Past News & Announcements

Nature Nanotechnology Reports Findings by Lovley and Colleagues

November 2014:  A collaborative study between Derek Lovley and UMass physicists Nikhil Malvankar, Sibel Ebru Yalcin and Mark Tuominen, provides strong evidence that support their claims that Geobacter produces small electrical wires. This group of researchers confirmed the discovery using EFM, a technique that can show how electrons move through materials.  Their findings were reported in the current issue of Nature Nanotechnology.  Read more...

Lecture by Arthur Allen Featured on November 20

The Department of Microbiology is cosponsoring a lecture by Arthur Allen entitled, “The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl: How Two Brave Scientists Battled Typhus and Sabotaged the Nazis”. Arthur Allen currently editor at Politico’s Pro eHealth, has decades of experience in journalism as a correspondent for The Associated Press. He covered the war in El Salvador for three years and was based in Germany in the 1990s. He is the author of Vaccine (Norton, 2007), a social and scientific history of vaccination, and Ripe (Counterpoint, 2011), a study of tomato breeding, genetics and production. The lectur will take place on November 20 at 4:00 p.m. at the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, 758 North Pleasant Street. Read more...

Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium Features Research of Microbiology Graduate Students

November 2014:  Jennifer Hayashi, Sylvia Rivera-Ferreira and Begum Topcuoglu, Microbiology graduate students, will give research presentations at the University of Massachusetts Fourth Annual Lifes Sciences Graduate Research Symposium on Friday, November 21st, Room 163 Campus Center.

Panel Discussion on the Ebola Epidemic

October 2014:  Wilmore Webley, Associate Professor of Microbiology, moderated a panel discussion on the Ebola Epidemic at the University of Massachusetts on Tuesday, October 28, at 6:00 p.m. in the Campus Center Auditorium.  Panel participants included Martha Anker from the UMass School of Public Health and Health Sciences; George Corey, Director/Medical Director at University Health Services; Donna Gallagher, Founding Codirector of the UMass Medical School Office of Global Health and Alpha Kabinet Kaba, Pioneer Valley Performing Arts and a native of Guinea whose family has been impacted by the Ebola outbreak.  Read more...

News from the Webley Laboratory

July 2014:  The Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer Research recently awarded Wilmore Webley a one year grant for his project entitled "Deciphering the Role of Human Adenovirus Infection in Obesity and Breast Cancer Risk."

June 2014:  Wilmore Webley was invited to present a guest lecture to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on May 29th at the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute, Jamaica Plain, Boston MA.  His presentation entitled “Evaluation of a Gas Vesicle Nanoparticle-based Chlamydia Vaccine: New Hope for The Future?” highlighted the progress his research team has made in developing a Chlamydia vaccine.  Dr. Webley was hosted by Marija PopStefanija and Immunization Epidemiologists from the Bureau of Infectious Disease Prevention, Response & Services. In attendance were members of the Infectious Disease Prevention, Response & Services, the MDPH Bureau of Laboratory Sciences, The Massachusetts Food Protection Program and the presentation was linked to satellite regional offices in various regions throughout the state.

May 2014:  Kelly Aldridge, student researcher in the laboratory of Wilmore Webley, recently presented a poster entitled "From Sneeze to Wheeze:  Hunting for Asthmagenic Microbes" at the General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Boston, Massachusetts.  Ms. Aldridge's poster was selected for a press release by ASM.

Applied Molecular Biotechnology Program a Big Success

June 2014:  The Department of Microbiology's new accelerated one-year Applied Molecular Biotechnology Master's program has concluded its first academic year having placed 100 percent of its students into summer internships at biotechnology firms.  Read more...

Postdoctoral Researcher Receives Career Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund

June 2014:  Nikhil Malvankar, a postoctoral researcher with UMass faculty members Derek Lovley (Microbiology) and Mark Tuominen (Physics), has received a five-year, $500,000, career award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.  The career award is designed to assist in advancing postdoctoral researchers into faculty positions.  Read more...

Lovley Among Eight UMass Researchers to be Named 'Highly Cited Researchers 2014'

June 2014:  Derek Lovley was among eight UMass researchers to be named "Highly Cited Researchers 2014" by Thomson Reuters for contributing publications that are considered the most influential in their respective fields.  The eight named are all faculty in the College of Natural Sciences at UMass Amherst:  Eric Decker, David Julian McClements, Yeonhwa Park, all of food science; Vincent Rotello, chemistry; Thomas Russell, polymer science and engineering, Baoshan Xing, environmental soil and chemistry; Derek Lovley, microbiology, and space scientist Mauro Giavaliso, astronomy.  Read more...

Tick Talk: What You Can Do About Lyme Disease

Stephen Rich, Microbiology Professor and Director of the Laboratory of Medical Zoology, will be a panelist at a community forum exploring the prevalence of Lyme disease as well as prevention and treatment on June 17 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at JFK Middle School on Bridge Road in Florence.

Laboratory of Medical Zoology in the News

May 2014:  Two undergraduate researchers, Lora Miller and William Mohn, were recently interviewed by PBS about their work with ticks and tick-borne disease in the Laboratory of Medical Zoology.  Read more....

April 2014: The Laboratory of Medical Zoology has seen an increase in tick activity with the warmer weather arriving.  Dr. Rich and his team of researchers provide tick testing services and were recently featured in a news clip on the local ABC40 news station.  Read more...

Webley Receives Grant From American River Nutrition Inc.

May 2014: Wilmore Webley, Associate Professor of Microbiology, was recently awarded a one-year grant from American River Nutrition Inc. (ARN) for his study of asthma.  ARN is a local biotech company and the maker of DeltaGold®, an all-natural, pure tocotrienol from the annatto plant. The current study is a first step in what is expected to be a fruitful, long-term collaboration with ARN.  The Webley Lab will utilize pure tocotrienol supplied by ARN to identif specific therapeutic targets in the arachidonic acid pathway of asthmatic inflammation and will confirm their impact on infection induced and inhaled corticosteroid-resistant asthma. The Webley Lab is excited about the future of this venture.

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting over 300 million people worldwide and has multiple phenotypes and inflammatory triggers. These phenotypes share common inflammatory features, although their specific immunologic pathways may differ mechanistically. As we dissect and better understand these mechanisms at the molecular level, the treatment of patients with asthma can be better tailored to specific phenotypes. The Webley Lab previously confirmed that a certain subset of hard-to-control asthma is mediated by Chlamydia pneumoniae. Tocotrienols, members of the vitamin E family are potent antioxidants that stand out as potential treatment options for at least some of the asthma phenotypes known today because they are known to block specific molecules in the inflammatory pathway. In addition, tocotrienols were previously shown to inhibit the extent of chlamydial entry and progeny.

2014 CNS Outstanding Staff Award

May 2014: Congratulations to Microbiology staff member, Kelley Strickland, on receiving the 2014 College of Natural Sciences Outstanding Staff Award in a ceremony held on May 14.  Ms. Strickand is a Technical Assistant II in the Microbiology Teaching Services.  Read more...