Kosik and collaborators simulate the benefits of a hypothetical megafund devoted to Alzheimer’s therapeutics
Britney Pennington is a PhD candidate in BioMolecular Science & Engineering. She received Bachelor’s degrees in both Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2008. She has served as a Teaching Assistant for General Biochemistry, Neurobiology II, and Introductory Biology laboratory, and volunteered as a TA for Stem Cell Biology in Health & Disease. She is noted not only as an excellent teacher by her students, but also as an accomplished and motivated researcher by her faculty colleagues. As one of her faculty references states, “In my 25 years at UCSB, she ranks at the very top in terms of teaching ability and enthusiasm for science education and teaching. She is also an intelligent and capable researcher with a strong and passionate commitment to science, and she is already making an impact on the field. She is one of a kind!”
Imagine being an undergraduate student surrounded by the intensive scientific research activity of a world-class research university and experiencing the close engagement and intimate atmosphere of a small liberal arts college. A $1.5 million award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to UC Santa Barbara will make that experience possible for biology students.
What do sled dogs and cell clusters have in common? According to research by MCDB’s Denise Montell, they both travel in groups and need a leader to make sure they all follow in the same direction. Montell, Duggan Professor of Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology, and colleagues worked on three independent projects involving E-cadherin, a protein found in epithelial cells throughout the body. The researchers used fruit-fly ovaries to uncover the role played by E-cadherin in collective cell migration. Their findings are reported today in the journal Cell.
New research by MCDB’s Kenneth S. Kosik, Harriman Professor of Neuroscience, reveals some very unique evolutionary innovations in the primate brain. In a study published online today in the journal Neuron, Kosik and colleagues describe the role of microRNAs — so named because they contain only 22 nucleotides — in a portion of the brain called the outer subventricular zone (OSVZ). These microRNAs belong to a special category of noncoding genes, which prevent the formation of proteins.
With the discovery of a novel cell process called anastasis, UC Santa Barbara biologist Denise Montell has taken a giant step forward in developing fundamentally new approaches to regenerative medicine. Her research, which holds promise in establishing revolutionary therapies for the treatment of heart disease, degenerative diseases and cancer, has received a huge boost in the form of a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation. “The scope of the project is huge because this is a brand-new cellular process about which we know nothing,” said Montell, the Duggan Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at UCSB. “We have to learn everything. It’s basically starting a whole new field.”
UCSB researcher tracks source of inherited gene mutation to a single founder dating from early Habsburg Spain.
The age and origin of the E280A gene mutation responsible for early-onset Alzheimer’s in a Colombian family with an unusually high incidence of the disease has been traced to a single founder dating from the 16th century.
Kenneth S. Kosik, Harriman Professor in Neuroscience at UC Santa Barbara and co-director of the campus’s Neuroscience Research Institute (NRI), conducted the study. The findings appear in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia.
With few exceptions, cells don’t change type once they have become specialized — a heart cell, for example, won’t suddenly become a brain cell. However, new findings by researchers directed by MCDB professor Joel Rothman have identified a method for changing one cell type into another in a process called forced transdifferentiation. Their work appears today in the journal Development.
The findings have the potential to translate into millions of saved lives
Sepsis, the body’s response to severe infections, kills more people than breast cancer, prostate cancer and HIV/AIDS combined. On average, 30 percent of those diagnosed with sepsis die.
A new study conducted by Jamey Marth, director of UC Santa Barbara’s Center for Nanomedicine and professor of the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, reports a new method to increase survival in sepsis. The results appear today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
Craig Montell, Duggan Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Development Biology and Neuroscience, was named for the discovery of transient receptor potential channels, which transformed our understanding of sensory signaling and led to insights in how to control neurodegeneration, pain and insect pests.