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Three UC San Diego Biologists Receive Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Scholar Awards

Three UC San Diego Biologists Receive Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Scholar Awards

Three University of California San Diego professors in the Division of Biological Sciences have been named Faculty Scholars by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the Simons Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Honorees include Professor Samara Reck-Peterson and Professor Gürol Süel as well as Associate Adjunct Professor Clodagh O'Shea.

Single-Celled Fungi Multiply, Alien-Like, by Fusing Cells in Host

Microsporidia cause diarrhea, an illness called microsporidiosis and even death in immune-compromised individuals.

In spite of those widespread medical problems, scientists were uncertain about how these single-celled fungi reproduced in human or animal cells.

But in a study that employed transparent roundworms, biologists at the University of California San Diego succeeded in directly observing how these microorganisms replicate and spread. And what they saw surprised them.

Contamination from Marine Mammals May Hamper Recovery of California Condors

Biologists have discovered high levels of pesticides and other contaminants from marine mammals in the tissues of endangered California condors living near the coast that they say could complicate recovery efforts for the largest land bird in North America.

Scientists Determine How Birds Soar to Great Heights

Migratory birds often use warm, rising atmospheric currents to gain height with little energy expenditure when flying over long distances.

It’s a behavior known as thermal soaring that requires complex decision-making within the turbulent environment of a rising column of warm air from the sun baked surface of the earth. But exactly how birds navigate within this ever-changing environment to optimize their thermal soaring was unknown until a team of physicists and biologists at the University of California San Diego took an exacting computational look at the problem.

Synthetic Biology Used to Limit Bacterial Growth and Coordinate Drug Release

Researchers at the University of California San Diego and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have come up with a strategy for using synthetic biology in therapeutics. The approach enables continual production and release of drugs at disease sites in mice while simultaneously limiting the size, over time, of the populations of bacteria engineered to produce the drugs. The findings are published in the July 20 online issue of Nature.

In Memoriam: William Loomis, Distinguished Professor of Biology, 1940-2016

William F. Loomis, an emeritus distinguished professor of biology who spent 50 years as a faculty member at UC San Diego, died June 30 from cardiac arrest in his campus office while working on a manuscript. A resident of Del Mar, CA, he was 76.

Daniela Zarate

Daniela Zarate Awarded 2016 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Daniela Zarate, a doctoral student in the Section of Ecology, Behavior and Evolution, has been awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation.

Slime Mold Reveals Clues to Immune Cells’ Directional Abilities

How white blood cells in our immune systems home in on and engulf bacterial invaders—like humans following the scent of oven-fresh pizza—has long been a mystery to scientists.

UC San Diego’s Algae Biofuels Program Ranked Best in Nation

The U.S. Department of Energy has ranked UC San Diego’s algae biofuels research effort the number one program in the nation for the fourth consecutive year.

Say ‘Cheese’

In an innovative effort to understand microbial communities, a UC San Diego biology professor has turned cheese into her ‘lab rat’

While many microbiologists build entire research careers around studies of a single microorganism, Rachel Dutton has taken her career in the other direction—examining collections of microbes, but with an unusual twist. She studies what grows on cheese.

To read more about Division of Biological Sciences happenings, see the News Archives.