UC Davis School of Medicine


A Publication of UC Davis School of Medicine

Volume 11 • No 3 • Winter 2014/2015

Body of Knowledge


A summary of recent findings in clinical, translational and basic science research at UC Davis

baby girl

Treatment at the earliest age when signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) appear – sometimes in infants as young as 6 months old – significantly reduces symptoms so that, by age 3, most who received the therapy had neither ASD nor developmental delay.

illustration of blood cells

Mothers of children with autism are significantly less likely to report taking iron supplements before and during their pregnancies than the mothers of children who are developing normally. Low iron intake was associated with a five-fold greater risk of autism in the child if the mother was 35 or older at the time of the child’s birth or if she suffered from metabolic conditions such as obesity, hypertension or diabetes.

baby breastfeeding

Infant rhesus monkeys receiving different diets early in life develop distinct immune systems that persist months after weaning. This research gives further insight about why breast milk is good for babies and suggests immunologic effects may persist long after breast feeding has ceased.

illustraton of human ear structures

UC Davis researchers have shown that a polysialylated glycoprotein that regulates neurodevelopment exists on the surface of cells in the adult inner ear, opening the door to developing stem cell replacement treatments in the inner ear to treat certain hearing disorders.

illustration of human nervous system

Named a 2014 Rita Allen Foundation Scholar, Lin Tian is developing optical sensors and applications to acquire fundamental insights about how the nervous system functions in health and disease.

illustration of human bladder

Oncologist Chong-Xian Pan is using a $650,000 grant from the VA Northern California Health Care System to conduct the first clinical trial of a novel chemotherapy-delivery drug he developed for bladder cancer patients.


Early life experiences, such as childhood socioeconomic status and literacy, may have greater influence on the risk of cognitive impairment late in life than do race and ethnicity, a large study by researchers at UC Davis and the University of Victoria, Canada, found.

illustration of nanoparticles

Newly developed versatile nanoparticles enable combination of imaging and therapeutics tasks to treat and monitor cancer and other diseases.