Even though the past year looked a lot different than a normal year, the Biology department managed to continue to have a productive year of teaching, learning and research. A few of the exciting accomplishments this year include:

Postbac Amy Platenkamp (Biology '16?) is the first author on a paper in MBoC that investigates a novel regulator of nonmuscle myosin II....and the Applewhite's Lab photo was cosen for the cover of the issue!
The Drosophila melanogaster Rab GAP RN-tre cross-talks with the Rho1 signaling pathway to regulate nonmuscle myosin II localization and function
Platenkamp, Detmar, Sepulveda, Ritz, Rogers & Applewhite. Molecular Biology of the Cell. Sep 2020.

The Fey lab and Rariez lab collaborated with Meredith Theus (Biology '21) to publish a paper on their field-based pedagogy.

Fey, SB, Theus, ME, Ramirez, AR. Course‐based undergraduate research experiences in a remote setting: Two case studies documenting implementation and student perceptions. Ecol Evol. 2020; 10: 12528– 12541.

Postbac Amy Rose Lazarte (Alt. Bio '19) published a conference paper at a workshop for computer science education:

Lowering the barrier to learn about computational research through a course-based conference experience.
Lazarte & Ritz. 5th International Conference on Research in Equity and Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology (RESPECT). Mar 2020.

Postbac Tobias Rubel (Philosophy Fall '19) published a conference paper at a virtual Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) computational biology conference:

Augmenting signaling pathway reconstructions
Rubel & Ritz. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (ACM-BCB). Sep 2020.

Grad Student Ananthan Nambiar (Computer Science '19) and a team of undergraduates at UIUC published a conference paper at ACM-BCB, mentored by me and Mark Hopkins in CS:

Transforming the language of life; transformer neural networks for protein prediction tasks.
Nambiar, Heflin, Liu, Maslov, Hopkins, and Ritz. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (ACM-BCB). Sep 2020.

Also, these current & former students presented posters at ACM-BCB. You can see the posters here:

• Gabe Preising (Biology '20): Preising, Faber-Hammond, Renn, & Ritz. A protein-protein interactome for an African cichlid. 
• Frank Zhuang (Biology '22): Zhuang, Cerveny, & Ritz. Prefix/Suffix variation in retinoic acid response elements.
• Larry Zeng (CS '23): Zeng & Ritz. Graphery: a biological network algorithm tutorial webservice.

(January 2021)

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