The 2010s

Big Data and New Biology are the key phrases of our current era, as College faculty pioneer advancements in research for basic biology, and collaborate across disciplines to enable discoveries that will help solve today’s most pressing scientific questions.

2010: Biotechnology pioneer Raymond Rodriguez co-founds the Global HealthShare Initiative, a project-based program dedicated to promoting health and wellness in developing countries around the world.

2011: Plant biologist Simon Chan publishes a method for reproducing plants with genes from only one parent, making it possible to “breed true” without generations of inbreeding. The work promises to increase food production and help alleviate world hunger.

2012: Teams from the labs of biochemists Wolf-Dietrich Heyer and Stephen Kowalczykowski become the first in the world to purify the protein of the gene BRCA2, strongly linked to breast cancer. Their work reveals how the protein plays a crucial role in DNA repair.

2012: Plant Biologist Katayoon Dehesh identifies an evolutionarily conserved and essential signaling metabolite present in plants and pathogenic bacteria including Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the non-photosynthetic “apicoplast” plastids of parasites such as the malarial parasite.

2013: Plant biologist Anne Britt and cellular biologist JoAnne Engebrecht collaborate through the college’s first Kingdom-Crossing grant, which funds collaborative research between experts in different life systems. Their work identifies genes shared by plants and worms that are involved in DNA metabolism.

2013: The College innovates a new model for undergraduate advising by opening the Biology Academic Success Center (BASC) and instituting mandatory freshman advising. BASC’s one-stop-shop for advising and counseling services is an immediate hit with students.

2013: Evolutionary geneticist Graham Coop publishes groundbreaking research establishing that all Europeans hail from the same ancestors of just 1,000 years ago.

2013: Neuroscientist Kimberley McAllister publishes a breakthrough paper on how viral infection during pregnancy disrupts neural development in offspring, increasing the risk of autism.

2014: The College kicks off its Freshman Cohort Program, creating community and mentorship opportunities for freshmen as soon as they arrive at UC Davis.

2014: The campus opens the Coastal Marine Sciences Institute, with founding director and EVE professor Rick Grosberg at the helm.

2014: Professors James Trimmer, Martin Usrey and Karen Zito lead teams that win NIH BRAIN Initiative funding to advance knowledge of the structure and function of the brain.

2015: We celebrate ten years as a college, ten decades of impact.