The UCSB Graduate Division has named MCDB PhD graduate student Misty Riddle as the recipient of the 2013 Lancaster Dissertation Award in the field of Biological and Life Sciences. This award recognizes the best PhD thesis in a given discipline. She will be presented with the award at the upcoming Graduation Ceremony. Misty will also be UCSB’s entrant in the national competition sponsored by the Council of Graduate Schools.
Congratulations to three outstanding incoming PhD graduate students for receiving prestigious awards that will support part of their stipend and tuition expenses in their first year of graduate school. They are Sonya Donato (from UCSD) and Erick Spikard (from UC Davis) in the MCDB graduate program and Dan Nguyen (from Harvard) in the BMSE graduate program.
MCDB professor David Low is one of eighty-seven microbiologists who have been elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology in 2013. Fellows of the Academy are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology.
Understanding exactly how stem cells form into specific organs and tissues is the holy grail of regenerative medicine. Now, MCDB faculty member Denise Montell and colleagues have added to that body of knowledge by determining how stem cells produce different types of "daughter" cells in Drosophila (fruit flies). The findings appear today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
By identifying Tetrahymena's long-unknown mating-type genes, a team of UC Santa Barbara biologists led by Professor Eduardo Orias, with research colleagues at the Institute of Hydrobiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and at the J. Craig Venter Institute, uncovered the unusual process of DNA rearrangements required for sex determination in this organism. The discovery has potential human health implications ranging from tissue transplantation to cancer treatment, including allorecognition –– the ability of an organism to distinguish its own tissues from those of another –– which can be a first line of defense against infection and illness. The findings were published in the journal PLOS Biology.
While legions of medical researchers have been looking to understand the genetic basis of disease and how mutations may affect human health, a group of biomedical researchers at UC Santa Barbara is studying the metabolism of cells and their surrounding tissue, to ferret out ways in which certain diseases begin. This approach, which includes computer modeling, can be applied to Type 2 diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases, among others.
MCDB scientists have discovered that breaking a biological signaling system in an embryo allows them to change the destiny of a cell. The findings could lead to new ways of making replacement organs.
The MCDB department is excited to announce the successful recruitment of two outstanding scientists from Johns Hopkins University, Drs. Denise and Craig Montell.
The Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Department is committed to improving science literacy and inspiring the next generation of scientists. By creating alliances with local educators and the community, we are working to enhance the science knowledge base and awareness in the schools and to inform the community about the exciting biology research occurring here at UCSB and throughout the scientific community. These outreach activities also involves students at the university and allows them to gain experience in a biology teaching environment.
Scientists in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Weimbs have demonstrated that a new drug is effective in treating a very common genetic disease, polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Over 600,000 people in the U.S., and 12 million worldwide, are affected by PKD, a disease that is characterized by the proliferation of thousands of cysts that eventually debilitate the kidneys, causing kidney failure in half of all patients by the time they reach age 50. The is currently no available treatment for this disease. In collaboration with the Indiana-based biopharmaceutical company Endocyte, Dr.