Past News & Announcements
Rich Lab Paper Among Most Downloaded in 2023
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.
Lovley Recognized in Research.com’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 Research.com’s 2023 list of top scientists and also earned high rankings in their specific fields of research.
Microbiology Bioinformatics Course Incorporates Use of the Unity High-Performance Computing Platform
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.
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.
Lovley Named '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.
Sloan Siegrist Receives Manning/Institute for Applied Life Sciences Innovation Award
Sloan Siegrist and her Latde Diagnostics research team, was one of six campus recipients of the fifth annual Manning/Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) Innovation Awards. The grants advance R&D efforts from UMass faculty-led research groups to develop spin-out/startup companies. Latde Diagnostics is developing accessible, rapid antibiotic susceptibility testing using lateral flow detection of metabolic labeling.
Microbiology Faculty Promotions
Effective September 1, 2023, Mandy Muller was promoted to the faculty rank of associate professor with tenure. Wilmore Webley was promoted to the rank of professor and is also the Senior Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion at UMass Amherst.
Raveen Armstrong Voted Best Poster at Parasitologist Meeting
Raveen Armstrong attended the New England Association of Parasitologists meeting on June 15, 2023 at Boston College. Raveen's research presentation was voted best poster during the symposium. Raveen is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Microbiology Graduate Program under the guidance of Michele Klingbeil, Professor of Microbiology.
Research Reveals Secret of Microbial Slime
In a recent article in iScience, Professor Barry Goodell and collaborators showed how a unique microbial chemistry allows a gel-like coating to form around many microorganisms. Once formed the gel-layer, known as the extracellular matrix or ECM, prevented the diffusion of large proteins, such as enzymes, into substrates. This finding challenges traditional microbial theory that assumes many large molecules, once secreted, can readily diffuse from microorganisms through the ECM into substrates or hosts.”
Ashley Eng to be Honored as 21st Century Leader
Ashley Eng, a Commonwealth Honors College (CHC) student and microbiology major, will be one of 10 students to receive the 21st Century Leaders Award at UMass Commencement 2023. The award is given in recognition of a strong academic record, exemplary achievements as well as distinguished intellectual accomplishments. Eng is an undergraduate researcher with Kristen DeAngelis, Professor of Microbiology. Eng's research in microbial ecology and how climate change impacts soil microbes has led her to present her work at national conferences and in 2022 was selected for a Goldwater Scholarship.
Researchers One Step Closer to Better Drug Therapies for Tuberculosis
Yasu Morita, associate professor of microbiology, and his team of researchers have identified a long-sought gene that plays a critical role in the growth and survival of the tuberculosis (TB) pathogen. The discovery offers a potential target for drug therapies for a deadly disease that has few effective treatments. Yasu Morita, senior author, along with Malavika Prithviraj and Takehiro Kado, lead authors, recently had their findings published in mBio.
Latde Diagnostics Receives Top Prize at Lever Western Massachusetts Health Tech Challenge
Start up company, Latde Diagnostics, won $50,000 in innovation grant funding at the Lever Western Massachusetts Health Tech Challenge hosted by the Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) on March 3. Sloan Siegrist, Associate Professor Microbiology, founded Latde Diagnostics along with Emily Melzer. Melzer received her Ph.D. from UMass Microbiology under the guidance of Sloan Siegrist. Latde Diagnostics is developing a rapid, low-cost test to determine which specific antibiotic will be effective in a patient with sepsis, a life-threatening blood-borne infection.