Carnegie Mellon University

2018 News Articles

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Barth Receives NIH Grant to Study Neurons in Alzheimer’s Early Stages

Carnegie Mellon University neuroscientist Alison Barth has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to study synapses in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The findings could provide a clue to what happens in the brain during Alzheimer’s before symptoms begin to appear.
Monday, November 05, 2018

Aryn Gittis Receives Society for Neuroscience Career Development Award

Carnegie Mellon University neuroscientist Aryn Gittis has been named a recipient of the Janett Rosenberg Trubatch Career Development Award from the Society for Neuroscience. She will accept the award at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting held in San Diego, Nov. 3-7.
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Neurons Reliably Respond to Straight Lines

Single neurons in the brain’s primary visual cortex can reliably detect straight lines, even though the cellular makeup of the neurons is constantly changing, according to a new study by Carnegie Mellon University neuroscientists, led by Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Sandra Kuhlman.
Thursday, October 11, 2018

Researchers Discover What Pneumococcus Says to Make You Sick

CMU researchers have identified a molecule that plays a key role in bacterial communication and infection. Their findings add a new word to pneumococcus’ molecular dictionary and may lead to novel ways to manipulate the bacteria and prevent infection. The findings, from the lab of Luisa Hiller, are published in the Oct. 11 issue of PLOS Pathogens.
Thursday, October 11, 2018

Carnegie Mellon Hosts Interdisciplinary Biophysics Workshop on the Structures of the Cell

Last month, Carnegie Mellon University hosted a diverse group of biologists and physicists from around the world to explore groundbreaking research on the intricate subcellular structures that make up living cells. A grant from the DSF Charitable Foundation supported the event.
Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Zhao Receives NIH Director’s New Innovator Award

Yongxin (Leon) Zhao, assistant professor of biological sciences at Carnegie Mellon University has received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award. The award is part of the National Institutes of Health’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research program.
Monday, September 24, 2018

Think Your Passwords Are Old? Bacteria’s Password for Sporulation Hasn’t Changed in 2.7 Billion Years

Carnegie Mellon researchers, led by Dannie Durand, used computational and experimental techniques to study how the signaling network that causes Bacilli and Clostridia to form spores has evolved since the two bacteria diverged from a common ancestor 2.7 billion years ago.
Monday, September 24, 2018

Graduate Student Grassroots Brings Career Development into Focus

Four biological sciences Ph.D. candidates, Amber Lucas, Ardon Shorr, Emily Simon and Dan Wilson, have taken up the charge to bring career development training to the forefront at the Mellon College of Science as members of the Biology Graduate Student Action Committee (bioGSAC).
Friday, September 21, 2018

Dannie Durand Receives NSF “Understanding Rules of Life” Grant

Dannie Durand is one of 29 recipients of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) “Understanding the Rules of Life” grants. The grants are part of a $15 million investment by the NSF to address some of the greatest challenges to understanding the living world.
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Alumna Meredith Schmehl Named Nu Rho Psi Outstanding Member of the Year

Recent undergraduate alumna Meredith Schmehl (BS ’18) has been chosen as the 2018-2019 Nu Rho Psi Outstanding Member of the Year. Nu Rho Psi, the National Honor Society in Neuroscience, annually recognizes only one member across all of its 83 chapters nationwide.
Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Alumna Apeksha Atal Awarded Fulbright to Teach English in Thailand

Recent biological sciences and English graduate Apeksha Atal has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA). Come September, she will begin her year of service teaching English in the Thailand province of Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Friday, August 24, 2018

Department Graduate Students Make Their Voices Heard

Several graduate students from the department have been actively involved in making the most of every graduate student's experience at CMU with their work in the Graduate Student Assembly.
Thursday, August 02, 2018

Aryn Gittis Named Finalist for Science & PINS Prize

Carnegie Mellon University neuroscientist Aryn Gittis was named a finalist for the Science & PINS Prize for Neuromodulation for her discovery of new therapeutic targets for Parkinson’s disease.
Monday, July 30, 2018

Students Learn How To Speak Up! About Their Studies

MCS Students Place First and Third in SpeakUp! Research Presentation Competition
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Biofilm-Preventive Surface Topography

A recent study that addresses the of biofilm formation issue comes from the Mitchell lab here and the Ducker lab in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Virginia Tech.
Thursday, June 14, 2018

Neuroscientists Map Brain’s Response to Cold Touch

CMU neuroscientists have mapped the feeling of cool touch to the brain’s insula in a mouse model. The findings provide an experimental model that will advance research into conditions like pain and hypersensitivity to cold and help researchers to continue to unravel the multifaceted ways touch is represented in the brain.
Thursday, June 14, 2018

Alan Waggoner Wins Fulwyler Award for Innovative Excellence

Alan Waggoner, the Maxwell H. and Gloria C. Connan Professor in the Life Sciences, has been named the winner of the 2018 Mack Fulwyler Award for Innovative Excellence from the International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry.
Thursday, May 31, 2018

In a Race to the Finish, Neurohackathon Contestants Analyze Brain Data in New Ways

Five Carnegie Mellon University students won the third annual BrainHub Neurohackathon with an analysis of the interactions between two different regions in the brains of mice as they reached for and moved a joystick.
Tuesday, May 29, 2018

2018 Commencement Ceremony

On May 19th, 2018, 13 doctoral, 24 masters and 61 bachelors degrees were conferred at the Department of Biological Sciences diploma ceremony.
Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Alison Barth Contributes to “Think Tank”

Professor of Biological Sciences Alison Barth wrote a chapter in the newly published Think Tank: Forty Scientists Explore the Biological Roots of Human Experience. For the book, leading brain researchers and asked each the same question: “What idea about brain function would you most like to explain to the world?” Barth's essay looked at how our brains change when we use tools.
Friday, April 27, 2018

Aryn Gittis Appointed Member of NIH Peer Review Group

Aryn Gittis, associate professor of biological sciences, was recently appointed to serve as a member of the Sensorimotor Integration Study Section, Center for Scientific Review for the National Institutes of Health.
Friday, April 20, 2018

Ardon Shorr Wins Third in Three Minute Thesis Competition

Ph.D. candidate Ardon Shorr placed third in this year's CMU Three Minute Thesis competition. The event, in its fifth year at Carnegie Mellon, started at the University of Queensland in 2008 and has been adopted by hundreds of institutions in more than 57 countries.
Friday, April 06, 2018

Students and Faculty Give High Schoolers a Real Lab Experience

Twice a year, Carnegie Mellon University faculty and students volunteer their time to give high school students from across Western Pennsylvania the opportunity to do hands-on science experiments.
Monday, April 02, 2018

Over Pizza, Students Share Their Research in a Nutshell

In March, graduate students gathered in a large classroom in the Mellon Institute to present what they do in just five minutes. Refreshments were provided to the crowd of a few dozen at the "Science Jam," even though some of the topics covered were a little less than appetizing.
Friday, March 23, 2018

In Cyanobacteria, HIP1 Does the Wave

A new study from the Durand lab, published in Nucleic Acids Research, provides a clue to the function of Highly Iterated Palindrome 1 (HIP1) and its important role in cyanobacterial biology.
Thursday, March 22, 2018

MCS Announces First Recipients of DSF Block Grants

The Mellon College of Science has announced the first six projects to be funded under an innovative block grant program for cross-disciplinary foundational science research in the life sciences. The grants are funded through a generous $4 million gift from the DSF Charitable Foundation.
Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Alumnus Willie Mays Chats with Ph.D. Students

On Thursday, February 8th, Ph.D. students in the Department of Biological Sciences had the chance to take part in a lunch and career chat with Robert (Willie) Mays, CMU alumnus and co-founder of Athersys, Inc.
Monday, March 05, 2018

Wellness Challenge: Summer in February

Becki Campanaro, Assistant Department Head for Undergraduate Affairs, invited her students to join her in a “Wellness Challenge,” where students were encouraged to get outside for a dose of Vitamin D and a breath of fresh air.
Monday, February 26, 2018

Acetylcholine Wakes Silent Neural Network

Neuroscientists at Carnegie Mellon University have, for the first time, used acetylcholine to functionally rewire a dense matrix of neurons in the brain’s cerebral cortex.
Monday, February 12, 2018

Data Savvy: Teaching Critical Evaluation Through Scientific Controversies

DJ Brasier, Assistant Department Head for Graduate Affairs, published an instructional guide to teaching students how to read original neurobiology research in the most recent issue of the Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education.
Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Ph.D. Students Take Charge of Goals with New Committee

BioGSAC is devoted to taking suggestions and concerns of the graduate student body and turning those ideas into actionable items that improve the quality of the entire student educational experience, including the student’s quality of life and community interaction while in the program.
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Tagging BK Channels Reveals Subunit Control Functions

Using CRISPR gene targeting technology, researchers in the Bruchez and Barth labs developed a mouse model in which endogenous BK channels are tagged with fluorogen-activating peptides (FAPs), which enables fluorescent imaging of endogenous channels.
Friday, January 19, 2018

Old Dog, New Tricks: How Evolution Transformed a Transcription Factor

A new study by the Ettensohn lab published in eLife sheds light on how protein-level changes in a transcription factor have supported the evolution of a morphological novelty.
Friday, January 19, 2018

BRAIN Initiative Grant Funds Study of Parkinson’s Circuits

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Aryn Gittis has received close to $387,000 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke through the federal BRAIN Initiative to study neuronal circuits involved in Parkinson’s disease.
Monday, January 15, 2018

CRISPR Biochemist Doudna Wins CMU’s Dickson Prize in Science

CMU has awarded its Dickson Prize in Science to Jennifer A. Doudna, professor of chemistry and molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Doudna is best known for her contributions to developing the gene editing technology CRISPR/Cas9.