MMI News

Health Check: Computational Biology
New research at Brown University could unlock the secret to a long, healthier life -- or a way to prevent a serious pregnancy complication. The research is bringing together what's going on in the lab with computer technology. It's called computational biology.


NIH awards Brown $11.5M for computational biology research
Brown University will launch a Center for Biomedical Research Excellence in Computational Biology of Human Disease to expand its research using sophisticated computer analyses to understand and fight human diseases.




Be Our Guest
How can we provide a good home for our microbiomes, so they’ll keep us healthy?


Taking Control of Key Protein Stifles Cancer Spread in Mice
For cancer to spread, the cells that take off into the bloodstream must find a tissue that will permit them to thrive. They don’t just go looking, though. Instead, they actively prepare the tissue, in one case by co-opting a protein that suppresses defenses the body would otherwise mount. In a new study, scientists report that by wresting back control of that protein, they could restore multiple defenses in the lungs of mice, staving off cancer’s spread there.

Richard Bungiro received the 2106 Barrett Hazeltine Senior Citation for Excellence in Teaching
The Barrett Hazeltine Citation for Excellence in Teaching, Guidance and Support has been presented to faculty by the graduating senior class for more than four decades. Originally the Senior Citation, the award was renamed in 1985 to honor the engineering professor who had received it 13 times.  Dr. Bungiro has received this award five times.  He is the only MMI Faculty member to have received it and the most frequently selected BioMed Faculty member.

Andrew G. Campbell named new Graduate School Dean
Andrew G. Campbell, currently a professor of medical science in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at Brown University, has been named the next dean of the University’s Graduate School. Campbell will begin his new role on July 1, 2016.

Pathobiology Student Awards

Courtney Anderson
A 4th-year student, Courtney received an F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Award (NRSA) from the NIH. Research for her proposal "The non-classical CD8+ T cell response to murine cytomegalovirus" will be conducted in the Brossay lab.

Damien Cabral
Kudos to Damien for receiving the National Science Foundation (NSF) award for his research: "The Impact of Divergent NAD Biosynthetic Pathways on Gene Silencing and Lifestyle Regulation in Fungi." Damien is a 2nd-year graduate student in the Belenky lab, and is the first Pathobiology student to receive an NSF award.

Alcohol Lowers Your (Intestinal) Inhibitions

Alcohol causes microbiota dysbiosis and breaches intestinal integrity, resulting in liver inflammation and ultimately cirrhosis. In this issue of Cell Host & Microbe, Wang et al. (2016) demonstrate that ethanol suppresses the intestinal anti-microbial response. This enables gut bacteria to trespass to the liver and thus exacerbates the disease progression.

Cell Press Trends in Immunology: The Intestinal Mucus Layer Comes of Age

The mucus layer is critical in limiting contact between host and the complex bacterial consortia that colonize the intestine. A recent paper in Cell Host and Microbe provides comprehensive insight into the dynamics of mucus layer maturation upon bacterial colonization of germ-free (GF) mice that have implications for studies on host-microbe interaction involving
colonization of GF mice.