Department News

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

A groundbreaking new study from the labs of MCB Professors Michael Rape and Richard Harland describes a quality control pathway, called DQC (dimerization quality control), for regulators of the BTB family. DQC removes BTB dimers of abberant composition from interrupting signal transduction in a cell.

September 14, 2018

A team of researchers led by MCB Professor Daniel Portnoy has discovered that many bacteria in the human gut microbiome, such as the species which cause listeriosis and gangrene, produce electricity as part of their metabolic processes.

September 13, 2018

MCB Professor David Raulet, Univ. of Ottawa & Ottawa Hospital's Michele Ardolino and their colleagues' paper in The Journal of Clinical Investigation describes the important role Natural Killer (NK) cells may play in targeting tumors when combined with cancer immunotherapy drugs called checkpoint inhibitors.

They are currently investigating approaches to further enhance the cancer-killing ability of NK cells, and hope to someday profile how an individual's immune system interacts with their cancer, enabling more personalized immunotherapy treatments.


September 13, 2018

Congratulations to MCB Professor Matt Welch, who was recently named one of 13 new ASCB Fellows! This fellowship recognizes those in the field of cell biology who have exhibited a career-long commitment to the mission of the ASCB.

Professor Welch and the twelve other new Fellows will be recognized at the ASCB|EMBO Meeting in December 2018 in San Diego.


September 10, 2018

MCB Assistant Professor Eunyoung Park was named a 2018 Vallee Scholar by the Vallee Foundation, which awards $300,000 research grants to exceptional early career researchers and investigators. Assistant Professor Park's research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of protein translocation across cell membranes.


September 07, 2018

New research from the lab of MCB Assistant Professor Polina Lishko describes how flagellar regulatory nanodomains of human sperm are critical to sperm fertility. Hv1 proton channels in those nanodomains are distributed asymmetrically along bilateral flagellar lines to provide the structural basis for flagellar rotation.

The research was published this week in Cell Reports and is a collaboration between the Lishko lab and the lab of Ke Xu, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry.

September 07, 2018

The Department of Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB) at the University of California, Berkeley seeks candidates for a new position, Professor in Molecular & Cell Biology and Chief Scientific Director of the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI). The expected start date is July 1, 2019.


September 05, 2018

A team of researchers led by MCB Associate Professor David Savage has designed a novel protein engineering method known as MISER, which slims down the CRISPR-Cas9 protein.

A standard Cas9 protein is composed of 1,368 amino acids and is too large for many biomedical applications. By reducing the size of Cas9 proteins without sacrificing their core features, Savage and his team hope to pave the way to even more CRISPR-based therapies in the future.

September 02, 2018

New research from the lab of MCB Assistant Adjunct Professor Jacob Corn identified that autophagic degradation of the endoplasmic reticulum, or ER-phagy, in human cells is regulated by ER-remodeling proteins known as Atlastins.

September 02, 2018

A Public Engagement Grant was awarded to MCB graduate student Dan Kramer (Bateup lab) for his program to bring in-depth science to local elementary schools. The grant is funded by the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) through the Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation supporting projects that unlock scientific thinking. Congratulations, Dan!


August 22, 2018

In a new paper published in Nature Medicine, MCB Assistant Professors Helen Bateup and Dirk Hockemeyer modeled cortical tubers, or regions of disorganized neurons and glia in the cortex, with 3D human brain organoids. Cortical tubers are hallmark pathologies of tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a rare genetic disease which causes benign tumors on the brain and other organs.

August 21, 2018

Several UC Berkeley undergraduate researchers from a variety of programs, including MCB and Neuroscience, share stories about their research projects and explain how important their research has been in shaping their experiences here at UC Berkeley.

August 20, 2018

MCB Professor of Immunology and Pathology Jeffery Cox with Nevan Krogan of UCSF and the Gladstone Institutes and other researchers, utilized mass spectrometry to target 34 Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) proteins inside human cells, enabling them to study 187 interactions between the human and tuberculosis proteins. Their paper, published in Molecular Cellhighlights creating an Mtb-human protein-protein interaction map and identifying a switch between host antiviral and antibacterial responses. 

The team hopes to target human host proteins involved in commonly hijacked cell pathways during the disease state, and develop new therapies that use a single drug to treat multiple pathogens - not only bacterial TB but viral infections and other diseases. 


August 17, 2018

New research from the lab of MCB Associate Professor Diana Bautista demonstrates that a single molecule, sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), can cause both pain and itch in the skin of male mice. In the future, treatments that block the receptor for that molecule may control pain and itch sensations in those who suffer from certain skin diseases.

MCB graduate student Rose Hill is first author of the paper, published this week in The Journal of Neuroscience.

August 09, 2018

Hitomi Asahara and Alison Killilea were recently recognized for their contributions to the University with campus staff awards. Both scientists are directors of MCB research facilities and have found creative, innovative ways to improve or enhance their facilities. In turn, their work will help other UC Berkeley scientists perform their research more efficiently.

July 31, 2018