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Noteworthy Achievements

Rachel McCord was awarded an NIH grant to study “Folding, Misfolding, and Unfolding: How human 3D genome structure resists, adapts, or succumbs to physical stresses in health and disease.”

Brad Binder and Gladys Alexandre received a grant from the NSF to study the function of ethylene receptors in soil bacteria.

Daniel Roberts was awarded an NSF REU Site grant: “Research experiences for Deaf Students in Systems Biology and Molecular Signaling- How Cells and Organisms make Decisions.” This grant supports the training of 10 students for 10 weeks during the summers of 2019- 2021.

Tessa Burch-Smith received a CAREER grant from NSF MCB “The role of chloroplast signaling in regulating plasmodesmata.”

A team of BCMB faculty led by Andreas Nebenführ was awarded an MRI-NSF grant to purchase a transmission electron microscope. The microscope is available now in the Advanced Microscopy and Imaging Center. In addition to traditional two-dimensional images, the microscope can capture three-dimensional structures using a special tomography configuration.

Fran Barrera received two awards. In collaboration with Patrick Collier (ORNL), he received a Science Alliance Support award for the project titled “Stimuli-responsive neuromorphic computing.” Fran was also awarded an equipment supplement to his NIH grant “Transmembrane peptides for targeting acidosis.” The supplement will allow him to acquire a multi-mode plate reader with microscopy functionalities. This is the first NIH equipment supplement awarded at UT! Barrera was also appointed to the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Several BCMB students received funding this year:

  • Amie Sankoh (T. Burch-Smith’s lab) was awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship from NSF to study the formation of plasmodesmata.
  • Jessica Fernandez (T. Burch-Smith’s lab) received a Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (NRSA) from NIH to investigate the role of retrograde signaling on intercellular trafficking.
  • Rosela Golloshi (R. McCord lab) was awarded a Yates Dissertation Fellowship from UT.
  • Justin Westerfield and Gabriel Fuente were awarded Summer Graduate Research Assistantships from the Office of Research and Engagement.

Barry Bruce and his graduate student Jyotirmoy Mondal were part of an international experiment at the X-ray research laser facility in Hamburg. They are unraveling the primary reactions in photosynthesis.