News & Events

Department News

News & Events

Department of Biology Annual Fall Retreat

October 6, 2015

fall retreat


David Goldfarb patent most influential in recent years

September 30, 2015

An analysis by Reuters and its sister company Thomas Reuters IP & Science revealed that U.S. Patent No. 8,642,660 is the most cited discovery to emerge from all fields of academic research in recent years. The patent, whose sole inventor is David Goldfarb, describes a set of drug-like molecules that extend yeast lifespan under assay conditions.  Reuters reported that 108 patents cited Goldfarb's discovery between 2008-2012.  A follow-up patent demonstrated that some of these molecules are active in mammalian age-associated disease models.


Jack Werren's article featured in Highlights in Reproductive Biology

July 2, 2015

Males and females are made different through a diverse assortment of molecular mechanisms--from the XY chromosomal system of mammals to temperature-dependent systems in certain reptiles. In most species, some mixture of hormones, sex-specific transcription factors, and gene regulation carry out the initial instructions of the sex-determining triggers, but the outlines of these pathways have only recently begun to emerge in studies of various creatures.


Gloria Culver appointed dean of the School of Arts & Sciences

April 21, 2015

Gloria Culver has been appointed dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, effective immediately. Peter Lennie, the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences & Engineering, made the announcement following a yearlong national search. Culver has been serving as interim dean since July 1, 2014.


Kathy Giardina receives Witmer Award for Distinguished Service

April 15, 2015

Kathy Giardina’s position requires her to manage complex budgetary matters within the department—including 30 research grants, faculty start-up accounts, capital equipment accounts, as well as departmental operating and teaching budgets.


Jack Werren interviewed by BBC - Earth

February 12, 2015

We humans tend to assume we rule the Earth. With our advanced tool making, language, problem solving and social skills, and our top predator status, we like to think of ourselves as the dominant life form on the planet.


An extra protein gives naked mole rats more power to stop cancer

February 5, 2015

A protein newly found in the naked mole rat may help explain its unique ability to ward off cancer.

The protein is associated with a cluster of genes (called a locus) that is also found in humans and mice. It’s the job of that locus to encode—or carry the genetic instructions for synthesizing —several cancer-fighting proteins. As Professor of Biology Vera Gorbunova explains, the locus found in naked mole rats encodes a total of four cancer-fighting proteins, while the human and mouse version encodes only three proteins.

The findings by Seuanov and Gorbunova research team have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Vera Gorbunova appointed Doris Johns Cherry Professor

November 6, 2014

Congratulations to Professor Vera Gorbunova, who has been appointed the Doris Johns Cherry Professor.


Are Male Brains Wired to Ignore Food for Sex?

October 17, 2014

Choosing between two good things can be tough. When animals must decide between feeding and mating, it can get even trickier. In a discovery that might ring true even for some humans, researchers have shown that male brains – at least in nematodes – will suppress the ability to locate food in order to instead focus on finding a mate.


Less effective DNA repair process takes over as mice age

September 11, 2014

As we and other vertebrates age, our DNA accumulates mutations and becomes rearranged, which may result in a variety of age-related illnesses, including cancers. Biologists Vera Gorbunova and Andrei Seluanov have now discovered one reason for the increasing DNA damage: the primary repair process begins to fail with increasing age and is replaced by one that is less accurate.


Targeting Cells’ Protein-making Machinery May Stop Harmful Bacteria

September 8, 2014

One challenge in killing off harmful bacteria is that many of them develop a resistance to antibiotics. Researchers at the University of Rochester are targeting the formation of the protein-making machinery in those cells as a possible alternate way to stop the bacteria. And Professor of Biology Gloria Culver has, for the first time, isolated the middle-steps in the process that creates that machinery—called the ribosomes.


Alternate mechanism of species formation picks up support, thanks to a South American ant

August 21, 2014

Christian Rabeling and his team discovered the parasitic Mycocepurus castrator, an example of a still-controversial theory known as sympatric speciation.


When temperatures drop, newly-discovered process helps fruit flies cope

July 21, 2014

Rochester biologist Michael Welte and his team made their discovery while studying the internal mechanisms of the egg cell of the fruit fly, known as Drosophila. What keeps the assembly line functioning—based on the new research—is a protein called Klar.


Protein Anchors Help Keep Embryonic Development 'Just Right'

June 12, 2014

Research from Rochester biologists shows that different types of histone proteins need to exist in specific proportions in order not to damage a fruit fly's DNA—and that any over-produced histones are kept in cellular storage facilities until they are needed.


Professor of the Year Awards

May 3, 2014

Cheeptip Benyajati receives this year's Professor of the Year Award in the Natural Sciences!


Biologist Vera Gorbunova to lead 5-year project on longevity

April 23, 2014

University of Rochester Professor of Biology Vera Gorbunova, whose innovative research on DNA repair and the aging process has been internationally recognized, has been awarded a $9.5 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to study longevity.


Biology Professors Awarded the 2014 Prince Hitachi Prize in Comparative Oncology

February 1, 2014

Vera Gorbunova and Andrei Seluanov recognized for their work and research clarifying the molecular mechanisms of the naked mole rat's cancer resistance.


Biologist honored with NSF award

January 10, 2014


Vertebrate of the Year!

December 23, 2013


Better Protein Creation May Be Secret of Longevity for the World's Longest-Living Rodent

September 30, 2013


Biologists Identify the Chemical Behind Cancer Resistance in Naked Mole Rats

June 19, 2013


Students Garner National Summer Research Scholarship

May 17, 2013


Professor of Biology Vera Gorbunova Receives 2013 Longevity Research Award

February 26, 2013

Organized by the ADPS in partnership with Allianz, France, the award supports scientists in the development of research to better understand the mechanisms of aging, and to find innovative and effective solutions to delay aging.


Superbugs May Have a Soft Spot, After All

February 26, 2013