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.
Below are articles from various sources about members of MCB and their research.
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:
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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.
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.
New research published in Nature from Assistant Adjunct Professor Professor Karen Davies and Associate Professor David Savage reveals the structure of NDH, a protein structure necessary for photosynthesis. This new molecular blueprint will allow researchers to directly test hypotheses of how NDH facilitates sugar production.
“This work will lead to a better understanding of how photosynthesis occurs, which could allow us to improve the efficiency of photosynthesis in plants and other green organisms – potentially boosting the amount of food, and thus biomass, they produce,” said lead researcher Davies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.