Past News & Announcements

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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."

Stephanie Delzell Selected as CRF Graduate Grant Writing Scholar

March 2018: Stephanie Delzell, Microbiology Ph.D. candidate, has been selected as a 2018 scholar by the Center for Research on Families (CRF). Ms. Delzell will participate in the inaugural 2018 CRF Graduate Grant Writing Program. CRF aims to create a strong community of colleagues from multiple disciplines who study issues of high relevance to families, and to increase funding for this research at the University.

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."