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Illinois IGB

Rachel Whitaker

CRISPR-induced immune diversification in host-virus populations

October 19, 2020

Just like humans, microbes have equipped themselves with tools to recognize and defend themselves against viral invaders. In a continual evolutionary battle between virus and host, CRISPR-Cas acts as a major driving force of strain diversity in host-virus systems.


October 19, 2020


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Novel phage alters transcriptome of a common human gut microbe

September 16, 2020

The human gut is home to a dense and diverse microbial community that represents a vital component of human health, development, and disease states. Within those communities, phage-bacterial host interactions also shape the community and contribute to the constantly fluctuating landscape. However, phage-bacterial host interactions in the human gut have been largely underexplored. 


September 16, 2020


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Collaborative team awarded $12.5 million for new NSF Biology Integration Institute

September 1, 2020

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a five-year, $12.5 million grant to integrate biology to a collaborative team based in the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The new institute, Genomics and Eco-evolution of Multi-scale Symbioses (GEMS), will include molecular, organismal, computational and theoretical approaches. 


September 1, 2020


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Advancing the frontier of aquatic symbiosis research

March 11, 2020

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded grants to support the work of fifteen scientists as part of the Symbiosis in Aquatic Systems Initiative investigator program. This vibrant international cohort will receive five years of unrestricted support to pursue innovative, risky research that has high potential for significant conceptual and methodological advances in aquatic symbiosis.


March 11, 2020


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Study of archaeal cells could teach us more about ourselves

January 24, 2019

Forty-two years after Carl Woese defined archaea as the third domain of life, scientists at the IGB are still learning about these ancient organisms in ways that could help us learn more about eukaryotes.

Over time, scientists have realized that archaea have close ancestral relationships to eukaryotes — the domain of life that includes animals, plants, and more.


January 24, 2019


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Rachel Whitaker Receives Allen Distinguished Investigator Award

June 19, 2017

The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group today announced five new Allen Distinguished Investigator (ADI) awards to researchers conducting pioneering research in epigenetics, aging, and evolution, including Rachel Whitaker, Associate Professor of Microbiology and leader of the Infection Genomics for One Health research theme at the IGB. Each ADI is funded at $1.5 million over three years, totaling $7.5 million in funding.


June 19, 2017


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