Department News

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

April 10, 2019


Congratulations to MCB Professor Rebecca Heald, recipient of the 2018–19 Leon A. Henkin Citation for Distinguished Service! This award recognizes faculty with “exceptional commitment to the educational development of students from groups who are underrepresented in the academy.”


April 03, 2019

Wellness Symposium attendees

On March 28, the MCB Graduate Network and newly-established MCB Wellness Committee partnered to host the first-ever Wellness Symposium for students, faculty, and staff in the MCB Department. The event, held in honor of MCB PhD alum Cris Alvaro, aimed to focus on the importance of de-stigmatizing discussions of mental health in academia and emphasize mental health as an essential aspect of wellness. Continue reading >

April 01, 2019


Congratulations to the 11 MCB graduate students who have been named Outstanding Graduate Student Instructors! The OGSI Award recognizes GSIs from each department on campus for excellent work in the teaching of undergraduates.

March 28, 2019

Bateup & Hockemeyer

Congratulations to MCB Assistant Professors Helen Bateup & Dirk Hockemeyer, who have both been named Chan-Zuckerberg Biohub Investigators! This appointment recognizes accomplished junior faculty with well-established research program areas complementary to the current campus Biohub Investigators. 

James Olzmann, Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences & Toxicology, was also appointed as an Investigator.

March 15, 2019

Research setup

New research from the labs of MCB Professors Ehud Isacoff & John Flannery reports that insertion of a gene for a green-light receptor into the eyes of blind mice led to signs of reversed retinal degeneration. This gene therapy may soon be used to help restore vision in humans blindness due to retinal degeration.


March 14, 2019
Big Give

Show your Blue and Gold spirit by participating in this year's Big Give. This is a chance for us all to come together as an entire Cal commuity—alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends—to support our favorite department. Even the smallest gift can make a big difference!

This year, we're funding two main initiatives:

  1. Expand tutoring services: As the MCB major continues to grow, we want to expand our tutoring opportunities to students in upper division MCB courses such as MCB 102, 104, and 110.
  2. Establish a teaching award for outstanding Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs): MCB GSIs are integral to the success of our undergraduates. This award will recognize their invaluable contribution to teaching excellence.

Consider making a donation to the MCB Department to help us create many more great moments in the future!

Big Give
March 13, 2019


New research from the lab of MCB Professor Richard Kramer shows that a new therapy "could help prolong useful vision and delay total blindness" in humans with deteriorating vision. The treatment, which has been successful in trials with mice, utilizes drug or gene therapy to reduce interfering noise generated by nerve cells in the eye. Reduction of this noise can improve vision for those suffering from vision loss, including common age-related macular degeneration.

“This isn’t a cure for these diseases, but a treatment that may help people see better. This won’t put back the photoreceptors that have died, but maybe give people an extra few years of useful vision with the ones that are left,” says Kramer.


March 06, 2019


MCB Professor Michael Eisen has been named the new Editor-in-Chief of eLife, a peer-reviewed, open-access scientific journal for biomedical and life sciences. Eisen has long been a vocal proponent of open-access scientific publishing and reforming research communication.

Continue reading >

February 21, 2019

Congratulations to Associate Professor of MCB, NST & Chemistry Daniel Nomura for winning an ASPIRE Award from the Mark Foundation for Cancer Research! This award "funds high risk, high reward approaches to solving complex problems in cancer research that tend to fall outside the scope of other funding opportunities."

Nomura's lab is mapping hotspots of binding sites in human proteins that have been traditionally considered "undruggable" and developing novel small molecule drugs that bind to those proteins.

February 20, 2019

Congratulations to MCB Assistant Professor Priya Moorjani, who has been named a 2019 Sloan Research Fellow! The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awards this fellowship to outstanding early-career researchers and funds $70,000 over two years to fund their research.

Moorjani's lab studies evolutionary history and its impact on human adaptation and disease.