Molecular Bioscience news

Achievements and announcements

2024-2025 Graduate Dean’s Awardees

Several incoming MBS graduate students have received Graduate Dean’s awards for the 2024-2025 academic year. Billiah Bwana was awarded a Graduate Dean’s Fellowship, a one-year award of $45,000, including an out-of-state tuition waiver. Students Axel Munoz and Jennifer Stevens were recipients of the Graduate Dean’s Merit Scholarship, a one-year award of $10,000.

Graduate Dean’s fellowships and merit scholarships are awarded to master’s and doctoral students with an outstanding academic record and who show strong promise in their scholarship. Congratulations to our awardees!

Biomedical Researcher Awardees

Several foundation awards were presented recently to members of the Molecular Biosciences Graduate Program engaged in biomedical research:

  • Majid Kahn, MD/PhD, CMPP Program) and Chase Fiore, CMPP Program: Wiener Biomedical Graduate Scholars
  • Allison Bartlett, CMPP Program: Glen E. Whiddett Biomedical Award
  • Kabita Adhikari, CMB Program: Crain Biomedical Research Scholar
  • Ryan Durbin, Integrative Neuroscience Program: Dr. Charles and Mary Marshall Award

Congratulations to these Biomedical Researcher Awardees!

$2.3 million in NIH funding awarded to researcher to advance hypertension research and treatments

Yumei Feng Earley, Ph.D., M.D., associate professor, departments of pharmacology, and physiology and cell biology at University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine was awarded a competitive, four-year, $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health  (NIH) to support her research on increased sympathetic nervous system activity which has been found to be a primary precursor of hypertension. Congratulations on this award! 

Robert Renden, Ph.D. receives $1.5 million NIH grant

Robert Renden, Ph.D., a University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine researcher and Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology faculty member, has received a $1.5 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant award to explore how mitochondria support synaptic function in the healthy brain and advance new approaches in the study of some diseases. Congratulations on this impressive award!

Congratulations, Isaura Vanessa Gutierrez, on your second-place win!

Headshot of Isaura Vanessa Gutierrez

Isaura Vanessa Gutierrez (PI: Cyprian Rossetto) won second place and $300 in the 11th annual George G. Bierkamper Molecular Biosciences Graduate Student Retreat at the University of Nevada, Reno. 

Presentation title: Kaposi’s Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV) ORF59 N-terminus Binds to Histones and C-terminus is not Required for DNA Synthesis 

Congratulations, Emily E. Hannah, on your third-place win!

Emily E. Hannah (PI: David AuCoin) won third place and $200 in the 11th annual George G. Bierkamper Molecular Biosciences Graduate Student Retreat at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Presentation title: Development of immunoassays for detection of Francisella tularensis lipopolysaccharide in tularemia patient

Congratulations, Caleb J. Worker, on your first-place win!

Headshot of Caleb Worker

Caleb J. Worker (PI: Yumei Feng Earley) won first place and $500 in the 11th annual George G. Bierkamper Molecular Biosciences Graduate Student Retreat at the University of Nevada, Reno. 

Presentation title: Neuronal (Pro)Renin Receptor Deletion Attenuates Astrogliosis And Inflammation In The Arcuate Nucleus Of Mice Fed With High Fat Diet

Congratulations to our two Graduate Dean's Merit Scholars!

Congratulations to Emer Ni Bhraonain (3rd year) and Lauren Parker (1st year), recipients of the Graduate Dean’s Merit Scholarship. The Dean’s award recognizes outstanding academic record and promise of productive scholarship and is awarded annually.

CMPP Program Director Seungil Ro awarded $2 million to continue research on a cure for type 2 diabetes

University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine Associate Professor  Seungil Ro, Ph.D., department of physiology and cell biology, has made an important discovery-finding a molecule that can be used to inhibit and treat Type 2 diabetes. This new discovery helped obtain $2 million in funding for project development over the course of the next three years.

The $2 million contract will support Ro, whose lab discovered that Type 2 diabetes can be caused by gastroparesis, a condition where stomach muscles stop working properly and therefore have difficulty moving food from the stomach to the small intestine. Read the full article.

Brian Prince awarded a Graduate Dean's Fellowship

Brian Prince, a Ph.D. student in Cell and Molecular Biology, was awarded a  Graduate Dean's Fellowship  for the 2019-20 academic year. The Graduate Dean's Fellowship for promising, newly admitted Ph.D. students is a one-year award in the amount $35,000 per academic year ($17,500 per semester).

Our impact

Nevada Today news stories from Molecular Biosciences and the departments and centers that contribute to the program.

A representative of Siemens and the University's neuroscience imaging director confer as an fMRI is conducted.
A major milestone in neuroscience research and teaching excellence

$5.3 million, NIH COBRE ‘Phase 3’ award will further advance the mission and impact of the University’s Center for Integrative Neuroscience

Professor Dean Burkin stands next to Ph.D. student Ariany Oliveira-Santos, who is sitting, in a laboratory room.
Promising solution to fatal genetic-disorder complications discovered by University professor and Ph.D. candidate

Published research findings point to a possible, more effective treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy-related cardiac failure

Confocal image of neurons
Journal of Neuroscience cover story features University neuroscience research

Assistant Professor Simon Pieraut’s paper was featured in the May 26 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience

Timsy Uppal and Bhaskar Vadlamani
COVID-19 rapid test has successful lab results, research moves to next stages

University of Nevada, Reno engineers and virologists team up for novel approach

A technician at work in the Nevada State Public Health Lab
Nevada State Public Health Lab-led team studying COVID-19 reinfection

Fighting the pandemic: University of Nevada, Reno research effort continues with early, genomics-based evidence of reinfection

Portrait photo of Kent Sanders, Nevada's 2020 Distinguished Researcher
Research ‘rock star’ has advanced gastroenterology science and scientists

Celebrating the impressive record of scientific advancements, funding and mentorship of Kent Sanders, Nevada’s 2020 Distinguished Researcher

Thale Cress plant
Plant tissue engineering improves drought and salinity tolerance

Research in College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources addresses future population growth and food shortages

Dr. Paul Hartley sits at genomics sequencing machine in laboratory
Genomics sequencing of Nevada COVID-19 samples is under way

University’s Nevada Genomics Center joins with State Health Lab and School of Medicine researchers to advance scientific knowledge of novel coronavirus through DNA sequencing

4-H campers doing an experiment on seedlings with graduate student
Graduate students help 4-H youth discover the excitement of science

Students in Nevada Biosciences Association lead experiments to encourage 4-H youth to pursue STEM

Jeff Harper in his biochemistry laboratory.
Exploring the future of food production on Earth … and in space

Jeff Harper named Nevada’s Distinguished Career Researcher for his significant work addressing the global, food-security challenge

Seven faculty members view demonstration of a large-size "two-photon" microscope
$11 million grant advances research at the forefront of cardiovascular disease

Biggest Little Research: Significant NIH Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence support builds on molecular and cellular expertise to address the leading cause of death

2 faculty member sitting at desk in office with neuroscience-related images on the computer screens
Institute for Neuroscience to help a multidisciplinary center of excellence become even stronger

James Kenyon named director of University of Nevada, Reno institute designed to complement and extend the energy, experience and potential in the neurosciences

Paul Hartley and Yanji Xu in genomics lab
Building research infrastructure: Investment in Core Labs

New directors named to centers for bioinformatics and genomics

Dr. Yumei Feng sitting in her office with book shelves in the background
Yumei Feng named Research and Innovation Leadership Fellow

UNR Med faculty member and biomedical researcher looks forward to immersive research administration experience

Professor Tom Kozel talks with a colleague in a laboratory.
Global impact: new list of essential in vitro diagnostics includes work of UNR Med professor

Rapid-diagnostic test based on research and commercialized discovery by Thomas Kozel is named to World Health Organization’s Model List

Professor Jeff Harper with a student in his biochemistry lab
On the genetic frontier: Helping plants develop, survive and produce in extreme conditions

Jeff Harper, University’s 2018 Outstanding Researcher, contributes to advancements in plant biology through ‘extraordinary’ research

Photographer in wet suit takes photos under water in Lake Tahoe
InNEVenture Fund enters second year of ramping up ideas and technologies for commercialization

Early-stage proof-of-concept funding applications now open for Nevada Research and Innovation Corporation program

Professor of Pharmacology Dean Burkin with his team, shown working in their lab.
Researchers aim to repurpose former experimental cancer therapy to treat muscular dystrophy

UNR Med Professor of Pharmacology Dean Burkin is lead author on published findings conducted with NIH national center

Wei Yan is shown in his laboratory
Health and reproductive biology: a research record of paradigm-shifting discoveries

2017 Outstanding Researcher Award recognizes the career and contributions of University of Nevada, Reno Foundation Professor Wei Yan

Pharmacology Professor and researcher Dean Burkin in his lab
3 questions: Dean Burkin named 2017 Foundation Established Innovator

Research led by University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine pharmacology professor gives hope to children with rare muscular diseases

Walt Mandeville
‘Good science and good animal care go hand-in-hand’

New name and renewed ‘gold standard’ accreditation signal Animal Resources’ scope of service and level of commitment

A presenter stands before judges during a presentation.
1 slide and 3 minutes for 13 scholars

Three Minute Thesis competition gets at the heart of graduate-students’ research impact; finals set for April 23