Past News & Announcements

Rich Offers Expertise on Mosquito-Borne Illness

June 2013:  Dr. Stephen Rich, a Professor of Microbiology specializing in tick and mosquito-borne illness, recently offered his expertise in a news report on the increase of mosquitos seen in the New England region following recent heavy rainfall.  The news report was featured on WGBH.  Read more.

National Geographic's Daily News Highlights Electrofuels Research

June 2013:  Derek Lovley is involved in one of 14 research projects underway through the U.S. Department of Energy's electrofuels program.  Researchers are genetically engineering microorganisms that produce chemicals which burn directly in gas tanks.  Read more

Microbiology Graduate Degrees Awarded

May 2013:  Congratulations to the Microbiology Class of 2013!  Three members of the Class of 2013 received recognition for their academic accomplishments:  Michael Boucher was named a UMass 21st Century Leader for far-ranging achievement, initiative and social awareness; Rebecca Cottman was selected as this year's Microbiology student speaker at the CNS Graduation Ceremony and Benjamin Waldman was chosen as a Barry M. Goldwater Scholar.

On Friday, May 10, 2013, the following students from the Microbiology Graduate Program were awarded degrees at the University of Massachusetts Graduate School Commencement:  Tawanna Childs, Ph.D.; Jeniffer Concepción, Ph.D.; Shawn Massoni, Ph.D.; Katir Patel, Ph.D.; Timothy Bain, M.S.; Kristina Boguslawski, M.S.; Maria Calapai, M.S.; Robert Delgado, M.S.; Jaclyn Izbicki, M.S.; Devesh Shrestha, M.S. and Megan Strough, M.S.

Morita Receives Award from Mizutani Foundation

March 2013:  Yasu Morita, Assistant Professor of Microbiology, was awarded a one-year grant from the Mizutani Foundation for Glycoscience for his research project, "Primordial endoplasmic membrane in bacteria with roles in glycan biosynthesis."  Read more

Nüsslein’s Research Identifies a New Concern About Deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest

January 2013:  Klaus Nüsslein, Associate Professor of Microbiology, led an international team of microbiologists to investigate the influence of land use change from pristine rain forest to agricultural pasture on soil microbial communities.  The research identified a troubling net loss in diversity among the microbial organisms responsible for a functioning ecosystem as a consequence of deforestation. This loss in genetic variation of bacteria could reduce the resilience of the rainforest ecosystem. Research findings have been reported in the current issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and have also been highlighted by the Editor of the journal Science."  Read more.

Rich Develops New Approach for Treating Malaria

December 2012:  Stephen Rich, Associate Professor of Microbiology, along with Pamela Weathers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Doug Golenbock from the UMass Medical School, have designed a new whole-plant based strategy for treating malaria.  The research development utilizes the plant Artemisia annua which has been used to treat fever in Asia.  Research findings have been reported in the current issue of the journal PLOS ONERead more

DeAngelis and Group of Researchers Receive Grant from the Joint Genome Institute

December 2012:  Kristen DeAngelis, Assistant Professor of Microbiology, and a group of researchers recently received a $500,000 grant from the Joint Genome Institute at the U.S. Department of Energy to identify soil microbes in Harvard Forest and track how they break down forest litter in a simulated warmer climate.  Read more

Burand Receives Grant from Essex County Beekeepers' Association

November 2012:  John Burand, Professor of Microbiology, received a research grant from the Essex County Beekeepers' Association for his project, "Understanding Bee Virus Epizootiology."  ECBA funds grants for researchers who advance the Association's knowledge of honeybees particularly in the state of Massachusetts.

Sandler Receives NIH Grant

November 2012:  Steve Sandler, Professor of Microbiology, received a four-year grant from the National Institutes of Health for his research project "Structure and Function of the Bacterial Primosome. 

Nüsslein Contributes to the Newly Published "Phytotechnologies"

November 2012:  Klaus Nüsslein, Associate Professor of Microbiology, along with a former graduate student, Lisa Stout (Ph.D. '06), contributed a chapter "Plant–Microbe Enabled Contaminant Removal in the Rhizosphere” to the newly published book Phytotechnologies – Remediation of Environmental Contaminants. The book provides a unique review of the emerging technologies of plant and plant products to degrade, extract, contain, or immobilize contaminants in soil and water.

Hamilton Comments on Peanut Butter Recall

Watch the video about SalmonellaOctober 2012:  In a recent interview with WGGB TV, Erika Hamilton, Lecturer and Director of Microbiology Teaching Services, explained reasons for the recent recall of peanut butter which has been linked to 30 Salmonella cases across 19 states. Watch the video...

News from the Holden Research Laboratory

August 2012: James Holden and a team of researchers recently provided the first detailed report on methane-exhaling microbes that live deep in the cracks of hot undersea volcanoes. The findings, which were sponsored by the National Science Foundation's Division of Ocean Sciences, were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Read more recently featured Jim Holden and these findings in a podcast, Earth Sky 22: Planets, Perseids, and the waning crescent moon.

May 2012: James Holden, Associate Professor of Microbiology, has received a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. This three-year research award will focus on "Functional Dynamics, Interactions and Biogeochemical Impact of Chemolithoautotrophic Subseafloor Microbial Ecosystems at Axial Seamount, a Mid-Ocean Ridge Cabled Observatory."