Carnegie Mellon University

2017 News Articles

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Bacterial Gene Acquisition May Drive Niche Expansion

Carnegie Mellon microbiologist Luisa Hiller teamed up with Dannie Durand, Robert Shanks, and Regis Kowalski to explore how evolution enables bacteria to infect different cell types in the human body.
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

$10 Million Gift from Alumnus de Vries Endows MCS Deanship

Carnegie Mellon University alumnus Glen de Vries, co-founder and president of Medidata, has donated $10 million to endow the chair of the dean of Carnegie Mellon University's Mellon College of Science (MCS).
Thursday, December 07, 2017

CMU Receives $7.5M in Federal BRAIN Initiative Funding

Researchers from Biological Sciences, Chemistry, MBIC, and PSC have received close to $7.5 million in new funding from the National Institutes of Health through the federal BRAIN Initiative to support innovative research and develop tools that will rapidly advance brain research.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

New Technique Reduces Side-Effects, Improves Delivery of Chemotherapy Nanodrugs

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed a new method for delivering chemotherapy nanodrugs that increases the drugs’ bioavailability and reduces side-effects.
Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Carnegie Mellon Professors to Discuss 2017 Nobel Prizes on Nov. 16

A panel of professors from Carnegie Mellon University will discuss the discoveries that won Nobel Prizes this year.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Insights Into Skill Learning

Members of the Gittis lab provided a commentary on a recent article discussing the use of advanced calcium imaging techniques to study the neural circuits mechanisms underlying skill learning and its importance to neuroscience, specifically to motor learning.
Friday, October 20, 2017

Four Ph.D. Students Named Presidential Fellows

Katherine Lagree, James Winsor, Teresa Spix, and Stephanie Biedka have been named Presidential Fellows in the 2017-2018 class of Presidential Fellowships & Scholarships recipients.
Monday, October 16, 2017

DSF Charitable Foundation Gives $4M to Support Cross-Disciplinary Basic Research in Life Sciences

The DSF Charitable Foundation has given $4 million to CMU's Mellon College of Science to support the creation of an innovative block grant program that will fund interdisciplinary research projects in basic science.
Thursday, October 12, 2017

Single-Molecule Imaging Reveals Conformational Heterogeneity of a Promiscuous Enzyme

From a study by John Peterson (Ph.D. '15), Frederick Lanni, and Gordon Rule, published this summer in Biochemistry.
Friday, September 29, 2017

Shefali Umrania Earns Computational and Data Science Fellowship

M.S. in Computational Biology student Shefali Umrania has been named a 2017 ACM SIGHPC/Intel Computational and Data Science fellow.
Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Promising New Target for Antifungal Drug Development

Recent work published in Biochemistry by the Rule lab examines CaTMPKs to reveal unique structural elements that may offer an appropriate target for the development of new antifungal agents.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Introducing Assistant Teaching Professor Stephanie Wong-Noonan

Introducing a new member of the department, Stephanie Wong-Noonan, assistant teaching professor of biological sciences.
Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Introducing Assistant Professor Yongxin (Leon) Zhao

Introducing a new member of the department, Yongxin (Leon) Zhao, assistant professor of biological sciences.
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Introducing Assistant Professor Eric Yttri

Introducing a new member of the Department of Biological Sciences, Assistant Professor Eric Yttri
Friday, August 25, 2017

New Academic Year, New Graduate Students!

The Department of Biological Sciences welcomes all of its new graduate students for the start of the Fall 2017 semester.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Bacterial Strains “Talk” to Each Other to Control Disease

Researchers led by Luisa Hiller have discovered mechanisms that allow Streptococcus pneumoniae to communicate across cells and modulate the extent of human disease.
Wednesday, August 02, 2017

MCS Students Learn to “Speak Up” about Research

The 2nd annual Speak Up! seminar series, organized by URO, challenged students to sum up weeks of research in a three-minute, three-slide presentation. Two MCS students finished in the top three, including biological sciences student Meredith Schmehl.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

An Affinity for Binding and the Evolution of Development

Recent work in the Hinman lab contributes to emerging research that low affinity DNA binding may have important implications for evolvability.
Thursday, June 01, 2017

Neurohackathon Competitors Race Clock to Study the Brain

The winning team, from Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, found characteristic that could point to a gene associated with autism in mice.
Thursday, May 25, 2017

Intercultural Communication: The Secret to Pneumococcal Success?

In a new research study from the Hiller lab published in PLoS Pathogens, Anagha Kadam and colleagues present the discovery and characterization of a new signaling system in Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus).
Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Congratulations, Graduates!

On May 20th, 2017, 11 doctoral, 22 masters and 81 bachelors degrees were conferred at the Department of Biological Sciences diploma ceremony.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Senior Biological Sciences Majors Receive Fulbright Awards to Study Abroad

Two senior biological sciences majors have been named recipients of prestigious Fulbright Awards. Timothy Gao and Philip Nantawisarakul join four other Carnegie Mellon students who will use the awards to study abroad.
Monday, May 08, 2017

Researchers Discover Neuronal Targets That Restore Movement in Model of Parkinson’s Disease

Researchers working in the lab of Aryn Gittis have identified two groups of neurons that can be turned on and off to alleviate the movement-related symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Monday, May 01, 2017

Freshmen Explore Scientific Controversies

New first-year minis dive into the history of developmental biology and controversial studies in neuroscience.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Making Glow in the Dark Bacteria

On March 21st and 22nd, the Department of Biological Sciences Outreach Program hosted 107 high school students to perform a Molecular Biology Transformation Experiment.
Friday, April 07, 2017

Uncovering the Hidden Secrets of Atlastin

Recent work published in the Journal of Cell Biology by graduate student James Winsor in the Lee lab has helped to shed light on how this poorly understood fusion catalyst functions. This study focused on the role of crossover, a large conformational shift that occurs during or just prior to fusion.
Monday, April 03, 2017

The Power of Three

Two Biological Sciences PhD students, Emily Simon and Surya Aggarwal, are among the finalists for the Three Minute Thesis "3MT" competition hosted by Carnegie Mellon University Libraries.
Thursday, March 30, 2017

Scott Keith Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Scott Keith, a second-year Ph.D. candidate in the McCartney Lab, was recently announced as a recipient of this year’s NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Keith's proposed research focuses on symbiotic relationships between animals and microbes, and how these relationships can impact host health, physiology, and behavior.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

CMU Neuroscientists Lay Groundwork for Identifying the Algorithm Behind Information Processing in the Neocortex

Neuroscientists at Carnegie Mellon University have identified principles for information processing in the neocortex, an evolutionarily expanded area of the brain critical for cognition.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

New Names for Old Gene Transfers

Research by Dannie Durand and her students fills a gap in a widely-used framework for classifying the evolutionary relationships between genes, reported in the March 1, 2017, issue of Bioinformatics.
Friday, March 17, 2017

CRIME Pays... in Genome Science!

In a new research paper from the Mitchell lab, second-year PhD student Manning Huang presents a high-speed next-gen marker recycling approach called CRISPR-Cas9-Induced Marker Excision, or CRIME. The method relies upon the genome editing activity of the CRISPR-Cas9 nuclease, along with the cell's native genome repair pathways.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tracing the Evolutionary History of Cancers

Russell Schwartz, Professor of Biological Sciences, with co-author Alejandro A. Schäffer, of the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), have recently published "The evolution of tumour phylogenetics: principles and practice1," a review of the use of phylogenetics (evolutionary tree inference) to study tumor development.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

New Insights into Molecular Mechanisms Ensuring Proper Assembly of Ribosomes

In the Woolford lab, recent alumna Salini Konikkat took on research aimed at understanding the mechanism of action of a ribosomal assembly factor, Erb1.
Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Expanding a Model Gene Regulatory Network

Recently, the Ettensohn lab published two papers that expand a model gene regulatory network (one that controls the formation of the skeleton in sea urchins) by identifying important new genes in this network.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Shedding Light on Genomic Dark Matter

New NIH R01 funding will support molecular and computational studies in the McManus lab to reveal the secrets of genomic dark matter.
Thursday, January 26, 2017

MCS Alumni Win Alumni Achievement Awards

The Carnegie Mellon University Alumni Association has named two Mellon College of Science alumni as recipients of 2017 Alumni Awards.
Thursday, January 26, 2017

New Fall Courses: Cancer, Stem Cells, Personal Genomics, Molecular Neuroscience, and Genome Editing

A look at the new courses designed to capture the cutting edge of biomedical science, including Cancer Biology, Genome Editing Biotechnology, Biochemistry of the Brain, and Modern Biology.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Katie Lagree and Surya Aggarwal Receive Stupakoff Scientific Achievement Award

Katie Lagree and Surya Aggarwal have been chosen as the recipients of the 2017 Stupakoff Scientific Achievement Award, an honor presented to CMU Biological Sciences Ph.D. students annually.
Friday, January 13, 2017

Carnegie Mellon University Hosts Newest Chapter of National Neuroscience Honor Society

Almost exactly on the 10th anniversary of the founding of Nu Rho Psi (ΝΡΨ), Carnegie Mellon was approved to shelter the “Theta in Pennsylvania” chapter, which is the newest of the 68 chapters at universities around the United States.
Thursday, January 12, 2017

Biological Sciences Student Katherine Huang Wins Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Award

Biological Sciences student Katherine Huang received first place in the college poetry category of Carnegie Mellon University’s 2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Awards for her poem "Microdermabrasion."