Department News

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

More than 100 years ago, Theodor Boveri proposed that errors in the segregation of genetic material (chromosomes) to two daughter cells during cell division could be a cause of cancer.Furthermore, chromosome segregation defects during meiotic germ cell divisions are responsible for many spontaneous abortions and can lead to birth defects such as Down syndrome. Despite its fundamental importance very little is known about the molecular origins of these potentially devastating errors.

April 26, 2005
You are cordially invited to attend the annual MCB Undergraduate Honors Research Poster Session this Friday, April 15th, 3:00-5:00pm in the VLSB Courtyard (VLSB Lobby in case of rain).

View approximately sixty posters and partake in a delicious spring reception. Outstanding posters will be displayed at Cal Day, Saturday, April 16th.

April 13, 2005

On Saturday, April 9, 2005 the Department of Molecular & Cell Biology and the College of Letters & Science are hosting a symposium in honor of Emeritus Professor of Neurobiology Gunther Stent.

March 29, 2005

Morgan Harris, Professor Emeritus and former Chair of the Department of Zoology (one of the precursor departments to MCB) died on February 14 at the age of 88.

For details please see the UC Press Release.

March 15, 2005

A major step in the development of the vertebrate embryo - the establishment of a back that morphs into a brain, spinal cord and muscles - turns out to be so important that the body uses at least three signals to make sure it happens properly.

The discovery, reported this month in the journal Developmental Cell by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, finally explains an 80-year-old observation that revolutionized the way biologists think about embryonic and fetal development and set the stage for the stem cell debate.

March 15, 2005

On Thursday, March 24, 2005 the Department of Molecular & Cell Biology, Division of Cell & Developmental Biology, will be sponsoring a symposium entitled "New Frontiers in Cellular Imaging" in the Chan Shun Auditorium

In recent years, vastly improved techniques for labeling cellular structures with fluorescent probes, coupled with dramatic improvements in microscopes and software, have had a revolutionary impact on our ability to appreciate the intricate organization and dynamic properties of living cells.

March 03, 2005

Professor Hiroshi Nikaido has been awarded the Bristol-Myers Squibb "Freedom to Discover" Award for Distinguished Acheivement in Infectious Diseases Research.

The award consists of $50,000 and a silver medallion.

February 01, 2005

Professor John Kuriyan has been awarded the 2005 Richard Lounsbery Award by the National Acadamy of Sciences.

For more information see:

National Academies Press Release
Richard Lounsbery Award Site


January 25, 2005

Professor Douglas Melton from Harvard University will present the 2005 Choh Hao Li Lecture series on January 19 and 20 at 4:00 in the Cox Auditorium (100 GPBB).

January 11, 2005

Nestled inside the human genome, there may be another secret code waiting to be deciphered. The human genome is now thought to contain 22,000 or so genes that code for proteins, the building blocks of life. But how are such a small number of genes programmed to embark on widely different paths of development?

December 21, 2004
Professor John Forte has been selected as a recipient of the 2003-2004 Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Research Excellence for the prevention & non-invasive therapy of gastrointestinal disorders.

Please visit the Sheikh Hamdan site for additional information about the award.

December 07, 2004

A pressure cooker with windows? That was the basic idea behind the bubble chamber, a powerful instrument for the study of atomic particles that led to a 1960 Nobel Prize in Physics for its inventor, UC Berkeley professor Donald Glaser.

December 03, 2004

UC Berkeley has been ranked as the second best University in the world in a survey by the Times Higher Education Supplement, a remarkable achievement for a public university.

The complete ranking are available at

November 15, 2004

Crammed inside every human cell are numerous strands of chromosomal DNA that, if laid end-to-end, would span a distance of about two meters. A special enzyme mechanically untangles the DNA, keeping our chromosomes from resembling a string of Christmas tree lights jammed into a box after the holiday. Someday, biochemist James Berger's efforts to understand the same enzyme in cancer cells could lead to new tumor-fighting drugs.

November 05, 2004

Assistant Professor Lu Chen has been awarded the prestigeous Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

For more information see:

Official Packard Announcement

November 01, 2004