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Tags: genetics

Fri, 12/16/2022 - 2:32pm
Three years ago, Doug Menke led a team that became the first in the world to create a gene-edited lizard. A professor of genetics in the Franklin College of Arts & Sciences and director of UGA’s Developmental Biology Alliance, Menke was recognized last spring with a UGA Creative Research Medal for the accomplishment. In this interview, Menke discusses his award-winning work, how he fell into the work of genetics and what lizard genetics can…
Mon, 10/24/2022 - 12:36pm
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, University of Georgia student Daniel Rouhani had to reimagine his research so he could continue his work as a CURO Summer Fellow. Then something struck him. “Recent discoveries in COVID-19 were emerging, and I noticed the lack of accurate visualizations available to explain the complexities of the disease,” he said. Following that intuition, Rouhani taught himself how to 3D model and visualize COVID-19 proteins…
Thu, 10/20/2022 - 10:56am
Amid the turning of the season, October brought career milestones and the dedication the McBay Science Library, along with prestigious awards, grants, and new books from Franklin faculty. A sample of recent announcement – congratulations to all: UGA oceanographer Samantha Joye has been awarded the 2022 Captain Don Walsh Award for Ocean Exploration The University of Georgia has named nine faculty and academic leaders to the 2022-2023 class of the…
Wed, 10/05/2022 - 12:09pm
University of Georgia researcher Pengpeng Bi received a pair of National Institutes of Health grants in September: a Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (MIRA, 2022–2027) and an Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Award (R21, 2022–2024). The $2.3 million awards will support efforts to uncover the molecular mechanism of human muscle development and homeostasis. The MIRA is a funding mechanism to provide support for a program of research…
Thu, 09/08/2022 - 11:18am
UGA’s Audrey Ward won Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Yeast Microscopy Competition in the category of Best Special Effects and Editing with “Ghost in the Cell,” this spectral shot of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. To create the image, she and Yee Mon Thu of Colby College used calcofluor-white staining of the cell wall of the yeast species, which has been used in winemaking, baking and brewing since antiquity. Ward edited the final image that was…
Thu, 07/28/2022 - 3:05pm
Janet Westpheling, professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of genetics, has been selected to receive the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB) Charles Porter Award. The award recognizes meritorious service to the Society as exemplified by Charles Porter, co-founder of the SIMB. Dr. Janet “Jan” Westpheling is a dedicated and active member, volunteer, and leader within the SIMB community. As a…
Thu, 05/05/2022 - 3:03pm
Aaron Alcala, a Ph.D. candidate in the department of genetics, won Arcadia Science’s first SciComm Hackathon with “One Cell to Rule Them All: Chlamydomonas,” a video that explains how studying a type of green algae has led to landmark discoveries that shed light on human health. He also produced a video for an earlier round of the competition that explores the question “Why Study Glowing Animals?” Alcala’s research focuses on how genes are…
Wed, 03/30/2022 - 3:00pm
Jessica Kissinger is using her expertise in biology and big data to help other scientists. Today, the University of Georgia professor not only studies deadly pathogens like malaria and Cryptosporidium (a waterborne parasite), but also is a driving force behind worldwide, groundbreaking collaborations on novel databases. During her time at UGA, she has received nearly $40 million in federal and private grants and contracts. These databases can…
Tue, 02/22/2022 - 11:42am
New research from the University of Georgia has determined when pollen comes of age and begins expressing its own genome, a major life cycle transition in plants. Each grain of pollen is actually its own multicellular organism – with two to 40 cells, depending on the species. Pollen expresses its own genome and is genetically distinct from its parent plant. That means pollen grains from a single flower can have different traits and…
Wed, 02/09/2022 - 4:00pm
University of Georgia senior Claire Bunn of Marion, Arkansas, will continue her studies in lung biology this fall as one of 23 Americans selected for the 2022 class of Gates Cambridge Scholars. The scholarship fully funds postgraduate study and research in any subject at the University of Cambridge in England. Bunn is UGA’s ninth Gates Cambridge Scholar in the program’s 21-year history. The scholarship, which recognizes intellectually…
Thu, 01/27/2022 - 11:35am
Jessica Kissinger, Distinguished Research Professor of genetics, and Patricia Yager, professor of marine sciences, are among three UGA faculty named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In a tradition stretching back to 1874, these individuals are elected annually by the AAAS Council for their extraordinary achievements leading to the advancement of science. Fellows must have been AAAS members for at least four…
Mon, 11/08/2021 - 1:34pm
Mary Elizabeth Case was a founding member of the department of genetics at the University of Georgia in 1980. She remained an active participant in the department after her retirement as Professor Emerita. Case was born on December 10, 1925, in Crawfordville, Indiana. She received her B.A. in Biology from Maryville College in Tennessee and an M.A. in Botany from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She earned her doctorate from Yale…
Fri, 08/27/2021 - 2:14pm
University of Georgia researcher Kaixiong Ye has received a Maximizing Investigators Research Award from the National Institutes of Health. The nearly $2 million, five-year award will support efforts to characterize gene-environment interactions, or genetic effects modified by environment, underlying complex traits in humans. The MIRA is a grant to provide support for a program of research in an early-stage investigator’s laboratory that falls…
Mon, 08/23/2021 - 3:36pm
Seven UGA doctoral students have been named 2021 ARCS Scholars by the Office of Research. Amanda Caulfield, Kendall Clay, Christian Freeman, Morgane Golan, Megan Meany, Judith Reyes Ballista and Aarya Venkat will receive $8,000 each for the next three years to support their dissertation research. Four of the seven hail from departments or research areas within the Franklin College: [Aarya] Venkat, a biochemistry Ph.D. student, is distinguishing…
Thu, 08/05/2021 - 2:41pm
The newly assembled genomes of 26 different genetic lines of corn illustrate the crop’s rich genetic diversity and lay the groundwork for a better understanding of what genetic mechanisms account for crop traits prized by farmers. The mapping of the 26 genomes, published recently in the journal Science, was a team effort co-led by University of Georgia’s Kelly Dawe that will help scientists piece together the puzzle of corn genetics. Using these…
Wed, 05/12/2021 - 4:02pm
Daniel Sina Rouhani is just finishing up his second year as a UGA undergrad, but this genetics and biochemistry double major has already put together a portfolio that would be the envy of many college graduates. Rouhani is the founder of the 3D design studio ExonScientific, which develops new techniques in digital graphic design to “push the boundaries of scientific communication.” He’s put his talents to use in projects with both UGA faculty—…
Fri, 04/16/2021 - 2:55pm
Claire Bunn and Yoong “Terry” Phang are among 410 undergraduates across the nation to be recognized as Barry Goldwater Scholars in 2021, earning the highest undergraduate award of its type for the fields of the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering. Bunn, from Marion, Arkansas, is a third-year Foundation Fellow and Stamps Scholar majoring in genetics and minoring in statistics. Phang, from Cumming, is a third-year majoring in physics and…
Thu, 03/25/2021 - 1:59pm
Fish oil supplements are a billion-dollar industry built on a foundation of purported, but not proven, health benefits. Now, new research from a team led by a University of Georgia scientist indicates that taking fish oil only provides health benefits if you have the right genetic makeup. The study, led by Kaixiong Ye and published in PLOS Genetics, focused on fish oil (and the omega-3 fatty acids it contains) and its effect on triglycerides, a…
Mon, 12/07/2020 - 1:45pm
COVID-19, election news and analysis, personality traits, weather and climate round out the recent trending topics for Franklin College faculty expertise in the media. A sample of the many stories: Study links cognitive disorders with severe COVID-19 risk – research led by Kaixiong Ye, assistant professor of genetics, reported by Devdiscourse, News Break, and Postdoctoral Fellow Jingqi Zhou, Drugs.com Hot or cold, weather alone has no…
Fri, 11/13/2020 - 1:59pm
A new project by UGA researchers will explore the largely unknown relationship between plants and soil microbes, generating new information that’s expected to be a game changer for plant science. The five-year project, funded by an $11.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, will deliver findings ranging from basic information about plants and microbes to applied knowledge that can be used by plant breeders to improve agricultural…
Fri, 10/30/2020 - 4:11pm
Dementia and other cognitive disorders now appear to be risk factorsfor developing severe COVID-19, according to research from the University of Georgia. The findings highlight the need for special care for populations with these preexisting conditions during the pandemic. In a blind study, the researchers analyzed data from nearly 1,000 diseases and two specific genes to compare the health profiles of COVID-19 patients with those testing…
Mon, 08/31/2020 - 10:16am
The National Academy of Inventors has named two Franklin College faculty members to the 2020 class of NAI Senior Members. Richard Meagher, Distinguished Research Professor of Genetics, and Ronald Orlando, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, and chemistry, are the first UGA researchers to receive the senior membership distinction. They join a new class of 38 prolific inventors representing 24 research universities along with…
Fri, 07/17/2020 - 11:23am
REUs or Research Experiences for Undergraduates programs, funded by the National Science Foundation, typically offer students hands-on research experience through campus-based programs dedicated to a variety of topics. Shady Kuster is participating in an REU focused on genomics and computational biology that’s led by Jonathan Arnold. Additional REUs hosted online at UGA this summer include programs on nanotechnology and biomedicine, led by…
Thu, 07/09/2020 - 10:17am
How do sunflowers grow in the desert? Wild sunflowers display extensive variation, both between and within species, and scientists have now reported that variation is preserved by blocks of “supergenes” that permit adaptation to different environments. Such evolutionary changes are normally broken apart across generations of mating. Considered one of the world’s most important oilseed crops, this finding should improve breeding of the cultivated…
Fri, 05/01/2020 - 2:57pm
For Dr. Andrew McKown (BS ’07, genetics) of Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center's intensive care unit, 12-hour days include multiple sets of gowns, masks and gloves, phone calls providing updates to patients’ families who can no longer visit their loved ones, a hooded face shield blowing air in his face and the research required to keep up with a global pandemic: “It’s … been interesting,” said McKown. “My work has changed dramatically.”…

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