School of MCB COVID-19 Information

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Structure matters over sequence for cys-loop cell receptors

Cells communicate with each other by sending, receiving, and decoding signals. Signals that cannot cross the cell membrane directly – such as ions, water-soluble small molecules, and peptides – need to be detected by receptor proteins on the cell’s outer surface.

April 12, 2021


Martha Gillette wins Beckman Institute's 2021 Vision and Spirit Award

Congratulations to Martha Gillette, who has been named the Beckman Institute’s 2021 winner of the Vision and Spirit Award. Gillette is director of the Neuroscience Program, Alumni Professor of cell and developmental biology, and a professor of molecular and integrative physiology.

April 09, 2021


MCB undergraduate awarded Goldwater Scholarship

Congratulations to MCB junior Evan Dray, who was awarded the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater scholarship! Dray, of East Peoria, Ill., and a graduate of East Peoria Community High School, is pursuing majors in molecular and cellular biology and chemistry to support his career goals in oncology and pharmacology. He desires to teach and conduct translational research at...

April 06, 2021


Researchers identify mechanisms of controlling regeneration for two chromatin-remodeling complexes of Drosophila

Rachel Smith-Bolton, a professor of cell and developmental biology at the University of Illinois, leads an exciting research program on tissue regeneration. Her recent work uses Drosophila as a model to explore the effects of different chromatin modifiers on initiating, spatially controlling, and ending regeneration in...

April 06, 2021


Researchers characterize the function of PaeA, a protein involved in Salmonella virulence

The regulation of polyamines is essential for the physiological function of organisms. Simplistically, polyamines are organic cations that interact with RNA, including ribosomes and translational machinery. Both the lack of and an excess of polyamines confer lethal phenotypes, though the molecular mechanism behind this is unclear. Despite their critical...

March 26, 2021


Researchers uncover new insights in mechanisms of thymineless death

Andrei Kuzminov, professor of microbiology at the University of Illinois, leads research into the mystery of thymineless death, where mutant cells that cannot synthesize the essential molecule thymine will die unless the growth environment has thymine readily available. With graduate student Pritha Rao, Kuzminov recently explored the “resistance” period...

March 26, 2021


Researchers structurally characterize a dual-function transporter

The regulation of glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter abundant in the central nervous system, is critical for maintaining normal brain function. Glutamate regulation is achieved via extracellular transport of the amino acid. There are two primary classes of proteins involved in the transport of materials across the membrane: channel proteins, which provide passive pathways for moving...

March 22, 2021


MCB statement on solidarity with Asian American communities

Dear Members of the MCB Community: We are all shocked, saddened, disappointed, and angered by the shootings in Atlanta that left eight people dead. These killings are part of a rise in hate crimes against Asians and Asian Americans. The MCB community stands together in denouncing this senseless act, and all acts of...

March 22, 2021


Deciphering the impacts of small RNA interactions in individual bacterial cells

Bacteria employ many different strategies to regulate gene expression in response to fluctuating, often stressful, conditions in their environments. One type of regulation involves non-coding RNA molecules called small RNAs (sRNAs), which are found in all domains of life. A new study by researchers describes, for the first time, the...

March 10, 2021


New study identifies culprit behind onion rot: the chemical pantaphos, which is toxic to some brain cancer cells, could also have biomedical applications

Since 1983, the bacteria Pantoea ananatis has been known to infect several important crops including onions, rice, and corn. It was unclear, however, what molecules were involved. A new study, published in mBio, has identified one of...

March 09, 2021


Division of labor within regenerating liver maintains metabolism, mouse study finds

The liver has a rare superpower among body organs – the ability to regenerate, even if 70% of its mass is removed. It also keeps up its metabolic and toxin-removing work during the process of regeneration, thanks to a subset of cells that expand their workload while the rest focus...

March 02, 2021


Chris Brooke on The 21st radio show: New variants, vaccines and the future of COVID-19

Chris Brooke, assistant professor of microbiology, recently spoke with The 21st public radio show about what scientists know about the virus that causes COVID-19, the emerging variants, and what they still have to learn.

March 01, 2021


Researchers examine the biological role of epigenetic regulator Brd4 in inflammasome activation

Inflammasomes play a critical role in the innate cellular immune response to pathogen infection. The inflammasome, a cytosolic multiprotein complex, recognizes substrates produced during infection or tissue damage, and triggers an inflammatory response by releasing the proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β and IL-18. Researchers have recently identified bromodomain-containing protein-4 (Brd4) as...

February 24, 2021


Belmont Lab offers new insights on nuclear speckles, improved mapping method

In a new publication, University of Illinois PhD graduate Liguo Zhang of the Belmont laboratory and colleagues introduce an improved version of TSA-seq and use it to demonstrate how changes in gene association with nuclear speckles correlate with changes in gene expression.

February 23, 2021


Cronan lab uncovers mechanism for synthesis of pimelate moiety, the biotin precursor

Professor John. E. Cronan, Microbiology Alumni Professor and professor of biochemistry at the University of Illinois, is a leading researcher and innovator in the field of lipid metabolism. His recent work focuses on the synthesis of biotin and its building blocks across different species of bacteria....

February 22, 2021


Cari Vanderpool elected Fellow of American Academy of Microbiology

Congratulations to Cari Vanderpool, professor of microbiology, who was recently elected a fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology.

February 18, 2021


Wu and collaborators develop new molecules which attack the virus that causes COVID-19 and resist 'escape' mutations

An international team of researchers including Nicholas Wu, a professor in the Department of Biochemistry, has published a new study which developed highly potent molecules that can neutralize SARS-CoV-2 by simultaneously targeting multiple sites of vulnerability on the virus.

February 15, 2021


New study: MCB faculty among world's most influential researchers

Several faculty from the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology were among the most-cited researchers in the world in a new, widely hailed analysis designed to provide a clearer view of scientific and scholarly impact.

February 12, 2021


Unraveling mechanisms of FXR in protection against liver diseases

Obesity is rising in prevalence and poses a major concern for the health of our general population. Currently affecting over one-third of the population of the United States, obesity is often comorbid with other diseases, such as diabetes, fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers. The bile acid (BA)-sensing nuclear receptor...

February 10, 2021


Gut bacteria help digest dietary fiber, release important antioxidant

Dietary fiber found in grains is a large component of many diets, but little is understood about how we digest the fiber, as humans lack enzymes to break down the complex molecules. Some species of gut bacteria break down the fiber in such a way that it not only becomes digestible, but...

January 27, 2021


Researchers explore skeletal muscle regeneration at the molecular level

In a new study, University of Illinois professor Jie Chen and collaborators have uncovered novel molecular mechanisms of regulation in skeletal muscle regeneration.

January 21, 2021


Welcome to Professor Xinzhu Yu

Professor Yu was one of ten new faculty hires made in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the last three years. Yu is an assistant professor of molecular and integrative physiology and is an affiliate of the Beckman Institute.

January 20, 2021


Welcome to Professor Nicholas Wu

Professor Wu was one of ten new faculty hires made in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the last three years. Wu is an assistant professor of biochemistry and is an affiliate of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology.

January 20, 2021


Welcome to Professor Beth Stadtmueller

Professor Stadtmueller was one of ten new faculty hires made in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the last three years. Stadtmueller is an assistant professor of biochemistry, assistant professor of Biomedical and Translational Sciences with the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, and is an affiliate of the Beckman Institute.

January 20, 2021


Welcome to Professor Anna Marie Sokac

Professor Sokac was one of ten new faculty hires made in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the last three years. Sokac is an associate professor of cell and development biology. She is also a SCIALOG Fellow with Research Corporation for Science Advancement, a Master Facilitator/Consultant with National Research Mentoring Network, and a...

January 20, 2021


Welcome to Professor Joe Sanfilippo

Professor Sanfilippo was one of ten new faculty hires made in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the last three years. Sanfilippo is an assistant professor of biochemistry.

January 20, 2021


Welcome to Professor Paola Mera

Professor Mera was one of ten new faculty hires made in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the last three years. Mera is an assistant professor of microbiology, and is also an affiliate of the Microbial Systems Initiative.

January 20, 2021


Welcome to Professor Pamela Martinez

Professor Martinez was one of ten new faculty hires made in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the last three years. Martinez is an assistant professor of microbiology and statistics and is an affiliate of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, as well as the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and...

January 20, 2021


Welcome to Professor Collin Kieffer

Professor Kieffer was one of ten new faculty hires made in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the last three years. Kieffer is an assistant professor of microbiology, and is also an affiliate of Infection Genomics for One Health (IGOH) theme at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB).

January 20, 2021


Welcome to Professor Asma Hatoum

Professor Hatoum was one of ten new faculty hires made in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the last three years. Hatoum is an assistant professor of microbiology and is part of the Microbial Systems Initiative.

January 20, 2021


Welcome to Professor Benjamin Auerbach

Professor Auerbach was one of ten new faculty hires made in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the last three years. Auerbach is an assistant professor of molecular and integrative physiology, and is also an affiliate of the Beckman Institute.

January 20, 2021


Accelerating biomedical research at UIUC: MCB accomplishes 10 new faculty hires in three years

The School of Molecular & Cellular Biology is proud to have accomplished ten new faculty hires over the last three years! These strategic hires have been made in areas of brain plasticity, virology and immunology, developmental biology, and microbiology. These outstanding new recruits, together with our current...

January 20, 2021


New NIH grant to fund U of I research on Fragile X Syndrome

Recent clinical trials involving Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), a genetic disorder that causes mild to severe intellectual disability, indicate that potential drug treatments are not as effective as researchers initially hoped. This lack of therapeutic potential suggests there are some gaps in our understanding of the neural mechanisms...

January 05, 2021


What is the new variant of coronavirus in the UK?

New mutations to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 are emerging, including one in the United Kingdom with higher infection rates that has sparked new travel bans. Erik Procko, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has been studying mutations in the spike protein, the part of the...

December 23, 2020


Microbial Systems Initiative positions Illinois as center for cutting-edge, collaborative research

With support and leadership from the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology, the Microbial Systems Initiative (MSI) aims to harness the existing and emerging strengths of the microbial sciences community and establish the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign as a leading center that will continue to attract and nurture a diverse,...

December 21, 2020


Stadtmueller Lab determines the structure of our predominant mucosal antibody

It has been over 60 years since scientists first identified the molecule that we know today as immunoglobulin (Ig) A. IgA is the predominant class of antibody found in human mucus where it is known as secretory (S) IgA. SIgA functions to bind microbes in extracellular regions such as the gut...

December 17, 2020


Following Drg: Curiosity Drives Scientist’s Protein Synthesis Research

Current cancer treatments include drugs that target standard protein synthesis in cells, which can kill cancer cells, but also targets healthy cells. To address this issue, associate professor of biochemistry and Cancer Center at Illinois (CCIL) member, Hong Jin, is focusing on a non-canonical protein translation pathway, which will allow researchers...

December 14, 2020


Microbiology professor Rachel Whitaker named a University Scholar

Congratulations to Rachel Whitaker for being chosen as a University Scholar. Whitaker, a professor of microbiology, conducts groundbreaking research on the dynamics of microbes and their viruses and how they evolve in clinical and natural environments.

December 11, 2020


Mouse model of epilepsy may yield insights into relationship between seizures and reproductive cycle in women

One of the first steps in creating treatments for a medical condition is to make an accurate model of it, in which to identify targets for investigation and test potential therapeutic candidates. Without such a model, a condition can be very difficult to study, let...

December 10, 2020


Researchers uncover the role of a noncoding RNA in cell proliferation

Kannanganattu V. Prasanth, professor of cell and developmental biology, and members of his lab investigate the regulation of gene expression and RNA biology with a focus on cancer. In a new article published in eLife, “The S-phase-induced lncRNA SUNO1 promotes cell proliferation by controlling YAP1/Hippo signaling pathway,” Prasanth...

December 08, 2020


School of MCB hosts second annual undergraduate research symposium

During the first week of November 2020, the School of MCB hosted its second annual Undergraduate Research Symposium. Given that the event could not be safely held in person, the symposium was reorganized to be conducted virtually.

December 02, 2020


Researchers study how biotin affects mycobacteria growth

Alumni Professor of Microbiology John E. Cronan at the University of Illinois recently published work on the biotin synthesis pathway and its role in mycobacterium and tuberculosis. Cronan’s lab primarily works on lipid metabolism and fatty acid synthesis. In his recent publication, Cronan takes a deeper dive into the role of biotin...

December 02, 2020


Microbiology grad leverages her Illinois research training into career at Abbott

On January 9, 2020, the World Health Organization announced the discovery of a mysterious string of pneumonia-like cases in Wuhan, China, which they believed could be caused by a novel coronavirus. At the same time in Illinois, executives at the medical device and healthcare company Abbott Laboratories were activating their...

November 30, 2020


Study: Gut hormones' regulation of fat production abnormal in obesity, fatty liver disease

Gut hormones play an important role in regulating fat production in the body. One key hormone, released a few hours after eating, turns off fat production by regulating gene expression in the liver, but this regulation is abnormal in obesity, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign found...

November 24, 2020


In Memoriam: Physiology Professor Dennis Buetow, 1932-2020

Professor Emeritus Dennis E. Buetow, a respected physiology researcher and educator, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, at home in Champaign with family.

November 23, 2020


The lessons of a Nobel Laureate

Phillip Sharp recalls a key moment on campus as he renews support for the U of I

November 23, 2020


New optogenetics study shows promising results for neuronal regeneration

Although researchers have been able to achieve many advances in regenerative medicine, repairing damage in the nervous system of the human body has stubbornly eluded scientists and doctors. The nervous system and the brain present many obstacles that, until recently, have had few effective solutions. Neuronal cells are notoriously slow to multiply...

November 20, 2020


UIUC biology alumna appointed to Biden's COVID-19 advisory panel

Congratulations to University of Illinois biology alumna Dr. Julie Morita, who was recently named to President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 advisory panel.

November 11, 2020


Tyramide signal amplification mass spectrometry (TSA-MS) ratio identifies nuclear speckle proteins

Proximity labeling of cell structures followed by mass spectrometry has become an increasingly popular proteomics approach to identify what proteins localize to different cell structures. In practice, however, results are typically confusing, with long lists of hundreds of proteins identified, among which only a small fraction are bona fide components...

November 10, 2020


Erik Nelson receives $4.5M grant to study prevention and treatment of metastatic breast cancer

Erik Nelson, professor of molecular and integrative physiology, has won a $4.5 million Era of Hope Scholar Award from the United States Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program.This prestigious award supports individuals early in their careers who have demonstrated significant potential to effect meaningful...

November 04, 2020


Four MCB alumni honored with 2020 LAS alumni awards

The winners are being honored during LAS Impact 2020, a weeklong celebration of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences starting on Oct. 26.

October 26, 2020


Microbiology alumni collaborate on COVID-19 wastewater tests

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, University of Illinois alumnus David Townsend (BS ’88, microbiology) and members of his team at IDEXX Laboratories have developed a test to monitor the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater that rapidly detects the virus’ genetic material.

October 23, 2020


Brian Freeman named a fellow of Cell Stress Society International

Congratulations to Brian Freeman, professor of cell and developmental biology at the University of Illinois who has been selected as a fellow of the Cell Stress Society International.

October 23, 2020


Christopher Brooke named Man of the Year by Central Illinois Business Magazine

This announcement was made as part of The News-Gazette’s 13th annual Forty Under 40 Awards. Professor Brooke is an assistant professor of microbiology and is an affiliate of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology.

October 20, 2020


New study explores complex phage-host interactions in human gut

Danielle Campbell, a microbiology PhD graduate of the Whitaker Lab, recently studied the interaction of the active prophage, Bacteroides phage BV01, in its tractable host strain, B. vulgatus ATCC 8482. Bacteroides, known to degrade complex carbohydrates and interact with host immune cells, are one of the most common bacterial types...

October 20, 2020


New work provides broader understanding of how bacteria obtain essential nutrients in soil and during infection

In a recently published study from the University of Illinois, researchers have identified a new class of bacterial importers in over 250 species.

October 19, 2020


New NIH grants will fund research on cell nuclei structure and dynamics

URBANA—University of Illinois professor Andrew Belmont has received two new grants from the National Institutes of Health that will advance his work in understanding nuclear structure and dynamics and gene expression.

October 15, 2020


A major catastrophe for actin: University of Illinois researchers uncover new insights on actin disassembly

New research from University of Illinois professor William Brieher has uncovered new insights on actin disassembly.

October 07, 2020


Cancer compound originating from U of I scientists leads to major licensing deal

University of Illinois researchers are leading the science behind a new global licensing agreement between the pharmaceutics company Bayer AG and the cancer drug development company Systems Oncology for a new breast cancer drug called ERSO.

September 30, 2020


Cholesterol metabolite causes immune system to attack T cells instead of breast cancer, study finds

In breast cancer tumors, a molecule produced when the body breaks down cholesterol hijacks the myeloid immune cells that normally arm T cells to fight cancer, a new study in mice found. Instead, the hijacked myeloid cells disarm the T cells and even tell them to...

September 15, 2020


Summer undergraduate research in the age of COVID-19

For years, the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology has offered undergraduates the opportunity to pursue hands-on research under the guidance of our accomplished faculty. But when the COVID-19 pandemic effectively shut down campus in spring, it was unclear how or even if undergraduate research could continue — particularly for the Summer Undergraduate...

September 14, 2020


MCB researchers shed light that detoxification machinery is kept on in some liver disease states

Bile acids are cholesterol metabolites that are well known for their role in fat digestion. Many liver diseases such as gallstones, fatty liver disease, congenital disorders lead to cholestasis, which is characterized as accumulation of bile acids in the liver. The Anakk laboratory at the University...

September 14, 2020


Collaborative team awarded $12.5 million for new NSF Biology Integration Institute

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a five-year, $12.5 million grant to integrate biology to a collaborative team based in the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The new institute, Genomics and Eco-evolution of Multi-scale Symbioses (GEMS), will include molecular, organismal, computational and...

September 10, 2020


Using magnetic resonance elastography to detect epilepsy

A new study uses magnetic resonance elastography to compare the stiffness of the hippocampus in patients who have epilepsy with healthy individuals. The technique can improve the detection and characterization of the disease.

September 08, 2020


Remembering Ananda Mohan Chakrabarty

Faculty in the University of Illinois School of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Department of Biochemistry are remembering the late Professor Ananda Mohan Chakrabarty, who passed away on July 10, 2020, in Chicago.

September 02, 2020


Asma Hatoum-Aslan, new microbiology professor, named Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator

Congratulations to University of Illinois professor Asma Hatoum-Aslan, who was recently named a 2020 Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

August 31, 2020


Precision pathogenesis: a novel approach for studying bacterial toxins in disease

As the first bacterium to be labeled a Group I carcinogen, Helicobacter pylori is the single most important risk factor for developing gastric cancer. The bacterium chronically infects over 50 percent of the world’s population and is estimated to be the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the world....

August 18, 2020


Decoy receptor neutralizes coronavirus in cell cultures

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, scientists and health care providers are seeking ways to keep the coronavirus from infecting tissues once they’re exposed. A new study suggests luring the virus with a decoy – an engineered, free-floating receptor protein – that binds the virus and blocks infection.

August 04, 2020


MCB students launch big dreams with the iVenture program

An experience consoling a World War II veteran in the last days of his life fostered a passion for advocating for mental health awareness in Benjamin Ray, a student in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology and CEO of vrtumind. Pronounced “virtue-mind,” the startup applies machine learning to help students...

July 24, 2020


Researchers: Breast Cancer Deadlier in Heart Attack Survivors

Breast cancer patients are 60 percent more likely to die of cancer after surviving a heart attack, according to a new study published in Nature Medicine.

July 15, 2020


Researchers uncover a key mechanism for embryonic implantation during early pregnancy

Nearly two percent of pregnant women will face recurrent miscarriages, defined as the spontaneous loss of three or more consecutive pregnancies. Of that two percent, half of those miscarriages cannot be explained. Scientists assume genetic factors may play a role, but to date they have not been able to describe...

July 14, 2020


Volunteers at Illinois produce supplies for 200,000 COVID-19 tests

A collaborative effort at the University of Illinois to support COVID-19 testing is winding down, but not before it produced enough materials to support some 200,000 coronavirus tests across the state. Chris Brooke, a professor of microbiology who spearheaded the effort by faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and laboratory workers, said that at...

July 07, 2020


Engineered immune cells recognize, attack human and mouse solid-tumor cancer cells

A method known as CAR-T therapy has been used successfully in patients with blood cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia. It modifies a patient’s own T-cells by adding a piece of an antibody that recognizes unique features on the surface of cancer cells. In a new study, researchers report that...

June 29, 2020


New approach drives bacteria to produce potential antibiotic, antiparasitic compounds

Researchers have developed a method to spur the production of new antibiotic or antiparasitic compounds hiding in the genomes of actinobacteria, which are the source of drugs such as actinomycin and streptomycin and are known to harbor other untapped chemical riches. The scientists report their findings in the journal eLife.

June 25, 2020


MIP Professor Benita Katzenellenbogen named Senior Advisor for the Cancer Center at Illinois

Benita S. Katzenellenbogen, Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been appointed Senior Advisor to the Director of the Cancer Center at Illinois (CCIL), Rohit Bhargava.

June 24, 2020


Finding a new link between cellular respiration and virulence in S. aureus

Due in part to COVID-19, more and more people realize the importance of taking early steps to understand the virulence mechanisms of pathogens, especially in the face of their widespread resistance to drugs. Doing so gives researchers and clinicians a head start in preparing against future outbreaks, which means...

June 19, 2020


Liqian Ma awarded Mead Graduate Fellowship

The University of Illinois School of Molecular and Cellular Biology is pleased to announce the inaugural recipient of the Julie and David Mead Graduate Fellowship.

June 17, 2020


Simulated sea slug gets addicted to drug

Rhanor Gillette and his colleagues simulated a sea slug brain in a computer model, added a few extra circuits, and gave it access to food and an intoxicating drug. The work offers insight into the process of addiction and will be a useful tool for further studies, Gillette said.

June 16, 2020


Team deciphers how myotonic dystrophy generates lethal heart dysfunctions

Roughly 80% of people with myotonic dystrophy – a common form of muscular dystrophy – experience dangerous heart ailments, and heart rhythm defects are the second-leading cause of death in those with the condition. In a new study, researchers traced the molecular events that lead to heart abnormalities in myotonic dystrophy and...

June 08, 2020


Bacteria show their metal: An evolutionary path to survival

An investigation of two closely related proteins from a pathogenic bacterium has illustrated for the first time how evolution can shape the use of essential metals by enzymes.

June 04, 2020


MCB's Commitment to Diversity and Equity

Dear Students, The School of Molecular and Cellular Biology would like to follow up on the statement sent out by the University of Illinois on Saturday. As noted by UI President Timothy Killeen, “The horrifying image of George Floyd dying as a police officer knelt on his neck is one that will be forever burned...

June 03, 2020


MCB researchers aim to speed up drug discovery through RiPPs

As the globe currently deals with the novel coronavirus pandemic, public interest in biological research has begun to grow. However, curative research takes time: drug discovery requires years of effort and financial resources to yield results. Even with focused endeavors, it would still take approximately two years for a CoV-2 vaccine...

May 22, 2020


MCB faculty join Congressman for discussion about COVID-19 testing, vaccines, treatments

Faculty in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology shared the latest news and insights on COVID-19 testing, vaccines, and antibody research with U.S. Congressman Bill Foster this weekend as part of the representative’s Science Saturdays discussion on Facebook Live.

May 18, 2020


Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

On Saturday, May 16, 2020, the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology celebrated its outstanding graduates with a virtual convocation. The ceremony included a slide show about students and their future plans, shout-outs from MCB faculty, and remarks from MCB Director Milan Bagchi and Tina Knox, assistant director for advising and recruitment. The event...

May 17, 2020


MCB undergraduates receive awards from the Beckman Institute

Three undergraduate students in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology were among the recipients of the 2020 Beckman Institute student awards and fellowships, which provide research experience. The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, as well as other scholarship and memorial funds provided by generous donors, support these programs.

May 11, 2020


Researchers find mutation hotspots for severe form of genetic epilepsy that give insights into the underlying pathogenesis

Epilepsy is a common chronic brain disorder that affects 3% of the world’s population. In epilepsy, excessive electrical activity in neurons makes them prone to misfire and trigger seizures. Nearly half of epilepsy cases are caused by genetic mutations in a variety of proteins...

May 06, 2020


A novel approach to a new career

Alumna Carole Stivers worked as a biochemist in Silicon Valley—and then started anew as a science fiction writer.

May 05, 2020


Spinal cord gives bio-bots walking rhythm

Miniature biological robots are making greater strides than ever, thanks to the spinal cord directing their steps. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers developed the tiny walking “spinobots,” powered by rat muscle and spinal cord tissue on a soft, 3D-printed hydrogel skeleton. While previous generations of biological robots, or bio-bots, could move forward by simple...

April 28, 2020


Professors shift gears as they move to online courses during COVID-19

Going from teaching in front of an auditorium that seats 600 students to lecturing on a webcam at home requires patience and skill – and, for one professor, a lot of imagination.

April 24, 2020


University of Illinois partners with Carle Health and the state to increase COVID-19 testing

Back in early March, when the COVID-19 pandemic began shuttering businesses and schools across the United States, Chris Brooke wondered how he’d teach his classes online. As the virus spread with astonishing speed, however, and it became frighteningly clear that COVID-19 threatened something far greater than...

April 20, 2020