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Department at Work

Jul 31, 2015

Professor Tony Capra and student Corinne Simonti's work featured in Nature News article

Professor Tony Capra and student Corinne Simonti's work on the effects of Neanderthal haplotypes in modern humans has been featured in a Nature News article titled, “Neanderthals had outsize effect on human biology" by Ewen Callaway.

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Jul 28, 2015

Study reveals how protein helps cells tolerate DNA damage

Professor Brandt Eichman and graduate student Diana Chavez have discovered how the protein HLTF (helicase-like transcription factor) recognizes and remodels stalled replication “forks.” Their findings, reported in the June 18 issue of Molecular Cell, shed light on processes that help cells tolerate DNA and have implications for cancer therapies that target DNA replication and repair.

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Jul 2, 2015

Hillyer receives parasitology medal

Julián Hillyer, associate professor of biological sciences at Vanderbilt University, is this year’s recipient of the H.B. Ward Medal given by the American Society of Parasitologists.

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Jun 8, 2015

Vanderbilt receives Gates Foundation grant to develop wristband mosquito repellent device

Vanderbilt University announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Laurence J. Zwiebel, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Molecular Biology and professor of biological sciences and pharmacology, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled “New Approaches for Addressing Outdoor/Residual Malaria Transmission.”

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May 12, 2015

Locating the brain’s SAD center

Four to six percent of the American public suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that occurs during the same season each year.

Biologists have known that variations in the amount of sunlight a person receives and her or his circadian clock play a role in the disorder. They have also proposed that the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin may be involved. However, they have not yet identified the underlying neurobiological mechanisms responsible.

Now, a team of Vanderbilt biologists has taken a major step toward this goal. In the May 7 issue of the journal Current Biology, they report that they have localized the seasonal light cycle effects that drive SAD to a small region in the mid-brain called the dorsal raphe nucleus in an experiment with mice, a common animal model for studying depression in humans.

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Mar 25, 2015

"People Behind The Science” chats with Seth Bordenstein

People Behind the Science Podcast interviews Prof. Seth Bordenstein.


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Feb 2, 2015

Research News from McMahon Lab

New 'reset' button discovered for circadian clock


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Feb 2, 2015

Blair senior finds connections between music and science

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Jan 29, 2015

Professor Bordenstein and Peek on the Microbiome and Cancer

Professor Bordenstein and Peek on the Microbiome and Cancer Mining the microbiome:  How the microbes that share our bodies could prevent cancer.


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Oct 30, 2014

Bordenstein Lab work on Antibiotics, Gene Transfer, and The Tree of Life is featured at National Geographic
Every living thing on the planet has to contend with bacteria. To many viruses, they are prey. To other bacteria, they are competitors. To animals and plants, they can be the cause of devastating diseases or beneficial partners that provide everything from nutrition to immunity to light. They have been around for some 3 billion years, and they are everywhere. So, it makes sense that a gene which allows its owners to deal with bacteria might find a home throughout the entire tree of life. » Read More



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