Past News & Announcements

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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...

Microbiologists Discover More Bacteria with Electrically Conducting Microfilaments

December 2017: Derek Lovley first discovered nanowires in the bacterium Geobacter. Dr. Lovley and a group of researchers at UMass recently discovered unexpected structures of electrically conducting microfilaments or "nanowires" in many other species of bacteria. The discovery was recently reported onling in the International Society of Microbial Ecology Journal. Read more...

Research Groups Host New England Parasitologists Meeting

November 2017: The research team of Michele Klingbeil, Microbiology, in conjunction with Sam Black and his research team, Veterinary & Animal Sciences, hosted the annual New England Association of Parasitologists Meeting on November 18, 2017, at UMass Amherst.

At the meeting, the Best Poster Award was presented to Jonathan C. Miller, Microbiology Ph.D. candidate, for his poster, “Multiple mechanisms of KDNA maintenance by polymerase IC in Trypanosoma brucei". Stephanie Delzell, Microbiology Graduate Program, was a runner up in the Best Presentation Award category for her talk, “Depletion of mitochondrial DNA polymerases drives life cycle differentiation in Trypanosoma brucei".