Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

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MCB Postdoc Rutaganira Named HHMI Gray Fellow

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 17:21

Congratulations to Florentine Rutaganira (postdoc in Professor Nicole King's Lab), who has been named an HHMI Hanna Gray Fellow. HHMI’s Hanna H. Gray Fellows Program seeks to encourage talented early career scientists who have the potential to become leaders in academic research. Each of the 15 fellows will get up to $1.4M in funding covering Post-doc and assistant professor transitions.


MCB Industrial Affiliates Program (IAP) Symposium

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 11:53

Are you interesting in building relationships with local industry companies looking to engage with the MCB research community? Join us for the next MCB Industrial Affiliates Program (IAP) event on September 22nd. The symposium will feature presentations by industry partners about career opportunities within their companies well as an interactive poster session highlighting the research of MCB students and postdocs. Please contact for event details or visit our website to learn more about the program.

"Fast Friendship" Featured on Good Morning America

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 15:10

Sophomores Nissma Bencheikh (intended MCB major) and Roaya Jannatipour (intended IB major) became fast friends at Berkeley their freshman year. But it turns out they had a lot more in common than their love for biology!


Bacterial Aphrodisiac for One-celled Marine Organisms

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 10:51

HHMI Investigator and MCB Professor Nicole King's lab in conjunction with Jon Clardy's lab at Harvard Medical School have discovered that a bacterial protein can act as an aphrodisiac and trigger mating in the closest living relatives of all animals - choanoflagellates.


Faculty Position in Neurobiology

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 13:23

The Department of Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB) and the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute (HWNI) are soliciting applications for an Open-Level (tenure-track or tenured) faculty position in Neurobiology. The position will be at the Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor level and rank will be determined on qualifications and experience. The expected start date is July 1, 2018. 


Faculty Position in Host/Microbe Interactions

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 12:46

The Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, is soliciting applications for a faculty position in the area of Host/Microbe Interactions at the level of Assistant Professor (tenure track). We seek applicants who are studying how interactions with microbes shape the biology (at all levels) of animals and other eukaryotes. The expected start date is July 1, 2018.


Welcome New MCB Students!

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 10:58

MCB would like to welcome the incoming graduate student class for Fall 2017.  Here's to new beginnings!

Incoming MCB Graduate Student Class of 2017

Steve Martin is Interim Vice Chancellor for Research

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 15:06

Professor Emeritus G. Steven Martin has agreed to serve as Interim Vice Chancellor for Research for the Fall 2017 semester. He replaces Paul Alivisatos who is now the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. Welcome Steve!


Doudna honored with the Albany Medical Center Prize

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 09:00

Professor Jennifer Doudna was one of five distiniguished researchers honored with the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine for her discovery of CRISPR-Cas9, a remarkable gene editing system that has been called the “discovery of the century.”


Chancellor Shares Campus Priorities

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 08:39

Chancellor Christ shares campus priorities, which tie directly into the mission of UC Berkeley: building community, undergraduate education, equity & inclusion, research in service to the public, and creating a new financial model. MCB is on board to do its part!


MCB Undergraduate Research Spotlight

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 12:42

MCB celebrates some of its incredible undergrad researchers of 2017 -- see our Spring Newsletter feature. As the Fall Semester approaches, we look forward to seeing returning students and interacting with a new batch too!


Evan Miller receives NeuroNex Innovation Award

Wed, 08/02/2017 - 11:16

MCB Assistant Professor Evan Miller, who is also faculty in the College of Chemistry, is the recipient of the NeuroNex Innovation Award for research on Chemical and Genetic Methods to Measure and Manipulate Neurons with Light.


Researchers discover how CRISPR proteins find their target

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 10:20

"UC Berkeley researchers have discovered how Cas1-Cas2, the proteins responsible for the ability of the CRISPR immune system in bacteria to adapt to new viral infections, identify the site in the genome where they insert viral DNA so they can recognize it later and mount an attack."


Key to Organizing the Structures in Skin

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 09:46

Amy Shyer, a Miller postdoctoral fellow in the Harland lab, former UC Visiting Scholar Alan Rodrigues, and others discover that traction and resistance are key to cellular self organization in the skin. Their findings could lead to advanced tissue engineering for skin grafts complete with hair follicles and sweat pores.


Making CRISPR Safer

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 10:52

"With one eye on potential bioterrorism threats, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency today announced $65 million in funding to seven projects around the country – including one led by UC Berkeley – to improve the safety and accuracy of gene editing."

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Talking to the Brain

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 12:49

MCB Professor Ehud Isacoff and a team of scientists received funding to develp neural optical devices allowing 2-way communication in the brain utilizing light, a miniaturized microscope and 3D holograms. The research could eventually provide a way to compensate for visual or tactile deficits in humans.


A Crack in Creation

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 17:56

Professor Jennifer Doudna has written a popular science book about her personal and professional experiences in CRISPR research. The book is co-authored by her former graduate student, Sam Sternberg.

Read more... 


Sense of Smell Impacts Weight Loss

Thu, 07/06/2017 - 12:13

A paper published in Cell Metabolism by HHMI Investigator and MCB Professor Andrew Dillin's lab, his former postdoc Celine Riera, and co-authored by the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research and others suggests that smelling what you eat may play an important role in how the body deals with calories.


MCB Postdoc Temprana Named Pew Latin American Fellow

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 10:08

Silvio Temprana, a postdoc in Assistant Professor Hillel Adesnik's lab, is one of 10 Pew Latin American Fellows in the Biomedical Sciences. He is studying information processing in the brain and whether an animal's perception can be altered. 


Shaking Up Genome Regulation

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 08:12

A Berkeley Lab team led by Dr. Gary Karpen, Adjunct Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, "uncovered evidence that heterochromatin organizes large parts of the genome into specific regions of the nucleus using liquid-liquid phase separation, a mechanism well-known in physics but whose importance for biology has only recently been revealed."