Past News & Announcements

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In Memory of Thomas Lessie, Ph.D.

May 2018: Thomas Lessie, former Professor of Microbiology, passed away on May 5, 2018, in Madison, Wisconsin. Dr. Lessie joined the Microbiology faculty at the University of Massachusetts in 1968. Dr. Lessie taught bacterial physiology in the Department until his retirement from the University in 2002. He was an exceptional teacher. In his honor, the Microbiology Graduate Students of the time established an annual award for teaching excellence. His research focused on the molecular genetics and bacterial physiology of strains of Pseudomonas and Burkholderia. Read more...

Dhanya Kumar Awarded Fulbright Grant

May 2018: Dhanya Kumar, Microbiology Class of 2018, was one of 14 recipients of a Fulbright grant for 2018-2019. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as a record of service and leadership potential in their respective fields. Ms. Kumar will travel to the United Kingdom to pursue a master’s degree in biological sciences at the University of London’s Institute of Cardiovascular Research. Read more...

UMass Graduation Celebration Held May 11-12

May 2018: Congratulations to all members of the Microbiology graduating class of 2018! Graduation for undegraduate degree recipients was celebrated on Friday, May 11, and a separate College of Natural Sciences graduation held on Saturday, May 12. Graduate degree recipients received their degrees at the UMass Graduate School Commencement also held on Friday. Among the recipients of graduate degrees was Begum Topcuoglu, who received her Ph.D.

Cost of Tick Testing Slashed for Massachusetts Residents

May 2018: The cost of testing a tick usually costs $50 - $200 at the UMass Laboratory of Medical Zoology (LMZ) but due to a $100,000 CDC grant, the cost has been slashed to just $15 for Massachusetts residents. Ticks can be mailed to the LMZ for testing where Dr. Stephen Rich and his team of researchers extract the tick's DNA and test if for pathogens. Results are usually received within 24 - 72 hours. Read more...

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: