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Remembering Naomi Franklin, 1929-2021

SBS Professor EmeritaNaomi Franklin passed away on December 24, 2021 in Salt Lake City. She was 92. Colleague Larry Okun, also emeritus, described Franklin as “[a] complex character, stubborn and sometimes irascible on the one hand and extraordinarily caring and generous on the other.” He recalled how she frequently entertained at her home Biology newcomers, […]

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2021 Year-End Message from the Co-Directors

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Moving Ahead with Biological Sciences Research programs carried out by Biology faculty have always been characterized by deep curiosity and scientific rigor; however, the locations where this work has taken place have been surprisingly variable. One of the first departments at the U, Biology and its faculty have traditionally occupied buildings close to Presidents Circle. […]

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SRI Year-End Campaign: $50K match

We invite you to help biology students be part of the Science Research Initiative. We want all students to be able to take advantage of the program this year and in the future. Please consider making a gift today. The College of Science will match all donations up to $50,000. The School of Biological Sciences […]

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#GivingTuesday

Today, November 30, 2021, is the national day of giving in the United States. Across the country #GivingTuesday is the hashtag folks are using to get the word out that, whatever you choose to donate to, today’s the day. The School of Biological Sciences (SBS) is no exception. SBS and the College of Science launched […]

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Early Riser: George Riser, Distinguished Alumnus

In 2017 George R. Riser, BS’1947, received the first Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Biological Sciences. It is an auspicious award for a truly auspicious man in part because of Mr. Riser’s sustained funding of the Riser Endowed Scholarship Fund which has provided annual scholarships to thousands of graduate and undergraduate students in […]

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Rivers become bird corridors

In a dry year in the West, when the world turns crispy and cracked, rivers and streams with their green, lush banks become a lifesaving yet limited resource. New research from the University of Utah and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) finds that in dry years, birds funnel into the relative greenness of […]

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Ilham Batar: Creating the unimaginable

In the office of the UofU President, now, currently occupied by Taylor Randall, Presidential Interns are students provided with an unparalleled opportunity to learn from and collaborate with the president and other university administrators. In August 2018, Ilham Batar, BS’21, was enlisted in this prestigious group. “In May 2019, I was appointed as a co-leader […]

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Student Veteran of the Year

The Student Veteran of the Year (SVOY) award is open for nominations. The award is presented annually by the University of Utah Veterans Support Center (VSC) to a U.S. Armed Forces service member or veteran enrolled at the university. The award recognizes academic achievement, community/campus service, and military accomplishments. A committee of peers selects the […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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The Gandhi Effect

The Gandhi Effect Distinguished Alumni Awards Rajesh Gandhi, BS’86 Monica Gandhi, BS’91    Leena Gandhi, BS’92 Last December, when the three Gandhi children, Rajesh BS’86, Monica BS’91 and Leena BS’92 returned home to Salt Lake City—two from one coast, and one from the other—they celebrated their parents fifty-fifth wedding anniversary. As alumni, all three, from […]

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Jeanne Novak, BS’87

Jeanne Novak Distinguished Alumna 2020 In 2014 alumna Jeanne Novak found herself at Ebola ground zero. She was ready. The Ebola outbreak in the summer of 2014 was a long way from CBR International (CBR) in Boulder, Colorado. But for several weeks the Company, which helps clients research new drugs and navigate U.S. Food and […]

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Allergy Season & Climate Change

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With spring around the corner, here’s some bad news for allergy sufferers: Human-caused climate change has both worsened and lengthened pollen seasons across the U.S. and Canada, a study Monday reports. The new research shows that pollen seasons start 20 days earlier, are 10 days longer and feature 21% more pollen than they did in […]

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Adam Madsen, BA’06

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Adam Madsen Adam Madsen, BA’06 in Biology, was the quintessential student-athlete. To be a student-athlete requires extraordinary talent on the field and in the classroom. This is particularly true with science degrees due to the rigorous curriculum. Madsen grew up in the Uinta Basin area, living in both Roosevelt and Vernal, two small farming towns […]

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Connor Morgan, BS’19

What does a former Student Body President and Biology alum do after graduating from the U? You start by moving to New Hampshire as a boots-on-the-ground organizer for a presidential candidate.Connor Morgan (BS,2019) has hung up his cap and gown, and his sojourn at the office of the Associated Students of the University of Utah […]

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Julia Bailey-Serres, BS’81

SBS Distinguished Alumna 2020 Julia Bailey-Serres, BS’81, is known for her research on mechanisms of plant adaptive responses to environmental stresses. She remembers enrolling in “a lot of lab classes in genetics, animal physiology and chemistry” at the U. And she fondly recalls a team-taught lab with now Nobel laureate Mario Capecchi. Other teachers and […]

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Michele Lefebvre, PhD’05

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Michele Lefebvre Michele Lefebvre, PhD’05, knows exactly what graduate students in the School of Biological Sciences need to know about their academic careers at the University of Utah. “What you learn here,” she advises them, “will apply to any career path you choose. The abilities to critically read, analyze, and write will serve you well […]

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Edward Meenen, BS’86

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Edward Meenen Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began last spring, the School of Biological Sciences checked in with our alumni across the country and beyond to see how they were managing. The self-isolating Edward Meenen (BS’86) responded from his ancestral family community in Clay Center, Kansas. My “morning decision,” he quipped, “is what to put […]

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Nancy Parry, BS’63

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Nancy Parry When Dr. Nancy Parry, BS’63, was eight years old, she talked her mother into taking her to a fortune teller in Ogden. On the way there her mother asked her what she wanted to do for a career. “I want to be a doctor,” she replied with some embarrassment, believing her mother would […]

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Lee Roberts, BS’72

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  LEE K. ROBERTS   Last year the College of Science celebrated its 50-year anniversary. When the College was formed, in 1970, Lee K. Roberts, BS’72, had nearly completed his bachelor’s degree in Biology. “My undergraduate training at the U gave me a strong background in science in general and biology in particular. It helped […]

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Gameil Fouad, BS’93

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Gameil Fouad   As an undergraduate student at the U, Gameil Fouad, BS’93, had some big decisions to make. Having grown up in Layton, Utah, Fouad spent much of his time exploring the foothills and canyons of northern Utah. “I honestly wanted to pursue a career in ecology or environmental science. I’d envisioned a life […]

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Jason Allen, BS’01

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Jason Allen knew early on of the opportunities the state’s flagship research university could offer him just an hour north of where he grew up in Springville. “I had always wanted to attend the University of Utah due to its prestige within the state and nationally,” he says, especially due to the U’s stellar reputation […]

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Dale C. Larsen, BS’59

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Dale C. LARSEN In the mid-1950s, when Dale C. Larsen (BS’59) first enrolled at the U there were only six Colleges on campus including the College of Letters and Science, and a two-year medical school. Larsen was born and raised in Roosevelt, Utah, a small farming town in northeastern Utah. The drive to Salt Lake […]

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Amy Davis, PhD’03

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“I enjoy learning about how infectious diseases have shaped human history because I find it inspiring to frame my current work in a broad historical context,” says Amy Davis, PhD’03. A Senior Director, Biochemistry Research & Innovation at Utah-based BioFire Diagnostics, LLC, Davis says she was “fortunate to be born into a world with antibiotics […]

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