The Department of Biology welcomed the incoming Fall 2015 graduate class during the First Year Orientation, held September 1st.
A total of 16 graduate students were admitted for the Fall semester, 6 Master’s students and 10 PhD students. With students from as close as Boston and as far away as China, Taiwan, Columbia and Malaysia, we look forward to getting to know our new students this semester!
The Biology Graduate Student Association will host a departmental welcome reception for the new at the end of the week.
MCBB graduate program alum Dr. Daniel Starczynowski, Assistant Professor at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Affiliate Assistant Professor, University of Cincinnati returns to Boston University to give a talk as part of the Systems Biology seminar series. During his time in the MCBB Program, Starczynowski worked in the laboratory of Dr. Tom Gilmore and studied the NF-kB family of transcription factors and their role in B-cell lymphomas.
The talk will be on Thursday, October 1 in the Life Sciences and Engineering Building, 24 Cummington Mall in LSE 103. The talk will begin at 12:45 PM with refreshments being served prior to the talk at 12:15 PM.
Dr. Starcyznowski’s talk is being hosted by Dr. Trevor Siggers.
John Majoris of the Atema and Buston Labs has been awarded an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant for his project entitled “Testing alternative hypotheses for the goal of orientation by reef fish larvae throughout development”. John will use the funds to support his ongoing field research on the behavior of larval neon gobies in Belize.
Cassidy D’Aloia of the Buston Lab finishes up her time at BU post-defense by being the first runner-up for the Sally Richardson Award for the best student oral paper at the Larval Fish Conference in Vienna, Austria.
Cassidy will be moving on to a postdoc with Marie Josée Fortin in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto, Canada.
Best of luck, Cassidy!
Ysabel Giraldo of the James Traniello Lab was selected as the winner of the 2015 Belamarich Award for outstanding doctoral dissertation in Biology for her thesis “Neuroanatomical and Neurochemical Correlates of Senescene and Social Role in the Ant Pheidole Dentata”
Post-defense, Giraldo is currently working as a NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Prof. Michael Dickinson at the California Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on the behavioral neurobiology of social interactions larval Drosophila melanogaster. In particular, she is examining the sensory regulation and neural control of competitive and cannibalistic behavior among larvae.
Congratulations, Ysabel. We wish you the best in your future endeavors!
Students in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program at Boston University gave presentations in the program’s annual event on Thursday, August 6, 2015.
The SURF Program is funded by a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduate (NSF-REU) with Dr. Tom Gilmore as lead Principal Investigator and Director of the Program. The SURF Program provides a research opportunity for undergraduates who are interested in conducting research in the Biological Sciences. The ten students who took part in this program were selected from over 800 applicants in a nationwide search. This year students conducted ten weeks of full-time research in a Department of Biology lab, mentored by a Biology faculty member. Students also participated in weekly enrichment activities and social events.
We wish the SURF students the best as they return to their undergraduate institutions!
Students spoke in the subjects of Molecular Biology of Disease, Plant Biology, and Insect Biology
Molecular Biology of Disease
Suhaily Penix (MassBay Community College)
Research conducted in the Gilmore Lab
Talk title: “Characterization of the ‘Intervening Domain’ of NEMO, A Protein Involved in Human Immunodeficiency Diseases”
Nahomie Rodriguez (Universidad Metropolitana, Puerto Rico)
Research conducted in the Celenza Lab
Talk title: “Role of the alf3-I Mutant in the Systemic Acquired Resistance Signaling Pathway in Arabadopsis thaliana
Professor Richard Primack, of EBE, has received an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Award, presented at the foundation’s annual meeting in Berlin June 11. Primack, a College of Arts & Sciences professor of biology, is one of 18 international researchers from a range of academic disciplines recognized by the foundation, which was established and is funded by the government of Germany.
“The award is granted in recognition of a researcher’s entire achievements to date to academics whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future,” according to the foundation. Award winners receive approximately $66,000 and are invited to spend up to a year cooperating on a long-term research project with specialist colleagues at a research institution in Germany. The award is named for Alexander von Humboldt, who was born in 1769 and whose work transformed western science in the 19th century. He was described by Charles Darwin as “the greatest scientific traveler who ever lived.” Read more
Professor Gloria Callard was honored for her 30+ years of service to Boston University at a Faculty Luncheon on May 28, 2015.
Professor of Biology Gloria Callard is retiring after 33 years at BU. Callard earned her PhD in Physiology at Rutgers University in 1964, after which she spent time in research and teaching positions at Johnson & Johnson, the College of William and Mary, the University of Leeds in England and Harvard Medical School, where she was an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She moved to BU as an Associate Professor in 1982.
The author of some 160 scientific papers, Callard is a AAAS Fellow and has developed an international reputation as an expert in the field of estrogen synthesis and the effects of estrogen on the brain. Working primarily with fish models, Callard has been at the forefront of molecular research on estrogen-like substances (known as xenoestrogens) and their effects on the brain and neurodevelopment.
The mentor to dozens of students and post-doctoral researchers at BU, Callard is a past recipient of Boston University’s United Methodist Scholar/Teacher Award. As her swan song, Callard will travel to Stockholm this fall to present her research at a Wenner-Gren Symposium. Gloria and her husband Ian, a Professor Emeritus of Biology, are retiring to coastal Rhode Island where they anticipate lots of time for R and R with their 3 children and 7 grandchildren.
Thank you Gloria, we will miss you!
Professor Daniel Segre uses mathematical modeling to understand the biology behind the human microbiome.
In summer 2014, Segrè received a $1.4 million grant from the Department of Energy to model the ways communities of microbes could transform plant matter into a kind of oily biodiesel fuel.
Read more at the BU Research article, “Gut Reactions.”
“It’s a turning point for ants in cinema,” says James Traniello, a College of Arts & Sciences professor of biology, who joined BU Today for a matinee viewing of the film. Traniello has spent his career studying the social behavior of ants, and is also—perhaps not surprisingly—a connoisseur of insect films. He gives Ant-Man an enthusiastic thumbs-up, though he had a few quibbles with the science.