University of California, Berkeley   |  College of Natural Resources 

A Newsletter for Faculty, Students, Staff and Friends of the Department

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Issue No. 10  

January, 2013
In This Issue ...
Zambryski Grant
Regents Lecture Features Biotech Pioneer
Jobs, Fellowships and More
Open Lunches, Happy Hours!
What's Happening in 2013

 Quick Links 




Videos at PMB

Our new Facebook Page 


Zambryski Lab Awarded $1.65 million
  Plant & Microbial Biology Professor Patricia Zambryski has
Optical sections through a bacterial cell
Optical sections through a bacterial cell where each T4SS is green
been awarded $1,650,766 from the National Science Foundation to study Assembly of the Agrobacterium Virulence Specific Type IV Secretion System in the Context of Bacterial Cell Growth and Peptidoglycan Synthesis.
The funds will allow the Zambryski lab to continue to study the remarkable soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Fundamental insights applicable to numerous areas of bacterial and plant biology have been uncovered by investigations into Agrobacterium. The funds are especially critical to support Dr. John Zupan, a research specialist in the Zambryski Lab, who has contributed substantially to this effort for over 20 years.


Biotech Pioneer to speak at Regents' LectureRegents' Lecture Downloadable Poster


  The field of medicine is changing rapidly, and Genomic Medicine is at the forefront of that change. The department of Plant & Microbial Biology, in conjunction with the College of Natural Resources, is pleased to feature Dr. Thomas White at the Regents Lecture in January. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Most researchers believe that genomics is the way of the future to deal with a myriad of medical and other issues, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Since much of the research done at UC Berkeley is basic scientific and medical research, the perspective of Dr. White is unique.

He will discuss genomic medicine and its practical applications in terms of economics, law and politics, as well as science.

Dr. White is a biotech pioneer with more than 30 years of experience in medical biotechnology, evenly divided among three Bay Area firms:

Cetus, the biotech firm where Dr. White supervised the development of the Polymeraase Chain Reaction (PCR); Roche Molecular Systems, which acquired the rights to PCR from Cetus and where molecular diagnostics for HIV and other infectious diseases were developed; and Celera, where the discovery research group used genomic medicine to identify genes associated with chronic, complex diseases.

Regents Lecture
Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013
6:30-7:30 pm
Stanley Hall #105

The lecture is free, and open to the public

to download directions, parking information and a downloadable poster.


Jobs, Internships, Fellowships and More ...

The American Society of Plant Biologists is offering a fellowship program in science journalism. The deadline to apply is January 15, 2013.  American Society of Plant Biologists logo


The 2013 ASPB/AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellows Program is an excellent opportunity for graduate students and postdocs who are considering a career in science journalism or who wish to learn how to more effectively communicate science to the public.


The 10-week summer program places graduate and post-graduate level students at media organizations worldwide.


On the jobs front, UC Riverside is hiring for an Assistant Professor 9-month, tenure-track position in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences and the Center for Plant Cell Biology.


Read more about these and other opportunities at




Department Open Lunch; PMB Happy Hours Start Spring Semester
Grab your lunch and join other members of the department from noon to 1 pm every other Tuesday in Koshland Hall 338.  Open Lunch Flyer

Here are the dates: 1/15, 2/12, 2/26, 3/12, 3/26, 4/9, 4/23, 5/7, 5/21, 6/4, 6/18, 7/2, 7/16, 7/30.

Click to download a flyer to post in your lab or office: Open Lunch Flyer (sponsored by Rocio Sanchez)
We are also bringing back PMB Department Happy Hours, sponsored by individual labs, once a month on Fridays, starting in February.
The Happy Hour can be in your lab, in Koshland 338 or at another location of your choice.
To sign up for a PMB Happy Hour please visit: PMB Labs Happy Hour Form
The Komeili Lab will sponsor the first Happy Hour on 2/22/2013.
The Glaunsinger Lab is hosting on 3/15/2013. 
Other available dates (make your request via the form) are 4/12, 5/17, 6/14, 7/19, 8/16, 9/13 and 10/18. (Sponsored by the PMB Events Committee).


Etcetera ... Important News and Tidbits of Information! 


Important dates for 2013: Grad Student Interview Weekend 1-24 through 1-27-13 (faculty interviews on 1-25-13); PMB Spring Party 5-3-13; PMB Retreat 9-13-13. 


PMB Faculty Meetings: 1/8 (Micro Division) 1/10 (Plant Division). All other meetings are for all faculty: 2/1, 3/22, 4/19 and 5/30.


Spring Semester Seminars: Plant & Microbial Biology Seminars (on campus) and Plant Gene Expression Center Seminars (in Albany) have been posted on our web site at Please check back often for information about our outstanding Seminar Series.


PGEC seminars start Jan. 10!


PMB seminars kick off Jan. 24 with the Regents Lecture, followed by our regular seminar series on Jan. 30. The Buchanan Lecture will be Feb. 6, 2013. The Arnon Lecture will be March 6.


Student and postdoc seminars for the semester (held on campus) will be announced soon.


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The PMB newsletter is produced by the Department of Plant & Microbial Biology, UC Berkeley.

Professor Robert Fischer, Department Chair

N. Louise Glass, Associate Chair

Dana Jantz, Chief Operating Officer 

Karyn Houston, Communications / Webmaster / Newsletter Editor