Features Archive


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Newmark Named Howard Hughes Medical Investigator

Although it has been almost one year since he learned he’d become a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator, Phillip Newmark, associate professor of cell and developmental biology (CDB), is still pleased with his good fortune.

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UNDERGRADUATE LAB EXPERIENCE II: Undergraduate Research in Faculty Labs

In 2001 Heather Vlamakis coauthored a paper detailing the spread of antibiotic resistance among bacteria in the human body.  It was one of the first publications to show that bacteria can share antibiotic resistance genes in natural settings, and Vlamakis did her work as an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois.

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MCB Undergraduate Awards

Numerous teachers and students were honored in this year's School of Molecular and Cellular Biology Awards Ceremony, held in May.

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An Emerging Field for a Rising Professor

Assistant Professor of Microbiology Carin Vanderpool, never predicted she would be in the position she is today.

After only two years at the University of Illinois she has created a lab from the ground up, been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and made great strides with small RNAs—a newly developing area of research in cellular regulation.

As a successful new faculty member, Vanderpool seems to have chosen her career wisely, but she wasn’t always sure that academia was the right path.

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Maria Spies Receives HHMI Early Career Scientist Award

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry Maria Spies has been selected to receive a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Early Career Scientist Award. The award aims to provide generous funding to the most promising early career scientists in the country. According to HHMI, “The new program is aimed at researchers who have run their own labs for two to six years and are now at a critical point in establishing their own vibrant, independent research programs.”

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MCB Undergraduate Instruction

A cornerstone of the excellence in education for which the University of Illinois is renowned, the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) is the largest school in the University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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The MCB Undergraduate Experience: A Q&A for New Students and Parents from an MCB Graduate

Outgoing MCB senior Alex Crofts takes a few minutes to provide an informal report, responding to questions about his time at MCB.

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Angela Bizzarri

Angela Bizzarri’s accomplishments in the athletic arena are impressive. In 2009, she was honored with the Dike Eddleman Award for the second consecutive year as the University of Illinois Female Athlete of the Year, after earning All-America honors in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track for the second year in a row. Between 2008 and 2009, she broke five school records. All the while, she continues as an undergraduate in the challenging curriculum of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

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A New National Center for Research in Reproduction and Infertility

In keeping with the long-standing and rich tradition of research and training in reproductive biology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHHD) has awarded funds to create a Center for Research in Reproduction and Infertility on this campus. The five-year award from the NICHHD is for $6.8 million, and substantial matching funds were committed by the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, representing the culmination of two years of effort to obtain funding.

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Roger Adams Lab Ribbon Cutting

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Friday October 9th to celebrate the completion of phase one of the renovations of historic university building Roger Adams Laboratory. These upgrades, sponsored by the campus and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, took two years and $8 million to complete, and include massive infrastructure updates throughout two floors and the addition of new biomedical research laboratories.

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MCB Director's Seminar

On November 18 at this year's MCB Director's Seminar, special guest Northwestern University Professor of Neurobiology William L. Klein delivered the talk: "Synaptotoxic AΒ Oligomers (ADDLs): A Molecular Basis for the Cause, Diagnosis and Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease."

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Using Genomics to Look at Microbial Evolution

Most microbiologists sequence genes in order to determine what a given gene does. Rachel Whitaker, a member of the biocomplexity theme at IGB and assistant professor of microbiology, studies gene sequences to answer other kinds of questions. She would like to know, for example, "How do microbes, specifically Archaea, evolve? Is the system by which they evolve different or similar to eukaryotes or to bacteria?"

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Transcription Factors Guide Differences in Human and Chimp Brain Function

Humans share at least 97 percent of their genes with chimpanzees, but, as a new study of transcription factors makes clear, what you have in your genome may be less important than how you use it.

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