Past News & Announcements

UMass Graduate School Names Wilmore Webley as Associate Dean

June 2021: The UMass Graduate School has named Wilmore Webley, Associate Professor of Microbiology, as the Associate Dean for the Office of Inclusion and Engagement effective September 1, 2021. Read more...

Wilmore Webley to be Honored at Juneteenth Event

June 2021: Wilmore Webley, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Director of Pre-Med Advising, will be one of two people honored at a Juneteenth event to be held on June 19 at the Raymond A. Jordan Senior Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. Dr. Webley has been working for several months with the Black Springfield COVID Coalition to help people understand the science around COVID-19 with an emphasis on increasing vaccination rates in minority communities. Read more...

Assistant Professor of Microbiology Sloan Siegrist receives award

Sloan Siegrist

The ACS Division of Biological Chemistry recognizes outstanding young investigators in the field of infectious diseases.

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Erika Hamilton Named UMass ADVANCE Mentor Award Winner

March 2021: Dr. Erika Hamilton, Senior Lecturer and Directory of Microbiology Teaching Services, has been named one of the UMass ADVANCE Program Faculty Mentor Award winners. This annual award recognizes the critically important work faculty members perform in mentoring and supporting their colleagues' professional development and success. Read more...

COVID Conversations: Q & A on the Microbiology of COVID-19

February 2021: On Tuesday, March 16 at 5:00 p.m., Microbiology faculty members, Drs. Mandy Muller and Wilmore Webley, hosted COVID Conversations to discuss current science on COVID-19 including new virus variants, host response, and vaccine strategies. Listen to the discussion...

Malavika Prithviraj Finalist in Three Minute Thesis Competition

February 2021: Malavika Prithviraj, microbiology Ph.D. candidate, was recently named a finalist in the UMass Graduate School's Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition for her presenation, Blocking the Synthesis of Bacterial Surface Structures. The final competition will be held via Zoom on March 18 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. Read more...

MicrobeBlaster Selected as One of Five Innovation Challenge Finalists

MicroBlaster - 2021 Innovation Challenge Finalist

Sarah Kaunfer, a microbiology junior, recently competed in The Semifinal of the Innovation Challenge. Sarah Kaunfer and her teammates Simran Jeet, Phoebe Lasic-Ellis and Hayley McIsaac were among 17 teams who gave five-minute pitches describing their venture.

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COVID-19 Mutations in 3D

January 2021: Eric Martz shows the positions of the mutations in the higher-contagion UK and South African coronavirus mutant lineages on 3D cryo-EM models of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, along with the expected consequences of each mutation, in an article in Proteopedia.Org. Also there: animations of spike protein priming and the subsequent membrane fusion, and downloadable Powerpoint-ready movies.

Jim Holden Receives NASA Grant

November 2020: Jim Holden, Professor of Microbiology, recently received a three-year NASA Exobiology grant.  Dr. Holden will continue his studies into the potential for life to adapt to extreme environments and its implications for life beyond Earth. Read more...

Microbiologists Identify Source of Methane in Amazon Pastures

October 2020: A team of microbiologists led by Klaus Nüsslein, UMass Amherst, and Marie Kroeger, Los Alamos National Laboratory, have reported that they have identified the source of methane being emitted from pastures in Brazil's Amazon region. Read more...

Sloan Siegrist Participates in SEA-PHAGES Program

October 2020: Sloan Siegrist, Assistant Professor of Microbiology, was among life science faculty who participated in the pilot of CNS's Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science (SEA-PHAGES) program. In order to improve the academic success of students majoring in STEM disciplines, the UMass Inclusive Excellence Initiative aims to provide authentic research experiences to science majors, especially those majoring in the life sciences, as part of a student’s first year curriculum and continuing into their upper division courses. As part of this initiative, CNS launched the Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science (SEA-PHAGES) program in the introductory biology laboratory experience. Read more...

Mandy Muller Receives NIH Grant

September 2020: Mandy Muller, Assistant Professor of Microbiology, recently received a five-year Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) from NIH’s National Institute for General Medical Sciences. Dr. Muller will continue her advanced studies into how certain viruses evade the body’s immune response by hiding, undetectable, deep in tissues for decades. Read more...