• How Fungi Make Nutrients Available to the World

    A recent article by the US Department of Energy reviews research and breakthroughs in biotechnology related to the conversion of woody biomass residues to useful bioproducts and biofuels. Professor Barry Goodell’s research in the UMass Microbiology department is discussed along with that of several other leading researchers in the field.  Goodell’s work has led to the discovery on a unique, and highly efficient, non-enzymatic mechanism that fungi use to deconstruct wood. Read more »

  • Morita Lab Studies Glycolipid Biosynthesis as a Potential Drug Target

    The American Lung Association recently awarded Dr. Yasu Morita a grant to advance research to identify a protein involved in the production of glycolipids that can be targeted by new drugs. Read more »

  • Applied and Molecular Biotechnology (AMB) Master's Program in its Fifth Year

    The Applied and Molecular Biotechnology Program welcomed its fifth class in Fall 2017. Read more »

  • Holden Studies Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents in Northeastern Pacific

    One of the many research projects currently underway in the Holden Laboratory is the study of geomicrobiology of deep-sea hydrothermal vents along the Juan de Fuca Ridge in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. Read more »

  • Derek Lovley

    Lovley Invention Boosts the University's Number of Patents Recorded in One Year

    Derek Lovley, Distinguished University Professor, and Kelly Nevin Lovley, Research Assistant Professor, have developed and licensed a new technology, microbial electrosynthesis, which led the University of Massachusetts to record 62 patents in 2015 which is a record-high for the University. Read more... Read more »

News & Announcements

Patrick Pearson Awarded Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative Research Grant

March 2018: Patrick Pearson, Microbiology Ph.D. student, has been awarded a research grant through the Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative to study Borrellia burgdorferi on Cape Cod and the islands. The title of the research project is "Borrelia burgdorferi Prevalance and ospC Diversity on Cape Cod Islands and Mainland."

Stephanie Delzell Selected as CRF Graduate Grant Writing Scholar

March 2018: Stephanie Delzell, Microbiology Ph.D. candidate, has been selected as a 2018 scholar by the Center for Research on Families (CRF). Ms. Delzell will participate in the inaugural 2018 CRF Graduate Grant Writing Program. CRF aims to create a strong community of colleagues from multiple disciplines who study issues of high relevance to families, and to increase funding for this research at the University.

Bryan Salas-Santiago Recipient of Graduate Student Award

February 2018: Bryan Salas-Santiago, Microbiology Ph.D. candidate, was awarded the Curtis B. Thorne "Carry On" Award on February 24, 2018. The award was established in 2008 to honor former Microbiology Faculty member Curt Thorne. The graduate student is chosen based on contributions to the Department and their discipline and for serving as a role model to other students. Locally, Mr. Salas-Santiago writes a science column in El Sol Latino, a newspaper geared towards the latino community and over the past months was instrumental in raising funds which provided hurricane relief to Puerto Rico.

Yasu Morita Receives Award from Pittsfield Anti-Tuberculosis Association

January 2018: Yasu Morita, Assistant Professor of Microbiology, received a one year award from the Pittsfield Anti-Tuberculosis Association. The one-year grant was awarded to support Dr. Morita's research project, "Genetic validation of a mycobacterial cell envelope protein LmeA as a target for tuberculosis chemotherapy."

Hayashi and Morita Publish Paper

January 2018: Mycobacteria include medically important species, such as the human tuberculosis pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The highly impermeable cell envelope is a hallmark of these microbes, and its biosynthesis is a proven chemotherapeutic target. Despite the accumulating knowledge regarding the biosynthesis of individual envelope components, the regulatory mechanisms behind the coordinated synthesis of the complex cell envelope remain elusive. A team of microbiologists led by Yasu Morita previously reported the presence of a metabolically active membrane domain enriched in the elongating poles of actively growing mycobacteria, but its spatiotemporal dynamics was unknown. In a recent paper published in mBio, the team showed that the membrane domain is spatially rearranged when growth is inhibited under stress conditions. These data suggest that mycobacteria have a mechanism to spatiotemporally coordinate the membrane domain in response to metabolic needs under different growth conditions. Read more...