Jennifer Rossi receives 2022 Karen Eilers Award for Staff Excellence

Paul FitzGerald, 2022 Karen Eilers Award for Staff Excellence winner -  Jennifer Rossi, and Gary May

Chief administrative officer, Jennifer Rossi received the 2022 Karen Eilers Award for Staff Excellence, presented by Chancellor Gary May and Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chancellor of Human Health Services David Lubarsky, M.D. for her outstanding contributions to the health system. Congratulations!

Paul FitzGerald, Ph.D., distinguished professor and chair for cell biology and human anatomy, presented Rossi with the 2022 Karen Eilers Award for Staff Excellence. He said, “For those of you who don’t know Rossi, she is not only incredibly bright and incredibly hardworking; she has a relentless work ethic, and she just doesn’t stop until something gets done right.” FitzGerald continued, “If I were to take a job in any industry, anywhere in America, the very first person I would hire would be Rossi.”

Read more details about this award » (Internal Link)


UC Davis researchers dissect COVID-19’s impact on sense of smell

Qizhi Gong, Ph.D.

Professor Qizhi Gong along with Otolaryngologist Toby Steele, recently received a two-year, $275,000 National Institutes of Health grant to study how COVID-19 disrupts the sense of smell. In this unique collaboration, the UC Davis Health team hopes to potentially identify diagnostic tools and therapeutic treatments. They'll be characterizing the severity and length of patient smell loss, collecting samples and conducting in-depth protein analyses to dissect the mechanisms that cause olfactory dysfunction.

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School of Medicine lab recognized for safety

Burns Pugh Lab

The Burns-Pugh lab, which researches neurodegenerative diseases of the eye, is one of six winners in the inaugural Laboratory Safety Awards program from UC Davis Safety Services.

The awards panel chose a winner from each of the university’s four colleges and the School of Medicine and School of Veterinary Medicine.

To see what the culture of safety looks like in the Burns-Pugh lab, show up on a Friday – and be prepared to watch 10 people go into action. Those who work with Principal Investigators Marie Burns and Edward Pugh, studying photoreceptors of the retina, pause what they’re doing once a week for “Friday Frenzy” mode.

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A comprehensive study on the structure of the vimentin protein

Paul FitzGerald, Ph.D.

The Voss lab, together with the FitzGerald lab of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, published a comprehensive study on the structure of the vimentin protein. The article, “Completion of the vimentin rod domain structure using experimental restraints: a new tool for exploring Intermediate Filament assembly and mutations” appeared August 8th in Cell: Structure. The work includes description of vimentin’s linker 1-2 region, which has thus far eluded structural determination. The Voss and FitzGerald groups used a combination of EPR spectroscopy and molecular modeling to describe linker 1-2 and unite the separate elements of the vimentin rod domain into a single experimentally-based model.

The paper can be found here »

UC Davis doctors help Haitian residents, physicians years after quake

Douglas S. Gross, M.D., Ph.D.

The devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010 left the Caribbean country in ruin. More than 230,000 people died, and millions were injured and without homes. Today, thousands of residents still live in unsanitary, unsafe conditions. To help this vulnerable population, UC Davis Children’s Hospital physicians travel to Haiti to provide care and training.

Departmental faculty member and pediatrician Douglas S. Gross, M.D., Ph.D., served on a federal disaster medical assistance team that was deployed shortly after the earthquake. The trip inspired him to create the UC Haiti Initiative, an educational, research and public service partnership between each University of California campus and the State University of Haiti.

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In Memorium: Robert L. Hunter, Ph.D., June 29, 1921 - March 4, 2019, founding faculty member of the UC Davis School of Medicine, and Chair of the Department of Anatomy

Robert Hunter, age 97, a longtime resident of Davis and professor emeritus at the UC Davis School of Medicine, passed away March 4.

Born and raised in Delaware, Ohio, he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ohio Wesleyan University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in zoology with an emphasis in histology and embryology. During World War II he served in the Army Medical Corp in England.

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A Judge Rules Against One Stem-Cell Clinic. There Are Hundreds of Them

A judicial ruling this month that will stop questionable stem-cell treatments at a clinic in Florida is widely seen as a warning to a flourishing industry that has attracted huge numbers of patients, who pay thousands of dollars for unproven, risky procedures.

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gene editing

Alice Tarantal, Ph.D., Professor, received an ~$9M grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish a CRISPR gene editing program at the Primate Center.

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Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D.

Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D., Professor, has recently received 2019 Kaiser Award for Teaching Excellence in the Basic Sciences.

Sergi Simo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor In-Residence, has been awarded a 5-year RO1 entitled Regulation of hippocampal morphogenesis and homeostasis by the E3 ubiquitin ligase CRL5.

Ahmad Zedan, an undergraduate student from the Gong Lab has received the 2019 Award for Undergraduate Research from Association for Chemoreception Science: “This award recognizes an outstanding presentation made by an undergraduate student at the AChemS Annual Meeting".


Anna La Torre, Ph.D.

Anna La Torre, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, has recently received a 3 year, $600k award from the Glaucoma Research Foundation.

Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D.

Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D., Professor, has recently received a new RO1 “Targeting the Mutant H3.3 Pathway in Glioma”.

Richard Tucker, Ph.D.

Richard Tucker, Ph.D., Professor, has received a Teaching Award from the Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology graduate students.

Paul FitzGerald, Ph.D.

Paul FitzGerald, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, has recently received 2018 Kaiser Foundation Hospital’s Annual Award for Excellence in Teaching Basic Sciences.

Craig Watson, M.D., Ph.D.

Craig Watson, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, has recently received 2018 Kaiser Foundation Hospital’s Annual Award for Excellence in Teaching Clinical Sciences.

Startup receives FDA clearance for polymer to aid bone regrowth

A biotechnology startup enabled by UC Davis, Molecular Matrix Inc., has received Food and Drug Administration clearance for a carbohydrate-based polymer that can help injured bones heal and regrow. For Charles Lee, the founder of Molecular Matrix and also an assistant adjunct professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy at the UC Davis School of Medicine, the FDA clearance marks an exciting turning point for the company UC Davis helped him found in 2011.

Read more about this news article here »


Reaching out to Puerto Rico: UC Davis pediatrician returns after serving on a Disaster Medical Assistance Team

Douglas S. Gross, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, joined 39 other physicians, nurses, paramedics and health specialists in Puerto Rico to care for those displaced by Hurricane Maria.

Read more about this news article (PDF).

Knoepfler awarded second Alex's Lemonade Stand research grant

Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D.

Knoepfler's lab has some funding from the childhood cancer foundation called Alex’s Lemonade Stand. The foundation now has a fundraiser on-going where all the money raised goes to the labs doing the research and the foundation matches it dollar for dollar. His lab has set up a UC Davis team. So if they meet the team goal of $25K, Alex’s Lemonade Stand gives his lab $50K more for our research on childhood cancer. Read more about this from here. Anyone who is interested can sign up at: https://www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/1358985.

Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D.

Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D., Professor, has been awarded a second Alex's Lemonade Stand research grant.


NEI Welcomes Four New Members to National Advisory Eye Council

Tom Glaser, M.D., Ph.D.

Thomas Glaser, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, was appointed to the National Advisory Eye Council of the National Eye Institute (NEI).

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Douglas S. Gross, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, has been named as the recipient of the 2016 Emil Mrak Award from the Cal Aggie Alumni Association.

Read more about this award (PDF).


Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D.

Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D., Professor, has been awarded a childhood cancer research grant.

Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D.

Departmental faculty member Dr. Paul Knoepfler's TEDxVienna talk on the potential future use of CRISPR in humans was featured on TED.com's home page.

Learn more about this here »

Rare mutation causes vitamin A deficiency and eye deformities

Tom Glaser, M.D., Ph.D.

Tom Glaser, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, and other researchers at the University of Michigan and UC Davis have solved a genetic mystery that has afflicted three unrelated families, and possibly others, for generations. These families have been plagued by a variety of congenital eye malformations, including small eyes with poor vision and the complete absence of eyes. But until now, no one could figure out the genetic basis for these conditions.

Read more about this news article here »

Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D.

Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D., Professor, was recently featured on the PBS Nightly News hour, interviewed by Jennifer Doudna, by Gwen Ifil.

This interview can be viewed at the following links. PBS NewsHour, YouTube.


Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D.

Of all the recent advances in science and medicine, one of the most promising relates to stem cells. Are they a miracle cure? What dangers lurk? Dr. Paul Knoepfler from UC Davis School of Medicine and author of Stem Cells - An Insider's Guide discusses the research and future of stem cells.

Learn more from here »


A Recent publication of the SDSL EPR and crystallographic structure of a tetrameric fragment of Vimentin, from the FitzGerald and Voss labs, was featured on the Nature Structural Biology website, under Research Advances: Symmetry from Asymmetry.

The feature may be found here »

UC Davis stem cell researchers awarded $53 million

Jan Nolta, Ph.D.Jan Nolta, Ph.D., Director of the UC Davis Stem Cell Program and its Institute for Regenerative Cures along with many other center experts recently received $53 Million in funding for the application of stem cells to the treatment of several different human diseases.


Blogosphere as a means of scientific communication?

Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D.

Professor Paul Knoepfler explains why he joined the ranks of the blogosphere, and why you should too.

More about Dr. Knoepfler's blog in "Nature News"