Past News & Announcements

Sisay-Beckford Receives 2014 Rising Researcher Award

April 2014:  Congratulations to John Sisay-Beckford from the Microbiology Class of 2015.  Mr. Sisay-Beckford was one of four students awarded a Rising Researcher Award for 2014 at a reception at the Chancellor's house on April 23, 2014.  Johanna Fitzgerald, LSAMP campus coordinator; Margared Riley, Professor of Biology and Jane Kent-Braun, Professor of Kinesiology serve as Mr. Sisay-Beckford's faculty advisors.

Warr Named Goldwater Scholar

April 2014: Congratulations to Alyson Warr on being named a Goldwater Scholar.  Ms. Warr is a Microbiology undergraduate in the UMass Microbiology Class of 2015.  The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater. The program is designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. Read more...

Alvelo-Maurosa to Represent UMass at CASE Workshop

March 2014:  Jesús Alvelo-Maurosa, a Ph.D Candidate in the Department of Microbiology, has been selected to represent UMass at the Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering (CASE) Workshop to be held in Washington DC in late March 2014.  The workshop is being offered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is sponsored by a number of scientific societies and organizations to provide the opportunity for graduate and upper-class undergraduate students in science, mathematics, and engineering disciplines to learn about science policy and advocacy.  Read more...

LMZ to Provide Tick Testing for the State's First Tick-Borne Disease Network

February 2014:  Dr. Stephen Rich's Laboratory of Medical Zoology will provide tick testing to a network of public health departments in Middlesex, Franklin and Barnstable Counties and Nantucket as part of the  governor’s Community Innovation Challenge Grant program which will aid in forming the state’s first Tick-Borne Disease Network (TBDN).  Read more...

Nevin Receives Grant

January 2014:  Kelly Nevin, Research Associate Professor of Microbiology, has been awarded a Phase I grant from DOE STTR for her research project "Portable Sensor for Detection of Microorganisms in Groundwater."

Hamaoui Receives Fellowship

January 2014:  George Hamaoui, Microbiology Ph.D. candidate, recently received the Lotta Crabtree Fellowship for his research project entitled "The Effects of Anthropogenic Stress on Nitrogen-Cycling Microbial Communities in Temperate Forest Soils." 

Microbiology Remembers Vyacheslav “Slav” Yanyuk

Photo of Vyacheslav Yanyuk

January 2014:  The faculty, staff and students of the Microbiology Program are mourning the loss of one of its most talented and admired undergraduates. Vyacheslav “Slav” Yanyuk passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on December 11, 2013. Slav was a Commonwealth College senior in the class of 2014 and a member of Klaus Nüsslein’s Laboratory. Together with Sam Estabrooks, Slav was working on a project testing synthetic antibacterial peptides in a joint venture with Greg Tew’s lab in Polymer Chemistry.  Read more...

Microbiology Seniors in Innovation Challenge MinutePitch Competition

December 2013:  Clarissa Ronzio and Dennis Morgan recently shared third place in Amherst's Innovation Challenge Fall Minutepitch competition.  The team had one minute to pitch their business ideas about their development, Clearocin, which uses bacteria to fight acne.  Read more...

Five College Researchers Exploring Life on the Red Planet

December 2013:  James Holden, along with NASA, and researchers from the Five College Consortium are exploring the possibility of life on Mars as well as other planets.  Scientists believe that ecosystems similar to the deep-sea vents that Dr. Holden studies existed on Mars in years past which leads them to assume that extraterrestrial life existed there for a period of time.  Read more...

Microbiology Majors in the UMass Marching Band

5 Microbiology majors members of UMass Marching Band: Pat Conboy, Meghan Falvey, Adam Lerman (not pictured), Jonathon McHatton, and Clarissa Ronzio

November 2013:  Five Microbiology majors are also members of the UMass Marching Band:  Pat Conboy, Meghan Falvey, Adam Lerman (not pictured), Jonathon McHatton, and Clarissa Ronzio. These students recently returned from New York City where they performed in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Congratulations on a fine performance!

In Honor of Our Veterans

November 2013:  Microbiology recognizes the following Department members who have served in the military:  Michael Azevedo, William Mohn, Alexander Koehler and Daniel Winn.  We are thankful for their sacrifice and service to our country!

Jesús Alvelo Provides Insight into A. baumannii Outbreak

November 2013:  Graduate student Jesús G. Alvelo-Maurosa provided insight regarding an Acinetobacter baumannii outbreak in a hospital in Puerto Rico for the newspaper El Nuevo Dia. Infections caused by A. baumannii are notorious for complicating treatment of U.S. soldiers following traumatic injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the newspaper article, Alvelo-Maurosa provided an analysis of a CDC report and explained how resistance of A. baumannii bacteria to multiple antibiotics results in serious infections in civilian hospitals as well as in combat zones. The article was cited by multiple high-profile online news sites in Puerto Rico. In a second unrelated article in Mi Puerto Rico Verde, an online environmental news site, Alvelo-Maurosa explained the benefits of using trash and microbial communities to produce biogas as a way to tackle the expensive costs of energy production on tropical islands such as Puerto Rico.