We take great pride in the achievements and success of our alumni, many of whom enjoy distinguished careers in the Biological, Biomedical and related fields. Pictured at the UB CAS graduate commencement, May 15, 2021 (left to right): Haniam Maria (PhD graduate), Laura Rusche (faculty), Paul Cullen (faculty), Aditi Prabhakar (PhD graduate), Rupkatha Banerjee (PhD graduate), Shermali Gunawardena (faculty).
Our curriculum provides students broad and deep training at the cutting edge of modern biology through a learn-by-doing philosophy. Our approach to teaching cross-disciplinary life sciences prepares students for today's accelerating pace of discovery in biological sciences.
On the path to finding a cure for FOXG1, the work of Professors Soo-Kyung Lee and Jae Lee is leading to the foundation of the FOXG1 Research Center (FRC) at UB. The FRC aims to translate new discoveries from the lab to clinical trials and, ultimately, develop a cure for FOXG1 syndrome, as well as related autism spectrum disorders.
According to Dr. Corey Krabbenhoft (Department of Biological Sciences), “Freshwater mussels feed by filtering things like bacteria and contaminants out of the water. A great way to help our waterways become healthier is to invest in freshwater mussels." UB Research News published an article about the work of Krabbenhoft, and Dr. Isabel Porto-Hannes (Department of Environment and Sustainability). They are conducting a pilot study to determine if the water and sediment quality of the upper Niagara River is acceptable for a possible large-scale reintroduction of freshwater mussels to naturally clean the waterway. Read the article by Jackie Hausler
Signaling faculty study cellular communication and the intracellular pathways that regulate activity. These faculty use a wide range of model organisms and techniques to examine a diverse array of signaling pathways involved in hormonal regulation, sensory transduction, and cell growth and metabolism.
Our faculty study cell biology and signaling pathways that are used by filamentous fungi and budding yeast to adapt to their environments. Our research uses yeast as a model organism to study the mechanisms of gene expression.
UB News columnist Charlotte Hsu presents an interview with Heather Williams about the success of the department’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU). From June to July, UB biologists hosted seven undergraduates from various institutions working in labs focused on a broad range of topics within biology. The eight-week program, funded by proceeds from the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, covers students’ travel and living expenses, and also includes a stipend for participants. Undergraduate students are invited to apply for REU Summer 2023.
Dr. Zhen Wang's research project aims to pinpoint the genes that plants use to produce medicinal compounds could enable scientists to explore faster, more efficient methods of manufacturing these substances. This could include genetically engineering microbes to synthesize the drugs. One goal of the project is to decipher how the foxglove plant Digitalis lanata makes compounds called cardenolides, which have pharmaceutical relevance. See feature by UB Now.
The Woolly Mammoth always attracts attention, which is why PBS Digital Studios features the episode, How To Build A Woolly Mammoth (But Should We?) Presented by PBS Eons, host Blake de Pastino is on a "quest to understand how evolution basically built the woolly mammoth, we may have found the blueprints for building them ourselves." The segment cites Vincent Lynch's research on elephantoid genome.
The Department of Biological Sciences is pleased to announce that UB's Experiential Learning Network (ELN) has awarded a new grant of up to $2,500. to Mahmud Amin, a junior biological sciences major. Amin is one of the first recipients of the PEARL Award (Prepare, Engage, Add value, Reflect and Leverage). The award recognizes UB undergraduate juniors and seniors who have partnered with a faculty mentor and completed a necessary digital badge for their project. Read UBNow.
The UB Department of Biological Sciences is pleased to announce that Christopher Allen Osborne, PhD candidate, has won the 2023 SUNY Graduate Research Empowering and Accelerating Talent (GREAT) Award. Osborne is among 33 SUNY students selected as recipients of the awards recognizing outstanding students who are conducting innovative research tackling some of society’s most pressing issues. Osborne receives $5,000 in flexible funding for research expenses, professional development and stipend supplements.
The Department of Biological Sciences is pleased to announce that Emily Mehle has won the UB Graduate School’s Excellence in Teaching Award for the year 2023. This prestigious award recognizes the skill and dedication of graduate students as a teacher. Emily is currently a PhD candidate in the lab of Dr. Denise Ferkey and was nominated for the award by Dr. Nitasha Sehgal, Clinical Assistant Professor.
Kevin Greeley of Williamsville, NY, has received the 2023 Dean's Outstanding Senior Award for Biological Sciences. Greely will be graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences. Greeley is a member of the university Honors College and the Biological Sciences Honors Research program. He has been performing research in Dr. Stephen Free's laboratory on Neurospora Crassa and received the Knobloch Endowment Fellowship. Greeley, a teaching assistant for BIO 200 and BIO 315, serves on the junior board of directors for the Miracle League of Western New York.
UB Research News published an article about Dr. Scott Santos, Maui native and Biological Sciences Empire Innovation Professor. Santos has been studying Halocaridina rubra for nearly two decades. He believes the tiny shrimp provide a window into how ocean life is changing due to climate change. At UB, the Santos Lab utilizes a variety of molecular tools, computational approaches and field- and laboratory-based studies to examine the ecology, evolution, genetics, physiology and symbiosis biology of a range of terrestrial and aquatic — both freshwater and marine — organisms, including host- and environmentally associated microbiomes. Santos earned his PhD here in 2002, and joined our faculty two years ago. Read the article by Meredith Forrest Kulwicki.
Three faculty of the Department of Biological Sciences were recently honored with university awards: the Exceptional Scholars Award for Sustained Achievement to Dr. Paul Cullen; the Teaching Innovation Award to Dr. Lara Hutson; and the Exceptional Scholars — Young Investigator Award to Dr. Eric Strobel. The Department is proud to recognize these faculty among its ranks, as they contribute to our core missions of excellence in research and teaching.
The peer-reviewed, open-access journal, iScience, has published a paper by UB evolutionary biologist Charlotte Lindqvist and collaborators, “A paleogenome from a Holocene individual supports genetic continuity in Southeast Alaska." Their findings show, using ancient genetic data analyses, that some modern Alaska Natives still live almost exactly where their ancestors did some 3,000 years ago. In addition to Lindqvist, authors of the new paper include Alber Aqil, Stephanie Gill, Omer Gokcumen, Ripan Malhi, Esther Aaltséen Reese, Jane Smith, and, Timothy Heaton. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation. Read more.
“Our findings not only provide key insights into the adaptive landscape of the Nepenthes genome, but also broaden our understanding of how polyploidy — having multiple sets of chromosomes — can stimulate the evolution of new functions,” says Victor Albert, Empire Innovation Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences. He is co-senior author of the study, published in Nature Plants. Other contributors from UB include Charlotte Lindqvist, professor of biological sciences, and PhD students Emily Caroll and Michaela Richter. The work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation. Read article in UB Research News.
The Wang Lab's breakthrough discovery, described in a paper published July 8 in Nature Communications, builds upon knowledge of the compounds, known as cardiac glycosides. It also could help speed up production of the plant-based drug, which is among the oldest medications used in the field of cariology, and help researchers create less toxic alternatives. Read the news.
A $1.5 million grant from the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) has been awarded to Professor Soo-Kyung Lee to support research on the rare neurodevelopmental disorder FOXG1 Syndrome. SFARI’s mission is to improve the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders by funding innovative research of the highest quality and relevance. The grant could help benefit people suffering from the rare genetic brain disorder. Read the article by UB Research News.