Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UMass Amherst
Elizabeth Vierling elected to the National Academy of Sciences
The NAS provides independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology.
Sibongile Mafu named 2023-24 Lilly Fellows for Teaching ExcellenceAwarded by the UMass Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), the Lilly Fellowship for Teaching Excellence enables promising early-career faculty to expand their expertise in teaching while pursuing the teaching and scholarly activity expected of faculty at a major research university.
Alice Cheung and Hen-Ming Wu expand the limits of plant breedingTheir latest research, published in Nature in collaboration with former postdoc Qiaohong Duan (now a professor at Shandong Agricultural University), explores how the FERONIA and S-locus receptor kinase respond to signals from compatible or incompatible pollen. Their findings show that this system can be manipulated, overcoming the species barrier and allowing for interspecific hybridization in crops.
Jedaidah Chilufya receives K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award from the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)The K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award recognizes graduate students who show exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education and who are committed to academic innovation in the areas of equity, community engagement, and teaching and learning. Jedy, a graduate student in the Wang Lab, received her award at the AAC&U Annual Meeting in January.
Vierling Lab describes the importance of the HSP101 protein in helping plants survive in extreme heatIn their recent study in the journal Plant Cell, the Vierling Lab described how a factor known as CstF77 is essential for HSP101 to accumulate. HSP101 is found in all plants, so its role in tolerance of extreme heat is widespread, and their finding suggest that plants require very specific levels of HSP101 to survive. The study benefited from support of the M2M focus group in IALS for help with the bioinformatic analysis.
Hung (Harry) Pham '22 named Fall 2022 UMass Rising ResearcherHarry has been using his experience in Food Science and BMB to make food more resilient, healthy, and accessible. His latest research project focuses on physical modification of plant proteins as a simple approach to improve food 3D printing applications.
Meg Stratton receives five-year, $1.8 million NIH MIRA grant to continue her research on long-term memoryThe Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) program is designed to enhance scientific productivity among talented and promising scientists, increasing the odds of important breakthroughs. The Stratton Lab studies the CaMKII protein, which is key to the development of long-term memory.
Remembering BMB Professor and UMass Amherst Chancellor Richard O'Brien
Our hearts go out to the family of Richard O’Brien, former BMB Professor and UMass Amherst Chancellor, who passed away just before his 94th birthday. Richard joined the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department in 1984, serving as Chancellor from 1991-1993, then as BMB Department Head from 1996-1999. A tree will be planted on campus in his memory.
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