Department of Biology

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The Department of Biology offers exceptional opportunities to learn, work, and collaborate across levels of biological organization and styles of research. Faculty research interests span the complete spectrum of biological phenomena and disciplines, from biochemistry to global environmental change. This breadth of research interests has led to development of two focused, yet overlapping, graduate training programs: Molecular, Cellular, and Evolutionary Biology (MCEB) and Ecology Evolution and Organismal Biology (EEOB).


Biology number one in UnderGrad majors

February 14, 2018 - According to the University of Utah's Winter 2018 Imaginagion Report, Biology is the now number one in the top 10 undergraduate majors at the U.


February 12, 2018 - Professor Çağan Şekercioğlu brown bear research is in a documentary on PBS and BBC this week and Şekercioğlu will give a talk on his bird ecology and conservation work at National Geographic in DC on February 15. Şekercioğlu has been studying the brown bears of Turkey since 2006. In collaboration with the BBC’s “Animals with Cameras” series, he got to see life from a bear’s-eye view. One bear found himself in a fight with another bear and was later chased for 45-minutes by yet another bear. The episode airs on KUED 7 at 7 p.m. on February 14. See Full Story... See NatGeoDC Feb 15... See PBS Animals with Cameras... See BBC Animals with Cameras...

Biology Coordinator wins award

February 12, 2018 - Congratulations to Amy Sibul, the Biology Department's Community Engaged Learning and Internship Coordinator.  Amy has won the 2018 Alta Sustainability Community Partnership Award.  The U will be honoring her achievement at the Environment and Sustainability Research Symposium on Thursday, February 15.

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Beckerle receives National Cancer Institute Award

January 9, 2018 -  Mary Beckerle, PhD, CEO and Director of Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah, is this year’s recipient of the Alfred G. Knudson Award in Cancer Genetics from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Beckerle will receive the award and present the award lecture, “Interface Between Cytoskeletal Dynamics and Tumor Biology” at the NCI today in Maryland.

“It’s a tremendous honor to have the cancer research accomplishments of my laboratory recognized by the National Cancer Institute” says Beckerle. “I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with many talented graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and colleagues at HCI, the University of Utah, and around the world as we have worked to understand fundamental aspects of cell biology with the goal of improving cancer treatments.” In addition to leading HCI, Beckerle is a distinguished professor of biology and oncological sciences and holds the Jon M. Huntsman Presidential Endowed Chair at the University of Utah. Beckerle is the 22nd Knudson award winner. Past recipients of the award include Nobel laureates J. Michael Bishop, Robert Horvitz, Harold Varmus, Leland Hartwell, and Elizabeth H. Blackburn.

Snail Venom replaces opiods?

November 29, 2017 - A handful of University of Utah researchers for years have investigated the venom of marine snails and how it might be transformed into a safer alternative to opioid painkillers. Now, they have new backing to expand their research. The U. this week said it has received $10 million from the Department of Defense to further study cone snail venom and search for similar compounds from the venom of other marine organisms. “We’re going back to natural sources to find the next generation of pain drugs,” said Dr. Russell Teichert, a research associate professor in the Department of Biology. Dr. Michael McIntosh and another U. researcher, Dr. Baldomero Olivera, have isolated and studied portions of the cone snail venom for decades. The small organisms use the venom to stun and consume prey, including small fish, and it turned out that portions of the venom, known as peptides, were effective as painkillers. See Tribune Story... See YouTube Video...

Biology Newsletter - Our DNA

November 15, 2017 - Just released “Our DNA” News! The Department of Biology’s Fall 2017 issue. Check out our “Faculty Spotlight”, Sophie Caron: How sensory input is remembered; Ryan Watts of Denail: Quest to conquer neurodegenerative illnesses; and “Alumni Spotlight”, Randy Rasmussen of Biofire, and much more! If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please email Cathy Green PR/Advancement Director for the Biology Department. See Fall 2017 Newsletter

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