Congratulations to Pravrutha Raman for winning University's 3 Minute Thesis Competition

Congratulations to Pravrutha Raman from the Jose lab, who won the University’s 3 Minute Thesis Competition with her work on inherited gene silencing in C. elegans! The Graduate School will help her prepare a video for entry into the international competition in the Fall, and we will share her video at that time. The University has done really well in the 3 Minute Thesis competition, which is still growing in the USA, but is very prominent internationally. Samuel Ramsey from Entomology won the international competition last year.

If you want to watch the campus competition there is video here: 

NVIDIA Global Impact Award goes to BEAGLE Developers

 Daniel Ayres (CBBG)

Daniel Ayres (CBBG)

Please extend hearty congratulations to Prof. Michael Cummings (BIOL) and his PhD student Daniel Ayres (BISI-CBBG) who were just honored with the NVIDIA Global Impact Award for their development of the BEAGLE software system for the rapid analysis of biological sequence data. 

This major award will provide $100,000 for continued research and development of computational resources.

Details on this outstanding accomplishment are available at

Congrats Michael & Daniel !!!

Congratulations to the 2016-17 Award & Fellowship Recipients!

BISI Merit Awards
Daniel Escobar-Camacho (Carleton Lab, BEES)
Alex Novarro (Bely Lab, BEES)
Susan Park Ochsner (Zhu Lab, MOCB)
Cordelia Weiss (Winkler Lab, MOCB)
Noor White (Braun/Mitter Labs, BEES) 

CMNS Endowed Fellowships

Drs. Wayne T. and Mary T. Hockmeyer Endowed Fellowship
Steve Christensen (Mosser Lab, MOCB)
Alex Novarro (Bely Lab, BEES)

The Dr. Edna O. Hokenson Endowed Fellowship
Mengfei Peng (Biswas Lab, MOCB)

The Stephanie and Richard Vogel Graduate Student Award
(in memory of Anne DeStefano Nucci and Elidio John Nucci) 
Sarah Ahlbrand (Briken Lab, MOCB)

Graduate School Summer Research Fellowships
Leann Biancani (Osborn/Cummings Labs, BEES)
Julie Mallon (Fagan Lab, BEES) 
Jonathan Schenk (Gaudry Lab, PSYS)
Alex Simon (Feijo Lab, PSYS)
Alexander Sohr (Roy Lab, MOCB)
Carol Vieira (Dinman Lab, MOCB)

Former student Elise Zipkin (Fagan Lab) Named 2017 Early Career Fellow

Former graduate student in the Fagan Lab, Dr. Elise Zipkin, has been named a 2017 Early Career Fellow of the Ecological Society of America.  She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior.  Read more about her research here:

 Dr. Elise Zipkin

Dr. Elise Zipkin

CMNS now has four T32 Training Grants in the Life Sciences

Congratulations to Catherine Carr, Kevin McIver, Dave Mosser, Leslie Pick, and Anne Simon for the new Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) in virology and the renewed T32 training program in host-pathogen interactions (HPI). The grants add to the college’s other long-running T32 grants focused on the comparative and evolutionary biology of hearing (CEBH) and cell and molecular biology (CMB).

Featured on the CMNS home page:

Publication - Daniel Escobar-Camacho (BEES)

Congratulations to Biology's Karen Carleton, BEES graduate student Daniel Escobar-Camacho, and their colleagues from Sao Paolo State University in Brazil, co-authors on a new paper in Molecular Ecology titled "The Opsin Genes of Amazonian Cichlids." 

The study is the first detailed examination of the genetics of vision in cichlid fishes from the murky, silty water of South America’s Amazon Basin. Unlike their African relatives, which evolved in calm, clearwater lakes saturated with sunlight, three Amazonian cichlid species have adapted to the light environment of the Amazon Basin, which favors longer wavelengths of light such as red and orange. All cichlids rely on a diverse array of visual pigment proteins called opsins, but the three Amazonian species in the study have switched off or lost several opsin genes in response to their environmental conditions. 

For more information check out the article on the CMNS website:


Training Grants: NIH Funding for BISI Grad Students

 Representatives from the BISI Graduate Program, the NIH funded T32 Training Grant, and the MOCB Concentration Area traveled to the AHEAD conference in July, 2016.

Representatives from the BISI Graduate Program, the NIH funded T32 Training Grant, and the MOCB Concentration Area traveled to the AHEAD conference in July, 2016.

BISI is home to three, yes three, active training grant programs:

Graduate students working in these area are eligible for support through the training grant.  Calls for training grant support (usually up to 2-3 years of support, including stipend, tuition remission, and an allowance for health insurance) usually go out in the spring.  Also look for journal clubs (HPI has a weekly journal club on Fridays, Virology has a Monday group meeting) and other training grant activities.

Congratulations Julie Choi (MOCB, Cao Lab)

                             Julie Choi

                            Julie Choi

Julie Choi (MOCB, Cao Lab) has had a pretty amazing spring semester.  She won the top poster presentation for the University of Maryland Graduate Research Appreciation Day, competing against presenters from all over campus.  Shortly thereafter, she was accepted and selected to give an oral presentation at a Gordon Research Symposium: Breaking Barriers in Intermediate Filament Biology: From Structure to Mechanisms and Targets in Human Diseases.  Acceptance into a Gordon Conference is quite competitive!

Congratulations to Julie!

Fall 2015 BISI Matriculating Class

Welcome to our first year class!

Top row (L to R): Miranda Yourick (BEES), Custodio Nunes (PSYS), Ron Clark (BEES), Jon Schenck (PSYS), Brock Couch (BEES), Leann Biancani (BEES), Krittika Petprakob (BEES), Fuxi Wang (MOCB), Javier Carpinteyo (BEES), Nate Olson (CBBG), Ken Cheng (CBBG).

Bottom row (L to R): Matthew Fischer (MOCB), Kunal Kundu (CBBG), Nate Shugarts (MOCB), Markus Brown (MOCB), Jordan Aoyama (MOCB), Alex Simon (PSYS), Shyrice Mitchell (MOCB), Dallas Banks (MOCB), Jake Weissman (BEES), and Julie Mallon (BEES)

Missing: Pablo Villar Del Rio (PSYS)

Recent Publications: Fall 2015

For a complete list, please see publication site here.

  • Andy Foss Grant (BEES, Fagan Lab) whose paper "Hierarchical analysis of phylogenetic variation in intraspecific competition across fish species" was just accepted for publication in Ecology.
  • Carly Muletz Wolz (BEES, Lips Lab) was a co-author on a paper recently published in Science.
  • Cheryl Ames (BEES, Bely/Colllins Labs) is a co-author on papers recently published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution and in PLoS One.
  • Jessica Goodheart (BEES, Cummings/Collins Labs) was the first author on a paper published in Royal Society Open Science
  • Sara Reynolds (MOCB, B. Moss/Culver Labs) was first author on a paper published in Virology.
  • Jules Nchoutmboube (MOCB, Belov Lab) authored two papers in 2015, one in Trends in Microbiology and one in J. Virology.