On May 25, Berkeley Lab and Biosciences Area leadership officially welcomed the EcoPOD to its home at Potter Street in West Berkeley. The Lab’s Deputy Director for Research Horst Simon and Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences Mary Maxon opened the doors of the EcoPOD after Maxon cut the ceremonial ribbon.
Biosciences Biologist N. Louise Glass Elected into the National Academy of Sciences
N. Louise Glass, a senior faculty scientist in the Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology Division and professor in UC Berkeley’s Department of Plant & Microbial Biology, has been elected into the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) alongside 119 other distinguished new members and 30 international members.
EGSB Leadership Change
Mary Maxon has announced N. Louise Glass’s intention to step down as Director of the Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology Division as of May 23, 2020. Susannah Tringe, senior scientist and Joint Genome Institute (JGI) Deputy of User Programs, has agreed to serve as Interim EGSB Division Director while a world-wide search for Glass’s replacement is conducted.
JGI Enables Study on How Filamentous Fungi Sense Food
Filamentous fungi are like handymen who show up at a job site for a task that requires a flathead screwdriver with a full toolbox including Phillips and specialty screwdrivers, not to mention Allen wrenches. The fungi are similarly armed with a variety of PCWDEs to first break down the components of plant cell walls, which range from simple to complex carbohydrates, and then convert them into simple sugars. When faced with a veritable buffet of carbon sources, these fungi detect which complex chains are available; this information triggers pathways to determine which enzymes should be deployed in what order to most efficiently degrade the plant biomass.
Louise Glass Receives Metzenberg Award
Environmental Genomics & Systems Biology (EGSB) Division Director N. Louise Glass was presented with the Robert L. Metzenberg Award during the 30th Fungal Genetics Conference held March 12–17 in Pacific Grove, Calif. Established by the Neurospora research community in 2004, the award was named in honor of the late geneticist Robert Metzenberg’s (1930-2007) seminal contributions to the field. It is given every two to four years at the discretion of the Neurospora Policy Committee to a researcher at any stage of career development whose innovative achievements have significantly advanced the understanding of biology (of Neurospora and beyond). Metzenberg was Glass’s postdoctoral mentor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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