BioNews Newsletter

BioNews is the department's newsletter. It features the year's news, events, and story highlights for faculty, students, alums, and friends. On this page you can download each edition of BioNews, published since 2011.


We want to hear from you. Send your news, updates and photos to Joe Helfer, BioNews Editor, for inclusion in our next edition of BioNews.

Joseph Helfer, BioNews Editor

Biological Sciences
109 Cooke Hall
Buffalo, NY  14260-4610

Telephone: 716-645-4903

Past News Highlights

Omer Gokcumen talks about his lab’s recent findings about a distinct human lineage in Africa, in a radio segment for WAMC’s NPR Academic Minute.

Ashleigh Hanner, a biology PhD student in Laura Rusche’s lab, published a paper in Genetics that reveals how gene duplication enables proteins to optimize their functions

Polling for student engagement: An interview with Dr. Jessica Poulin

Erica Xu, a biology PhD student in Omer Gokcumen’s lab, published a paper in Molecular Biology and Evolution that finds evidence for another lineage of ancient humans.

The Department of Biological Sciences welcomes Ms. Rebecca Leach as our newest Undergraduate Advisor.  Ms. Leach joins Ms. Brandi McKnight to help Biological Sciences majors.

The UB Teaching Innovation Awards recognizes outstanding faculty achievement in teaching innovation.  Dr. Poulin has distinguished herself through her exceptional contributions to the teaching mission.

Dr. Harold Smith was invited as this year’s alumni speaker to address graduates from the Department of Biological Sciences at the Convocation Ceremony.

All students who registered for commencement were asked to vote for the faculty member who had made the greatest impact on his or her education.

Victor Albert, Empire Innovation Professor of Biological Sciences, led a study where the researchers constructed a state-of-the-art genome using emerging long-read sequencing technologies.

Victor Albert, Empire Innovation Professor of Biological Sciences, participated in a study of the iconic birch tree, which uncovers genetic secrets of its value.

Dr. James Berry and Dr. Mary Bisson, professors in the department, have been helping local school kids with a space experiment, looking at germination.

The work of Empire Innovation Professor Victor Albert was featured on NPR today.  The study, “Genome of the pitcher plant Cephalotus reveals genetic changes.

Congratulations to the winners at the 12th Annual Biological Sciences Research Symposium. Prizes were awarded for talks given by: 1st place: Chris Rupert.

A new study from the Gokcumen Lab. digs deep into the evolutionary dynamics that shape the genetic variation in a major eczema susceptibility gene.

A new study from the Gokcumen and Ruhl laboratories looks to the genomes of several human and nonhuman primates for insights into evolution of saliva.

Using C. elegans as a model system, the Ferkey lab has identified a new mode of neuronal communication.  

Drs. Charlotte Lindqvist and Victor Albert (UB Biological Sciences), along with Dr. Aureliano Bombarely, a genobotanist at Virginia Tech

Animal Planet special, YETI OR NOT, features Dr. Lindqvist.

Dr. Katharina Dittmar has been awarded the SUNY Chancellors Award for Excellence in Teaching. The Chancellors Award for Excellence in Teaching is the highest award.

Oluwatosin (Tosin) Oniyide, an undergraduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences, received an Undergraduate Award for Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creativity at the Celebration.

Sampurna Chakrabarti, a senior undergraduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences, has been awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. Considered as one of the most prestigious international.

A ‘Martian’-inspired science project: growing potatoes in space.

On the basis of his excellent record of research, research originality, and leadership in the microbiological sciences, Dr. Paul Gollnick, Professor of Biological Sciences, has been elected as a Fellow of AAM.

Kenneth Minorczyk of Buffalo NY, has been named the 2016 Dean’s Outstanding Senior in the Department of Biological Sciences. Mr. Minorczyk will graduate summa cum.

The complete Department of Biological Sciences Spring 2016 Seminar schedule is now available: Biological Sciences Seminar Speakers Spring 2016-Updated.

Eight UB Biological Sciences graduate students were honored with a Darrell Doyle Travel Award for their presentations of their work at the 11th Annual Biological Sciences.

Drs. Denise Ferkey and Michael Yu discover new mechanism of dopamine receptor regulation

A new study published in Science Signaling by the laboratories of Dr. Denise Ferkey and Dr. Michael Yu provides the first direct evidence that G protein-coupled.

A new study published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics by the laboratory of UB-BIO faculty member Dr. Shermali Gunawardena shows that Huntington’s disease protein (Htt) controls movement.

A paper published by Dr. Omer Gokcumen, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences  and Dr. Eaaswarkhanth Muthukrishnan, a postdoctoral associate in Dr. Gokcumen’s lab has been awarded