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: https://msu.edu/user/ezipkin/
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: https://cmns.umd.edu/news-events/features/3760
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: https://cmns.umd.edu/news-events/features/3733
Jessica Goodheart (BEES) and Alexa Bely (Assoc. Professor, Biology) have recently co-authored a paper in invertebrate biology. Here's the citation:
Goodheart, J. A. and Bely, A. E. (2016), Sequestration of nematocysts by divergent cnidarian predators: mechanism, function, and evolution. Invertebr Biol. doi:10.1111/ivb.12154
Congrats to both Jessica and Alexa!
BISI is home to three, yes three, active training grant programs:
- Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB): Co-PIs: Dr. Leslie Pick & Dr. David O'Brochta (also see here for additional information)
- Host Pathogen Interactions (HPI): Co-PIs: Dr. Kevin McIver & Dr. David Mosser
- Virology: PI: Dr. Anne Simon
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.
Welcome to all the new graduate students!
BEES student, Edward Hurme (Wilkinson Lab) gave at talk on his work on fishing bats at the National Geographic, supporting his Young Explorer Grant.
On September 8, he'll be speaking again, this time at this:
FREAKS & GREEKS
A Nat Geo After Hours!
A Special Cult-Classic All-Access Party-Time National Geographic HQ Take Over!
Get your tickets now!
September 9th, 8pm – 12:30am
The National Geographic Society
1600 M St. NW
See more here.
Congratulations to all of the BISI students that defended/graduated this spring:
- Tamara Fischer Collum (CBMG, Culver Lab): Characterization of Tobacco Mosaic Virus Directed Reprogramming of Phloem Gene Expression to Promote Viral Phloem Loading and Systemic Movement
- Kasim George (MOCB, O'Brochta Lab): Genetic Manipulation of Anopheles Stephensi Immunity to Increase Plasmodium Falciparum Salivary Gland Sporozoite Infection Levels
- Ginger Houston-Ludlum (CBMG, El-Sayed Lab): Comparative Transcriptome Profiling of Human Foreskin Fibroblasts Infected with the Sylvio and Y Strains of Trypanosoma Cruz
- Faith Kung (MOCB, Pal Lab): Characterization of Borrelia Burgdorferi Gene Product BBD18 for its Role(s) in Pathogen Biology and Infectivity
- My Le (MOCB, Simon Lab): Structural Analysis of Ribosome Binding Elements of the 3’ UTR in Two Positive-Strand Plant RNA Viruses
- Ashley Nazario-Toole (MOCB, Wu Lab): Genome Wide Association Studies of Phagocytosis and the Cellular Immune Response in Drosophila Melanogaster
- Julie Samy (BEES, Wilkinson/Thompson Lab): Social structure of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Sri Lanka
- Alyssa Stewart (BEES, Dudash Lab): Bat-Plant Pollination Interactions in Southern Thailand
- Kayla Valdes (MOCB, McIver Lab): Functional Characterization of the Link Between Carbohydrate Metabolism and Pathogenesis of the Invasive M1T1 Group A Streptococcus
- Mona Wu Orr (MOCB, Lee Lab): NanoRNAses are the Primary Enzymes Responsible for the Degradation of pGpG in c-di-GMP Signaling
- Vasudevan Achuthan (MOCB, DeStefano Lab): HIV Reverse Transcriptase Fidelity and Inhibition are Modulated By Divalent Cations in A Concentration-Dependent Manner In Vitro
- Jules Nchoutmboube (MOCB, Belov Lab): Mechanism of Upregulation of Phosphatidylcholine Synthesis During Picornavirus Infection and its Role in the Development of Viral Replication Organelles
- Charles Hawkins (CBMG, Liu Lab): Shaping the Dicot Fruit: Molecular and Genomic Approaches to Fruit Development
- Grace DiRenzo (BEES, Lips Lab): Community- and Population- Level Effects of Chytridiomycosis in A Neotropical Amphibian Community
- Elanor Spadafora (BEES, Lamp Lab): Analysis of macroinvertebrate communities in seasonal wetlands through time, space, and species traits
- Erika Tomei (CBMG, Wolniak Lab):
- Micki Kuhlman (CBMG, Simon Lab): Alternate Conformations Regulate Ribosomal Recoding in a Positive-sense RNA Virus
- Andy Simpson (BEES, Fenster/Wing Labs): Using a Combination of Phylogenetic Comparative and Paleobotanical Methods to Elucidate Patterns of Lineage Selection in Rosales (Plantae: Anthphyta)
Congratulations to this year's recipients of Summer Research Fellowships
Congratulations to this year's Outstanding Graduate Assistants
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!
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)
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.
Outstanding Graduate Director
2014-15: Dr. Michelle Brooks, BISI Associate Director
2015: Jake Weissman (Fagan Lab)
2014: Guarav Kandlikar (Kraft Lab)
2013: Carl Sabottke (Butts Lab)
2012: Shrutii Sarda (Hannenhalli Lab)
Andy Foss Grant (Fagan Lab)
2011: Laura Dillon (Sayed Lab)
Graduate Dean's Dissertation
Fellowship - 2014-15
Vivek Advani (Dinman Lab)
Shang-Hsuan Lin (Colombini Lab)
Ann G. Wylie Fellowships
Vasudevan Achuthan (DeStefano Lab)
Cheryl Ames (Bely/Collins Lab)
Ashley Nazario Toole (Wu Lab)
Alyssa Stewart (Dudash Lab)
Lijuan Du (Wang Lab)
Suna Gulay (Dinman Lab)
Kyle Miller-Hesed (Wilkinson Lab)
Jenni Shemansky (Chang Lab)
Frank Stearns (Fenster Lab)
A list of BISI student awards and achievements from 2015:
- Kun Wang (CBBG, Cao Lab) presented a talk at the ACM-BCB15. He was awarded a NSF Travel Award to attend the meeting.
- Rachel Shahan (MOCB, Liu Lab) was recently awarded a NIFA Graduate Fellowship. Congrats to Rachel.
- Congratulations to Sri Pratima Nandamuri (PSYS, Carleton lab) who was awarded a travel award after her successful presentation at the FASEB Biology and Chemistry of Vision.
- Alex Novarro (BEES, Lips Lab) was recently awarded an Exploration Fund Grant (Explorers Club); SSAR Grant-in-Herpetology (Soc. for Study of Amphibians), and the Margaret Walton Fellowship (Mountain Lake Biological Station).
- Edward Hurme (BEES, Wilkinson Lab) was the recipient of two grants: one from the National Geographic Young Explorers and one from the Animal Behavior Society.
- Micki Kuhlman (MOCB, Simon Lab) was recently given the "Outstanding Performance in Botany" award.
- Mona Orr (MOCB, Lee Lab) was presented with the best poster award at the International Symposium on c-di-GMP Signaling in Bacteria conference.
- Noor White (BEES, Braun/Mitter Lab) was awarded the Ernest Mayr Award, which is given to the presenter of the outstanding student talk in the field of systematics at the annual meetings of the Society of Systematic Biologists.
- Noor White (BEES, Braun/Mitter Labs) and Carly Muletz (BEES, Lips Lab) have advanced to the second round in the UMD 3MT Thesis competition.
- Cora Johnston (BEES, Gruner Lab) was awarded the Graduate School's Outstanding Graduate Assistant Award for 2014-15. Congrats Cora!
- Juannan Zhou (BEES, Dudash/Fenster/ZImmer lab) has been awarded an NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant.
- Madhvi Ventkatraman (BEES, Gruner/Fleischer/James lab) was awarded both a CIC Fellowship AND an NSF predoctoral fellowship. Congratulations to Madhvi!
- Vasudevan Achuthan (MOCB, DeStefano Lab) was awarded the prestigious Stephanie and Richard Vogel Graduate Student award for Spring 2015.
- Dr. Antony Jose and students Sinduja Ravanapally and Snusha Ravikumar featured in CMNS News.
- Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowship (1 semester): Submit application package by close of business February 5, 2015.
- Graduate Dean's Dissertation Fellowship (1 year): Submit application package by close of business February 25, 2015.
- Summer Research Fellowship (summer only): Submit application package by close of business February 25, 2015.
- Mabel S. Spencer Award for Excellence in Graduate Education: Submit application package by close of business February 25, 2015
- Michael J. Pelczar Award for Excellence in Graduate Education: Submit application package by close of business February 25, 2015
- All S.T.A.R. Award (cash award): Submit CV and a 1-2 page describing your scholarly activity and achievements as a graduate assistant. Have two letters of recommendation sent to firstname.lastname@example.org; one that speaks to your scholarly achievements and one that focuses on your achievements as a graduate assistant (in some cases, both of these can be addressed by a single letter). Applications must be submitted as a single PDF by March 2, 2015.
On the floor (L to R): Carl Sabottke, Edward Hurme, Bo Shi
Seated (L to R): Jessica Goodheart, Corey Rennolds, Qian Yu, Liz Stoneburner, Xiaoran Shang, Julie Choi, Laramie Pence.
Standing (L to R): Jonathan Goodson, Alex Novarro, Madhvi Venkatraman, Elske Tielens, Steve Christensen, Grace Anderson, Carol Vieira, Kajal Hamidzadeh, Ji Liu
MIssing: Matt Conte
Nathan Jud, graduate student in Charlie Mitter and Scott Wing's group, was recently featured in the New York Times Science pages has identified one of North America’s oldest flowering plants, a 115- to 125-million-year-old species new to science. The entire story can be found in the Smithsonian magazine here.
Haoyue Zhang was awarded a Best Poster Presentation award (and $500 cash!) at the Cardiovascular Retreat at the University of Maryland Medical School. The research presented at the conference also resulted in a first author paper submission to PNAS for Haoyue.