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Hot off the Press: Our DNA

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The 2021 Spring Issue of SBS’s Magazine is now out. Stories . . . From Dr. Pepper to an election to the National Academy of Sciences From giant poisonous rats to Utah Executive of the Year From a Humboldt Research Award to newly published research findings From staff awards to an alumni tale of drama […]

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Todd Alder

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Todd B. Alder contracted COVID-19 early on in the pandemic and today still suffers from residual effects. But being just a “long hauler” as opposed to the alternative is what he calls being “lucky.” Says Alder, “Like many of us (I am guessing), this virus has disrupted my life with family and friends, my law […]

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Nikhil Bhayani

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“Every time I come to the U with my kids,” says Nikhil K. Bhayani, MD, FIDSA (BS’98), “I take them on a reality tour. I [recently] told my youngest son, ‘Let’s retrace my footsteps when I used to go from one of the lecture halls at Presidents Circle, to the Student Union. This is the […]

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Rachel Jones

While Rachel Jones has wanted to do medical research since 3rd grade, it wasn’t until high school during her advanced placement class that she fell in love with the cell. “Cells are magnificent machines crafted by evolution, which is pretty cool considering evolution is progress derived [from] random events.” In particular, she remembers being completely fascinated […]

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COVID-19: Just a Seasonal Nuisance?

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University of Utah scientists model possible COVID-19 futures. March 20, 2021 – Within the next decade, the novel coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 could become little more than a nuisance, causing no more than common cold-like coughs and sniffles. That possible future is predicted by mathematical models that incorporate lessons learned from the current pandemic on […]

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Diana Montgomery

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“Perhaps my favorite experience at the University of Utah is when I started working in a biology lab for the first time and realizing I fit in and enjoyed the work and the people there,” says Diana Montgomery, BS’87 in Biology. “It certainly helped to solidify my career choice.” While at the U, Diana worked […]

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Alli Hoffman

For a scientist it might seem counter-intuitive to value the notion that there is never a correct or final answer to a question. But for Alessandrina (“Alli”) Hoffman, an undergraduate researcher in the Brazelton Lab, this is exactly what she loves most about her work which stems from the Lost City Hydrothermal Field on the […]

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Sahar Kanishka, Undergrad Research Award

Sahar Kanishka, recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award, remembers daily where her family came from, where they are now, and what opportunity there is for her at the School of Biological Science (SBS). 

“I’ve always wanted to be a doctor ever since I was younger,” she recently explained in a video interview. “Because […]

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T. Mitchell Aide, PhD’89

Distinguished Alumnus   Following his graduation with a bachelor’s from University of Texas – San Antonio, California native T. Mitchell (Mitch) Aide ended up in Utah … but via Panama. It was in Central America where he first met School of Biological Sciences (SBS) professors Lissy Coley and Tom Kursar doing tropical forest research. Aide […]

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Mary Beckerle Elected to NAS

April 21, 2021—Mary C. Beckerle, chief executive officer and director, Huntsman Cancer Institute (HC); and distinguished professor of biology and associate vice president for cancer affairs, University of Utah was elected to the National Academy of Science. She spends her days working to save lives and as CEO of HCI  models the company’s core values […]

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Nitin Phadnis, Fly Genetics

One of 3 for ’20. February 19, 2021 – Nitin Phadnis, SBS Associate Professor, and his colleagues won an Editors’ Choice Award for an outstanding Population and Evolutionary Genetics article published in GENETICS. Titled “Extensive Recombination Suppression and Epistatic Selection Causes Chromosome-Wide Differentiation of a Selfish Sex Chromosome in Drosophila pseudoobscura“, the article was one of only three selected for […]

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Ace Madsen, MD

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The Department of Biology, now the School of Biological Sciences, was a bit of a boot camp for Ace Madsen and other pre-med students.   The Uinta Basin in the northeast corner of Utah can seem like a ways “out there” near the border of Colorado and one of the most famous dinosaur quarries in […]

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A Glimpse of the Startup Life

Reshma Shetty Distinguished Lab Alumna   It all started with venomous snails. University of Utah alumna Reshma Shetty, BS’02, Computer Science, is now an executive of growing Boston biotech firm Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc., which she co-founded in 2008. Ginkgo Bioworks engineers biological organisms for a variety of commercial and industrial uses, including engineering organisms to […]

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Swing Out (Meiotic) Sister

    March 20, 2021 – Sexual reproduction shuffles the parental genomes to generate new genetic combinations. To achieve that, the genome is subjected to numerous breaks, the repair of which involves two crucial decisions: repair pathway and repair template. In a new paper by SBS graduate students David E. Almanzar, Spencer G. Gordon and […]

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Fast Track Designation for Denali Diagnostics

March 22, 2021 – When Ryan Watts, BS’00, steps into the classroom at the University of Utah to discuss with students the opportunities they have in bio-tech, the founder/CEO of San Francisco-based Denali Therapeutics speaks from deep experience. His knowledge of the subject is unfolding in real-time, including earlier this month when Denali announced that […]

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Karrin Tennant, Research Award

For Karrin Tennant, recipient of the College of Science Undergraduate Research Award, the never-ending story of environmental science has plenty of plot twists. A member of the Anderegg lab in the School of Biological Sciences (SBS) which studies the intersection of ecosystems and climate change, Tennant has been busy working in the area of nighttime […]

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Allergy Season & Climate Change

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With spring around the corner, here’s some bad news for allergy sufferers: Human-caused climate change has both worsened and lengthened pollen seasons across the U.S. and Canada, a study Monday reports. The new research shows that pollen seasons start 20 days earlier, are 10 days longer and feature 21% more pollen than they did in […]

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Connor Morgan, BS’19

What does a former Student Body President and Biology alum do after graduating from the U? You start by moving to New Hampshire as a boots-on-the-ground organizer for a presidential candidate.Connor Morgan (BS,2019) has hung up his cap and gown, and his sojourn at the office of the Associated Students of the University of Utah […]

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Sahar Kanishka

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Sahar Kanishka Biology student, ACCESS member, College of Science Association for Women in STEM member, and recipient of an undergraduate research scholarship funded by alumnus, Ryan Watts (BS’2000 and founder of Denali Therapeutics), Sahar Kanishka is a force in the Utah student community.Major: Biology Year: Sophomore Lab: Gagnon Lab Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah Interests: Studying anatomy, […]

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Ana Rosas

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Every student’s story is one-of-a-kind, and Ana Rosas’ is no exception. Rosas’ desire to become a doctor was deeply personal. She recalls her grandmother dying just one month after being diagnosed with untreatable and advanced liver cancer. “During my grieving, I thought about what, if anything, could have been done to prolong” her grandmother’s life. […]

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Leslie Sieburth: Associate Dean

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The College of Science is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Leslie Sieburth from the School of Biological Sciences as the new Associate Dean of Research in the College of Science, effective July 1, 2019. Leslie earned her PhD in Botany from the University of Georgia, completed a postdoctoral appointment at the California Institute of […]

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Karl Gordon Lark

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Karl Gordon Lark, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Utah, passed away on April 10, 2020, after a seven-year battle with cancer. A renowned geneticist, Lark uncovered fundamental aspects of DNA replication and genetics across many systems, from bacteria to soybeans to dogs. He came to the U in 1970 as the biology department’s […]

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Forest Futures

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Forest Futures Know the risks of investing in forests. Given the tremendous ability of forests to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, some governments are counting on planted forests as offsets for greenhouse gas emissions—a sort of climate investment. But as with any investment, it’s important to understand the risks. If a forest goes bust, […]

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Staff: Jose Rojas

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Facilities manager at the School of Biological Sciences for 20 years, Jose Rojas, probably knows more about the ins-and-outs of how labs operate than most principal investigators. Like the biology subjects U biologists examine—from cone snails to mitochondria, and from mammals to tiny round worms of C. elegans—Rojas’s work in retrofitting lab spaces requires prodding, […]

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