Biologist Maresca and Colleagues Find Strong, Steady Forces at Work During Cell Division

Biologists who study the mechanics of cell division have for years disagreed about how much force is at work when the cell’s molecular engines are lining chromosomes up in the cell, preparing to winch copies to opposite poles across a bridge-like structure called the kinetochore to form two new cells. The question is fundamental to understanding how cells divide, says cell biologist Thomas Maresca.

As he says, “We know we can’t fully understand the kinetochore structure until we understand the tension forces and their strength, but the estimates have been all over the map. They differ by orders of magnitude, hundreds of times, and some are off by a thousand-fold. But now, I think we’ve finally got the answer.”

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Biology Major Nick Mucci in Daily Hampshire Gazette

Biology Major Nick Mucci profiled in the Daily Hampshire Gazette:

Though the Institute for Applied Life Sciences “officially” opened Friday with a ribbon-cutting, dozens of research projects have been taking place inside the 275,000-square-foot building on the flagship campus for some time. State and campus leaders say the research is already helping drive the regional economy and promote public health.

Nick Mucci is one of those researchers. The senior biology major at UMass, Mucci is studying how some types of bacteria evolve and possibly jeopardize cardiovascular health.

“If we can stop them at the microscopic levels, we’re hopeful we can make advancements in personalized medicine” to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, Mucci said.

Read the full article.

Campus Leaders Tour Morrill Science Center Renovations

On October 4, 2016, the Chancellor, Provost, and other campus leaders visited the Morrill Science Center to tour newly renovated spaces and see new enhancements in the Departments of Biology, Microbiology, and Geosciences. Renovations included new teachin equipment in the Intro and upper-level teaching laboratories as well as research spaces for faculty.

Assistant Professor - Animal Models of Neurological Disease

The Department of Biology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst invites applications for a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor. Under exceptional circumstances, highly qualified candidates at other ranks may receive consideration. The successful candidate will be a part of the Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS), which has a primary goal of developing translational research programs and fostering interactions with industry.
 
We seek highly innovative candidates who are exploring neurological disease using clinically relevant models, spanning invertebrates to non-human primates. We are particularly interested in candidates whose research focus complements existing departmental and campus strengths, including neuroendocrinology, cytoskeletal dynamics, protein homeostasis, immunology, and neurodevelopment. Given the mission of the Institute for Applied Life Sciences, the successful candidate will establish and maintain a research program with direct relevance to issues of human health, yielding important mechanistic insight into diseases affecting the nervous system. Possible areas of research could include neurodegenerative diseases, stroke, traumatic brain injury, autism, or neuropsychiatric disorders.
 
IALS and the UMass Amherst campus are committed to the development of translational and basic research programs while fostering interactions with industry, with substantial faculty hiring in the next two years. A simultaneous search focused on cellular models of neurological diseases is underway in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The new faculty member will collaborate with IALS faculty to translate research results into therapeutic goals, interact with industry scientists, and provide essential training for the next generation of biomedical scientists. New faculty members will also be able to take full advantage of the IALS substantial new investments in campus infrastructure and core facilities (see http://www.umass.edu/ials/core-facilities for more details).

Qualified candidates must have a Ph.D. in a closely related field, postdoctoral experience, and outstanding potential to establish a translational neuroscience research program. Life sciences faculty members at UMass can train students from several interdepartmental graduate programs, and the successful candidate will be expected to participate in teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Review of applications will begin on November 1, 2016 and will continue until the position is filled.
Online applications should include a cover letter, CV, research plan, teaching statement, and the contact information for three references.

http://umass.interviewexchange.com/jobofferdetails.jsp?JOBID=77115

The University of Massachusetts Amherst the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts system, is a nationally ranked public research university and home to over 22,000 undergraduate and 6,000 graduate students. The 1,430 acre campus is located in the scenic Pioneer valley of western Massachusetts, 90 miles from Boston and 175 miles from New York City. UMass Amherst, along with Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges, is a member of the Five College Consortium and the Academic Career network. The region boasts a rural setting with easy access to Boston, Hartford, and New York City. Amherst is nestled between the Berkshire Mountains, Holyoke Range and Pelham Hills providing many recreational opportunities. 

The university is committed to active recruitment of a diverse faculty and student body. The University of Massachusetts Amherst is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer of women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities and encourages applications from these and other protected group members. Because broad diversity is essential to an inclusive climate and critical to the University's goals of achieving excellence in all areas, we will holistically assess the many qualifications of each applicant and favorably consider an individual's record working with students and colleagues with broadly diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds in educational, research or other work activities. We will also favorably consider experience overcoming or helping others overcome barriers to an academic degree and career.

Katelyn Mullen ‘16 Travels to Italy to Present Research


Katelyn Mullen, a senior Biology major, is the recipient of a Biology Undergraduate Travel Award. She presented her research in a poster titled “New single-copy nuclear loci for scale insect’s systematics” at the International Symposium of Scale Insect Studies in Catania, Sicily this June. Katelyn works in the laboratory of Professor Ben Normark; he and Scott Schneider are coauthors on the abstract. She looks forward to presenting her research in this professional meeting and discussing her work with experts in her field. Congratulations, Katelyn!