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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Karrin Tennant, Research Award

For Karrin Tennant, recipient of the College of Science Undergraduate Research Award, the never-ending story of environmental science has plenty of plot twists. A member of the Anderegg lab in the School of Biological Sciences (SBS) which studies the intersection of ecosystems and climate change, Tennant has been busy working in the area of nighttime […]

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Jim Ehleringer, Academy of Sciences

Distinguished professor of biology James R. Ehleringer, who has pioneered applications of stable isotopes, was elected in May 2016 as a member of the National Academy of Sciences. James “Jim” Ehleringer is among 84 U.S. scientist-scholars and 21 foreign associates from 14 countries elected at the Academy’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. He joins more than […]

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Going with the Flow

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Retiring botanist studied how plant’s xylem tissue carries phenomenal amounts of water to tree leaves where it evaporates and influences regional weather patterns. John Sperry grew up in Normal, Illinois, but his interest in plants–eventually their vascular function–would propel him into work that was far from standard in botany via Duke University and, eventually Harvard […]

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Quaid Harding

From beekeeping to biology, Quaid Harding is looking for a buzz. Name: Quaid Harding Major: Biology Year: Senior Hometown: Garner, North Carolina Interests: President of Beekeeping Association, I also like tennis, and billiards Prior experience with bees? Before joining the club I didn’t have any experience with bees. How did you get into beekeeping? Beekeeping has always been a […]

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Bridget Phillips

As one of the University of Utah College of Science‘s Ambassadors, sophomore Bridget Phillips regularly appears at College events hosting alumni and special guests, and working with faculty and staff to promote science teaching and research at the The University of Utah. A team member in the Shapiro Lab, she works studying the genetic causes and […]

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Associate V.P. for Research

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The College of Science is pleased to announce the appointment of Diane Pataki, Ph.D., as the Associate Vice President for Research at the University of Utah, effective April 1st, 2019. She will continue to serve as the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Science through July 1st, 2019. Dr. Pataki is a Professor […]

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TreeTop Barbie

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When Nalini Nadkarni was a young scientist in the 1980s, she wanted to study the canopy – the part of the trees just above the forest floor to the very top branches. But back then, people hadn’t figured out a good way to easily reach the canopy so it was difficult to conduct research in […]

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Running with Scissors

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One could argue that the age of genomes is divided between before CRISPR-Cas9 and after CRISPR-Cas9 (commonly referred to as just “CRISPR”). As a Harvard post-doc studying the genes involved in embryo development, James (Jamie) Gagnon remembers in 2012 that “pivotal moment” when these “really nice pair of scissors now easy to make” came on […]

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Courtship Condos

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Playing to the ethic of pursuing pure science, new faculty member Dean Castillo is driven by research questions not necessarily the research organism. While working on his bachelor’s and even before that while growing up in rural northern California, he worked with “tons of different organisms,” he says, including fungi. So it wasn’t difficult for him […]

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Biological Invaders

Science Research Initiative Fox Squirrel Biology Research STREAM Denise Dearing, PhD, Distinguished Professor, School of Biological Sciences Tess Stapleton, PhD Candidate, School of Biological Sciences Biological invaders are one of the key drivers of ecosystem change. Invasion can result in loss of native species, reduction of ecosystem diversity, and even loss of ecosystem services such […]

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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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