Latest News

Solving antibiotic and pesticide resistance with infectious worms

To study how parasites evolve to break the defenses of their hosts, the National Institutes of Health has granted UC Riverside nematologist Simon “Niels” Groen a $1.9 million Outstanding Investigator Award.

Vaccine breakthrough means no more chasing strains

IIGB faculty members Rong Hai and Shouwei Ding published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences about a novel vaccine strategy taking advantage of RNAi behaviors. The work has application in developing a single vaccination effective across multiple types of viruses.

A Virus May Help Save The World’s Amphibians From Extinction

The fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis also known as Bd has been the cause for the decline in frog and toad populations around the world. A group of researchers at UCR announced the discovery of a virus that can potentially infect, control, and even kill the Bd fungus. Currently, Mr. Yacoub, and Professor Stajich (Dept. of Microbiology...

Extracurricular: Chasing this year’s spectacular solar eclipse

Many eclipse chasers traveled to Mexico , the United States, and Canada to see the solar eclipse on Monday, April 8th. Morris Maduro along with his wife, Gina Maduro and his family were able to witness one of the few opportunities where there is an alignment with the Sun 93 million miles away and the...

Dog-killing Flatworm discovered in Southern California

Adler Dillman and research team headed to Blythe, California where there's presence of sick dogs swimming in rivers. They found two species of snails that carry namely H. americana . This infects mammals to survive then gets to the "veins of the intestinal lining". They warn that symptoms begin gradually with a loss of appetite...

Algae-gene-boosted crop plats grow better by using more light

Professor Robert Jinkerson and assistant professor Tingting Xiang led a team at UC Riverside to identify the gene that allows dinoflagelates , a type of marine algae to produce chlorophyll C along with A and B. This newly discovered ability allows genetically modifed plants to absorb more sunlight leading to increased growth.

Empowering Scientific Advancements

Ernst Leibacher's agricultural impact to UCR by funding Ernst and Helen Leibacher Endowed chair in Botany and Plant Sciences. Natasha Raikhel, founder and director of the Center for Plant Cell Biology used funds by the Leibachers to start initial work on bioinformatics proteomics, chemical genomics, and advanced microscopy research. Today, IIGB director Katayoon (Katie) Dehesh...

Marine algae implants could boost crop yields

UC Riverside assistant professor of bioengineering and lead study author Tingting Xiang, and researcher Jinkerson made a surprising discovery amidst a spark of interest towards an algae species that lives in coral. While conducting research for the algae species living conditions, another discovery was made. Thanks to the mutants used before, researchers discovered the gene...

ASPB Pioneer Member Dr. Katayoon Dehesh

ASPB Pioneer Member; Dr. Katayoon Dehesh shares her life story with us. "The emergence of molecular biology sparked my enthusiasm to delve into this novel discipline, particularly within Peter Quail's lab, which was renowned for it's groundbreaking research in biochemistry and molecular biology related to photomorphogenesis. Eager to expand my expertise, I embarked on a...

Sniffing our way to better health

A team led by Anandasankar Ray, a professor at UCR in the molecular, cell and systems biology department made a interesting finding through lab experiments opening up the possibility to some day in the near future be able to, "inhale scents that delay the onset of cancer, inflammation, or neurodegenerative disease. Diacetyl is a microbial...

Vaping can increase susceptibility to infection by SARS-CoV-2

Rattapol Phandthog is a postdoctoral researcher at UCR who recently took part in a research paper as the first author, studying the connection between vaping and the virus that spreads COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2. Rattapol and his advisor Prue Talbot came to the conclusion that, "users who vape aerosols produced from propylene glycol/vegetable glycerin or e-liquids with...

Grad Slam 2024

Surprise discovery of tiny insect-killing worm

Adler Dillman's lab has discovered a tiny worm species that infects and kills insects. These worms, called nematodes, could control crop pests in warm, humid places where other beneficial nematodes are currently unable to thrive.

Plants' defense against mold cells

Hailing Jin and research team observed how the plants send extracellular vesicles that are filled with RNA and the mRNA molecules that can attack mold cells. According to Jin, “These mRNAs can encode some proteins that end up in the mitochondria of the mold cells. Those are the powerhouses of any cells because they generate...

High-fat diet impact on risk of COVID-19

Frances Sladek and researchers study on found 'concerning' changes in gene expression in subjects that followed diets high in fat. Researchers said their study demonstrates high-fat diets not only affect the genes linked to obesity, colon cancer and irritable bowls, but also have an impact on genes related to the immune system, brain function and...

21st Annual CEPCEB Awards & Lecture Ceremony

On Friday December 8th, 2023, students, faculty and special guests celebrated the 21st anniversary of the Center for Plant Cell Biology Noel T. Keen Distinguished Awards and Lecture Ceremony. This event which brings UCR's botany, plant biology, microbiology, plant pathology and other departments together in celebration to award undergraduate students, Ethan Nguyen and Michell Santiago...

Findings challenge standard understanding of COVID-19 infection

Doctoral student Ann Song of the Talbot Research Group found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 can spill over from humans to mink, an agricultural species, and then spill back from mink to humans. Spill back is a concern because SARS-CoV-2 can mutate in the mink and come back to humans in a more...
By Iqbal Pittalwala |

Q&A with Katayoon Dehesh

IIGB Director and Ernst and Helen Leibacher Endowed Chair in Botany and Plant Sciences Katayoon Dehesh participated in an interview with the Association of American Universities spotlighting both her work as a researcher and her personal growth. To learn more about Dr. Dehesh's journey, read the full article here.
Image of medical personnel looking at a CT scan of a person's skull and brain

Scientists tame biological trigger of deadly Huntington’s disease

Yinsheng Wang and Weifeng Gu are featured in UCR News for their work on inhibiting RNA methylation in flies and worms, with potential applications to Huntington's disease treatments. The article is based on their new work published in Nature, "m 1A in CAG repeat RNA binds to TDP-43 and induces neurodegeneration"
Illustration shows D. sechellia, a fly endemic to the Seychelles, on the noni fruit. (Taylor N. Black)

How did a fly species gain sole access to a fruit in the Seychelles?

Anupama Dahanukar describes her lab's work on understanding how Drosophila sechellia came to be the only fly species attracted to a fruit growing on the islands. The article is based on work published in Cell Reports under the title of " Evolution of fatty acid taste in drosophilids"
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