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. 37
June 15, 2015
Research. Academics. Discoveries.
In This Issue ...

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Britt Glaunsinger Named HHMI Investigator


Britt Glaunsinger

Britt Glaunsinger has been appointed a 2015 Howard Hughes Medical Investigator, one of 26 biomedical researchers from across the nation selected from a pool of more than 800 applicants.


Glaunsinger, an associate professor in the Department of Plant & Microbial Biology at UC Berkeley, is being recognized as an investigator who is "at the forefront of discovery research" for her work on viruses.


"Funding from HHMI is wonderful, in part, because it allows us the flexibility to pursue new ideas, both in the context of our ongoing research program and in our ability to expand into uncharted areas," Glaunsinger said. "The fact that the fund allocation is at the discretion of the researcher, rather than restricted to specific pre-approved projects, means that we can rapidly follow up on exciting new directions."  



Ian Sussex, Influential Plant Development Biologist, 88

Ian Sussex, a professor emeritus of Plant Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, considered one of the most influential plant developmental biologists of the 20th century, died Monday, May 10th, 2015, in New Haven, CT. He was 88.

Link to full story: 


PhD Student Wins Graduate Fellowship Video Contest 


An imaginative video earned Joyce Chery, a graduate student in the Chelsea Specht Lab at Plant & Microbial Biology, a $1,000 prize and recognition from UC Berkeley's graduate division.


Chery is a first year graduate student in Integrative Biology. She made the video as part of her Chancellor's Fellowship in a contest about why the Fellows chose to come to Cal.


Link to full article:


Wageningen-Berkeley Student Workshop
John Coates with Detmer Sipkema from Wageningen University

An enthusiastic group of UC Berkeley faculty, students and laboratory staff hosted a visiting delegation from the Wageningen University in the Netherlands on Thursday, May 14, 2015, at a day-long conference.


The delegation learned about a variety of research being done on both campuses, and listened to 16 presentations. 


The conference was sponsored and coordinated by the Coates Lab, led by John D. Coates, PMB Professor of Microbiology. 


Full Article:



Shibo Zhang Major Citation Award 


Martin Alexander receiving his award
from N. Louise Gla

Shibo Zhang, a postdoctoral fellow in Plant and Microbial Biology, was lost to the plant community in a tragic accident in December 2007. An endowment in his honor was created to recognize excellence in undergraduate education in the department, something very important to Dr. Zhang. Award winners receive a $500 gift. The Zhang Award and $500 for 2015 for the two Major Citation Winners is being given to:


Genetics and Plant Biology Major: Martin Alexander
Microbial Biology Major: Vadim Osadchiy


The award was presented at the PMB Seminar on Wednesday, May 6, in 101 Barker Hall at noon.


Important Dates  |  Upcoming Events  
Event Calendar Image


Summer 2015

8/14/15 - End of Summer Sessions

8/20/15 - Graduate Student Orientation

8/26/15 - First Day of Instruction

9/7/15 - Labor Day

9/25/15 - PMB Retreat at Clark Kerr - NOTE NEW DATE!

11/5/15 - Micro Retreat at Tilden Park

11/11/15 - Veteran's Day

11/26-27/15 - Thanksgiving Holiday

12/11/15 - Holiday Party

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

Professor N. Louise Glass, Department Chair

Professor Kris Niyogi, Associate Chair


Dana Jantz, Chief Operating Officer 

Karyn Houston, Communications / Webmaster / Newsletter Editor 

Rocio Sanchez, Graduate Program

Jennifer Halpert and Ricky Vides, Undergraduate Majors Advisors