Faculty News

2016

Distinguished Professor Anthony A. James (Molecular Biology andBiochemistry and Microbiology andMolecular Genetics) was recognized by The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) on this year’s World Mosquito Day.  World Mosquito Day was first established August 20th, 1897, to recognize the discovery that mosquitoes were involved in malaria transmission.

Professor Charles G. Glabe, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, conducts research on the structure and aggregation of amyloids in degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. In a recent study, Professor Glabe assisted in discovering the three dimensional structure of the protein fragment amyloid-ß, believed to play a central role in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Using cutting-edge imaging technology, Professor Thomas F. Schilling, Developmental and Cell Biology, and colleagues, have determined that uncontrolled fluctuations (known as “noise”) in the concentration of the vitamin A derivative retinoic acid can lead to disruptions in brain organization during development. Identifying how a cell responds to a signal made by another cell, despite the level of noise present, may improve our understanding of developmental disorders.

Professor Leslie M. Thompson, Neurobiology and Behavior and Psychiatry and Human Behavior, has been studying Huntington’s disease (HD), a genetic disease, for over 2 decades. Recent work from Professor Thompson’s Lab, led by doctoral candidate Joseph Ochaba, has identified a new therapeutic target that, when reduced in Huntington’s disease model mice, decreases inflammation of the brain and the accumulation of toxic proteins.

Professor Katrine L. Whiteson, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, joined other U.S. scientists Friday, May 13th at an event hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology, to announce a new National Microbiome Initiative to foster the integrated study of microbiomes across different ecosystems.

2015

UC Irvine is renowned for its exceptional research in the life sciences.  With the establishment of the UC Irvine Institute for Clinical & Translational Science (ICTS), the University has made additional strides in translating its successes in the lab to advancing discoveries in clinical care.  In recognition of this success, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has recently awarded UC Irvine ICTS a $19 million dollar grant to continue transforming innovative discoveries into potential clinical therapeutics.

Professor Yilin Hu, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, is one of the six fellows. chosen from a highly competitive cohort to receive 2015-16 Hellman Fellowships, which support research by junior faculty members who show great promise.

Professor Luis. P. Villarreal, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, was recently featured in a Huffington Post Science article, discussing his career and views on viruses. Notably, Professor Villarreal discussed his recent New York Academy of Sciences paper and stated that he considers viruses active organisms that are not only the biggest component of the biomass but comprise 10 percent of the human genome.

Does having more skin fat help fight infections? Research by Ayala faculty has revealed an interesting answer. Professor Maksim Plikus, Developmental and Cell Biology, and his laboratory partners recently contributed to a new study that revealed skin fat to be part of the human body’s innate immune response. The study showed that during a bacterial infection, activation of skin’s adipose progenitors and the secretion of antimicrobial peptides ultimately form a newly recognized arm of the innate immune response.

2014

David Fruman, Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, was awarded a five year grant from the NIH-BEST initiative. This grant will support professional and career development of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows across biomedical sciences at UCI.

Manuela Raffatellu, Associate Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, was awarded the special prize “Candeliere d’oro” from her hometown city of Sassari (Italy), given every year to a citizen who brought prestige to the city.

Yongsheng Shi, Associate Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, received the CMB Graduate Teaching Award for the 2013-14 academic year.

Manuela Raffatellu, Associate Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, received the prestigious Career Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

Tom Poulos, Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, was recently awarded the Gordon Hammes ACS Biochemistry Lectureship, a national award given by the American Chemical Society for outstanding contributions in scientific research at the interface of chemistry and biology.

Anthony James, Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, received a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to test evolutionary models for controlling malaria transmission.

Chris Hughes, chair of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, was named Chair of the Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) Foundation International’s Global Research and Medical Advisory Board.

Dr. Craig Walsh, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, published a paper in Stem Cell Reports entitled “Human Neural Precursor Cells Promote Neurological Recovery in a Viral Model of Multiple Sclerosis”. Dr. Walsh was interviewed in an article appearing in the Orange County Register: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/cells-614487-stem-mice.html

Dr. David Fruman, CMB program director and Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, published an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine describing the clinical success of PI3Kdelta and BTK inhibitors in B cell malignancies. Dr. Fruman was interviewed in an an article appearing in the Orange County Register: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/drug-607934-patients-idelalisib.html

2013

Dr. Ali Mortazavi, Assistant Professor of Developmental & Cell Biology, received a prestigious New Innovator award from the National Institutes of health. See UCI new release at:
http://news.uci.edu/press-releases/uci-achieves-rare-trifecta-three-scientists-receive-new-innovator-awards/

Led by child neurologist and neuroscientist Dr. Tallie Z. Baram,  a UC Irvine team has received a five-year Silvio O. Conte Center grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. The funding program brings together researchers with diverse expertise to gain new knowledge and improve the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders. The grant will support the creation of the Conte Center on Brain Programming in Mental Disorders at UC Irvine. See UCI news release at:
http://news.uci.edu/press-releases/nih-awards-uci-10-million-to-study-early-life-origins-of-adolescent-mental-disorders/

Dr. Mark Fisher, Professor of Neurology, published papers in Frontiers and Stroke showing that stroke prevention strategies should address both blood clotting and protection of vessels from microbleeds. See UCI news release at:
http://news.uci.edu/press-releases/microbleeds-important-to-consider-in-brain-related-treatments-uci-neurologist-says/

Dr. Arthur Lander, awarded $11.5 million grant from NIH to support the UCI Center for Complex Biological Systems.
http://today.uci.edu/news/2012/10/nr_lander_121011.php

Professor Albert Zlotnik was elected member of the National Academy of Medicine – Mexico.
http://www.immunology.uci.edu/page.php?f=Professor_Albert_Zlotnik

Professor Andrea Tenner Elected to AAI Executive Board.
http://www.immunology.uci.edu/page.php?f=Professor_Andrea_Tenner_elected_to_AAI_Executive_Board

Rozanne Sandri-Goldin, has been named Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Virology.
http://cvr.bio.uci.edu/2012/08/23/professor-rozanne-sandri-goldin-has-been-named-editor-in-chief-of-journal-of-virology/

Thomas E. Lane, Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Research Center at UCI, will receive $4.8 million to create a new line of neural stem cells that can be used to treat multiple sclerosis.
http://today.uci.edu/news/2012/05/nr_cirmlane_120524.php

Stem cell researcher Weian Zhao tapped for prestigious TR35 list.
http://today.uci.edu/briefs/2012/08/nb_zhao_120821.php

Dr. Thomas Lane, Honored as 2011 Research Volunteer of the Year by Pacific South Coast Chapter of the National MS Society.
http://www.nationalmssociety.org/chapters/cas/chapter-news/chapter-news-detail/index.aspx?nid=5914#5

Melissa Lodoen, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, received the 2012 Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching and mentoring in the School of Biological Sciences.

Marian Waterman, Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, received the inaugural CMB teaching award for distinction in teaching courses in the CMB program.