News & Announcements

Melissa Duhaime filters viruses from seawater on board the Tara.
Melissa Duhaime, assistant research scientist in ecology and evolutionary biology & CCMB faculty member, and colleagues collected and identified more than 5,000 ocean viruses, which scientists believe alter the chemistry of the world's oceans and may influence the planet's climate.

Gilbert S. Omenn named Distinguished University Professor
Nine faculty members have received one of the University of Michigan's top honors as Distinguished University Professors. The appointments were approved by the Board of Regents on Thursday. They are effective Sept. 1. Recently appointed DUPs are invited to give an inaugural lecture that highlights their work at the university. The lecture is typically delivered during the first or second full year of their appointments.

It was announced yesterday that the tranSMART Foundation was awarded two prizes by the judges at the BioIT World 2015 Conference taking place in Boston MA. The tranSMART Foundation was awarded a Best in Show Award for Informatics Tools & Data for its Open Source tranSMART Platform v1.2. Earlier in the day, the Michael J Fox Foundation was awarded a special Judges Prize Best Practice Award for its work, in cooperation with Thomson Reuters, in using the tranSMART Platform to load research data for its network of scientists.

"More than 400,000 people in northern Ohio and parts of Michigan were without water for a few days in August, when a large algae bloom in Lake Erie produced high levels of toxins. The toxins were created by cyanobacteria—an algae-like bacteria. Scientists are now trying to figure out what makes some algae blooms more toxic than others. Gregory Dick is a microbiologist and oceanographer with the University of Michigan. He leads the project. Dick says not all cyanobacteria produce toxins."

Marcus Sherman
"The research project that he presented at the recent Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) was one of 11 winners among 1,700 entries at the event held in San Antonio, Texas. The project explores data profiles of genes in nerve cells that have been exposed to excitotoxins, similar to what happens when a brain suffers a stroke."

The foundation honors researchers it deems "rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders." The fellows, who were nominated by their peers and chosen by a panel of senior scholars, each receives $50,000 to further their research.

"NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Researchers from the Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits (GIANT) consortium have linked some 140 spots in the human genome to body-mass index or waist and hip measurements. In a pair of papers appearing today in Nature, the international consortium described their meta-analyses that drew on hundreds of thousands of people to uncover genetic loci associated with BMI or with waist and hip measurements, both of which are indicators of obesity and risk of related diseases like type 2 diabetes. In both studies, the researchers homed in on loci involved in the adipogenesis pathway. The BMI study also found a role for the central nervous system and other pathways, while the waist and hip circumference study noted differences in the effect of certain loci based on gender. "Our work clearly shows that predisposition to obesity and increased BMI is not due to a single gene or genetic change," said Elizabeth Speliotes, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan Health System and co-senior author of the BMI paper, in a statement. "The large number of genes makes it less likely that one solution to beat obesity will work for everyone and opens the door to possible ways we could use genetic clues to help defeat obesity."" - GenomeWeb

Chih Chiang Tsou
Bioinformatics Ph.D. student Chih-Chiang Tsou from Alexey Nesvizhskii laboratory is the first author on a recently published manuscript in Nature Methods presenting a novel computational framework for data independent acquisition (DIA) proteomics. DIA mass spectrometry is a promising new technology for analyzing complex proteomics samples, highlighted as a "Method to Watch" by Nature Methods in their special “Method of the Year 2014” category. The novel computational framework and open-source computational tool DIA-Umpire developed by Chih-Chiang and co-authors allows highly efficient analysis of DIA proteomics data, addressing several key limitations of previously described data analysis strategies. DIA-Umpire should facilitate the adoption of DIA technology by the proteomic community and enable a wide range of biological applications.

49 faculty were inducted into The League of Research Excellence including 8 CCMB faculty members: Vivian Cheung, Thomas Gardner, John Moran, Gil Omenn, Maureen Sartor, Pat Schloss, and Cristen Willer, and John Younger. The League of Research Excellence was established in 2011 to recognize faculty who have made significant contributions to the Medical School's research enterprise. Membership in the League is testimony to the quality of the inductees’ research and scholarship, and is a reflection of the high regard we have for their service to the Medical School’s research mission.