Past News & Announcements

Holden Discusses Microbes and NASA Mission to Jupiter Moon

Holden Jupiter

Dr. James Holden, Professor, was interviewed by The Scientist Magazine about how studying microbes from hydrothermal vents helps to inform our search for life beyond Earth and its relationship with the upcoming Europa Clipper mission to Jupiter's moon.

June 17, 2024

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Caroline Tran Named 21st Century Leader

Caroline Tran

Caroline Tran, a Microbiology senior, was named a UMass 21st Century Leader. Recipients of the award are chosen in recognition of their strong academic records and exemplary achievements. They also further distinguished themselves through intellectual accomplishments and will be recognized for the prestige and honor they bring to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, both as undergraduates and as alumni joining the larger community. The award was presented at the University of Massachusetts Undergraduate Commencement ceremony on May 18, 2024.

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Harita Sistu Named Finalist in Writing Competition

Harita Sistu

Harita Sistu, Ph.D. student in Microbiology, was named a finalist in ‘What’s Your Story?’, a science writing competition sponsored by the online magazine The Scientist in partnership with Thermo Fisher Scientific.

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Adam Charest Named UMass Rising Researcher

Adam Charest Rising Researcher

Adam Charest, Microbiology '24, was named a UMass Rising Researcher. Adam is an undergraduate researcher and is currently working with Organicin Scientific, a start-up company which emerged from the research laboratory of Margaret Riley, Adjunct Professor of Microbiology. Organicin Scientific is developing new natural, non-antibiotic products that will revolutionize the treatment of aquaculture-related pathogens as well as many other promising pipelines, like acne.

The Rising Researcher student acknowledgement program is designed to raise the profile of our most promising undergraduate students and to publicly acknowledge their excellent work.

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Microbiology Students Have Fun with Agar Art!

Agar Art

Students in Heather Reed's freshman seminar, Microbiology 270, Cultivating the Microbiologist in You, painted with Photobacterium leiognathi KNH4. P. leiognathi is a bioluminescent symbiont of fish.

Erika Hamilton Shares Reflections on COVID-19

Erika Hamilton

On the fourth anniversary of the U.S.'s national emergency declaration regarding COVID-19 in 2020, Erika Hamilton, Senior Lecturer of Microbiology, was recently asked by Western Mass News to reflect on COVID-19.

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Lucca Kikuti Mancilio Receives Predissertation Grant

Lucca Kikuti Mancilio

Lucca Kikuti Mancilio, a Microbiology Ph.D. student, is the recipient of a UMass Graduate School Predissertation Research Grant for his proposed research project: PhosForUs: Metagenomic Insights Into in-situ Phosphorus Recovery from Polluted Water Sources Using Biofilm Systems. One of the goals of the project is to advance technology for phosphorus recovery not only from wastewater, but also from polluted waterbodies such as local ponds, and evaluate the recovered phosphorus for use as a more sustainable fertilizer.

Rich Lab Paper Among Most Downloaded in 2023

Patrick Pearson

A paper by former graduate student Patrick Pearson and Professor Stephen Rich, is among the most downloaded articles in 2023 for the journal Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases.

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Lovley Recognized in’s 2023 List of Top Scientists


Four UMass Amherst faculty scholars representing a range of disciplines in the natural and health sciences have been recognized nationally and globally in’s 2023 list of top scientists and also earned high rankings in their specific fields of research.

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Microbiology Bioinformatics Course Incorporates Use of the Unity High-Performance Computing Platform

Unity High-Performance Computing

The University has recently expanded its Research Computing and Data team to support the work of faculty, staff and students. The newly established team invites faculty to explore the collaborative, multi-institutional, high-performance computing (HPC) platform known as Unity. Kristen DeAngelis has involved undergraduate microbiology students in research and bring them to bioinformatics proficiency using Unity in her MICROBIO 567 Bioinformatics Lab course. UMass Amherst faculty and staff researchers can request a Unity account and access support from a team of research computing facilitators and systems administrators. Students are also able to access Unity through faculty and research staff groups.

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Tiny Earth Part of Microbiology Laboratory Curriculum

Tiny Earth Part of Microbiology Laboratory Curriculum

World AMR Awareness Week is held between November 18 and 24 each year to highlight the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance, which occurs “when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness, and death” (World Health Organization). Erika Hamilton, Senior Lecturer of Microbiology, has incorporated a curriculum-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) called Tiny Earth in to her Microbiology 312 course, General Microbiology Laboratory.

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Lovley Named 'Most Highly Cited' Researcher

Derek Lovley Most Highly Cited Researcher

Derek Lovley was one of twelve UMass Amherst faculty who made the list of the world’s most highly cited researchers. The UMass researchers demonstrated significant and broad influence in their field of research in 2023. The list is generated by the Web of Science database of analytics by provider Clarivate and spans 67 countries or regions and represent a diverse range of research fields in the sciences and social sciences.

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