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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Two New Plant Biologists Arrive at SBS

SBS and the University of Utah welcome SBS’s newest faculty, Assistant Professors Chan Yul Yoo and Heejin Yoo. Their research is in the areas of plant biology and Ecology/Evolution and both are positioned in the Molecular, Cellular & Evolutionary Biology Program (MCEB) The Yoos come to us from Oklahoma State University. They earned their PhDs at Purdue University. Chan […]

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New Gene-editing Tools Detailed in Cover Article

The expanding CRISPER-Cas universe continues to provide new tools for manipulating genomes in animals. James “Jamie” Gagnon who currently holds the Mario Capecchi Endowed Chair at the School of Biological Sciences understands that embryonic cells “talk” to each other to coordinate the construction process. “Cells are master linguists – they use dozens of different languages, […]

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Beans-to-Genes Microbiology in the time of Covid

Last semester, Professor Colin Dale’s Biol 5275, Microbial Diversity, Genomics and Evolution (MDGE) lab/class was faced with an especially ambitious task. Students were challenged to isolate culture caffeine-degrading bacteria from environmental samples, perform molecular identification, sequence their genomes and identify the genes responsible for degradation of caffeine. They explored a diverse and interesting range of […]

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Nerd with a passion for the outdoors

Growing up on a hobby farm in the Pacific Northwest, Shelley Reich developed a keen interest in biology, especially genetics and animal behavior. She fondly recalls the imprinted ducklings that followed her around the farm, litters of Australian shepherd puppies her family raised, and the acrobatics of newborn calves not even 24-hours old. In addition […]

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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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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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Jordan Herman

Few encounter a fer-de-lance snake and walk away unscathed. While working in Costa Rica recent School of Biological Sciences (SBS) graduate Jordan Herman (PhD’20) moved closer to observe a toucan dismembering the green iguana it was having for lunch. When the bird took off and dropped half of it, Herman picked up the iguana’s tail […]

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