Special Seminar

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 10:00AM

Karen Adelman, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator,
Transcriptional Responses to the Environment Group,
Epigenetics & Stem Cell Laboratory

Talk Title: “Probing the effects of Pol II pausing onchromatin structure and RNA processing”



Chair's Message

In House Seminars

Molecular Medicine History

2005 - 2008 - 2012

Michael Green Election to the National Academy of Sciences 2014

Nobel Prize Reception

Davis Royal Society Reception

Ambros Lasker Reception

Ambros Silverman Lecture



Michael Green elected to National Academy of Medicine

The National Academy of Medicine has announced the election of Michael R. Green, MD, PhD, for his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Dr. Green was elected to the National Academy of Sciences earlier this year and is the first UMMS faculty member to be named to the National Academy of Science and the National Academy of Medicine.  (Article)

UMMS scientists identify genes that shut down HIV-1; research published in Nature

Discoveries in Luban, Gottlinger labs point to new strategies for disabling viruses



Zhao Zhang receives the 2015 Larry Sandler Memorial Award

The Larry Sandler Memorial Award was established in recognition of Dr. Larry Sandler's many contributions to Drosophila genetics and his dedication to the training of Drosophila biologists. The recipient of the Larry Sandler Award for the most outstanding Ph.D. dissertation submitted this year is Zhao Zhang who performed his thesis work in the laboratories of Bill Theurkauf and Phil Zamore.  Zhao, currently a Carnegie Fellow, will have the honor of presenting his thesis work in the Larry Sandler Memorial Lecture on March 7, 2015, the opening night of the 56th Annual Drosophila Research Conference in Chicago. 


Jeremy Luban and Manuel Garber receive $6.1 Million over 3 years to
establish one of five Genomics of Gene Regulation Programs



Victor Ambros awarded 2015 $3M Breakthrough Prize for co-discovery of microRNAs

Victor Ambros

Victor R. Ambros, PhD, professor of molecular medicine, has been awarded a $3 million 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for his co-discovery of a new world of genetic regulation by microRNAs. (Article)


Joel Richter receives $9.3 million over 5 years to establish one of three national Centers for Collaborative Research in Fragile X (NIH Article)



Victor Ambros named co-recipient of 2014 Gruber Genetics Prize

Full Article


Heinrich Gottlinger, M.D. recipient of 2014 Avant-Garde Award

Full Article


Michael Green elected to National Academy of Sciences

Full Article


Jeremy Luban elected fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology

Full Article

Victor Ambros named recipient of Israel's 2014 Wolf Prize.

Full Article

Thomas Fazzio named one of the nations top scientists...

Full Article

Foreign Policy names Luzuriaga a ‘Leading Global Thinker of 2013’ for HIV research

Full Article

Dekker, Sullivan named fellows of prestigious scientific society
American Association for the Advancement of Science fellows announced

UMass Medical School scientists Job Dekker, PhD, and John L. Sullivan, MD, have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. (Full Article)

Roger Davis wins 2013 Steven C. Beering Award

 The Indiana University School of Medicine Steven C. Beering Award honors an internationally recognized individual for outstanding research contributions to the advancement of biomedical or clinical science. The Beering Award was established in 1983, honoring the important contributions Dr. Beering made to the Indiana University School of Medicine as its dean from 1974 to 1983. Dr. Beering was the youngest Dean appointed to the School of Medicine. He left the School to become the president of Purdue University, serving until his retirement on August 14th, 2000. The creation of the award was announced on June 24th, 1983 and the award is presented annually and consists of a medal and a prize of $25,000. Five of the past Beering Award recipients have become Nobel laureates, either before or after receipt of this award.

2013 Awardee: Roger J. Davis, PhD
The 2013 Steven C. Beering Award was presented to Roger J. Davis, PhD, Professor of Molecular Medicine and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at University of Massachusetts Medical School on October 30, 2013.
To view the recorded Beering lectures, please visit here

Victor Ambros wins Keio Medical Science Prize

 The 18th Keio Medical Science Prize has been awarded to Victor R. Ambros, PhD, the Silverman Chair in Natural Science and professor of molecular medicine; and Shigekazu Nagata, PhD, professor of medical chemistry in the Graduate School of Medicine at Kyoto University.
Keio University annually awards the Keio Medical Science Prize “to recognize researchers who have made an outstanding contribution to the field of medicine or life sciences.”
It is the only prize of its kind awarded by a Japanese university, and six previous winners have gone on to win the Nobel Prize.
Keio Medical Science Prize Laureates will receive a certificate of merit, a medal and a monetary award at a ceremony and lecture in Tokyo on Nov. 27. - (Full article)

Katherine Luzuriaga named one of TIME magazine’s TIME 100

TIME’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world - link to article

Eduardo Torres Named 2013 Searle Scholar

April 3, 2013: Chicago, Illinois - Fifteen researchers in the chemical and biological sciences have been named as the 2013 Searle Scholars. Each will be awarded $300,000 to support his or her work during the next three years. (Full Article)
(Video Interview)

Researchers describe first 'functional HIV cure' in an infant

A team of researchers from UMMS, Johns Hopkins and the University of Mississippi have reported the first case of a so-called “functional cure” in an HIV-infected infant, which may help pave the way for eliminating HIV infection in children. (Full Article)

Bitter taste receptors in airway cells could help treat asthma attacks

UMMS research answers why substances that give some foods their bitter flavor also act to reverse the contraction of airway cells. (Full Article)

Two Molecular Medicine Scientists honored by National Academy of Inventors

January, 9 2013
Roger Davis and Craig Mello were recently named as 2012 Charter Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). The NAI recognized 101 top scientists, innovators, and leaders from the academic world for their exceptional achievements "in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society."

The newly elected class of Fellows is made up of inventors and innovators from 56 prestigious research universities and non-profit research institutes across the U.S. and around the world. All are named inventors on patents issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Collectively, they hold an impressive number of U.S. patents—over 3,200. Dr Robert Brown and Dr John Ware from UMMS were also named as Charter Fellows.

Included among the Fellows are eight Nobel Laureates, 14 presidents of research universities and non-profit research institutes, 53 members of the National Academies (National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine), 11 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, two Fellows of the Royal Society, five recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, four recipients of the National Medal of Science, and 31 AAAS Fellows, among other major awards and distinctions.

Roger Davis elected a Fellow of AAAS

In October, the American Association for the Advancement of Science Council elected Roger Davis, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, H. Arthur Smith Chair in Cancer Research and professor of molecular medicine and biochemistry & molecular pharmacology to the section on biological sciences. Fellows are nominated and selected by their peers for their meritorious efforts to advance science and its applications. The 701 fellows elected in 2012 will be recognized at the AAAS annual meeting in Boston in February.


Recent Molecular Medicine Publications


Chromatin Dynamics and the RNA Exosome Function in Concert to Regulate Transcriptional Homeostasis.

Rege M, Subramanian V, Zhu C, Hsieh TS, Weiner A, Friedman N, Clauder-Münster S, Steinmetz LM, Rando OJ, Boyer LA, Peterson CL.  Cell Rep. 2015 Nov 11. pii: S2211-1247(15)01200-0. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.10.030. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 26586442 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]  (Paper)

Adipocytes arise from multiple lineages that are heterogeneously and dynamically distributed.

Sanchez-Gurmaches J, Guertin DA.  Nat Commun. 2014 Jun 19;5:4099. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5099.  PMID: 24942009 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] (Paper)

PH Domain with Dual Phospholipid Binding Sites Regulates the ARF GAP, ASAP1.

Kahn RA, Lambright DG.  Structure.  2015 Nov 3;23(11):1971-3. doi: 10.1016/j.str.2015.10.002 PMID: 26536378 [PubMed - in process]. (Paper)

TRIM5 retroviral restriction activity correlates with the ability to induce innate immune signaling.

Lascano J, Uchil P, Mothes W, Luban J.   J Virol. 2015 Oct 14. pii: JVI.02496-15. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 26468522.  (Paper)

HIV-1 Nef promotes infection by excluding SERINC5 from virion incorporation.

Rosa A, Chande A, Ziglio S, De Sanctis V, Bertorelli R, Goh SL, McCauley SM, Nowosielska A, Antonarakis SE, Luban J, Santoni FA, Pizzato M. Nature. 2015 Sep 30. doi: 10.1038/nature15399. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 26416734.  (Paper)

Human adipose tissue expansion in pregnancy is impaired in gestational diabetes mellitus.

Rojas-Rodriguez R, Lifshitz LM, Bellve KD, Min SY, Pires J, Leung K, Boeras C, Sert A, Draper JT, Corvera S, Moore Simas TA. Diabetologia. 2015 Sep;58(9):2106-14. doi: 10.1007/s00125-015-3662-0. Epub 2015 Jun 13. PMID: 2606736.  (Paper)

Caenorhabditis elegans ALG-1 antimorphic mutations uncover functions for Argonaute in microRNA guide strand selection and passenger strand disposal.

Zinovyeva AY, Veksler-Lublinsky I, Vashisht AA, Wohlschlegel JA, Ambros VR.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Sep 8. pii: 201506576. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID:26351692. (Paper)

s-Adenosylmethionine Levels Govern Innate Immunity through Distinct Methylation-Dependent Pathways.

Ding W, Smulan LJ, Hou NS, Taubert S, Watts JL, Walker AK.  Cell Metab. 2015 Aug 26. pii: S1550-4131(15)00342-3. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2015.07.013. [Epub ahead of print].  PMID:  26321661. (Paper)

Robust Distal Tip Cell Pathfinding in the Face of Temperature Stress Is Ensured by Two Conserved microRNAS in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Burke SL, Hammell M, Ambros V.   Genetics. 2015 Aug;200(4):1201-18. doi: 10.1534/genetics.115.179184. Epub 2015 Jun 15. PMID:26078280 [PubMed - in process].  (Paper)

Lv4 Is a Capsid-Specific Antiviral Activity in Human Blood Cells That Restricts Viruses of the SIVMAC/SIVSM/HIV-2 Lineage Prior to Integration

Pizzato  M,  McCauley SM,  Neagu MR,  Pertel T, Firrito C, Ziglio S, Dauphin A, Zufferey M, Berthoux L, Luban J.      PLoS Pathog.  2015 Jul 16;11(7):e1005050.  doi 10.1371/journal.ppat.1005050.  eCollection 2015.  PMID: 26181333.  PMCID:  PMC4504712.  (Paper)

POS-1 Promotes Endo-mesoderm Development by Inhibiting the Cytoplasmic Polyadenylation of neg-1 mRNA. 

Elewa A, Shirayama M, Kaymak E, Harrison PF, Powell DR, Du Z, Chute CD, Woolf H, Yi D, Ishidate T, Srinivasan J, Bao Z, Beilharz TH, Ryder SP, Mello CC.  Dev Cell. 2015 Jun 17. pii: S1534-5807(15)00360-3. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2015.05.024.  [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 26096734 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher].   (Paper)

Infection of ectocervical tissue and universal targeting of T-cells medicated by primary non-macrophage-tropic and highly macrophage-tropic HIV-1 R5 envelopes.

Peters PJ, Gonazlez-Perez MP, Musich T, Moore Simas TA, Lin R, Morse AN, Shattock RJ, Derdeyn CA, Clapham PR.   Retrovirology.  2015 Jun 9;12(1):48.  PMID: 26055104.  PMCID: PMC4459458.  (Paper)

Poised Regeneration of Zebrafish Melanocytes Involves Direct Differentiation and Concurrent Replenishment of Tissue-Resident Progenitor Cells.

Lyengar S, Kasheta M, Ceol CJ.  Developmental Cell 33, 1-13, June 22, 2015 (Paper)

Global genetic analysis in mice unveils central role for cilia in congenital heart disease.

Li Y, Klena NT, Gabriel GC, Liu X, Kim AJ, Lemke K, Chen Y, Chatterjee B, Devine W, Damerla RR, Chang C, Yagi H, San Agustin JT, Thahir M, Anderton S, Lawhead C, Vescovi A, Pratt H, Morgan J, Haynes L, Smith CL, Eppig JT, Reinholdt L, Francis R, Leatherbury L, Ganapathiraju MK, Tobita K, Pazour GJ, Lo CW.  Nature. 2015 May 28;521(7553):520-4. doi: 10.1038/nature14269. Epub 2015 Mar 25. PMID: 25807483(Paper)

Intraflagellar transport 27 is essential for hedgehog signaling but dispensable for ciliogenesis during hair follicle morphogenesis.

Yang N, Li L, Eguether T, Sundberg JP, Pazour GJ, Chen J. Development. 2015 May 28. pii: dev.115261. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 26023097 (Paper)

Structural analyses of the chromatin remodelling enzymes INO80-C and SWR-C.

Watanabe S, Tan D, Lakshminarasimhan M, Washburn MP, Erica Hong EJ, Walz T, Peterson CL.  Nat Commun. 2015 May 12;6:7108.doi: 10.1038.   PMID: 25964121. PMCID: PMC4431590 (Paper)

Biodistribution and function of extracellular miRNA-155 in mice.

Bala S, Csak T, Momen-Heravi F, Lippai D, Kodys K, Catalano D, Satishchandran A, Ambros V, Szabo G. Sci Rep. 2015 May 29;5:10721. doi: 10.1038/srep10721. PMID:26024046. PMCID:PMC4448655.  (Paper)

Caenorhabditis elegans microRNAs of the let-7 family act in innate immune response circuits and confer robust developmental timing against pathogen stress.

Ren Z, Ambros VR.   Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 May 5;112(18):E2366-75. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1422858112. Epub 2015 Apr 20. PMID: 25897023. PMCID: PMC4426397 (Paper)

JNK-interacting protein 1 mediates Alzheimer's-like pathological features in AICD-transgenic mice.

Margevicius DR, Bastian C, Fan Q, Davis RJ, Pimplikar SW. Neurobiol Aging. 2015 Apr 30. pii: S0197-4580(15)00235-3. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2015.04.013. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 26022769 (Paper)

The lipid droplet protein Hypoxia-inducible gene 2 promotes hepatic triglyceride deposition by inhibiting lipolysis. 

DiStefano MT, Danai LV, Roth Flach RJ, Chawla A, Pedersen DJ, Guilherme A, Czech MP.  J Biol Chem. 2015 Apr 28. pii: jbc.M115.650184. [Epub ahead of print].  PMID: 25922078.  (Paper)

Inducible deletion of protein kinase Map4k4 in obese mice improves insulin sensitivity in liver and adipose tissues. 

Danai LV, Roth Flach RJ, Virbasius JV, Garcia Menendez L, Jung DY, Kim JH, Kim JK, Czech MP. Mol Cell Biol. 2015 Apr 27. pii: MCB.00150-15. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 25918248.  [PubMed - as supplied by publisher].  (Paper)

Structural basis for PI(4)P-specific membrane recruitment of the Legionella pneumophila effector DrrA/SidM.

Del Campo CM, Mishra AK, Wang YH, Roy CR, Janmey PA, Lambright DG.  Structure. 2014 Mar 4;22(3):397-408. doi: 10.1016/j.str.2013.12.018. Epub 2014 Feb 13. PMID: 24530282.  PMCID:  PMC3974903 (Paper)

Control of stem cell self-renewal and differentiation by the heterochronic genes and the cellular asymmetry machinery in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Harandi OF, Ambros VR.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2015 Jan 20;112(3):E287-96. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1422852112.  Epub 2015 Jan 5.  PMID: 25561544.  (Paper)

Direct interactions promote eviction of the Sir3 heterochromatin protein by the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling enzyme.

Manning BJ, Peterson CL.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2014 Dec 16;111(50):17827-33. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1420096111. Epub 2014 Dec 1. PMID: 25453095. (Paper)

Suppression of pervasive noncoding transcription in embryonic stem cells by esBAF. 

Hainer SJ, GU W, Carone BR, Landry BD, Rando OJ, Mello CC, Fazzio TG.  Genes Dev. 2015 Feb 15;29(4):362-78. doi: 10.1101/gad.253534.114  PMID: 25691467.  (Paper)

Hepatic acetyl CoA links adipose tissue inflammation to hepatic insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes

Perry RJ, Camporez JP, Kursawe R, Titchenell PM, Zhang D, Perry CJ, Jurczak MJ, Abudukadier A, Han MS, Zhang XM, Ruan HB, Yang X, Caprio S, Kaech SM, Sul HS, Birnbaum MJ, Davis RJ, Cline GW, Petersen KF, Shulman GI.  Cell. 2015 Feb 12;160(4):745-58. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.01.012. Epub 2015 Feb 5.  PMID: 25662011.  (Paper)

Functional annotation of native enhancers with a Cas9-histone demethylase fusion.

Kearns NA, Pham H, Tabak B, Genga RM, Silverstein NJ, Garber M, Maehr R.  Nat Methods. 2015 Mar 16. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.3325. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 25775043 (Paper)

Ciliary proteins Bbs8 and Ift20 promote planar cell polarity in the cochlea.

May-Simera HL, Petralia RS, Montcouquiol M, Wang YX, Szarama KB, Liu Y, Lin W, Deans MR, Pazour GJ, Kelley MW. Development 2015 Feb Feb 1;142(3):555-66. doi: 10.1242/dev.113696.  PMID: 25605782 (Paper)

An efficient and sensitive method for preparing cDNA libraries from scarce biological samples.

Sterling CH, Veksler-Lublinsky I, Ambros V. Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Jan;43(1):e1. doi: 10.1093/nar/gku637. Epub 2014 Jul 23.  PMID: 25056322 (Paper)

Chemical biology. A small-molecule inhibitor of the aberrant transcription factor CBFβ-SMMHC delays leukemia in mice.

Illendula A, Pulikkan JA, Zong H, Grembecka J, Xue L, Sen S, Zhou Y, Boulton A, Kuntimaddi A, Gao Y, Rajewski RA, Guzman ML, Castilla LH, Bushweller JH. 
Science. 2015 Feb 13;347(6223):779-84. doi: 10.1126/science.aaa0314.
PMID: 25678665 (Paper)

The genome and transcriptome of the zoonotic hookworm Ancylostoma ceylanicum identify infection-specific gene families.

Schwarz EM, Hu Y, Antoshechkin I,  Miller MM, Sternberg PW, Aroian RV.
Nat Gent. 2015 Mar 2. doi: 10.1038/ng.3237
PMID: 25730766  (Paper)

The PPARα-FGF21 hormone axis contributes to metabolic regulation by the hepatic JNK signaling pathway.

Vernia S, Cavanagh-Kyros J, Garcia-Haro L, Sabio G, Barrett T, Jung DY, Kim JK, Xu J, Shulha HP, Garber M, Gao G, Davis RJ. Cell Metab. 2014 Sep 2;20(3):512-25. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2014.06.010. Epub 2014 Jul 17.
PMID: 25043817 (Paper)

The Ino80 complex prevents invasion of euchromatin into silent chromatin.

Xue Y, Van C, Pradhan SK, Su T, Gehrke J, Kuryan BG, Kitada T, Vashisht A, Tran N, Wohlschlegel J, Peterson CL, Kurdistani SK, Carey MF.
Genes Dev. 2015 Feb 15;29(4):350-5. doi: 10.1101/gad.256255.114.
PMID: 25691465 (Paper)



Molecular Medicine Awards

Gregory Pazour

Gregory Pazour, PhD, receives Lillian Jean Kaplan International Prize

Victor Ambros, Ph.D.

Victor Ambros awarded 2015 Breakthrough Prize, Also, 2008 Lasker Prize,  Keio Medical Science Award and the Wolf Prize.

Craig Mello, Ph.D.

Craig Mello receives 2006 Nobel Prize 

Roger Davis, PhD.

Roger Davis elected to Royal Society of London and EMBO

Michael Green, M.D., Ph.D.

Michael Green elected to National Academy of Sciences and EMBO

Jenn Benanti

 Jennifer Benanti receives 2011 Smith Family Award Program for Excellence in Biomedical Research

Eduardo Torres Eduardo Tores receives 2012 Smith Family Award Program for Excellence in Biomedical Research
Dave Guertin, Ph.D.

David Guertin receives 2010 PEW award

Picture of Katherine Luzuriaga  Katherine Luzuriaga named one of Time's most influential people
Picture of Silvia Corvera Silvia Corvera receives Endowed Chair in Diabetes Research
Thomas Fazzio, Ph.D.

Thomas Fazzio receives 2011 PEW award and the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers

Jeremy Luban, M.D. Jeremy Luban receives Avant-Garde award



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