Saket Bagde and Chris Fromme in lab

Saket Bagde research unlocks the gateway for new medicines

Saket Bagde and Chris Fromme in labSaket Bagde (Class of 2018) has published a first-author paper that has important implications for drug development.  “Modular Polyketide Synthase Contains Two Reaction Chambers that Operate Asynchronously,” was published in the November 5 issue of Science.  His research was also featured in the Cornell Chronicle.

Saket is a member of Chris Fromme’s lab.

Mariela Nunez Santos in the lab

Mariela Nunez Santos awarded Provost Diversity Summer Fellowship

Mariela Nunez Santos in the labMariela (Class of 2016) was awarded a Provost Diversity Fellowship for Summer 2022.  She will also be recognized as a Graduate School Dean’s Scholar.

Mariela conducts her research as a member of Fenghua Hu’s lab and is active in numerous diversity and inclusion efforts in the Department.

Irma Fernandez

Irma Fernandez receives 2021 Advanced Career Exemplary Service award

Irma FernandezIrma Fernandez (Class of 2016) was awarded an Advanced Career Exemplary Service award for her many contributions to creating a more diverse, inclusive and accessible environment, not only within the Field of BMCB and the Department of MBG, but in graduate education across the Cornell campus. Read about Irma’s award and her many achievements here.

Julius Judd

Julius Judd receives 2021 Mann Award

Julius Judd
Julius Judd (Class of 2017) was awarded the 2021 Harry and Samuel Mann Outstanding Graduate Student Award. Julius is co-mentored by John Lis and Cedric Feschotte, who nominated him for this award. Julius was featured in an article in the Cornell Chronicle and in the Graduate School Student Spotlights.

Ravi Patel

Ravi Patel receives Wellnitz Award for paper in Nucleic Acids Research

Ravi PatelRavi Patel, a graduate student in the Grimson lab (and recent graduate) received the Wellnitz Award for their paper in Nucleic Acids Research. They have developed an experimental approach, Combined Analysis of RNA-seq and PRO-seq (CARP), to disentangle microRNA-mediated gene regulatory networks. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate key biological processes by modulating the expression of direct targets: messenger RNAs that are physically bound by miRNAs. In addition to these direct targets, miRNAs also elicit a downstream cascade of changes triggered by the altered levels of the direct targets: indirect targets. These direct and indirect targets together form complex gene regulatory networks, which are extremely difficult to decipher using existing techniques. CARP enabled the authors to identify the true direct targets of microRNAs, and their indirect targets. Thus, Patel et al are able to reveal the regulatory networks controlled by miRNAs with significantly improved precision. Read more about their work here.
CARP graphical abstract figure

BMCB Graduate Students Awarded Calvo Teaching Award

2021 Calvo Teachign Awardees

BMCB graduate students received the 2021 Calvo Teaching awards.

Sarah Allen received the award for TA-ing BIOMG 6870: Tricks of the Trade: How to Use Genetics to Dissect Cells, Molecules & Developmental Pathways.  “I am very grateful to the professors with whom I worked, Dr. Wolfner and Dr. Goldberg, as well as the students who made teaching such a wonderful experience!

Sophia Hulbert received this award for TA-ing BIOMG 3310: Principles of Biochemistry: Proteins & Metabolism which is taught by Linda Nicholson.

The Calvo Teaching Awards are named for Rita and Joseph Calvo, who were instructors in MBG.

Jordana Bloom

Jordana Bloom Awarded the LPS First Author Outstanding Paper of the Year Award

Jordana BloomJordana Bloom’s first author research paper as a graduate student in Dr. John Schimenti’s lab entitled “Sexually Dimorphic DNA Damage Responses and Mutation Avoidance in the Mouse Germline” was recognized as this year’s 2020 LPS First Author Outstanding Paper of the Year by a graduate student in the field of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology (BMCB). Jordana would like to “thank Frank Meleca who sponsored the award, John for being an excellent thesis advisor, and all my family, friends, and mentors who supported me along the way!”

Ethan Sanford in lab

Ethan Sanford received CVG Distinguished Scholar Award

Ethan Sanford in labEthan Sanford, a 5th-year Ph.D. student in Marcus Smolka’s laboratory, received a Distinguished Scholar Award from the Cornell Center from Vertebrate Genomics (CVG) for his proposal, “Phosphoproteomics of Recombinational DNA Repair in Yeast and Mammalian Cells.” This competitive award includes a research budget that will aid Ethan’s thesis research on genome stability and DNA damage signaling pathways in yeast and mammalian cells.

MBG Graduate Students Receive Outstanding TA Awards


Our students move science forward not only through their own research in their labs but also by helping increase knowledge about science and scientific research in Cornell classrooms!

Sara Downs (BMCB Class of 2018) received an Outstanding Teaching Award for her work in BIOMG1350: Cell & Developmental Biology.

Dashiell Massey (GGD Class of 2016) received a CALS Outstanding Teaching Assistant award for his role in BIOMG 2801: Laboratory in Genetics & Genomics.

Aakarsha Pandey (BMCB Class of 2017) was selected as an Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Office of Undergraduate Biology – BIOG 1445: Introduction to Comparative Anatomy and Physiology.

Derek Wei (BMCB Class of 2019) was awarded a CALS Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for his support in BIOMG 3340: Computer Graphics & Molecular Biology.

Congratulations to you all!

Life Sciences Diversity Recruitment Weekend: June 11-12

Graduate students from Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology (BMCB), Genetics, Genomics and Development (GGD), Biophysics, and the department of Microbiology and Biomedical and Biological Sciences (BBS) are organizing Life Sciences Diversity Recruitment Weekend – a virtual information session geared towards helping historically underrepresented minority students navigate the graduate school application process. This event will take place virtually June 11-12.

If interested, please fill out a short application before May 15. For more information about the weekend and application process, go to the event website or follow them on FacebookInstagram, and/or Twitter!