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SMB News

  • Dr. John Alderete’s Research on Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Infections (STIs) Recognized

    Congratulations to Dr. Alderete who earlier this year was invited by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a technical consultant on its “Global Action Plan and Road Map for STI Vaccine Development” panel held in Geneva Switzerland in April.  More recently Dr. Alderete was invited by the President of the National Academy of Science of Spain to give a Plenary Talk on his research to the Royal Academy of Veterinary Sciences (Real Academia de Ciencias Veterinarias) in Madrid in June.  In September he also presented the invited Keynote Address at the “2013 Michigan Regional AGEP (Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate) fall conference to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty at Michigan State University in East Lansing.
  • Dr. Hunt part of WSU Common Reading Lecture Series

    Professor Patricia Hunt talks to students about how ‘One Mistake Changed Her Career” as part of the WSU Common Reading Lecture Series.  For more details go to: Daily Evergreen
  • Dr. Hunzicker-Dunn invited to speak at three Named Lectures this Fall

    Congratulations to Professor Mary Hunzicker-Dunn who has been invited to present three Named Lectures this Fall: 1.) MIP Retreat Keynote and Distinguished Alumni Lecture at the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana, on Sept 27.  2.) The Anita Payne Lectureship, Oct 4.  3.) 10th Annual Gilbert S Greenwald Plenary Lecture, Oct 18.

  • Position Opening for Assistant/Associate/Full Professor in SMB

    The School of Molecular Biosciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington  State  University  in  Pullman, WA  and  its  new  Director  Dr.  Jonathan Jones, seek to hire outstanding individuals for tenure-track positions at the rank of Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor ( Successful candidates will have the opportunity of establish their research programs in a state-of-the-art   building specifically   designed   and   equipped   for biological research. The research interests of applicants should complement the existing focus areas of the School.  These include reproductive   biology, signal transduction in model organisms, cell adhesion/cytoskeleton and live cell imaging, DNA repair and chromosome biology, microbial genetics and infectious disease.

    For more information:

  • Margaret Black's research developed the thermostabilized suicide enzyme currently being used in clinical trials for brain tumors

    New advances in the treatment of brain cancers such as glioblastomas are being investigated in clinical trials using Toca 511, a novel suicide gene therapy.  Toca 511 is a replicative virus that produces a suicide enzyme (yeast cytosine deaminase) able to convert 5-fluorocytosine, an anti-fungal agent to a potent anti-cancer drug.  This therapy is an advancement to traditional chemotherapy in which all cells in the patient are exposed to drug.  Suicide gene therapy restricts the production of the chemotherapeutic drug at the tumor site, thus limiting exposure to the drug.  Work by Dr. Margaret Black, Professor in WSU's School of Molecular Biosciences, and collaborators at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington led to the development of the thermostabilized suicide enzyme used in the clinical studies described in this video.  Computational design, biochemical characterization, as well as in vitro and in vivo studies performed by Black and collaborators provided basic research used in this investigational new clinical therapy.  Video
  • WSU Regents Professor Mick Smerdon elected to state Academy of Sciences

    Professor Michael Smerdon, regents professor of biochemistry and biophysics with the School of Molecular Biosciences, has been elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences.  You can read more here.
  • Integrating knowledge - Biosciences lab delivers job-ready graduates

    For 16 years, Alberta (Bert) Brassfield, a WSU instructor, taught the immunology and virology lab to seniors, a course now known as Molecular Biosciences 430. The class was a favorite of many students because of its small size and lots of instructor-student interaction and individual attention. Alumni have described Bert’s class as pivotal in "putting it all together” and "clarifying my career path.”

    So when Phil Mixter took over the lab last fall, it was no small task...  Continue reading here.
  • BS (Genetics & Cell Biology) + PSM (BS + PSM Program)

    The School of Molecular Biosciences now offers a combined  BS+PSM program that will allow high achieving students to earn a Bachelor’s of Science (BS) in Genetics & Cell Biology and a Professional Science Master’s (PSM) in five years (in the BS + PSM program).  Students will apply to the Graduate School early in the Spring of year 3  and if successful will be admitted to the program in the Spring of year 4 (senior year).  Admission to the BS+PSM program will be determined based on the SMB PSM application, grade on a Competency Exam* and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2.  Students admitted to the BS+PSM program will graduate with the BS degree in the Fall semester of year 4  with 120 credits, and will graduate with the PSM degree after 3 more semesters of study (minimum of 33 credits).  The PSM courses can all be earned on the Pullman campus or online.  Please see here for more information or contact Norah McCabe at with questions.