Latest News

Celina Juliano Named 2023-24 Chancellor's Fellow

Celina Juliano, an associate professor of molecular and cellular biology who studies the regenerative capabilities of Hydra vulgaris, a small, freshwater relative of the jellyfish, has been named a UC Davis Chancellor's Fellow.

Citrus Greening Bacteria Affects Pest's Sense of Smell

A failed field test has led to a major discovery about the Asian citrus psyllid, the insect that spreads the devastating citrus greening disease. According to new research, the bacteria that cause citrus greening can interfere with the insect’s sense of smell, rendering some kinds of insect traps useless. The work is currently available as a preprint.

Immune Cells Drive Sex Reversal in Zebrafish – and Perhaps Fertility Loss in Women

Female zebrafish (Danio rerio) have an unusual tendency: if their egg cells are damaged, they can turn into males. Bruce Draper, a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) and Florence Marlow, a professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, have discovered that immune cells called macrophages play a key role in this process. These cells normally keep things “tidy” by removing dead or damaged cells – but in zebrafish they can also remodel the ovaries into sperm-producing testes. “It’s a pretty interesting and novel idea,” says Draper.

CBS DACA Students Awarded American Heart Association Fellowship

Two Ph.D. students in the College of Biological Sciences have been awarded prestigious fellowships from the American Heart Association (AHA) to support their research on Respiratory Complex I, a protein complex that generates energy inside human cells.

Dan Starr Named New CBS Associate Dean of Research

Dan Starr, a cell biologist and professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, has been named the new Associate Dean of Research for the College of Biological Sciences. He has stepped into the role on October 1, 2023.

“I see this position as an opportunity to encourage my colleagues to branch out and expand into new research areas,” said Starr. “Our research portfolio at CBS is already very strong. My goal is to build on our successes and to support future growth in our research programs.”

Using Glowing Fish to Detect Harmful Pesticides

Birth defects related to chromosomal abnormalities often stem from exposure to chemicals early in the mother’s life. But determining which chemicals are at fault poses a serious challenge — akin to solving a hit-and-run case, decades after the fact. Two College of Biological Sciences researchers, Professor Sean Burgess and Professor Bruce Draper in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB), are developing a method that could identify harmful chemicals far more quickly, with the help of red- and green-glowing zebrafish.

Using Machine Learning to Detect Coronavirus Threats

An artificial intelligence model has successfully identified coronaviruses capable of infecting humans, out of the thousands of viruses that circulate in wild animals. The model, developed by a team of biologists, mathematicians and physicists at the University of California, Davis, could be used in surveillance for new pandemic threats. The work was published June 8 in Scientific Reports

2023 Chancellor's Fellowship For Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Chancellor Gary S. May and the Academic Senate’s Committee on Affirmative Action and Diversity recently announced their selections for the 2023 Chancellor’s Fellowships for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Four are members of the Academic Senate:

CBS Annual Faculty Awards Recognize Excellence in Teaching, Research

This year, Bruce Draper, a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology who studies how germline stem cells are regulated and function in vertebrates, and Laci Gerhart, an assistant professor of teaching in the Department of Evolution and Ecology who teaches the ever-popular “Wild Davis” course, were recognized by their peers for their contributions to the college.

Using Hydra to Understand Tissue Regeneration

The Greek hero Heracles fought a monster called the Hydra, which grew two new heads for each one he lopped off. Heracles was lucky he wasn’t fighting something with the regenerative ability of the real Hydra, which can re-grow its entire body from a few hundred cells. This simple water animal is helping scientists explore how some animals can regrow missing body parts.

First Complete Structures of Plant Respiratory Proteins

Back-to-back papers in the Dec. 29 issue of Nature Plants report the first complete protein structures for plant respiratory supercomplex I+III₂. Obtaining these structures helps researchers understand basic plant biology, as well as stress responses and how biofuel crops might grow more rapidly.