Past News & Announcements

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

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. 

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.

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."

Research Featured as Cover Article of Eukaryotic Cell

July 2012: The research of Michele Klingbeil, Associate Professor of Microbiology, Jeniffer Concepción, Microbiology Ph.D. candidate, and a team of researchers is currently being featured as the cover article of Eukaryotic Cell. Important research findings by Ms. Concepción led to reporting the first detailed characterization of the way key proteins in the model parasite Trypanosoma brucei organize to replicate its mitochondrial DNA (mdDNA). These advances could lead to new methods of fighting parasitic diseases. Read more

Faculty Promotions

June 2012:  Effective September 1, 2012, Dr. Wilmore Webley has been awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of Associate Professor, Dr. John Burand has been promoted to Professor and Dr. Kelly Nevin has been promoted to the rank of Research Associate Professor.

Academic Achievements

April 2012: Congraulations to Benjamin Waldman, '13, who was recently named a Goldwater Scholar. The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established in 1986 and honoring Senator Barry M. Goldwater. The program is designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.

May 2012: Two members of the Microbiology Class of 2012, Tara Mahendrarajah and Christopher Roy, have been named 21st Century Leaders for their far-ranging achievements, initiative and social awareness. In 2011 Ms. Mahendrarajah was also awarded the Goldwater Scholarship for Excellence in Education. Mr. Roy helped form Bacteriotix which led to him and a team of researchers winning $30,000 in the Isenberg School of Management's Innovation Challenge.