Recent News

  • Neurobiologists Selected for National Awards

    Matthew Banghart and Yishi Jin receive prestigious recognition and funding

    Matthew Banghart and Yishi Jin, UC San Diego researchers in the Division of Biological Sciences Neurobiology Section, have been selected to receive research awards by national organizations.

  • New Insights on Cell Transport Motor Reveal a Surprise of Acceleration

    Protein prompts speed as well as slowing for mechanism implicated in a range of diseases

    Down at the level of individual molecules, cells are vast expanses of space. Traversing from one end of a cell to another can take an average protein several minutes. Other components clock in at hours… or even months in some cases.

    In order for cells to develop and function normally, a system somewhat like railroad tracks and engines helps transport the cell’s cargo and get things where they need to be.

    Groups led by Samara Reck-Peterson and Andres Leschziner at the University of California San Diego have made a surprising discovery about an essential cellular engine known as “dynein,” which transports cellular components on “microtubule” tracks to the right place at the right time and also plays a key role in cell division and neurodevelopment. 

  • UC Funds New Pathway for Graduate Diversity

    Program aimed at attracting underrepresented students to research in biological sciences

    The University of California-Historically Black Colleges and Universities Initiative (UC-HBCU) recently approved funding for an innovative UC San Diego program designed to increase graduate student diversity.

    The new three-year initiative combines diversity outreach and mentorship programs at UC San Diego’s Division of Biological Sciences and Scripps Institution of Oceanography with students from Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA), which leads the nation in African-American biology graduates.

  • Scents and Social Preference: Neuroscientists ID the Roots of Attraction

    Neurotransmitters and microscopic regulators found at the core of kinship

    A baby lamb is separated from its family. Somehow, in vast herds of sheep that look virtually identical, the lost youngling locates its kin. Salmon swim out to the vast expanses of the sea and migrate back home to their precise spawning grounds with bewildering accuracy.

    Scientists have long known about such animal kinship attachments, some known as “imprinting,” but the mechanisms underlying them have been hidden in a black box at the cellular and molecular levels. Now biologists at the University of California San Diego have unlocked key elements of these mysteries, with implications for understanding social attraction and aversion in a range of animals and humans.

  • Challenge and Tragedy Shape an Alum’s Bright Future

    Humble, spiritual upbringing guide graduate to science and medicine

    Memories of growing up in a secluded rural village on the other side of the world are now off in the distance. Quite literally and most definitely figuratively.

    With his UC San Diego degrees in microbiology and pharmacological chemistry in hand, Than Kyaw has just embarked on the next phase of his life. The future is indeed bright, ripe with hopes and dreams.

  • A New View for Protein Turnover in the Brain

    Researchers probe key processes potentially underlying a variety of neurological diseases

    Scientists at the University of California San Diego, led by graduate student Marisa Goo under the guidance of Professor Gentry Patrick, have provided the first evidence that lysosomes can travel to distant parts of neurons to branch-like areas known as dendrites.

  • Thousands of Genes Exchanged within Microbial Communities Living on Cheese

    Insights such as gene transfer ‘islands’ provide window into dynamics of microbial ecosystems

    Researchers at the University of California San Diego have found that microbial species living on cheese have transferred thousands of genes between each other. They also identified regional hotspots where such exchanges take place, including several genomic “islands” that host exchanges across several species of bacteria.

  • Broughton Awarded Chancellor’s Dissertation Medal

    Recent graduate recognized for outstanding PhD research

    UC San Diego Division of Biological Sciences alumnus James Broughton has received the Chancellor’s Dissertation Medal for excellence in research during his graduate studies in Professor Amy Pasquinelli’s laboratory. Broughton was honored for groundbreaking research on tiny RNA molecules that regulate gene expression.

  • UC San Diego Researchers Join $14.9 Million Fight Against Disease-transmitting Mosquitoes

    As disease-carrying mosquitoes threaten California, scientists leading cutting-edge gene-editing technologies take part in DARPA’s new Safe Genes project

    University of California San Diego scientists have been selected by The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to be part of a “Safe Genes” research team that will receive up to $14.9 million to study an innovative genetic research technique as a way to control disease-causing mosquitoes.

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