Past News & Announcements

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Microbiology Department Climate Committee Drafts Statement of Values

May 2018:  The new departmental advisory committee in Microbiology consists of Kristen DeAngelis (also member on the College Climate Committee), Ian Sparks, Srishti Kashap, Joy Ward and Nsan Melkonjan. A strategic goal of our institution is to advance a climate of inclusivity on our campus, predicated on our belief that an environment in which all members of our community can thrive and reach their full potential will strengthen the pursuit of our collective aspirations. Our departmental committee has been working to create a network of opportunities for all members of our community to be engaged in the process of charting a path forward on an on-going basis. Towards this end, the committee will be approaching all members of the department to review our draft Statement of Values. We are also looking for other ideas and thoughts on improving and maintaining an inclusive and equitable climate in our department, and encourage all who wish to reach out. The Department Climate Committee can be contacted by email:

Caroline Qin Named UMass 21st Century Leader

May 2018: Caroline Qin, Microbiology Class of 2018, will be one of ten UMass seniors honored as a 21st Century Leader during Undergraduate Commencement on Friday, May 11. The award honors the exemplary achievement, initiative and leadership of talented and accomplished graduating seniors.  Read more...

Lovley Named Einstein Professor

May 2018: Derek Lovley was recently honored as one of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Einstein Professors for 2018. Twenty of the professorships are awarded each year across the sciences. As part of the professorship Derek Lovley will be touring China this month to give lectures on topics related to electro-microbiology and protein nanowires at five different institutions, as part of the academy’s year-long celebration of the research honor. Read more...

William Eagen Selected as Rising Researcher

April 2018: William Eagen, Microbiology class of 2018, was selected as a UMass Rising Researcher. In a ceremony held on Wednesday, April 25, the award was presented by UMass Chancellor Kumble Subaswamy. The Rising Researcher student acknowledgement program is designed to raise the profile of UMass' most promising undergraduate students and to publicly acknowledge their excellent work. This program is jointly supported by University Relations and Research & Engagement.

Under the guidance of Assistant Microbiology Professor Yasu Morita, Eagen and fellow students discovered that a defect in the production of glycolipid, a protein unique to Mycobacterium, made the cell highly vulnerable to antibiotics and to attack by the human immune system. Eagen designed and executed a series of labor-intensive experiments, and uncovered copper as one specific agent, to which the glycolipid-defective mutant had become hypersensitive. His discovery indicates that a glycolipid-targeted chemotherapy might create synergy with existing antibiotics, a possible step towards treatment. The study was just published in Microbiology Letters, a prestigious journal of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

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."