Department News

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


A new paper published in Nature from the lab of MCB Associate Professor Ahmet Yildiz shows how the structure of dynein, a family of cytoskeletal motor proteins, determines its directionality. By engineering variants of dynein with altered stalk angles, the researchers uncover why all dyneins move toward only the minus end of a microtubule during cytoskeletal movement.

The research is a collaboration with scientists from the Medical Research Council in the UK and Istanbul Technical University.


February 14, 2019
Fletcher & Hariharan

Congratulations to Professors Daniel Fletcher and Iswar Hariharan, two new Miller Professors from MCB! The Miller Professorship award allows UC Berkeley faculty the opportunity to join the interdisciplinary community surrounding the Miller Institute and pursue new research directions.

February 06, 2019

A new paper published in Nature from the labs of MCB Professors Jennifer Doudna and Eva Nogales reveals the power and potential of the CRISPR-CasX gene editing enzyme. Compared to its well-studied cousins Cas9 and Cas12, CasX is much smaller and may be better shaped for more efficient genetic engineering.


February 04, 2019

Congratulations to MCB & Chemistry Professor Chris Chang, winner of the 2019 Raymond and Beverly Sackler International Prize in Chemistry from Tel Aviv University. This prize is awarded to outstanding young scientists under 45 years of age who exhibit great originality and excellence in their research.


February 04, 2019
    cystic fibrosis

A new discovery from MCB Professor of the Graduate School Terry Machen and a team from the University of Saskatchewan may lead to new cystic fibrosis drugs that are more effective and better-tolerated by those suffering from the disease. 


January 30, 2019

New research from the lab of MCB Professor Marla Feller shows visual stimuli can shape the visual system before eye opening.

These results open up a whole new area of research. “No one has essentially put a mouse in the dark before the eyes open, because they thought it would have no effect,” Feller says. Her next step is to investigate how light exposure before eye opening — which happens in nature for many species of mice — might influence the development of the circuitry within the retina itself.

Read more >


January 30, 2019
2019 AAM Fellows

Congratulations to MCB Professor Jeffery Cox, Professor Britt Glaunsinger, and Associate Professor Arash Komeili on their elections as Fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology! They join a cohort of scientists from around the world who have made significant contributions to the advancement of microbiology.

View all the 2019 AAM Fellows here.

January 28, 2019

Congratulations to MCB Assistant Professor Stephan Lammel, recipient of the 2019 C.J. Herrick Award in Neuroanatomy! This award from the American Association of Anatomists honors an early-career investigator who has made important contributions to biomedical science and the field of neuroanatomy.

Lammel will be honored at the AAA Closing Awards Ceremony Reception & Dinner in Orlando, Florida, in April 2019.

View all the 2019 AAA award recipients here.

January 23, 2019
autism research

New research from the lab of MCB Professor Daniel Feldman challenges the common assumption that lack of inhibition or too much excitation in neurons cause the disease symptoms of autism.

“Many groups are searching for ways to increase inhibition in the brain... on the assumption that increasing inhibition will restore the brain back to normal,” said Feldman. “But actually, our results suggest that loss of inhibition might represent a useful compensation that the brain is doing, or might be unrelated to disease symptoms.”


January 22, 2019
Fly through the Fly Brain

A remarkable new 3D map of the fly brain from the lab of MCB Professor & HHMI Investigator Eric Betzig allows researchers to visit any of the fly's 40 million synapses – and took only 3 days to produce.

This rapid 3D imaging technique may ultimately allow researchers to judge strength of neural connections and trace those involved in decision-making and memory, among many other uses. Watch the video >

January 17, 2019

CRISPR Summer 2019 course flyerUndergraduates: Here’s your chance to gain hands-on experience working with CRISPR technology! Enroll in our unique Summer 2019 workshop and learn the CRISPR research essentials.

Sponsored by Innovative Genomics Institute.

January 15, 2019
Drubin at JPMHC19

UC Berkeley MCB hosted its 2nd annual networking reception for over 100 MCB alumni and friends working in the healthcare, biotechnology, and financial industries during the 37th annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco earlier this week. The reception was a time to catch up with old classmates and faculty, make new connections with various Cal alumni (Chemistry, EECS and Bioengineering), and meet industry professionals from innovative companies wanting to create new ties. Continue reading >

January 11, 2019
Cas9 molecule

New research from MCB Associate Professor David Savage and MCB & Chemistry Professor Jennifer Doudna shows that an enzyme called ProCas9 can be used to target specific cells during CRISPR gene editing.

“This is an extra layer of security you could put on the molecule to ensure accurate cutting,” said Savage.


January 10, 2019
Happy Holidays from MCB!

Our department has much to celebrate and be thankful for this year, especially our extraordinary community!

Watch the 2018 holiday video and read the MCB Co-Chairs message here...

December 22, 2018

Congratulations to DNA Sequencing Facility director Hitomi Asahara, whose provisional patent is now available for licensing from UC Berkeley IPIRA. The provisional patent improves Sanger sequencing elongation speeds during DNA sequencing.

Earlier this year, Asahara received a UC Berkeley SPOT award for improving the efficiency and lowering the costs of operations at the DNA Sequencing Facility.

December 19, 2018