Selected News Articles
Can a drug developed for sickle cell anemia mitigate lung damage in patients with COVID-19?
Scientists around the globe are working to identify approved and investigational drugs that can be repurposed to treat COVID-19.
UC Davis Health researchers provided one of those repurposed drugs, senicapoc, to launch a clinical trial at Aarhus University in Denmark. The study will assess whether the drug can mitigate lung damage in patients with COVID-19.
Senicapoc was developed as a treatment for sickle cell anemia. Although it was found safe in clinical trials, it did not reduce the number of sickle-cell crises and was shelved.
John Olichney, the clinical core director for the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Heike Wulff, a professor of pharmacology, and other UC Davis researchers have been evaluating senicapoc as a potential treatment for stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.
Keck Foundation grant will help scientists see small proteins
A team of UC Davis Health scientists that include Dr. Johannes Hell and Dr. Manuel Navedo, has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Keck Foundation to develop a tool for visualizing proteins that so far have been hard to study due to size.
The tool involves using fluorescent-tagged peptides to bind and illuminate proteins of interest, even those smaller than 5 nanometers. Current options do not work well with proteins smaller than 20 nanometers.
Meet the 20th Class of Chancellor’s Fellows
UC Davis has named its new class of Chancellor’s Fellows, that included Dr. Ele Grandi, marking the 20th anniversary of the program that provides philanthropic support to exceptional early career faculty members.
The fellowships come with cash awards — $25,000 this year — for research or other scholarly work.
Four from UC Davis Health selected for UC Women’s Initiative for Professional Development program
Dr. Crystal Ripplinger is one among the four women from UC Davis Health – along with eight women from the Davis campus – who have been selected to participate in the 2020 UC Women’s Initiative for Professional Development (UC WI) program.
Sex, drugs and arrhythmia: Modeling approaches to enable precision cardiac pharmacology
One of the leading causes for drug development discontinuation is the risk of cardiovascular toxicity — damage to the heart due to harmful chemicals. It constitutes a common critical side effect of new drugs and accounts for 40% of all drugs withdrawn due to health safety concerns.
Dr. Ele Grandi and her team of researchers at the GRANDi Laboratory develop mathematical models of cardiac electrical activity that integrate large sets of experimental and clinical data. They use simulation to understand disease processes (such as arrhythmia), identify therapeutic targets and predict the outcome of treatment strategies.
UC Davis Researchers Are Highly Cited
Congratulations to Dr. Heike Wulff, recognized with other UC Davis researchers as the top cited researchers in the annual Highly Cited Researchers 2019 list released by the Web of Science Group.
Newton-Abraham Professor Don Bers' talk: Calcium is at the Coeur of Normal Heart Function and Disease
Professor and Department Chair Dr. Donald Bers recently participated in a six-month Sabbatical with University of Oxford as their “Newton-Abraham Professor”. The end of his term was marked by a seminar, presented on Wednesday, September 25th at the Oxford University Natural History Museum.
Video of Dr. Bers’ presentation is given below.
Designing a new class of drugs to treat chronic pain
Congratulations to Dr. Heike Wulff and the UC Davis Research Team for receiving the HEAL Award from NIH! This grant was awarded to aid in the research and development of a new form of pain medication that would not carry the same side-effects of opioids. Dr. Wulff is joined by Faculty members: Vladimir Yarov-Yarovoy, Bruce Hammock, Karen Wagner, Dan Tancredi, and Jon Sack.
Dr. Madeline Nieves-Cintron named a 2019 CAMPOS Faculty Scholar
We are excited to announce that Dr. Madeline Nieves-Cintron was named a 2019 CAMPOS Faculty Scholar!
The mission of CAMPOS is to support discovery of knowledge through an inclusive environment that is diversity driven, mentorship grounded, and career success focused. Scholars are selected based on overall excellence and contributions to diversity through research, teaching and service. An induction ceremony will be held for the honorees on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 from 5:30 - 8:00pm at the Manetti Shrem Museum (RSVP required for this event).
Discovering how diabetes leads to vascular disease
We are excited to announce an exciting new research from the Navedo and Nieves-Cintron Labs identify how elevations in glucose and diabetes increase the risks of vascular complications that may contribute to cardiovascular diseases such as heart diseases and stroke
To learn more about this exciting research, visit the UC Davis Newsroom.
Dr. Navedo elected Fellow of the American Heart Association
We are proud to announce that Dr. Manuel F. Navedo was recently elected Fellow of the American Heart Association, a distinction that was conferred by the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences. Fellows are recognized for excellence, innovative and sustained contributions in the areas of scholarship, practice, education and volunteer service within the mission of the American Heart Association.
Visit Dr. Navedo’s website to learn more about his exciting research.
UC Davis Chancellor’s Innovator of the Year for 2019
Congratulations to Dr. Michael Rogawski, who was just named a UC Davis Chancellor’s Innovator of the Year for 2019. Dr. Rogawski was recognized for his work on Postpartum Depression and a new drug that will aid in treating it. A ceremony was held on May 30th to honor Dr. Rogawski for his innovative research and the positive and lasting effects it will hold on the community.
2019 Editorial Board Fellow
Congratulations to Dr. Ele Grandi who was just selected to serve as an Editorial Board Fellow for the Journal of Physiology! Dr. Grandi was carefully chosen for this honor from a competitive pool of highly-qualified applicants.
2018 Dean's Team Award for Excellence in Research
Congratulations to the SPARC team who was recently awarded the 2018 Deans’ Team Award for Excellence!
Deborah Ward, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, Interim Dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, and Lars F. Berglund, M.D., Ph.D., Interim Dean of the School of Medicine, recognized the SPARC team for outstanding multi-disciplinary team contributions to research.
Several Pharmacology Faculty are SPARC team members. The group includes: Colleen Clancy, Ph.D., Team lead; Eleonora Grandi, Ph.D., multi-PI; Luis F. Santana, Ph.D., multi-PI; Crystal Ripplinger, Co-I; Ph.D., Igor Vorobyov, Ph.D., Co-I; Chao Chen, Co-I; Jay Chen, Co-I; Timothy Lewis, Ph.D., Co-I; Andrew McCulloch, Ph.D. (UC San Diego), Co-I.
Featured in the Leaders in Cardiovascular Science Series
We are excited to announce that Dr. Donald Bers, Distinguished Professor and Chair, has been featured in the Leaders in Cardiovascular Science series published by the journal Circulation Research. As the premier journal for basic cardiovascular science, Circulation Research highlights those scientists who have made a significant and lasting impact on the field through the Leaders in Cardiovascular Science series. In the article, Dr. Bers reflects on his journey into science, the importance of mentorship, and his family and personal life. Congratulations to Dr. Bers!
Department Team found a remarkable link between secondhand tobacco smoke and cardiac arrhythmia
We are proud to announce an exciting new research from the Ripplinger and Chen Labs in our Department highlighting the consequences of indoor secondhand smoke on cardiac function and in particular the increase incidence of cardiac alternans that may lead to cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.
Read more about this exciting research at the UC Davis Newsroom.
19 From UC Davis on Global List of Most-Cited Researchers
Congratulations to Dr. Heike Wulff, Professor for being one among the nineteen researchers from the University of California, Davis, who have been named in the annual Highly Cited Researchers 2018 list released by Clarivate Analytics. The list identifies exceptional scientists and social scientists who have demonstrated significant influence by publishing multiple papers that rank in the top 1 percent by citations in a particular field and year, over a 10-year period.
Digitizing interactions between the brain and the heart
UC Davis Health researchers including Dr. Eleonora Grandi, Associate Professor, have been awarded $5.2 million over four years from the National Institutes of Health to develop the first computerized model of the relationship between the nervous system and cardiovascular disease.
The tool is expected to lead to new understanding of conditions such as hypertension, arrhythmia, heart failure and stroke, along with how those conditions change in response to treatment.
Dr. Grandi Awarded Precision Medicine Fellowship
We are excited to announce Dr. Eleonora Grandi’s receipt of the Precision Medicine Fellowship! This award will allow Dr. Grandi the opportunity to further her research using mathematical models and statistical approaches to understand the mechanisms of safety and toxicity antiarrhythmic therapies in male and female patients.
Manuscript from Dr. Hariharan’s lab published in Stem Cells
We are excited to announce that the manuscript "Short Telomeres Induce p53 and Autophagy and Modulate Age-Associated Changes in Cardiac Progenitor Cell Fate" from Dr. Nirmala Hariharan’s lab, has been accepted for publication in Stem Cells. Collin Matsumoto, Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology graduate student, is first author of the study. This study demonstrates that aged cardiac stem/progenitor cells have a different fate than young cells and establishes a signaling mechanism that causes exhaustion of these aged cardiac stem cells. Congratulations to all that contributed to this important study!
Dr. Vikrant Singh's publication of the biosensor journals and recent acknowledgment by the Hindu Business Line
Congratulations to Dr. Vikrant Singh, Assistant Project Scientist, for the publication of his biosensor journals and recent acknowledgment by the Hindu Business Line! His American Chemical Society publication which discusses a biosensor for malaria, was highlighted in one of the most popular and important newspapers in India, The Hindu Business Line.
Professor Wulff has accepted the Chief Field Editor position for the Frontiers in Pharmacology Journal
Professor Wulff has accepted the Chief Field Editor position for the Frontiers in Pharmacology Journal, the most-cited open access journal in the field. We congratulate and thank Professor Wulff for her service!
Dr. Navedo named Co-Chair of the organizing committee for the 2020 International Symposium on Resistance Arteries
We are proud to announce that at the recently concluded 2017 International Symposium on Resistance Arteries (ISRA) in Manchester, United Kingdom, Dr. Manuel F. Navedo was selected by his peers as the next co-organizer of the 2020 ISRA meeting. During this meeting, Dr. Navedo delivered a well-received talk on "Purinergic signaling in diabetic vascular complications", and Dr. Madeline Nieves-Cintrón received a Best Poster Presentation Award for her work on "Ion channels in vascular smooth muscle from patients with diabetes".
Chair forms Executive Advisory Group (EAG) to help guide department
The Department of Pharmacology EAG was formed to advise the Chair on departmental strategic direction, administration and prioritizing initiatives, and was formalized at a faculty meeting in May. Starting July 1, 2017 (for 3-yr terms). The EAG will meet quarterly (or as needs arise) and is comprised of:
- Donald Bers, Ph.D., Chair
- Johannes W. Hell, Ph.D., Vice-Chair for Academic Development
- Crystal M. Ripplinger, Ph.D., Vice-Chair for Research and Administration
- Heike Wulff, Ph.D., Vice-Chair for Education
Pharmacology Faculty at FASEB Ion Channel Meeting
Congratulations to the Pharmacology Department Faculty, Drs. Heike Wulff, Johannes W. Hell and Manuel F. Navedo on their well-received invited presentations at the 2017 Federation of American Societies For Experimental Biology (FASEB) Meeting on Ion Channel Regulation. Representation of our faculty was among the largest for a single Department, we are proud of the strength and influence of our faculty in this field!
Hell and Navedo Labs
We are proud to announce the publication of back-to-back papers in Science Signaling from the Hell and Navedo Labs describing how adrenaline activates L-type CaV1.2 channels and how sugar makes arteries constrict.
To learn more about their exciting research, listen to this Science Signaling podcast.
How insulin harms the heart
Congratulations and thank you to Professor Xiang and his lab members for their latest findings!
Their research results are featured online at UC Davis Health - How insulin harms the heart.
Clancy appointed associate vice chancellor for academic personnel
Congratulations to Professor Colleen Clancy! She has been appointed to a 5 year term as the associate vice chancellor for academic personnel for UC Davis School of Medicine. We are very proud of her and her accomplishments and know that her skills and enthusiasm will be of great value to the faculty at UC Davis School of Medicine.
Manuel F. Navedo, Ph.D. was selected to VCMB Study Section
We are proud to announce that Associate Professor Manuel F. Navedo was selected as a permanent member of the Vascular, Cellular and Molecular Biology (VCMB) Study Section in the Center for Scientific Review. This represents a major recognition of Dr. Navedo’s scientific accomplishments and standing in the field. Members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated competence and achievements in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publication in scientific journals and other significant scientific activities, accomplishments and honors. His contributions to VCMB and Center for Scientific Review will be of great value to medical and allied research in the country. Congratulations to Dr. Navedo for this honor!
Peter Harris Distinguished Scientist Award
We are proud to announce that Professor Donald Bers was awarded the 2016 Peter Harris Distinguished Scientist Award of the International Society for Heart Research (ISHR)! This award recognizes an established investigator with lifetime contributions of major discoveries in cardiovascular science. As the recipient of the honor, he presented an Award Lecture on his research (“Calmodulin and CaMKII in heart failure and arrhythmias”) at the ISHR XXII World Congress, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 18-21, 2016. The mission of the ISHR is to promote the discovery and dissemination of knowledge in the cardiovascular sciences on a world-wide basis.
F1000 Faculty Member of the Year Award 2015 for the Neuroscience Faculty
Professor Johannes Hell has received the F1000 Faculty Member of the Year Award for 2015 for Neuroscience Faculty. This is the third year in a row that he’s received this award. This award recognizes Faculty Members who have made a significant contribution to the F1000Prime Article Recommendation service over the past year, as judged by the F1000 editorial team and on the popularity of their recommendations with users of the service. Congratulations to Dr. Hell for this honor!
Pharmaceutical Veteran Richard Horuk Teaches Insights About Drug Development
Spring 2016 UCD Faculty Newsletter article showcasing Professor Horuk’s experience and perspective on drug development, as well as his work with Professors Rogawski, and Wulff on the Pharmacology course: Drug Discovery and Development (PHA 207). Learn More... (PDF).
Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring at Early to Mid-Career Level
We are proud to announce that Assistant Professor, Eleonora Grandi, has received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in recognition of her contributions in the UC Davis Health’s core mission areas of research, education, clinical care and community engagement. This is to reward her for her outstanding performance and to acknowledge her contribution as a transformative leader. Awardees will be honored at a recognition reception on March 16.
Learn more about this award (PDF).
Clancy accepted as fellow in national executive leadership program
We are proud to announce that Professor Clancy has been accepted as a fellow into the 2015-16 Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) Program for Women at Drexel University. The program is dedicated to developing the professional and personal skills required to lead and manage in today’s complex health care environment, with special attention to the unique challenges facing women in leadership positions.
2014 Dean’s Excellence in Mentoring Award
We are proud to announce that Dr. Colleen Clancy, Professor, was selected for the 2014 Dean’s Excellence in Mentoring Award in the Research area. She was recognized for this honor at the Dean’s Recognition Reception on March 18, 2015. Multi-departmental Junior faculty nominated her for this award for the special role that she has played in their academic, research, and career development. We congratulate her for her outstanding efforts at improving her faculty colleagues’ professional development!
F1000 Faculty Member of the Year Award for 2014
Professor Johannes Hell, has received the F1000 Faculty Member of the Year Award for 2014 for the Neuroscience Faculty. This is the second year in a row that he’s received this award. The award recognizes Faculty Members who have made the most significant contribution to the F1000 Recommendation service over the past year. The recipient of the award is selected based on the viewing figures for all F1000 evaluations of the faculty member and quality of the evaluations as judged by the editorial office. We congratulate Dr. Hell for this honor!
Nerve regeneration therapy has potential to prevent arrhythmias, sudden cardiac death after heart attack
Drs. Crystal Ripplinger and Lianguo Wang are co-authors on a new study, Targeting protein tyrosine phosphatase σ after myocardial infarction restores cardiac sympathetic innervation and prevents arrhythmias, published in the journal Nature Communications by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Case Western Reserve University and UC Davis. The study investigates a therapy developed for spinal cord injuries on nerve regeneration in the heart and found that this novel treatment provides resistance to arrhythmias following a heart attack, and may lead to further development of therapeutics for post-heart attack care.
Farmworkers’ son active in UC Davis research wins prestigious NIH scholarship
Dr. Elva Diaz, Associate Professor, received notification that one of her undergraduate students, Abraham Corrales, received the competitive and prestigious NIH Undergraduate Scholarship.
To learn more about Abraham and this honor, go to UC Davis News and Information.
Invasion of the central nervous system by Cryptococcus neoformans requires a secreted fungal metalloprotease
Dr. Angie Gelli, Associate Professor, lead UC Davis investigators (Kiem Vu, Juhn Uhrig, Sarisa Na Pombejra, Mantana Jamklang, George Thompson III, Jennifer Bautos, and Rick Tham) in a remarkable series of experiments on Cryptococcus neoformans – the cause of a deadly meningitis -- to isolate a metalloprotease that appears to be responsible for the fungus’ ability to cross from the bloodstream into the brain. The findings were published in the journal mBio, issued by the American Society for Microbiology, in an article titled "Invasion of the central nervous system by Cryptococcus neoformans requires a secreted fungal metalloprotease". The discovery has important implications for developing a more effective treatment for C. neoformans and other brain infections, as well as for brain cancers that are difficult to treat with conventional medications.
To read more about this exciting discovery, go to News from UC Davis Health newsroom.
UC Davis researchers discover how high blood pressure damages the heart
Dr. Ye Chen-Izu, Assistant Professor in Pharmacology, pulled together an interdisciplinary team of biophysicists, chemists, engineers, physiologists and cardiologists for a study of the biological system that controls contractility of the heart under mechanical stress such as that caused by high blood pressure. Read about their recent study — "Mechanochemotransduction During Cardiomyocyte Contraction is Mediated by Localized Nitric Oxide Signaling" — published in the March 18 issue of the journal Science Signaling.
Debrecen Award for Molecular Medicine
Dr. Donald Bers, the Department’s Distinguished Professor and Chair, was awarded the “2013 Debrecen Award for Molecular Medicine” from The Medical and Health Science Center of the University of Debrecen, Hungary. This international annual prize is offered to encourage and recognize extraordinary and sustained contributions to biomedical research. This prestigious prize is awarded to a scientist, or group, whose work has lead to significant advances in the fields of molecular medicine with demonstrated benefits applied to improved patient care.
For more information about this award, please visit the Debrecen Award for Molecular Medicine’s website.
34 from UC elected fellows of AAAS
Distinguished Professor and Chair, Don Bers, was elected as fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is 1 of 10 elected fellows for AAAS from the University of California at Davis. This honor is bestowed for scientifically distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Dr. Bers is being recognized for his innovative approaches in calcium signaling and integrative quantitative analysis that have built the modern framework of regulation of cardiac contractions and electrical activity.
To read the full article, please go to AAAS’ News.
UC Davis researchers discover a biological link between diabetes and heart disease
Dr. Don Bers (Professor and Chair) and colleagues identified a novel molecular pathway between diabetic hyperglycemia and cardiac arrhythmias (online publication in Nature (PDF)). Hyperglycemia chronically activates the key signaling kinase CaMKII by direct attachment of a sugar, causing CaMKII-dependent ion channel effects and arrhythmias (and potential effects on many systems.
A second amyloid may play a role in Alzheimer's disease, UC Davis researchers find
Dr. Florin Despa and colleagues found that amylin accumulates in the blood vessels and and brain of patients with diabetes and dementia. Additional study authors are Kaleena Jackson, Gustavo A. Barisone, Elva Diaz and Lee-Way Jin, all of UC Davis.
Structural protein α-actinin anchors CaV1.2 at the plasma membrane and especially in spines in neurons
Professor Johannes Hell and colleagues discovered that the structural protein α-actinin anchors CaV1.2 at the plasma membrane and especially in spines in neurons.
Basic Sciences Kaiser Teaching Award
Dr. Heike Wulff, Associate Professor, was awarded the 2013 Basic Sciences Kaiser Teaching Award. The three recipients of this award were selected following requested nominations from students, residents and regular faculty of the School of Medicine and meet specified criteria, one of which is having a record of sustained excellence for at least three years.
Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award and designation as a Hartwell Investigator
Dr. Angela Gelli, Associate Professor, was awarded the 2012 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award and designation as a Hartwell Investigator. Dr. Gelli’s winning research proposal represents innovative and cutting edge research that aims to develop a novel drug delivery system targeting the blood-brain barrier for the treatment of childhood brain tumors.
To learn more about this honor, Please go to the Hartwell Foundation's website.
UC Davis researcher recognized as distinguished scientist by the American Heart Association
Dr. Donald M. Bers, the Department’s Distinguished Professor and Chair, was awarded the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Distinguished Scientist designation in November 2012, for his contribution to cardiovascular research.
To learn more about this honor, please view the American Heart Association’s website.
Pancreatic hormone linked with severe heart disease in obese and diabetic patients
Severe heart damage in people who are obese and diabetic is linked with a pancreatic hormone called amylin, UC Davis researchers that include departmental faculty member, Florin Despa, Ph.D., have found.
In the failing hearts of patients who were obese and diabetic, the scientists discovered strings of proteins, small fibers and plaques made of amylin, the hormone that produces the feeling of being full after eating. They also showed in an animal model that amylin accumulation in the heart leads to heart muscle destruction and failure.
UC Davis study eliminates a possible culprit in heart arrhythmia
A protein thought to play a role in heart-rhythm irregularities actually has no significant effect on heart function, according to new research from UC Davis Health. The outcome puts to rest an ongoing controversy about the effects of the protein in cardiac arrhythmia — abnormally timed heart beats that can indicate heart disease and, in some instances, lead to cardiac arrest.
"We went back to fundamentals to finally answer this question," said Donald Bers, chair of the UC Davis Department of Pharmacology and the principal investigator of the study, published in the June issue of Circulation Research. "Because of our findings, investigators can now focus on exploring other aspects of heart physiology to define the cellular foundations of arrhythmia."
UC Davis researchers identify brain protein for synapse development: Discovery could expand understanding of autism and schizophrenia
A new study from UC Davis Health identifies for the first time a brain protein called SynDIG1 that plays a critical role in creating and sustaining synapses, the complex chemical signaling system responsible for communication between neurons. The research, published in the Jan.14 issue of the journal Neuron, fills a major gap in understanding the molecular foundations of higher cognitive abilities as well as some brain disorders.
"We know that synapses are essential for learning, memory and perception and suspect that imbalances in synapse formation impact disorders of the brain such as autism and schizophrenia," said Elva Diaz, professor of pharmacology and senior author of the study. "Our study is the first to identify SynDIG1 as a critical regulator of these important brain connections."
Elva Diaz receives NIH New Innovator funding
The National Institutes of Health has announced that two UC Davis Health System researchers will receive NIH Director's New Innovator Awards to support their work on pediatric brain cancer and tuberculosis.
Elva Diaz, an professor of pharmacology, will receive $1.5 million over five years to develop novel therapies for childhood brain cancer.
Innovative, collaborative projects recognized with 2009 CTSC pilot grants
David Segal, Ph.D. & Heike Wulff, Ph.D. are among the seven UC Davis researchers, who received pilot grant awards from the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) to conduct innovative and collaborative research. The awards support studies ranging from work on a more effective epilepsy drug to an improved computer interface for controlling a wheelchair, room lights and a computer mouse.
Professor and Pharmacology Chairman Donald Bers is recipient of the Joseph Silva Dean's Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Research
Donald Bers, Ph.D. is the new holder of the Dean’s Chair in Cardiovascular Research in Honor of Joseph Silva. UC Davis has 113 chairs and professorships. Donor funding provides continuing support for research, teaching and public service.
Collaboration between Peggy Farnham and Janine LaSalle results in published study on Rett's Syndrome.
The current study, which appeared in the December 4 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is a result of a collaboration between LaSalle and Peggy Farnham, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the UC Davis School of Medicine and at the UC Davis Genome Center. Farnham is a specialist in the emerging field of epigenomics, which applies microarray technology to study changes in gene expression that are not dependent on changes in the DNA sequence of the gene. Epigenomics, for example, includes the study of where proteins bind along a chromosome.
UC Davis appoints renowned cardiovascular researcher as Pharmacology Department Chair
Donald M. Bers, an internationally renowned expert in cardiovascular research at the cellular and molecular levels, including dysfunctions that occur in heart failure and arrhythmias, has joined UC Davis School of Medicine as chair of the Department of Pharmacology.
A team led by Peggy Farnham, professor at the Genome Center and the Department of Pharmacology at UC Davis, looked for sites where factors bind on to DNA to turn genes on or off. These "transcription factors" play a key role in deciding what cells do and when, and play an important role in stem cell development and cancer.
New drugs aimed at T cells successfully treat arthritis and diabetes in rats
Heike Wulff, a UC Davis assistant professor of medical pharmacology and toxicology and co-author of the study, originally identified the molecules from the rue plant used to develop the drugs.
"Previously, the Kv1.3 channel was widely believed to be a good target for treating autoimmune diseases, but until now, scientists had not established that it is," said Wulff. "This study really confirms it."