scientists who have made sustained contributions to microbiological sciences, of which Nikaido has made many throughout his extensive career.

June 28, 2018

A new research paper published in Science, from the labs of MCB Professor Robert Tjian and Assistant Professor Xavier Darzacq, reveals surprising new observations on the mechanics of RNA Polymerase II (Pol II) during protein-coding gene transcription.

June 27, 2018

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