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Valentino Gantz Wins Biology Founding Faculty Award for Graduate Excellence

Valentino Gantz, a graduate student who published a widely-cited paper in the journal Science last March, is the winner of the first annual Biology Founding Faculty Award for Graduate Excellence.

Biologists Develop Method for Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing

A team of biologists and biomedical researchers at UC San Diego has developed a new method to determine if bacteria are susceptible to antibiotics within a few hours, an advance that could slow the appearance of drug resistance and allow doctors to more rapidly identify the appropriate treatment for patients with life threatening bacterial infections.

In Memoriam, David Woodruff, 1943-2015

David Woodruff, a world-renown conservation geneticist and biogeographer who championed UC San Diego’s role in conservation science for 35 years, passed away at his home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on December 16, 2015, from complications associated with multiple myeloma. He was 72.

Sascha Duttke Wins 2014-15 Kamen Prize

Sascha Duttke, a doctoral student in the laboratory of Jim Kadonaga, a biology professor, and Olivia Kim, a doctoral student in the laboratory of Andy McCammon, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry, have each won the 2014-2015 Kamen Prize.

New Method Allows Scientists to Screen Natural Products for Antibiotics

Biologists at UC San Diego have found that a method they developed to identify and characterize new antibiotics can be employed to screen natural products quickly for compounds capable of controlling antibiotic resistant bacteria.

The researchers, who published their findings in this week’s edition of the Journal of Antibiotics, say their latest discovery could permit chemists and others to understand how mixtures of potential antibiotics from microorganisms work without first purifying them. 

Gentry Patrick Receives Award for Outstanding Faculty Leadership in Presidential Initiatives

Gentry Patrick, an associate professor in the Section of Neurobiology, has been named by UC President Janet Napolitano a recipient of the Award for Outstanding Faculty Leadership in Presidential Initiatives. He is one of two faculty members at UC San Diego who will be given the $3,000 award and honored by Napolitano at a dinner she will host in early 2016.

Researchers Unravel Age-Old Mystery of Why Cells Use Fermentation

Wine, beer and yogurt are produced when microorganisms convert sugar into alcohol, gases or acids. But this process of fermentation—which is used by bacteria, fungi and other fast-growing cells to generate energy in the absence of oxygen—is a much less efficient way of generating energy for cells than aerobic respiration.

So why do many organisms use this seemingly wasteful strategy to generate energy instead of aerobic respiration, even when oxygen is readily available?

Gen-Sheng Feng and Beverly Emerson Named AAAS Fellows

​Gen-Sheng Feng and Beverly Emerson, both professors in the Molecular Biology Section of the Division, were among seven UC San Diego professors this year named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society.

Biologists Create Malaria-Blocking Mosquitoes

Using a groundbreaking gene editing technique, biologists at UC San Diego, working in collaboration with biologists at UC Irvine, have created a strain of mosquitoes capable of rapidly introducing malaria-blocking genes into a mosquito population through its progeny, ultimately eliminating the insects’ ability to transmit the disease to humans.

This new model represents a notable advance in the effort to establish an antimalarial mosquito population, which with further development could help eradicate a disease that sickens millions worldwide each year.

Biology Graduate Prepares for Mission on Space Station

Kate Rubins has always been starstruck by the night sky. Growing up, she attended star-gazing parties and plastered her room with images of faraway galaxies. In May 2016, Rubins’ long-held aspiration to travel to space will become a reality when she voyages to the International Space Station as part of Expedition 48/49. A biochemist and 1999 graduate of the University of California, San Diego, Rubins will help conduct more than 100 microgravity experiments to gain insight into how the mechanics of life happen outside of our planet.

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