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SBS opens search for 2 new faculty members in plant bio

Assistant Professor – School of Biological Sciences University of Utah [pictured above, Talia Karasov, SBS Assistant Professor, studies how bacterial pathogens evolve and spread in plant host populations, and how hosts in turn evolve resistance.] We’re hiring. The School of Biological Sciences at the University of Utah invites applications for two tenure-track faculty positions at […]

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Darwin’s short-beak enigma solved

Mutation in the ROR2 gene is linked to beak length in domestic pigeons, has a surprising connection with a human congenital disorder. Charles Darwin was obsessed with domestic pigeons. He thought they held the secrets of selection in their beaks. Free from the bonds of natural selection, the 350-plus breeds of domestic pigeons have beaks […]

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Austin Green

I began my research career in 2013 as an undergraduate in the Şekercioğlu Lab at the School of Biological Sciences. At the time, my research interests were very broad. All I knew for certain was that I wanted to do lots of fieldwork, so I started a small-scale project in Red Butte Canyon using camera […]

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Kathleen Treseder

For Kathleen Treseder, HBS’94, the launching pad for her career in science and research was Borneo, the giant, rugged island in Southeast Asia’s Malay Archipelago. A Salt Lake City native and a first-generation college graduate, she didn’t know that Universities did research. When it came time to apply for a president’s scholarship at the University […]

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The Concrete Jungle’s impact on mammal biodiversity

City dwellers seldom experience the near-reverence of watching deer walk through their yards, both for a lack of deer and, often, a lack of a yard. In cities, not everyone has the same experiences with nature. That means that the positive effects of those experiences—such as mental health benefits—and the negative effects—such as vehicle strikes—are […]

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Mario Capecchi

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We’re sure you’ve heard of Mario Capecchi Drive on campus, but do you know why that main road was given its name? Dr. Capecchi, who has joint appoints in the Department of Human Genetics and in the School of Biological Sciences, the latter of which where he got his start at the U, was born […]

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Elmera Azadpour

Following graduation with honors in 2019 from the SBS, Elmera Azadpour, accepted the Arnhold Environmental Graduate Fellowship that runs in coordination with the Environmental Market Solutions Lab (emLab) at University of California, Santa Barbara and Conservation International (CI). “As we know,” says Azadpour, “climate-driven shifts in both species ranges and in the spatial configuration of […]

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Food claiming to have ‘wild mushrooms’ rarely does

DNA barcoding revealed products mostly contain cultivated fungi, and a few poisonous mushrooms Harvesting wild mushrooms requires an expert eye to distinguish between the delicious and the inedible. Misidentification can have a range of consequences, from a disgusting taste and mild illness to organ failure and even death. Culinary wild mushrooms staples, such as truffles […]

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Be The Light: AIS PREP at the U

On July 14-16, 2021, students of the American Indian Services (AIS) Pre-Freshman Engineering Program (AIS PREP) came to the University of Utah to celebrate the completion of their 2021 AIS PREP, co-hosted by the College of Science, including the School of Biological Sciences. AIS PREP is a free program for Native American students to take […]

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David Almanzar

David Almanzar came to the University of Utah in 2016 to pursue his PhD following his undergraduate degree at the University of Massachusetts. There he conducted research as an undergrad in Rolf Karlstrom’s lab, imaging neurons in the brains of fish. Today, working in the lab of Dr. Ofer Rog, Almanzar works on understanding how […]

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Birds at risk of extinction

The lush forests and more than 7,000 islands of the Philippines hold a rich diversity of life, with 258 bird species who live nowhere but the Philippine archipelago. A new study from University of Utah researchers suggests that, due to deforestation and habitat degradation, more bird species may be endangered that previously thought – including […]

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Scientific Discovery Illustrated

Biology Under Cover is a permanent exhibit in the lobby of the Aline W. Skaggs Biology Building. The evolving display showcases faculty research spanning decades featured on selected journal covers.   As of July 1, 2021, the exhibit features 60 book and journal covers ranging from the Journal of Cell Science to Nature, and from […]

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Bucking Groove Formation

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Nalini Nadkarni Retires Dr. Nalini Nadkarni has a busy brain. I should know; I’ve been married to her for nearly forty years. She can be described as (in no particular order): a taxi driver, surveyor, hitch hiker, pioneering canopy researcher, forest ecologist, mother, TED talk giver, science and art mixer, teacher, science-to-incarcerated promoter, solo hiker, […]

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Caralyn Flack

For some, doing scientific research is the be-all and end-all. To be “at the bench” is to enter a daily portal into an expansive world where everything seems possible, as if stepping through the back panel of C.S. Lewis’s wardrobe into the new world of a Narnia. That isn’t to say that looking empirically at […]

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Pan-Amphibian Viral Vectors

Ayako Yamaguchi and a team of amphibian neuroscientists awarded a one-million-dollar prestigious National Science Foundation EDGE grant to develop pan-amphibian viral vectors for spatio-temporal control of gene expression. The goal of the Yamaguchi lab is to understand how behavior of animals are produced by the nervous system. To this end, they use the courtship vocalizations of the […]

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Kyle Kittelberger

For graduate students, getting research published in a peer-reviewed journal is arguably the gold standard and the kind of academic cachet that can help propel a budding academic and researcher into the stratosphere. Even one publication is impressive. For Kyle Kittelberger, “pubs” are turning into a regular affair. In this year alone (2021) he’s seen […]

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Todd Alder

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Todd B. Alder (BS’92; PhD’00) contracted COVID-19 early on in the pandemic and today still suffers from residual effects. But being just a “long hauler” as opposed to the alternative is what he calls being “lucky.” Says Alder, “Like many of us (I am guessing), this virus has disrupted my life with family and friends, […]

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Nikhil Bhayani

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“Every time I come to the U with my kids,” says Nikhil K. Bhayani, MD, FIDSA (BS’98), “I take them on a reality tour. I [recently] told my youngest son, ‘Let’s retrace my footsteps when I used to go from one of the lecture halls at Presidents Circle, to the Student Union. This is the […]

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Rachel Jones

While Rachel Jones has wanted to do medical research since 3rd grade, it wasn’t until high school during her advanced placement class that she fell in love with the cell. “Cells are magnificent machines crafted by evolution, which is pretty cool considering evolution is progress derived [from] random events.” In particular, she remembers being completely fascinated […]

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COVID-19: Just a Seasonal Nuisance?

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University of Utah scientists model possible COVID-19 futures. March 20, 2021 – Within the next decade, the novel coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 could become little more than a nuisance, causing no more than common cold-like coughs and sniffles. That possible future is predicted by mathematical models that incorporate lessons learned from the current pandemic on […]

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Diana Montgomery

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“Perhaps my favorite experience at the University of Utah is when I started working in a biology lab for the first time and realizing I fit in and enjoyed the work and the people there,” says Diana Montgomery, BS’87. “It certainly helped to solidify my career choice.” While at the U, Diana worked in Allen […]

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Alli Hoffman

For a scientist it might seem counter-intuitive to value the notion that there is never a correct or final answer to a question. But for Alessandrina (“Alli”) Hoffman, an undergraduate researcher in the Brazelton Lab, this is exactly what she loves most about her work which stems from the Lost City Hydrothermal Field on the […]

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Sahar Kanishka, Undergrad Research Award

Sahar Kanishka, recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award, remembers daily where her family came from, where they are now, and what opportunity there is for her at the School of Biological Science (SBS). 

“I’ve always wanted to be a doctor ever since I was younger,” she recently explained in a video interview. “Because […]

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T. Mitchell Aide, PhD’89

Distinguished Alumnus   Following his graduation with a bachelor’s from University of Texas – San Antonio, California native T. Mitchell (Mitch) Aide ended up in Utah … but via Panama. It was in Central America where he first met School of Biological Sciences (SBS) professors Lissy Coley and Tom Kursar doing tropical forest research. Aide […]

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Mary Beckerle Elected to NAS

April 21, 2021—Mary C. Beckerle, chief executive officer and director, Huntsman Cancer Institute (HC); and distinguished professor of biology and associate vice president for cancer affairs, University of Utah was elected to the National Academy of Science. She spends her days working to save lives and as CEO of HCI  models the company’s core values […]

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Nitin Phadnis, Fly Genetics

One of 3 for ’20. February 19, 2021 – Nitin Phadnis, SBS Associate Professor, and his colleagues won an Editors’ Choice Award for an outstanding Population and Evolutionary Genetics article published in GENETICS. Titled “Extensive Recombination Suppression and Epistatic Selection Causes Chromosome-Wide Differentiation of a Selfish Sex Chromosome in Drosophila pseudoobscura“, the article was one of only three selected for […]

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Ace Madsen, MD

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The Department of Biology, now the School of Biological Sciences, was a bit of a boot camp for Ace Madsen and other pre-med students.   The Uinta Basin in the northeast corner of Utah can seem like a ways “out there” near the border of Colorado and one of the most famous dinosaur quarries in […]

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Ed Groenhout

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All that was needed to become a doctor was to be told at graduation he would never get into med school. Ed Groenhout, BS’85 , has developed a deep love for travel and for the people of the world. He and his family have visited five continents and dozens of countries, and they plan to […]

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A Glimpse of the Startup Life

Reshma Shetty Distinguished Lab Alumna   It all started with venomous snails. University of Utah alumna Reshma Shetty, BS’02, Computer Science, is now an executive of growing Boston biotech firm Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc., which she co-founded in 2008. Ginkgo Bioworks engineers biological organisms for a variety of commercial and industrial uses, including engineering organisms to […]

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Swing Out (Meiotic) Sister

    March 20, 2021 – Sexual reproduction shuffles the parental genomes to generate new genetic combinations. To achieve that, the genome is subjected to numerous breaks, the repair of which involves two crucial decisions: repair pathway and repair template. In a new paper by SBS graduate students David E. Almanzar, Spencer G. Gordon and […]

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Tracking Wildlife During the Pandemic

March 30, 2021 -For scientists, especially graduate students, who conduct fieldwork, every day is precious. Researchers meticulously prepare their equipment, procedures and timelines to make sure they get the data they need to do good science. So you can imagine the collective anxiety that fell across academia in spring 2020 when COVID-19 struck and many […]

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Fast Track Designation for Denali Diagnostics

March 22, 2021 – When Ryan Watts, BS’00, steps into the classroom at the University of Utah to discuss with students the opportunities they have in bio-tech, the founder/CEO of San Francisco-based Denali Therapeutics speaks from deep experience. His knowledge of the subject is unfolding in real-time, including earlier this month when Denali announced that […]

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