Department News

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

Eva Nogales, MCB Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics & Structural Biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, has been named a 2020 Biophysical Society Fellow.



August 27, 2019

We spend about one-third of our lives asleep, but much is still unknown about how this nightly occurrence is regulated by the brain. However, two new research papers from the lab of MCB Professor & HHMI Investigator Yang Dan seek to shed light on the systems and regions of the brain involved in sleep regulation.

In Cell, Zhang et al. identified both known and new areas throughout the brain with higher activity in sleeping mice compared to awake mice. These newly identified brain regions could be useful in the development of new methods to promote healthy sleep.

In Neuron, Ma et al. "screened for additional sleep-promoting areas using a different approach — working backwards from neurons known to promote wakefulness (wake neurons) to see which neurons connect to and inhibit them, causing sleep."

Read more from Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute here.

August 26, 2019

A new study from the Hurley lab reveals how an early-human mutation may have protected us from the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), perhaps giving us an advantage over other primates in early evolution.


August 23, 2019

Interested in becoming a UC Berkeley MCB faculty member? We are accepting applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position with the MCB Neurobiology division and the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute.

Apply by October 15, 2019, here.

August 21, 2019

​Congratulations to MCB Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics & Structural Biology Jennifer Doudna on becoming a 2019 LUI Che Woo Prize laureate!



August 21, 2019

MCB Professor of Immunology and Pathogenesis Russell Vance was recently interviewed by Elie Diner of Slide-Talk about key postdoc interview and presentation tips.




August 19, 2019

MCB affiliated and Plant & Microbial Biology Professor Arash Komeili has 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 and stimulate California's economy.


August 13, 2019

MCB Professor Gary Firestone was awarded the Beckman Foundation’s Pyramid Award last week at the annual Beckman Symposium. The award recognizes his efforts starting, organizing, and revising the Beckman Postdoctoral Fellowship program from 2014–2019.


August 09, 2019

Congratulations to MCB Professor James Hurley for being presented with a Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)!

This honor is in recognition of his work on the mechanism of HIV release from cells by ESCRT complexes.


August 01, 2019

Congratulations to Daniel Nomura on his promotion to MCB Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology!



July 17, 2019

We are excited to officially welcome new faculty member Srigokul ‘Gokul’ Upadhyayula to MCB! Upadyayula joins MCB as an Assistant Professor in Residence in the Division of Cell & Developmental Biology and is the first Scientific Director of the Advanced Bioimaging Center (ABC, formerly the Advanced Imaging Center) on campus.


July 12, 2019

Congratulations to Professor Emeritus Robert Glaeser on being awarded the 2019–20 Edward A. Dickson Emeriti Professorship!

This annual University of California award recognizes teaching, research, and public service. Glaeser is an international reference point for the physical and technical understanding of electron diffraction and imaging, as well as for his knowledge concerning biological radiation damage. Over the course of his career, he has mentored students and postdocs that have gone on to become leaders in the cryo-electron microscopy field.


July 09, 2019

Nomura & Zoncu

New research from the labs of MCB Assistant Professor Roberto Zoncu & MCB, Chemistry, and NST Associate Professor Dan Nomura reveals a newly-discovered small-molecule activator of autophagy called EN6. This research, published in Nature Chemical Biology, reveals a unique approach for enhancing autophagy, which may have implications for the development of novel therapeutics in the future.

Read more…

July 08, 2019

Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of our most recent PhD graduates and welcoming them as important members of the MCB alumni community!


June 28, 2019


A new study co-authored by MCB Professor Gary Karpen describes how the human DNA in centromeres, the central areas of chromosomes, has survived largely unchanged for hundreds of thousands of years.

Because they do not participate in the “crossover” process that occurs when cells divide to form sperm or eggs, centromeres may preserve very ancient stretches of DNA. The researchers found that some DNA at our centromeres may have originated in populations of Neanderthals and ancestral hominids from before modern humans migrated out of Africa.

This research may also provide a way of better understanding the functional importance of chromosomal crossover in sexually-reproducing organisms.


June 20, 2019