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News & Events

2018 News Archive


Jennifer Brisson and Patrick Oakes Recipients of the National Science Foundation’s Most Prestigious Recognition for Junior Faculty Members: the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award

September 4, 2018

Eight University of Rochester researchers are among the latest recipients of the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious recognition for junior faculty members: the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award.


Department of Biology Retreat, August 21, 2018

August 21, 2018

On August 21, 2018 the Department of Biology held our annual Department Retreat at the Glen Iris Inn at Letchworth State Park in Castile, NY.  Renowned as the "Grand Canyon of the East," Letchworth State Park is one of the most scenically magnificent areas in the eastern U.S. The Genesee River roars through the gorge over three major waterfalls between cliffs--as high as 600 feet in some places--surrounded by lush forests.


Anne Meyer Targets Protein that Protects Bacteria’s DNA ‘Recipes’

August 17, 2018

Bacteria cause many serious illnesses, from food poisoning to pneumonia. The challenge for scientists is that disease-causing bacteria are extraordinarily resilient. For example, when bacteria like Escherichia coli (E. coli) undergo starvation, they massively reorganize their bacterial DNA, allowing them to survive stressful conditions.


Michael Welte Says Lipid Droplets Play Crucial Roles Beyond Fat Storage

August 14, 2018

Lipid droplets: they were long thought of merely as the formless blobs of fat out of which spare tires and muffin tops were made. But these days, they’re “a really hot area of research,” says Michael Welte, professor and chair of biology at the University of Rochester.


Thomas Eickbush Recieves Mercer Brugler Distinguished Teaching Professorship

August 3, 2018

Thomas Eickbush is a recipient of the Mercer Brugler Distinguished Teaching Professorship, which recognizes excellence in teaching and encourages the development of crossdisciplinary instructional programs. The professorship was established in 1979 to honor Mercer Brugler, former chair emeritus of the board of trustees, with support from Sybron Corp., Brugler, and others.


Vera Gorbunova Explains What Naked Mole Rats Tell Us about Cancer and Longevity

July 30, 2018

Vera Gorbunova, the Doris Johns Cherry Professor in the Department of Biology and codirector of the Rochester Aging Research Center, talks about her research on cancer prevention and longevity in longer-living rodents.


University Remembers Henry A. Ward and Highlights the Current Ward Project

July 11, 2018

Throughout his years, Ward developed the large collection that made the University of Rochester and Ward himself famous. Following his death, Ward’s collection bounced around many buildings at the University of Rochester, and the specimens were dispersed. Some specimens ended up in storage in Hutchison Hall, where they lay untouched until about five years ago. Since then, Senior Lecturer of Biology Robert Minckley has been researching the documents and specimens with the help of Melissa Mead (the John M. and Barbara Keil University Archivist and Rochester Collections Librarian) and others. This project is known as the Ward Project, a collaboration supported by the Departments of Biology and Earth and Environmental Studies and the River Campus Libraries (RCL) that aims to capture Ward’s enduring legacy and impact.


Bob Minckley Says Desert Bees Have a Secret

May 24, 2018

Around the world, there’s a higher proportion of specialist bees in arid environments than in humid ones. But scientists don’t know why. “One interpretation is that to survive in really hot, unpredictable parts of the desert you need to be able to be synchronized with that plant very well,” says Bob Minckley, a professor of biology.


Audrey Goldfarb ’19 a recipient of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, one of the most prestigious undergraduate awards given in the sciences

May 7, 2018

Allen Chen ’19 and Audrey Goldfarb ’19 are the University’s 2018 recipients of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, one of the most prestigious undergraduate awards given in the sciences.


Presgraves and Brand discover gene controlling genetic recombination rates

April 23, 2018

Genetics is a crapshoot. During sexual reproduction, genes from both the mother and the father mix and mingle to produce a genetic combination unique to each offspring. In most cases, the chromosomes line up properly and crossover. In some unlucky cases, however, “selfish DNA” enters the mix, causing abnormal crossovers with deletions or insertions in chromosomes, which can manifest as birth defects.


Jillian Ramos describes protein translation in 3 minutes or less

April 18, 2018

Jillian Ramos showed exactly how to capture an audience’s attention, and hold it, at the University of Rochester’s third annual Three Minute Thesis Competition finals.


Jillian Ramos Wins First Prize and People's Choice in Three Minute Thesis Competition

April 13, 2018

The Department of Biology is pleased to congratulate graduate student jillianJillian Ramos for winning first prize in the Three Minute Thesis competition on April 12, 2018.  She was also named the People's Choice winner.  Jillian will receive a $750 research travel award for first-prize and a $250 research travel award for the People's Choice.                                 


Specimen Collection Back in the Public Eye With New Website

March 26, 2018

Each year, more of the Department of Biology’s historical collection of specimens, models and casts are being exhibited in Hutchison Hall. 


Biology majors Krista Pipho '18 and Isaac Wong '19 compete for the Hult Prize in Singapore

March 9, 2018

Four student teams representing the College and the Simon Business School will compete this month in regional semifinals for the Hult Prize, the world’s largest social entrepreneurship contest.


Zhao, Gorbunova, and Seluanov find another piece to the puzzle in naked mole rats’ long, cancer-free life

February 7, 2018

With their large buck teeth and wrinkled, hairless bodies, naked mole rats won’t be winning any awards for cutest rodent. But their long life span—they can live up to 30 years, the longest of any rodent—and remarkable resistance to age-related diseases, offer scientists key clues to the mysteries of aging and cancer.