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A Serendipitous Path to Pharmacology

A RETROSPECTIVE VIEW by Baldomero Olivera I have no formal academic training in pharmacology. It’s no surprise, therefore, that my path to a research career in this field has been idiosyncratic. Ultimately, my increasing involvement with pharmacological science came about because it was the indispensable scientific discipline required. At critical moments in my scientific life, […]

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OUR DNA Fall 2022

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Hot off the press! Fall 2022 issue. Read the full issue of OUR DNA, the magazine of the School of Biological Sciences, including the Letter from Director Fred Adler.  LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR Challenge of Our Time When I stepped into the role of Director of the School of Biological Sciences, I was fortunate to […]

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Haylee Mathews

“Many people who [do] not have previous experience with plant biology,” says Haylee Mathews, “don’t realize that plants have hormones and utilize hormone signaling to communicate environmental conditions to the different structures of the plant. They need a way to regulate growth in response to the environmental conditions they’re experiencing.” The Illinois native, now a […]

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Ty Mellor: Taking the Leap

A few more than 2,000 people currently live in Salina, Utah just north of Interstate 70 and tumbling west of a 217,000-acre geological feature called the San Raphael Swell. It’s a gateway to some of the most remote (and still yet-to-be-permanently settled) land) in the Beehive State. But for Carl “Ty” Mellor, it’s been an […]

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Mario Capecchi Endowed Chair: Ofer Rog

The School of Biological Sciences has appointed Ofer Rog, assistant professor of biology, as the Mario Capecchi Endowed Chair. The prestigious three-year faculty appointment will allow Rog to continue his work researching chromosomes, the entities that hold genetic information.  The University of Utah established the chair to honor Utah’s first Nobel laureate, Mario Capecchi, through […]

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The BioKids ethic

Earlier this year, when BioKids was awarded a half-million-dollar stabilization grant, where those monies were allocated spoke to the ethic of this celebrated childcare and pre-school at the School of Biological Sciences. “My first priority was to take care of our staff—to ensure they are receiving equitable wages and benefits,” says Christine Medina, Director. “They […]

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Meet your new anatomy professor

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“I took two years off following my bachelor’s in education,” says Jon Groot, PhD. “All I knew was that I wanted to learn more. [I had] no end point in mind. I was just going for what interested me.” The Salt Lake City native moved to Seattle and spent four months in Asia, including Japan […]

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Veteran Appreciation Lunch

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All veterans in the College of Science and the College of Mines and Earth Sciences are invited to attend the Veteran Appreciation Luncheon Nov. 10, 2022, 12-1 pm, CSC 206 RSVP in advance here. SBS’s own Craig Hanson BS’19 (pictured above) was awarded Student Veteran of the Year for 2018-19. The award is presented annually […]

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Stolen Ivory

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Isotope data strengthens suspicions of ivory stockpile theft | Science shows the ivory dates to the 1980s, similar in age to ivory in Burundi’s national stockpile. by Paul Gabrielsen |  SCIENCE WRITER, UNIVERSITY OF UTAH COMMUNICATIONS Image credit: John Brown In January 2019, a seizure of 3.3 tons of ivory in Uganda turned up something […]

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A best case scenario that wasn’t planned

A cracker jack team of U of U undergrads works with principal investigator Ben Myers to break open a decades-old biological mystery. Corvin Arveseth, BS’21, can’t remember when he wasn’t fascinated by science and biology. So, when he came to the University of Utah and declared his majors in biology and biochemistry, he knew he […]

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Why Bio Majors Love Chem: Meet the TAs

It’s de rigeur these days to talk about cross-over science. And to do it. Physicists studying engineering. Chemists learning about quantitative modeling in the department of mathematics, to name just two. It’s the nature of scientific inquiry to mash-up, and it’s how new research gets its footing, new collaborations emerge, new insights blaze forth and […]

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Remembering Norman Curtiss Negus (1926-2022)

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Norman Negus passed away just shy of his 96th birthday, after a busy and productive life. Born in Portland OR, as a young man, he served during WWII in the Army Air Corp. He then entered Miami University (Ohio) where he earned his Bachelor’s (1948) and Master’s degrees (1950) in Zoology.  He was awarded the […]

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Wilkes at Center of U’s Climate Action Plan

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A  Message from University of Utah’s President Taylor Randall: Salt Lake City, September 20, 2022–I am excited to announce that the University of Utah is creating a new Climate Change Action Plan and reinvigorating efforts to build a healthy, resilient future. Climate change continues to cause and intensify local and global challenges. Here in Utah, […]

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Golden Goose Award: Olivera lab

These scientific breakthroughs led to the development of a bladeless LASIK procedure, paper microscopes, and the discovery of a non-opioid pain reliever hidden in the venom of cone snails WASHINGTON, D.C. – On September 14, 2022, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society, hosted the 11th annual […]

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Global analysis identifies at-risk forests

Forests are engaged in a delicate, deadly dance with climate change, hosting abundant biodiversity and sucking carbon dioxide out of the air with billions of leafy straws. They can be a part of the climate solution as long as global warming, with its droughts, wildfires and ecosystem shifts, doesn’t kill them first. Top Photo: William […]

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What is the Wilkes Center for Climate Science & Policy?

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The geography that makes Utah unique—red rock deserts, greatest snow on Earth, cities amidst natural beauty—also makes us vulnerable to one of the biggest challenges of our time: Climate Change. Climate change can drive or exacerbate severe drought, wildfires, air pollution, water scarcity, and disappearing snowpack. Luckily, the University of Utah has a deep pool […]

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Bill Anderegg, Inaugural Director, Climate Center

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Backed by $20 million gift, U launches the Wilkes Center for Climate Science and Policy The University of Utah today announced the creation of the interdisciplinary Wilkes Center for Climate Science and Policy to promote research, study effective public policies and propose entrepreneurial business solutions to curb and combat the threats that climate change poses […]

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Synthetic insect-bacterial symbiosis

A new paper in Current Biology authored by Crystal Su (Dale lab) and other collaborators in SBS describes the development of a novel, synthetic insect-bacterial symbiosis that is sustained through many insect generations by transovarial bacterial transmission. ^ Banner photo: Crystal Su in the lab The symbiotic bacteria express a red fluorescent protein that is […]

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Denise Dearing, New Division Head, NSF

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The National Science Foundation has announced a 2-to-4-year appointment of the University of Utah’s M. Denise Dearing as Division Director for the NSF’s Division of Integrative Organismal Systems, effective August 15. The Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) is one of four divisions within the Directorate of Biological Sciences at the NSF. The Division Director […]

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A Great-Grandson’s Tribute to Utah’s “First Dentist”

Remembering George R. Riser … and his tribute to Utah’s “First Dentist.” Salt Lake City, August 11, 2022 — Today, Distinguished Alumnus George R. Riser BS’47, who passed away in Pennsylvania in June, would have been ninety-nine-years old. The news of his death was especially poignant, not only because Riser’s Endowed Scholarships have been a […]

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Stephanie VanBeuge

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Lockdowns are something that Stephanie VanBeuge BS’17 knows something about . . . even before the coronavirus pandemic dropped out of the sky like an anvil. It was in her third year of graduate school at the University of Oregon when VanBeuge was first diagnosed with brain cancer–on the first day of the school year. She returned […]

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Elaine Tan

The difference between the flora and fauna of Malaysia and that of the Great Basin and Wasatch Mountains could not be more different. And yet it was the latter where SBS graduate student Elaine Tan (they/them), whose family is from the former, decided to do their graduate work in ecology and the evolution of social […]

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Seeing the world through ants

Ants are among the most numerous insects in the world, numbering from 10-100,000 trillion individuals globally with more than 10,000 species. But you don’t have to tell that to John “Jack” Longino, professor of biology. Known affectionately as “Ant Man” in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Utah and beyond, Longino is […]

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Remembering Bob Vickery

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Emeritus Faculty Dr. Robert Kingston Vickery Jr, 99, passed away July 20, 2022 in Salt Lake City after a life full of adventures, accomplishments and love. “Bob was an internationally recognized Plant Geneticist and Chair of the Department of Genetics, one of the traditional Departments at Utah that were merged to form the Biology Department,” […]

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You are STEM!

One of the best ways to engage in science, technology, engineering and math is through hands-on activities. Utah STEM Fest does just that and much more! This year the event takes place September 27-28 with a family night Sept. 27 from 4-8 pm with free admission! STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It’s […]

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Structural Signatures in E. Coli

Motile bacteria are capable of swimming efficiently toward favorable chemical environments and away from inhospitable ones. This behavior–called “chemotaxis”–is frequently used by unicellular organisms for finding food. Not surprisingly, such behaviors play important roles in establishing beneficial host symbioses and pathogenic infections. The value of understanding in detail this mechanism of directed cell migration in response […]

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Payton Utzman

Most people wouldn’t see a direct line between working on tractors in rural Washington State and working on a DNA repair enzyme that functions to prevent cancer in humans. But that’s the unlikely trajectory of Payton Utzman BS’22 who after graduating from the School of Biological Sciences headed off to join Nabla Bio  at a […]

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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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Tiffany Do, Undergraduate Research Scholar

“My hero is my brother,” says Tiffany Do of her brother Anthony. “He’s the first in my family to graduate from the University of Utah. I look up to him because he’s gone through the trials in being a first-generation student and has helped me overcome some of those obstacles.” Those obstacles can be daunting. […]

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College Merger

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College of Mines and Earth Sciences to merge with College of Science. The University of Utah College of Mines and Earth Sciences will merge with the College of Science beginning July 1, 2022, a move that will unite well-funded programs, build synergy and cooperation between faculty and create a much stronger base for science and […]

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