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Major Alex Horn, PhD’21 | USAF C-17 Pilot

By Alex Horn I joined the Air Force as an 18-year-old cadet. I came to the U as part of a program that would allow me to later return to the Air Force Academy to teach. In my doctoral studies, I wanted to understand the relationships between our evolved propensity to form intense fraternal bonds […]

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OUR DNA, Spring 2022 Issue

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THE SCHOOL OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAGAZINE OUR DNA magazine is a dynamic 360-degree snapshot of both the depth and breadth of the people, the research and the outreach that make up one of the University of Utah’s most celebrated academic units, The School of Biological Sciences.   READ THE ENTIRE MAGAZINE HERE Subscribe to this […]

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SBS Ranked #13 in the Nation

COLLEGE RANKINGS   U.S. News & World Report has released their 2022-2022National University Rankings. The University of Utah is now ranked No. 1 in Utah and No. 42nationally among public universities. The College of Science fared even better. National rankings for public universities put Biology at No. 13, Chemistry at No. 20, Mathematics at No. […]

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Patrick Newman

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As a boy in growing up in Bountiful, Patrick Newman, BA’03, took a bite of a plant he would never forget. It tasted just like black licorice, which he loved. “I remember being struck at that moment as an 8-year-old boy thinking, ‘Plants can taste like things — what else can plants do?’” says Newman […]

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Letters from Galápagos Islands #10

To whom it may concern, I don’t want to leave the Galápagos yet. March 18, 2022, Week 09 – Isla De Santa Cruz, Ecuador above photo: Mom and the pigeons in the Plaza in Quito March 18 We finished packing for Quito this morning. I took a final exam for science, so I’m almost done […]

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Johanna Varner’s 3D-Print Double

Some of the most significant scientific breakthroughs in history—including the research that led to mRNA vaccines—were pioneered by women. While history has shown that women are integral to scientific advancement, the science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) landscape is still highly inequitable. In honor of Women’s History Month, consider the story of SBS alumna, PhD’15, […]

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2022 Distinguished Alumni Awards

One of the largest academic units on campus, SBS is fortunate to have an alumni family of increasing accomplishment in academia, health care, private industry and elsewhere. Each year a committee selects alumni for the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards, which includes the Distinguished Lab Alumni Award.  An event to celebrate will occur April 27th in-person […]

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Letters from Galápagos Islands #9

To whom It may concern, It’s becoming evident to me that despite the length of days near the equator, time in the tropics seems to pass very quickly. March 14, 2022, Week 09 – Isla De Santa Cruz, Ecuador   As the end of our expedition gets closer and closer, we’re doing more homework every […]

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Letters from Galápagos Islands #8

To whom It may concern, It’s a small world after all. March 7, 2022, Week 08 – Isla De Santa Cruz, Ecuador Amongst huge frigate birds and giant tortoises, smaller organisms are often forgotten or considered less interesting than some wildlife. Every day, walking around town, to the beach, the station, or on our patio outside, […]

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Audrey Brown

“One of the biggest things that helped me was connecting with my loved ones.” When the pandemic first emerged in early 2020 Audrey Brown, HBS’21, found that online classes were novel at first, “but I quickly found myself losing motivation and becoming depressed/anxious due to the day-to-day Zoom monotony and the never-ending doomsday news on […]

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April Christofferson

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“I love the process of writing,” April Christofferson, BS’73, says in a 2007 U profile, “but I write because I’m trying to make a difference.” The difference this Illinois native is talking about includes many of the most complex and conflicted issues of her adopted home in the American West, including wildlife and public lands […]

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Letters from Galápagos Islands #7

To whom It may concern, Philornis downsi may as well be from Mars. February 28, 2022, Week 07 – Isla De Santa Cruz, Ecuador During the past few weeks, we’ve been looking for new mockingbird nests in which we can study Philornis. Now that we’ve found and mapped nests from different sites, we’re beginning to […]

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Charles Sorenson

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“My best trait is the ability to hang out with people who are far more capable than I am,” says Charles Sorenson, MD, FACS, in a 2020 interview. “I am not intimidated by working with people who are smarter than I am.” The former president and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare, the Salt Lake City-based nonprofit […]

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Sarmishta Kannan

For Sarmishta Diraviam Kannan, HBS’17, the journey to her “dream school” – the University’s School of Medicine – spanned about 25 years and some 8,780 miles. Sarmishta was born in Tamil Nadu, India, which is located on the southern tip of the Indian sub-continent. In addition to the long history of the Tamil people, Tamil […]

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Letters from Galápagos Islands #6

To whom It may concern, This week, I thought I’d change things up a little and submit a letter that is really photo-journalism. If it’s true that a picture paints a thousand words, you will have several thousand to read today! February 21, 2022, Week 06 – Isla De Santa Cruz, Ecuador The banner photo […]

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Letters from Galápagos Islands #5

To whom It may concern, Readers should note that biologists, grad students, and intrigued 13-year-olds may stop frequently to observe things. February 14, 2022, Week 05 – Isla De Santa Cruz, Ecuador This week our day off was spent in the “highlands,” although at 2,800 feet above sea level, the highlands aren’t especially towering. This […]

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Ed Esplin

“I anticipate the vaccine strategy for COVID-19, supported by the tremendous advances in vaccine technology and development made in the past 3 years, transitioning to something akin to what is done for influenza A/B, with annual development of a vaccine tailored to the strain(s) of COVID-19 predicted to predominate in a particular ‘COVID season.’” Banner […]

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Letters from Galápagos Islands #4

To whom It may concern, “Nothing could be less inviting than the first appearance [of the Galápagos Islands].” ~Charles Darwin February 7, 2022, Week 03 – Isla De Santa Cruz, Ecuador As surprising as this quote is, I have to agree to some extent with Darwin’s first assessment of the Galápagos Islands. Upon landing off […]

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George Seifert

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The Winningest Coach in San Francisco 49ers History George Seifert, BS’63, began his professional coaching career in 1977 as a defensive assistant to head coach Bill Walsh. After nine years and three Super Bowl championships with Walsh, Seifert was appointed Head Coach of the San Francisco 49ers in 1989 They were big shoes to fill […]

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Debriefing of UofU’s MLK Week

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Becoming the Beloved Community. The University of Utah celebrated its 2022 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Week (MLK Week) Jan. 15-21 with events that encouraged everyone to embrace King’s message of love and justice and seek a better way forward. As the nation grapples with ongoing division, this year’s MLK Week explored the theme “Becoming […]

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Robert Berman

It was an auspicious time to graduate with a diploma in microbiology at the University of Utah in 1970. K. Gordon Lark was a new arrival as chair of the new biology department and was busy expanding the department with a multitude of cell and microbiologists. This included neurobiologist and distinguished professor Baldomero Olivera who […]

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Letters from Galápagos #2

To whom it may concern, I think the only person who is happy at 5:00 in the morning, is a field biologist, in the rain. January 24, 2022, Week 01 – Isla De Santa Cruz, Ecuador   This week was the first couple of days that we spent in the field. The first day we […]

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Letters from Galápagos #1

To whom it may concern, Packing is an adventure. January 17, 2022, Week 00 – Salt Lake City, UT Getting ready to depart on a field expedition is always an adventure in and of itself. Amongst packing, COVID testing, homework, buying supplies, planning travel, and coordinating a study, we are all tired, and very ready […]

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Remembering Naomi Franklin, 1929-2021

SBS Professor Emerita Naomi 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 […]

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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’47, 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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