Fragile X is a genetic condition that affects one in 4,000 males and one in 6,000 females. It’s linked to variations in the gene that makes a protein called FMRP. Symptoms may include intellectual disability, anxiety, and attention deficit disorder, among others. Up to a third of people with fragile X also have autism. There is no cure.
In a study published this week in the journal Nature Communications, researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison showed that the absence of FMRP can unbalance critical molecular processes within adult brain cells and lead to the neural and cognitive changes seen in fragile X. Read the full story (written by CMB alumnus Rup Chakravorty) on UW News.

Congratulations to Adam Bayless, CMB Alumnus, whose paper was recently published at PNAS. Adam is currently working as a Post-Doc at Tufts University. He is working with the Mike Levin and Kelly McLauglin Labs which study how bioelectricity (changes in membrane potential) impact body pattern, development and tissue regeneration in planarians and Xenopus.

Congratulations to Sarah Neuman, the 2017 Exceptional Thesis Award Winner! Sarah carried out her thesis research with Dr. Arash Bashirullah in the School of Pharmacy. Her thesis is titled "Characterization of Hobbit, a novel and conserved regulator of intracellular trafficking during regulated exocytosis." The CMB Awards Committee recognized Sarah for "her bravery in exploring the functionality of several loci that were identified from genetic screens of important physiologies in Drosophila, and for her exceptional scientific perspective. Her intellectual fearlessness led to several interesting new discoveries."

CMB student and member of the Professional Development Committee Shane Bernard created a new tool to help current and prospective students understand their career opportunities after graduation. To create the tool, information was collected about alumni career development at 1, 4, and 7 years post graduation. The data was then used to map out alumni career paths. A summary of the findings can be found here. For more information on the alumni data tool, please contact the CMB Office.

The time is finally here! The new CMB Transcript newsletter is published on the CMB website. We've had a busy year, and we’re excited to share some of our highlights with you. A big thank you to all who have donated their time, money, and stories to the CMB Program. You can find the 2017 Transcript by heading over to the CMB website here.

CMB alumnus Dr. Don Gillian-Daniel recently co-founded a new workshop on inclusive teaching for faculty and staff at UW-Madison. The underlying premise of the workshop is to raise awareness among faculty and staff about issues faced by marginalized students. Based on training developed at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER), it aims to teach educators how to address these problems in the classroom and normalize the conversations on campus around the sensitive topics of race, racism, power and inclusion. Dr. Gillian-Daniel received his PhD from CMB in 1997 and currently is an Associate Director with the Delta Program. Full story by WCER

The prospect of regenerating bone lost to cancer or trauma is a step closer to the clinic as University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists, including CMB trainer Wan-Ju Li, have identified two proteins found in bone marrow as key regulators of the master cells responsible for making new bone.
To read more of the article, visit:

Recent CMB alumna Asuka Eguchi led the study to reprogram cells from one type to another in a more efficient and less biased manner than previous methods. The full article can be found on the UW-Madison Department of Biochemistry website as well as an original press release on the UW-Madison News site.

CMB students gathered again this November at the Heidel House in Green Lake, WI for the annual student retreat. Congratulations to the winner for Best Talk (Adam Bayless, Bent Lab) and Best Poster (Drew Doering, Hittinger Lab). Pictured here are the winners of the coveted Golden Pipette. In addition to the usual activities, this year three CMB alumni joined the retreat to talk about their career paths.

Assistant Professor of Biology Jason Kuehner (PhD 2008) recently traveled to Beijing, China to attend the International Beijing Science Festival. As a graduate student in the CMB Program, Kuehner researched the mechanism and regulation of eukaryotic gene expression under the direction of Dr. David Brow.
Source: Emmanuel College News
Read the full article here.

Congratulations to Shang Ma, who won the 2015 Exceptional Thesis Award. Shang’s work in the Huang Lab involved the use of mouse models to study brain development. He is now working as a post-doc with Dr. Ardem Patapoutian, an HHMI Investigator at the Scripps Research Institute, where he is studying mechanotransduction.
Read the full article here. 

Congratulations to Ahna Skop, who has been honored with the 2016 UW Distinguished Teaching Award. Dr. Skop received her PhD from the CMB Program in 2000 and is currently an associate professor of genetics and a CMB faculty trainer. Dr. Skop has been a leader in advocating for student diversity and inclusiveness at UW-Madison for more than a decade. 
Read the full article here.

Congratulations to Robert Ihry and Saheed Imam, who have both won the inaugural CMB Exceptional Thesis Award! This annual award honors CMB graduate students who have written and defended outstanding theses. As part of the award, Ihry and Imam will each receive $250 and a plaque, and their names will be added to a plaque that will be housed in Bock Laboratories.
Click here to read the full article.

CMB faculty trainer and alumni, Grace Boekhoff-Falk is featured for her work on fruit flies and how they detect the sense of smell.  The full article can be found on the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health website.

Chris Pfund is currently the Associate Director for the UW-Madison DELTA Program, which promotes the development of a future national faculty in the natural and social sciences, engineering, and mathematics. Chris continues to share her talents with the CMB Program through professional development workshops for faculty mentor training and first year grad students.