Below are articles from various sources about members of MCB and 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.
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.”
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 >
Sponsored by Innovative Genomics Institute.
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 >
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.
Our department has much to celebrate and be thankful for this year, especially our extraordinary community!
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.
New research from MCB Assistant Professor Stephan Lammel challenges the long-standing presumption that dopamine exists primarily as a reward in response to pleasurable stimuli. Instead, Lammel's findings indicate that dopamine has a "yin-yang" personality and is released in response to both pleasurable and displeasurable stimuli as a means of changing neural circuits. Those changes then train the brain to either pursue or avoid those stimuli.
This new understanding of the function of dopamine can lead to new approaches in treating certain neurological disorders affected by dopamine, such as Parkinson's and substance addiction.
Congratulations to Hillel Adesnik, Xavier Darzacq, and Polina Lishko on their promotions to MCB Associate Professors!
Hillel Adesnik studies the dynamics of neural circuits underlying information processing in the cerebral cortex. His lab seeks to understand how cortical microcircuits process sensory information to drive behavior.
Xavier Darzacq studies transcription regulation during cellular differentiation. The Tjian-Darzacq group focuses on the role imposed by nuclear architecture on the molecules regulating transcription, and have developed new techniques to study the organization of proteins in the nucleoplasm.
Polina Lishko studies cell biology of mammalian fertilization. Her research on human sperm cell motility may lead to new forms of male contraceptives.
A new study from MCB Associate Professor & HHMI Investigator Andreas Martin reveals how proteasomes convert energy into mechanical motion to break down and recycle proteins. This research on the mechanism of proteasomes could improve treatment of diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and cancer.
It is with great sadness we report the passing of Jack Kirsch, who served as a Professor of MCB and Chemistry from 1964 to 2006 and as a Professor of the Graduate School in retirement. Jack was an esteemed scientist and a pillar of the campus community who will be greatly missed by all who knew and worked with him.
Jack received the UC Berkeley Edward A. Dickson Emeriti Professorship in 2016, a prestigious award that recognizes dedicated Emeriti who have made outstanding and far-reaching contributions to teaching, research, and public service. The award epitomizes the remarkable impact Jack had on the Cal community, from his groundbreaking research career in the field of biochemistry to his passion for teaching a freshman seminar titled "Sampling the Performing Arts at Berkeley."
In this time of loss, we as a community must remember how fortunate we are to have been influenced by Jack's great legacy. We offer our condolences to Jack's family and close friends.