Recent News https://biology.ucdavis.edu/ Recent News for College of Biological Sciences en 11 Professors Elected as AAAS Fellows, 4 from CBS https://biology.ucdavis.edu/news/11-professors-elected-aaas-fellows-4-cbs <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">11 Professors Elected as AAAS Fellows, 4 from CBS</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <span lang="" about="/user/26566" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">thperez</span> </span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">November 25, 2020</span> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-primary-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2646/files/styles/sf_landscape_16x9/public/images/article/AAAS%20logo_0.jpg?h=ef7f75be&amp;itok=PYZlhUKv" width="1280" height="720" alt="AAAS Logo" typeof="foaf:Image" loading="lazy" class="image-style-sf-landscape-16x9" /> </div> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style addthis_32x32_style" addthis:url="https://biology.ucdavis.edu/articles.rss" addthis:title="Recent News" addthis:description=" Eleven UC Davis professors, including four from the College of Biological Sciences, have been elected in this year’s class of fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, the world’s largest general scientific society. Read about them here. "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook"></a> <a class="addthis_button_linkedin"></a> <script> var addthis_share = { templates: { twitter: " Eleven UC Davis professors, including four from the College of Biological Sciences, have been elected in this year’s class of fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, the world’s largest general scientific society. Read about them here. " } } </script> <a class="addthis_button_twitter"></a> <a class="addthis_button_email"></a> <a class="addthis_button_compact"></a> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><img alt="headshots of 11 faculty" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="cd10fc4e-75e6-4cec-a514-48e791d0ebd1" src="/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2646/files/inline-images/AAAS%20group%20mugs.jpg" /></p> <p>Eleven UC Davis professors, including four from the College of Biological Sciences, have been elected in this year’s class of fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, the world’s largest general scientific society.</p> <p><a href="https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/11-professors-elected-aaas-fellows">Read about them here.</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-article-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Category</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/articles/students-campus-life" hreflang="en">Awards and Recognition</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/college-biological-sciences" hreflang="en">College of Biological Sciences</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 25 Nov 2020 23:24:13 +0000 thperez 4446 at https://biology.ucdavis.edu Genome Center Academic Coordinator Receives Mentoring Award https://biology.ucdavis.edu/news/genome-center-academic-coordinator-receives-mentoring-award <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Genome Center Academic Coordinator Receives Mentoring Award</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <span lang="" about="/user/20386" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Tanya Perez</span> </span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">October 29, 2020</span> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-primary-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2646/files/styles/sf_landscape_16x9/public/images/article/Arpana%20Headshot_0.jpg?h=acbaaccb&amp;itok=idRAfRNx" width="1280" height="720" alt="Arpana Vaniya poses for the camera" title="Arpana Vaniya, an academic coordinator at the West Coast Metabolomics Center, has just received the Million Women Mentors Trailblazer Awards. Courtesy photo" typeof="foaf:Image" loading="lazy" class="image-style-sf-landscape-16x9" /> </div> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style addthis_32x32_style" addthis:url="https://biology.ucdavis.edu/articles.rss" addthis:title="Recent News" addthis:description="“You can’t be what you can’t see,” said Arpana Vaniya, quoting Sheila Boyington. “This really resonates with me when thinking about mentoring and why I continue to do it.” Lucky for many UC Davis students, Vaniya continues. The Academic Coordinator at the West Coast Metabolomics Center has just been honored with the Million Women Mentors Trailblazer Awards. Million Women Mentors, an initiative of StemConnectors, is a national and global movement to spark the interest and confidence in women and girls to pursue STEM careers and leadership opportunities through the power of mentoring. “Over the years I have mentored more than 25 mentees who were either grad students, high school students, rotations students and visiting scholars in the (Oliver) Fiehn Lab,” Vaniya explained. She said that when she mentors a student, she strives to build a real relationship, “because without trust, a mentor/mentee relationship can only be so successful.” Continued Vaniya, “Grad school is hard enough, so I try to help them as much as possible.” When asked why she believes UC Davis is a good place for mentors/mentees in STEM, Vaniya praised the university. “UC Davis believes that mentorship is a priceless investment in students and institutional success. UC Davis provides so many mentoring resources, workshops and seminars. You can learn how to become a better mentor/mentee, what is a good strategy to efficiently mentor, what a mentee should (consider) when seeking a mentor, and more currently, how to mentor virtually. “To me, Vaniya added, “this shows that they are invested in supporting mentor/mentees relationships at UC Davis.” Vaniya was honored at this week’s virtual 2020 Million Women Mentors Summit. "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook"></a> <a class="addthis_button_linkedin"></a> <script> var addthis_share = { templates: { twitter: "“You can’t be what you can’t see,” said Arpana Vaniya, quoting Sheila Boyington. “This really resonates with me when thinking about mentoring and why I continue to do it.”" } } </script> <a class="addthis_button_twitter"></a> <a class="addthis_button_email"></a> <a class="addthis_button_compact"></a> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span>“You can’t be what you can’t see,” said Arpana Vaniya, quoting Sheila Boyington. “This really resonates with me when thinking about mentoring and why I continue to do it.”</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Lucky for many UC Davis students, Vaniya continues. The Academic Coordinator at the West Coast Metabolomics Center has just been honored with the Million Women Mentors Trailblazer Awards. <a href="https://www.millionwomenmentors.com/home-mwm">Million Women Mentors</a>, an initiative of <a href="http://new.stemconnector.com/">StemConnectors</a>, is a national and global movement to spark the interest and confidence in women and girls to pursue STEM careers and leadership opportunities through the power of mentoring.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>“Over the years I have mentored more than 25 mentees who were either grad students, high school students, rotations students and visiting scholars in the (Oliver) Fiehn Lab,” Vaniya explained. She said that when she mentors a student, she strives to build a real relationship, “because without trust, a mentor/mentee relationship can only be so successful.”</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Continued Vaniya, “Grad school is hard enough, so I try to help them as much as possible.”</span></span></p> <p><span><span>When asked why she believes UC Davis is a good place for mentors/mentees in STEM, Vaniya praised the university.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>“UC Davis believes that mentorship is a priceless investment in students and institutional success. UC Davis provides so many mentoring resources, workshops and seminars. You can learn how to become a better mentor/mentee, what is a good strategy to efficiently mentor, what a mentee should (consider) when seeking a mentor, and more currently, how to mentor virtually. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>“To me, Vaniya added, “this shows that they are invested in supporting mentor/mentees relationships at UC Davis.”</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Vaniya was honored at this week’s virtual 2020 Million Women Mentors Summit. </span></span></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-article-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Category</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/articles/students-campus-life" hreflang="en">Awards and Recognition</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/genome-center" hreflang="en">Genome Center</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/mentoring" hreflang="en">Mentoring</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/trailblazer-award" hreflang="en">Trailblazer Award</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/college-biological-sciences" hreflang="en">College of Biological Sciences</a></div> </div> </div> Thu, 29 Oct 2020 20:23:42 +0000 Tanya Perez 4436 at https://biology.ucdavis.edu Hunter Lab's research highlighted in Nature https://biology.ucdavis.edu/news/hunter-labs-research-highlighted-nature <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Hunter Lab&#039;s research highlighted in Nature</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <span lang="" about="/user/26566" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">thperez</span> </span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">October 22, 2020</span> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-primary-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2646/files/styles/sf_landscape_16x9/public/images/article/Nature%20journals.jpg?h=51270418&amp;itok=x30xONbq" width="1280" height="720" alt="A stack of Nature journals" title="The Oct. 22 journal Nature features research by the Hunter Lab at UC Davis." typeof="foaf:Image" loading="lazy" class="image-style-sf-landscape-16x9" /> </div> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style addthis_32x32_style" addthis:url="https://biology.ucdavis.edu/articles.rss" addthis:title="Recent News" addthis:description=" The Oct. 22 print edition of Nature features research by Neil Hunter, professor in the College of Biological Science&#039;s Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. The paper, titled &quot;PCNA activates the MutLγ endonuclease to promote meiotic crossing over,&quot; was featured in Nature&#039;s online journal in August  — as well as discussed in the Egghead Blog. The Hunter Lab&#039;s findings suggests that crossover-biased resolution resembles the initial steps of a DNA-repair process called mismatch repair, Hunter said, in which PCNA helps specifically target repair to the newly synthesized DNA strand. “With this realization, we formulated the first cogent model for crossover biased resolution of double-Holliday Junctions, potentially solving a decades old question,” Hunter said. Additional authors on the paper are: Dhananjaya Kulkarni, Shannon Owens, Masayoshi Honda, Masaru Ito, Ye Yang, Mary Corrigan, Lan Chen and Aric Quan, all at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in CBS. "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook"></a> <a class="addthis_button_linkedin"></a> <script> var addthis_share = { templates: { twitter: "" } } </script> <a class="addthis_button_twitter"></a> <a class="addthis_button_email"></a> <a class="addthis_button_compact"></a> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><img alt="Cover of Oct. 22 journal Nature" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="7cb33f6c-c54f-44a8-a562-08d344794ff3" src="/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2646/files/inline-images/Nature%20cover.jpg" /></p> <p>The Oct. 22 print edition of <em>Nature</em> features research by Neil Hunter, professor in the College of Biological Science's Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. The paper, titled "PCNA activates the MutLγ endonuclease to promote meiotic crossing over," was featured in <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2645-6">Nature's online journal</a> in August  — as well as discussed in the <a href="https://egghead.ucdavis.edu/2020/08/20/resolving-double-holliday-junctions-to-complete-crossover-in-meiosis/">Egghead Blog</a>.</p> <p>The Hunter Lab's findings suggests that crossover-biased resolution resembles the initial steps of a DNA-repair process called mismatch repair, Hunter said, in which PCNA helps specifically target repair to the newly synthesized DNA strand.</p> <p>“With this realization, we formulated the first cogent model for crossover biased resolution of double-Holliday Junctions, potentially solving a decades old question,” Hunter said.</p> <p>Additional authors on the paper are: Dhananjaya Kulkarni, Shannon Owens, Masayoshi Honda, Masaru Ito, Ye Yang, Mary Corrigan, Lan Chen and Aric Quan, all at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in CBS.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-article-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Category</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/articles/genetics-microbiology" hreflang="en">Cellular and Microbiology</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/nature" hreflang="en">nature</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/microbiology-and-molecular-genetics" hreflang="en">Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics</a></div> </div> </div> Thu, 22 Oct 2020 22:55:24 +0000 thperez 4431 at https://biology.ucdavis.edu Q&A with the newest Allen Distinguished Investigators https://biology.ucdavis.edu/news/qa-newest-allen-distinguished-investigators <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Q&amp;A with the newest Allen Distinguished Investigators</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <span lang="" about="/user/20386" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Tanya Perez</span> </span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">October 21, 2020</span> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-primary-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2646/files/styles/sf_landscape_16x9/public/images/article/Starr%20and%20Luxton%20mugs3.jpg?h=bd055e40&amp;itok=Z_MFg1ot" width="1280" height="720" alt="Headshots of Dan Starr and Gant Luxton" title="Dan Starr, left, and Gant Luxton have been named Allen Distinguished Investigators. UC Davis photos" typeof="foaf:Image" loading="lazy" class="image-style-sf-landscape-16x9" /> </div> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style addthis_32x32_style" addthis:url="https://biology.ucdavis.edu/articles.rss" addthis:title="Recent News" addthis:description="CBS’ Dan Starr and Gant Luxton awarded $1.5M for research This October marks the 10th anniversary of the Allen Distinguished Investigator program, which was launched in 2010 by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen to back creative, early-stage research projects in biology and medical research that would not otherwise be supported by traditional research funding programs. Including the new project awards, a total of 82 Allen Distinguished Investigators have been appointed over the past 10 years. Among this year’s five project recipients are Daniel Starr and Gant Luxton of the UC Davis College of Biological Science. They are studying a protein complex known as LINC, whose role is to physically connect the nucleus to the cell’s interior scaffolding system, otherwise known as the cytoskeleton. Starr and Gant — who will receive $1.5 million in funding over three years by the Allen Institute — are thrilled to have been named Allen Distinguished Investigators. The pair explain how the award will impact their research. Q: What does the funding mean to your work? Starr: This award allows us to take our new joint laboratory in a new, interdisciplinary direction. The National Institutes of Health would never fund us for the questions we address here. We will focus on open-ended exploration of cell biology focusing on how the nucleus mechanically interacts with the rest of the cell. We will use the funds to hire postdoctoral fellows that bring new skills and expertise to our groups. Finally, this award will allow us to integrate the Starr and Luxton labs, bringing a level of synergy that is much greater than the sum of the parts. Luxton: I totally agree with Dan. The Allen Distinguished Investigator Award will allow the Starr and Luxton Labs to pursue both hypothesis-driven experiments and whole-genome genetic screens designed to understand how the physical coupling of the nucleus to the cytoskeleton influences the ability of cells to regulate their mechanical properties as well as sense and respond to mechanical forces. Our proposed studies will lead to a variety of outputs that will be transformative in their ability to significantly move the nuclear physical cell biology field forward in future studies. Q: How is UC Davis the right place for this work to be done? Starr: UC Davis is the ideal place for this work. Our colleagues are excellent collaborators, especially Jodi Nunnari. She has established a world-class imaging core with automated screening using machine learning. This core and collaborating with the Nunnari Lab made the grant competitive. Simply put, we could not have proposed the range of experiments we did anywhere else. We look forward to collaborating with many others at UC Davis, especially the Burgess, Engebrecht and McKenney labs. Luxton: Between the imaging resources available to us at the MCB Light Microscopy Imaging Facility and our outstanding departmental colleagues/collaborators, there is no question in my mind that our being at UC Davis had a major positive impact on our being selected as recipients of this amazing award. We are especially grateful to Dr. Jodi Nunnari and look forward to working together with her team to harness the power of their novel automated, high-throughput, imaging-based screening methods. Q: Any other thoughts on this award? Starr: We thank the Allen Institute for providing funds dedicated specifically to basic cell biology. It is so difficult to get funding these days for the basic questions we are asking. These funds will allow the Starr and Luxton labs to jump to the next level. These funds remove the limits on our imagination and open up completely new avenues of research. I have never been so excited to do research as I am now! Luxton: We are beyond grateful to the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation for having selected us as Allen Distinguished Investigators. This award is especially meaningful to us, as our proposal was selected from a small list of investigators identified by the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group as leaders in nuclear biology research. I would also like to thank our non-UC Davis collaborators, including Drs. Greg Gillispie (Fluorescence Innovations, Inc.), Liam Holt (New York University), and Stephanie Weber (McGill University). We are indebted to them for their assistance and support. Also, I want to echo Dan in saying how thrilled I am by the scientific freedom given to us by the funding associated with this award. I cannot wait to start this new collaborative adventure at UC Davis! "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook"></a> <a class="addthis_button_linkedin"></a> <script> var addthis_share = { templates: { twitter: "CBS’ Dan Starr and Gant Luxton awarded $1.5M for research This October marks the 10th anniversary of the Allen Distinguished Investigator program, which was launched in 2010 by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen to back creative, early-stage research projects in biology and medical research that would not otherwise be supported by traditional research funding programs." } } </script> <a class="addthis_button_twitter"></a> <a class="addthis_button_email"></a> <a class="addthis_button_compact"></a> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><h4><span><span><span><span><span>CBS’ Dan Starr and Gant Luxton awarded $1.5M for research </span></span></span></span></span></h4> <p><span><span><span><span><span>This October marks the 10th anniversary of the <a href="https://alleninstitute.org/what-we-do/frontiers-group/distinguished-investigators/investigators/">Allen Distinguished Investigator</a> program, which was launched in 2010 by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen to back creative, early-stage research projects in biology and medical research that would not otherwise be supported by traditional research funding programs. Including the new project awards, a total of 82 Allen Distinguished Investigators have been appointed over the past 10 years.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Among this year’s five project recipients are Daniel Starr and Gant Luxton of the UC Davis College of Biological Science. They are studying a protein complex known as LINC, whose role is to physically connect the nucleus to the cell’s interior scaffolding system, otherwise known as the cytoskeleton.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Starr and Gant — who will receive $1.5 million in funding over three years by the Allen Institute — are thrilled to have been named Allen Distinguished Investigators. The pair explain how the award will impact their research.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><em><span><span><span>Q: What does the funding mean to your work?</span></span></span></em></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><strong><span><span><span>Starr:</span></span></span></strong><span><span><span> This award allows us to take our new joint laboratory in a new, interdisciplinary direction. The National Institutes of Health would never fund us for the questions we address here. We will focus on open-ended exploration of cell biology focusing on how the nucleus mechanically interacts with the rest of the cell. We will use the funds to hire postdoctoral fellows that bring new skills and expertise to our groups. Finally, this award will allow us to integrate the Starr and Luxton labs, bringing a level of synergy that is much greater than the sum of the parts.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><strong><span><span><span>Luxton:</span></span></span></strong><span><span><span> I totally agree with Dan. The Allen Distinguished Investigator Award will allow the Starr and Luxton Labs to pursue both hypothesis-driven experiments and whole-genome genetic screens designed to understand how the physical coupling of the nucleus to the cytoskeleton influences the ability of cells to regulate their mechanical properties as well as sense and respond to mechanical forces. Our proposed studies will lead to a variety of outputs that will be transformative in their ability to significantly move the nuclear physical cell biology field forward in future studies.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><em><span><span><span>Q: How is UC Davis the right place for this work to be done?</span></span></span></em></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><strong><span><span><span>Starr:</span></span></span></strong><span><span><span> UC Davis is the ideal place for this work. Our colleagues are excellent collaborators, especially Jodi Nunnari. She has established a world-class imaging core with automated screening using machine learning. This core and collaborating with the Nunnari Lab made the grant competitive. Simply put, we could not have proposed the range of experiments we did anywhere else. We look forward to collaborating with many others at UC Davis, especially the Burgess, Engebrecht and McKenney labs.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><strong><span><span><span>Luxton</span></span></span></strong><span><span><span>: Between the imaging resources available to us at the MCB Light Microscopy Imaging Facility and our outstanding departmental colleagues/collaborators, there is no question in my mind that our being at UC Davis had a major positive impact on our being selected as recipients of this amazing award. We are especially grateful to Dr. Jodi Nunnari and look forward to working together with her team to harness the power of their novel automated, high-throughput, imaging-based screening methods.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><em><span><span><span>Q: Any other thoughts on this award?</span></span></span></em></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><strong><span><span><span>Starr:</span></span></span></strong><span><span><span> We thank the Allen Institute for providing funds dedicated specifically to basic cell biology. It is so difficult to get funding these days for the basic questions we are asking. These funds will allow the Starr and Luxton labs to jump to the next level. These funds remove the limits on our imagination and open up completely new avenues of research. I have never been so excited to do research as I am now!</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><strong><span><span><span>Luxton:</span></span></span></strong><span><span><span> We are beyond grateful to the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation for having selected us as Allen Distinguished Investigators. This award is especially meaningful to us, as our proposal was selected from a small list of investigators identified by the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group as leaders in nuclear biology research.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>I would also like to thank our non-UC Davis collaborators, including Drs. Greg Gillispie (Fluorescence Innovations, Inc.), Liam Holt (New York University), and Stephanie Weber (McGill University). We are indebted to them for their assistance and support.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Also, I want to echo Dan in saying how thrilled I am by the scientific freedom given to us by the funding associated with this award. I cannot wait to start this new collaborative adventure at UC Davis!</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-article-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Category</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/articles/students-campus-life" hreflang="en">Awards and Recognition</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/college-biological-science" hreflang="en">College of Biological Science</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/allen-distinguished-investigator" hreflang="en">Allen Distinguished Investigator</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 21 Oct 2020 19:51:32 +0000 Tanya Perez 4426 at https://biology.ucdavis.edu Patrick Shih Awarded Packard Fellowship https://biology.ucdavis.edu/news/patrick-shih-awarded-packard-fellowship <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Patrick Shih Awarded Packard Fellowship</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <span lang="" about="/user/5461" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Andy Fell</span> </span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">October 14, 2020</span> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-primary-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2646/files/styles/sf_landscape_16x9/public/images/article/Patrick-Shih-College-of-Biological-Sciences-UC-Davis.jpg?h=06ac0d8c&amp;itok=DTXJDi26" width="1280" height="720" alt="Patrick Shih in laboratory" title="Patrick Shih, assistant professor in the Department of Plant Biology, College of Biological Sciences, has been named as a Packard Fellow Science and Engineering by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The fellowship will support Shih’s work on the plant enzyme rubisco, which fixes carbon from the atmosphere. (Photo by David Slipher/UC Davis)" typeof="foaf:Image" loading="lazy" class="image-style-sf-landscape-16x9" /> </div> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style addthis_32x32_style" addthis:url="https://biology.ucdavis.edu/articles.rss" addthis:title="Recent News" addthis:description="Patrick Shih, a biologist who studies the evolution of enzymes that play a central role in taking carbon out of the atmosphere, has been awarded a 2020 Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.  “We are very excited that Professor Shih will be a Packard Fellow, one of the most prestigious awards available to junior faculty,” said Mark Winey, dean of the College of Biological Sciences. “He is among the scientists digging through the vast array of DNA sequence information from thousands of species to infer the evolution of an enzyme critical to life on Earth.” The fellowship will provide $875,000 over five years to support Shih’s work on the enzyme ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase, or rubisco. The most abundant enzyme on the planet, rubisco is involved in “fixing” carbon from atmospheric carbon dioxide so it can be turned into sugars by photosynthesis. It’s found in some form in nearly every green living thing on the planet, and its history goes back billions of years to the origins of photosynthesis. Shih has studied the evolution of rubisco and how it is tied to changes in Earth’s environment. Almost all the fixed carbon on Earth is there because at some point, rubisco grabbed it out of the atmosphere, he said. “If we can understand how it evolved, perhaps we can find ways to better engineer it,” said Shih, assistant professor in the Department of Plant Biology, College of Biological Sciences. In addition to his UC Davis laboratory, Shih leads a research group in the Joint Bioenergy Institute (JBEI) at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. Jurassic Park in a test tube Life on Earth today represents only a tiny fraction of all the living things that have ever existed. By looking at rubisco in a wide range of modern organisms, Shih’s lab can work backwards to ancient, ancestral forms of the enzyme and study their kinetics. “It’s like Jurassic Park in a test tube,” he said. And there are still surprises out there: In August this year, Shih and colleagues at LBL and UC Berkeley identified a new variant of rubisco in unknown microorganisms from wastewater and subsurface environments. “This is a well-deserved award and recognition,” said Professor Savithramma Dinesh-Kumar, chair of the Department of Plant Biology. “This award will give Patrick the opportunity to take risks as a junior faculty to answer questions on origin and evolution of photosynthesis.” Shih is among 20 Packard Fellows announced this year. The program was created in 1988 to support “blue-sky thinking” by scientists and engineers with the belief that over time this research would lead to new discoveries that improve people’s lives and enhance our understanding of the universe. "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook"></a> <a class="addthis_button_linkedin"></a> <script> var addthis_share = { templates: { twitter: "Patrick Shih, a biologist who studies the evolution of enzymes that play a central role in taking carbon out of the atmosphere, has been awarded a 2020 Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation." } } </script> <a class="addthis_button_twitter"></a> <a class="addthis_button_email"></a> <a class="addthis_button_compact"></a> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Patrick Shih, a biologist who studies the evolution of enzymes that play a central role in taking carbon out of the atmosphere, has been awarded a 2020 Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering by the <a href="https://www.packard.org">David and Lucile Packard Foundation</a>.</p> <p> “We are very excited that Professor Shih will be a Packard Fellow, one of the most prestigious awards available to junior faculty,” said Mark Winey, dean of the College of Biological Sciences. “He is among the scientists digging through the vast array of DNA sequence information from thousands of species to infer the evolution of an enzyme critical to life on Earth.”</p> <p>The fellowship will provide $875,000 over five years to support Shih’s work on the enzyme ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase, or rubisco. The most abundant enzyme on the planet, rubisco is involved in “fixing” carbon from atmospheric carbon dioxide so it can be turned into sugars by photosynthesis. It’s found in some form in nearly every green living thing on the planet, and its history goes back billions of years to the origins of photosynthesis.</p> <p>Shih has studied the evolution of rubisco and how it is tied to changes in Earth’s environment. Almost all the fixed carbon on Earth is there because at some point, rubisco grabbed it out of the atmosphere, he said.</p> <p>“If we can understand how it evolved, perhaps we can find ways to better engineer it,” said Shih, assistant professor in the Department of Plant Biology, College of Biological Sciences. In addition to his UC Davis laboratory, Shih leads a research group in the <a href="https://www.jbei.org">Joint Bioenergy Institute (JBEI)</a> at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.</p> <h3>Jurassic Park in a test tube</h3> <p>Life on Earth today represents only a tiny fraction of all the living things that have ever existed. By looking at rubisco in a wide range of modern organisms, Shih’s lab can work backwards to ancient, ancestral forms of the enzyme and study their kinetics.</p> <p>“It’s like Jurassic Park in a test tube,” he said.</p> <p>And there are still surprises out there: In August this year, Shih and colleagues at LBL and UC Berkeley identified a new variant of rubisco in unknown microorganisms from wastewater and subsurface environments.</p> <p>“This is a well-deserved award and recognition,” said Professor Savithramma Dinesh-Kumar, chair of the Department of Plant Biology. “This award will give Patrick the opportunity to take risks as a junior faculty to answer questions on origin and evolution of photosynthesis.”</p> <p>Shih is among 20 Packard Fellows announced this year. The program was created in 1988 to support “blue-sky thinking” by scientists and engineers with the belief that over time this research would lead to new discoveries that improve people’s lives and enhance our understanding of the universe.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-article-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Category</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/articles/students-campus-life" hreflang="en">Awards and Recognition</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/college-biological-sciences" hreflang="en">College of Biological Sciences</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/packard-fellowship" hreflang="en">Packard Fellowship</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/plant-biology" hreflang="en">plant biology</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/honors" hreflang="en">honors</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 14 Oct 2020 21:54:02 +0000 Andy Fell 4396 at https://biology.ucdavis.edu Alumnus Charles Rice Wins Nobel Prize for Medicine https://biology.ucdavis.edu/news/alumnus-charles-rice-wins-nobel-prize-medicine <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Alumnus Charles Rice Wins Nobel Prize for Medicine</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <span lang="" about="/user/5461" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Andy Fell</span> </span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">October 07, 2020</span> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-primary-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2646/files/styles/sf_landscape_16x9/public/images/article/Charles%20Rice%20Nobel%20winner.jpg?h=dba25191&amp;itok=JpobNlH7" width="1280" height="720" alt="Charles Rice sits at a desk." title="Charles M. Rice, a UC Davis alumnus and now professor at The Rockefeller University, shared the 2020 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for the discovery of the hepatitis C virus. Rice graduated from UC Davis in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in zoology. (Photo courtesy The Rockefeller University)." typeof="foaf:Image" loading="lazy" class="image-style-sf-landscape-16x9" /> </div> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style addthis_32x32_style" addthis:url="https://biology.ucdavis.edu/articles.rss" addthis:title="Recent News" addthis:description="Charles M. Rice, who earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Davis, is a recipient of the 2020 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine announced this morning (Oct. 5). “I’m delighted to see the work of one of our alumni honored with a Nobel Prize,” UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May said. “On behalf of the entire UC Davis family, I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Professor Rice. His research and dedication inspire us. This is who we are.” Rice, who is the Maurice R. and Corinne P. Greenberg Professor in Virology at The Rockefeller University in New York, shares the prize with Harvey J. Alter, National Institutes of Health, and Michael Houghton of the University of Alberta, Canada, for the discovery of the hepatitis C virus. “In the midst of the current pandemic, Professor Rice’s work reminds us of how challenging viral diseases are to eradicate and how revealing basic biological mechanisms of disease is critical to designing treatments,” said Mark Winey, dean of the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences. “The college is so proud to have contributed to the education of this scientist.” Majored in zoology Rice graduated from UC Davis in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in zoology. Originally part of the College of Letters and Science, the zoology program became part of the Division — now the College — of Biological Sciences when it was formed in 1970. He went on to earn his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology. Globally, some 71 million people are living with hepatitis C infection, according to an estimate by the World Health Organization. The virus causes liver inflammation and cirrhosis and is the leading cause of liver cancer in the United States. Hepatitis C virus is transmitted through blood and other body fluids. Prior to its identification, hepatitis C was contracted by people receiving contaminated blood transfusion, organ transplants, or other blood products such as clotting factors used to treat hemophilia, said Christopher Bowlus, chief of gastroenterology and hepatology, UC Davis Department of Internal Medicine. The identification of the virus by Rice, Alter, Houghton and their colleagues enabled rapid testing for the virus in donated blood, removing the risk of transmission. 1st to culture hepatitis C virus Rice was the first scientist to succeed in culturing hepatitis C virus, said James Letts, assistant professor of molecular and cellular biology at UC Davis. Being able to grow the virus in a laboratory has enabled research leading to medicines that can cure the disease, potentially saving millions of lives. Letts worked in Rice’s laboratory for three months as a graduate student at The Rockefeller University before moving to another laboratory where he completed his Ph.D. “He’s a great scientist and mentor,” Letts said. Rice visited UC Davis in 2014 to give a Tracy and Ruth Storer Lecture in Life Sciences for the College of Biological Sciences. Media contact(s) Andy Fell, News and Media Relations, 530-752-4533, ahfell@ucdavis.edu Media Resources Nobel Prize Announcement Hepatitis C: 25 Years Later (Storer Lecture, 2014) News release from The Rockefeller University "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook"></a> <a class="addthis_button_linkedin"></a> <script> var addthis_share = { templates: { twitter: "Charles M. Rice, who earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Davis, is a recipient of the 2020 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine announced this morning (Oct. 5). “I’m delighted to see the work of one of our alumni honored with a Nobel Prize,” UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May said. “On behalf of the entire UC Davis family, I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Professor Rice. His research and dedication inspire us. This is who we are.”" } } </script> <a class="addthis_button_twitter"></a> <a class="addthis_button_email"></a> <a class="addthis_button_compact"></a> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Charles M. Rice, who earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Davis, is a recipient of the 2020 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine announced this morning (Oct. 5).</p> <p>“I’m delighted to see the work of one of our alumni honored with a Nobel Prize,” UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May said. “On behalf of the entire UC Davis family, I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Professor Rice. His research and dedication inspire us. This is who we are.”</p> <p>Rice, who is the Maurice R. and Corinne P. Greenberg Professor in Virology at The Rockefeller University in New York, shares the prize with Harvey J. Alter, National Institutes of Health, and Michael Houghton of the University of Alberta, Canada, for the discovery of the hepatitis C virus.</p> <p>“In the midst of the current pandemic, Professor Rice’s work reminds us of how challenging viral diseases are to eradicate and how revealing basic biological mechanisms of disease is critical to designing treatments,” said Mark Winey, dean of the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences. “The college is so proud to have contributed to the education of this scientist.”</p> <h2>Majored in zoology</h2> <p>Rice graduated from UC Davis in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in zoology. Originally part of the College of Letters and Science, the zoology program became part of the Division — now the College — of Biological Sciences when it was formed in 1970. He went on to earn his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology.</p> <p>Globally, some 71 million people are living with hepatitis C infection, according to an estimate by the World Health Organization. The virus causes liver inflammation and cirrhosis and is the leading cause of liver cancer in the United States.</p> <p>Hepatitis C virus is transmitted through blood and other body fluids. Prior to its identification, hepatitis C was contracted by people receiving contaminated blood transfusion, organ transplants, or other blood products such as clotting factors used to treat hemophilia, said Christopher Bowlus, chief of gastroenterology and hepatology, UC Davis Department of Internal Medicine. The identification of the virus by Rice, Alter, Houghton and their colleagues enabled rapid testing for the virus in donated blood, removing the risk of transmission.</p> <h2>1st to culture hepatitis C virus</h2> <p>Rice was the first scientist to succeed in culturing hepatitis C virus, said James Letts, assistant professor of molecular and cellular biology at UC Davis. Being able to grow the virus in a laboratory has enabled research leading to medicines that can cure the disease, potentially saving millions of lives.</p> <p>Letts worked in Rice’s laboratory for three months as a graduate student at The Rockefeller University before moving to another laboratory where he completed his Ph.D. “He’s a great scientist and mentor,” Letts said.</p> <p>Rice visited UC Davis in 2014 <a href="https://video.ucdavis.edu/media/Storer+Lecture+-+Charles+M.+Rice+10-28-14/0_02eml7ir">to give a Tracy and Ruth Storer Lecture in Life Sciences</a> for the College of Biological Sciences.</p> <h2>Media contact(s)</h2> <p><a href="https://www.ucdavis.edu/person/articles/432">Andy Fell</a>, News and Media Relations, 530-752-4533, ahfell@ucdavis.edu</p> <h2>Media Resources</h2> <ul><li><a href="https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/2020/summary/">Nobel Prize Announcement</a></li> <li><a href="https://video.ucdavis.edu/media/Storer+Lecture+-+Charles+M.+Rice+10-28-14/0_02eml7ir">Hepatitis C: 25 Years Later (Storer Lecture, 2014)</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.rockefeller.edu/news/29292-rockefeller-virologist-charles-m-rice-honored-with-nobel-prize-for-research-that-contributed-to-a-cure-for-hepatitis-c/">News release from The Rockefeller University</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-article-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Category</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/articles/students-campus-life" hreflang="en">Awards and Recognition</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/nobel-prize" hreflang="en">Nobel Prize</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/college-biological-sciences" hreflang="en">College of Biological Sciences</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/alumni" hreflang="en">Alumni</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/hepatitis-c-virus" hreflang="en">Hepatitis C virus</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 07 Oct 2020 20:23:39 +0000 Andy Fell 4391 at https://biology.ucdavis.edu Koret Foundation Grants $4 Million to UC Davis Career-Preparation Programs https://biology.ucdavis.edu/news/koret-foundation-grants-4-million-uc-davis-career-preparation-programs <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Koret Foundation Grants $4 Million to UC Davis Career-Preparation Programs</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <span lang="" about="/user/26566" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">thperez</span> </span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">September 25, 2020</span> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-primary-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2646/files/styles/sf_landscape_16x9/public/images/article/BioLaunch%20mentor%20mentee.jpg?h=06ac0d8c&amp;itok=2edxHg-8" width="1280" height="720" alt="Two UC Davis students pose under trees" title="Lauren Watson and Jannerfer An became friends through the BioLaunch Mentor Collective, and Jannerfer enjoyed the experience so much she is returning as a mentor this year. David Slipher/UC Davis" typeof="foaf:Image" loading="lazy" class="image-style-sf-landscape-16x9" /> </div> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style addthis_32x32_style" addthis:url="https://biology.ucdavis.edu/articles.rss" addthis:title="Recent News" addthis:description="$1.75 Million goes to BioLaunch By Clémentine Sicard The Koret Foundation has granted $4 million to undergraduate career-preparation programs across UC Davis. Part of Koret’s Higher Education Initiative, the grant will provide signifcant support for Aggie Launch, the Big Idea that integrates career exploration and readiness in the undergraduate experience. Aggie Launch is an innovative approach to the career-preparation process, beginning even before students start their curriculum. Students will have access to comprehensive career services and experiential learning opportunities that are critical to their success after they graduate. With the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the Koret Foundation’s dedication to the future generations of Aggie professionals comes at a critical time. “The foundation’s grant will help build the career-preparation programs that our students need now more than ever,” said Marcie Kirk Holland, Aggie Launch co-champion and executive director of the Internship and Career Center. “This kind of support is essential during this time in which our recent and upcoming graduates are entering a challenging job market. It’s going to take all of us working together in innovative ways to prepare our students for success after graduation.” College of Biological Sciences Dean Mark Winey noted the importance of robust support for new students, helping the college’s 1,700 first-year and transfer students “quickly find a sense of belonging in the fast-paced life sciences community at UC Davis.” &quot;Generous philanthropic support helps us expand the reach and depth of critical programs like BioLaunch (link to the website),&quot; Winey added. &quot;We&#039;re so grateful for the Koret Foundation&#039;s investment, allowing us even more opportunity to highlight career programs early in our students&#039; academic journeys.&quot; The foundation’s grant is in three parts, distributed among BioLaunch, AvenueE and Aggie EVO: $1.75 million to BioLaunch— BioLaunch is a First-Year Experience Program that helps new students in the College of Biological Sciences develop a sense of community and receive academic and social support in their major. The Koret grant will add an extra one-unit lecture course for about 600 freshmen students called BioLaunch Fellows, a career awareness course to expand their knowledge of their opportunities early on in their academic career. $1.25 million to AvenueE—AvenueE serves low-resource transfer students in engineering and computer science and encourages women and underrepresented communities in the field to participate. The Koret grant will support a $2,500 scholarship for each participant during their first year. It will also help test and develop the best services to retain and graduate transfer students at UC Davis, and position students to have successful careers in the engineering/technology sector. $1 million to Aggie EVO— Aggie EVO prepares student-athletes for success after graduation through career-building programs and opportunities. The Koret grant will help measure the efficacy of their programs, support programs for underrepresented communities and fund a position to increase interaction and networking with alumni. The Koret Foundation is a major philanthropic foundation in the Bay Area that is dedicated to strengthening innovation and community. They have a long history of supporting UC Davis, including the Shelter Medicine Program and Center for Companion Animal Health at the School of Veterinary Medicine. Over the past decade they have also made gifts to the School of Medicine, the College of Letters and Science and Intercollegiate Athletics. "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook"></a> <a class="addthis_button_linkedin"></a> <script> var addthis_share = { templates: { twitter: "$1.75 Million goes to BioLaunch By Clémentine Sicard The Koret Foundation has granted $4 million to undergraduate career-preparation programs across UC Davis. Part of Koret’s Higher Education Initiative, the grant will provide signifcant support for Aggie Launch, the Big Idea that integrates career exploration and readiness in the undergraduate experience." } } </script> <a class="addthis_button_twitter"></a> <a class="addthis_button_email"></a> <a class="addthis_button_compact"></a> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>$1.75 Million goes to BioLaunch</h3> <h5><em>By Cl</em><em>é</em><em>mentine Sicard</em></h5> <p>The Koret Foundation has granted $4 million to undergraduate career-preparation programs across UC Davis. Part of Koret’s Higher Education Initiative, the grant will provide signifcant support for Aggie Launch, the Big Idea that integrates career exploration and readiness in the undergraduate experience.</p> <p>Aggie Launch is an innovative approach to the career-preparation process, beginning even before students start their curriculum. Students will have access to comprehensive career services and experiential learning opportunities that are critical to their success after they graduate.</p> <p>With the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the Koret Foundation’s dedication to the future generations of Aggie professionals comes at a critical time.</p> <p>“The foundation’s grant will help build the career-preparation programs that our students need now more than ever,” said Marcie Kirk Holland, Aggie Launch co-champion and executive director of the Internship and Career Center. “This kind of support is essential during this time in which our recent and upcoming graduates are entering a challenging job market. It’s going to take all of us working together in innovative ways to prepare our students for success after graduation.”</p> <p>College of Biological Sciences Dean Mark Winey noted the importance of robust support for new students, helping the college’s 1,700 first-year and transfer students “quickly find a sense of belonging in the fast-paced life sciences community at UC Davis.”</p> <p>"Generous philanthropic support helps us expand the reach and depth of critical programs like BioLaunch (link to the website)," Winey added. "We're so grateful for the Koret Foundation's investment, allowing us even more opportunity to highlight career programs early in our students' academic journeys."</p> <p>The foundation’s grant is in three parts, distributed among BioLaunch, AvenueE and Aggie EVO:</p> <ul><li><strong>$1.75 million to BioLaunch</strong>—<strong> </strong>BioLaunch is a First-Year Experience Program that helps new students in the College of Biological Sciences develop a sense of community and receive academic and social support in their major. The Koret grant will add an extra one-unit lecture course for about 600 freshmen students called BioLaunch Fellows, a career awareness course to expand their knowledge of their opportunities early on in their academic career.</li> </ul><ul><li><strong>$1.25 million to AvenueE</strong><strong>—</strong>AvenueE serves low-resource transfer students in engineering and computer science and encourages women and underrepresented communities in the field to participate. The Koret grant will support a $2,500 scholarship for each participant during their first year. It will also help test and develop the best services to retain and graduate transfer students at UC Davis, and position students to have successful careers in the engineering/technology sector.</li> <li><strong>$1 million to Aggie EVO</strong>— Aggie EVO prepares student-athletes for success after graduation through career-building programs and opportunities. The Koret grant will help measure the efficacy of their programs, support programs for underrepresented communities and fund a position to increase interaction and networking with alumni.</li> </ul><p>The Koret Foundation is a major philanthropic foundation in the Bay Area that is dedicated to strengthening innovation and community. They have a long history of supporting UC Davis, including the Shelter Medicine Program and Center for Companion Animal Health at the School of Veterinary Medicine. Over the past decade they have also made gifts to the School of Medicine, the College of Letters and Science and Intercollegiate Athletics.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-article-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Category</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/articles/campus-community" hreflang="en">Campus and Community</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/biolaunch" hreflang="en">BioLaunch</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/koret-foundation" hreflang="en">Koret Foundation</a></div> </div> </div> Fri, 25 Sep 2020 15:55:55 +0000 thperez 4381 at https://biology.ucdavis.edu What’s In a Name? Life Sciences to Become Green Hall https://biology.ucdavis.edu/news/whats-name-life-sciences-become-green-hall <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">What’s In a Name? Life Sciences to Become Green Hall</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <span lang="" about="/user/20386" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Tanya Perez</span> </span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">September 21, 2020</span> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-primary-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2646/files/styles/sf_landscape_16x9/public/images/article/Mel%20Green%20Life%20Sciences%202011.jpg?h=265e640d&amp;itok=GQFO1-St" width="1280" height="720" alt="Mel Green stands in front of Life Sciences building at UC Davis" title="The late Professor Melvin M. Green, shown in 2011 in front of the building that will soon be named for him and his late wife, Kathleen. Karin Higgins/UC Davis photo" typeof="foaf:Image" loading="lazy" class="image-style-sf-landscape-16x9" /> </div> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style addthis_32x32_style" addthis:url="https://biology.ucdavis.edu/articles.rss" addthis:title="Recent News" addthis:description="Longtime faculty member and wife had ‘amazing partnership’ After 23 years, the Life Sciences building is getting a new name that befits its purpose: Melvin M. and Kathleen C. Green Hall. The building — which opened in 1997 as an addition to Briggs Hall and houses the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences’ research laboratories, faculty and staff — will honor the late pioneering biology faculty member and his late wife, a biologist and a local politician. “I think he’d be tickled,” said Ken Burtis, about his friend and mentor, Mel, on having a biology building named for him and his wife. “He’d really get a charge out of it.” Photographic illustration shows the Life Science Building&#039;s new name as it will appear above the doors. UC Davis graphicMelvin M. Green Burtis, who recently retired after a long career at UC Davis, most recently as faculty adviser to Provost Ralph Hexter, worked in a laboratory directly under Mel’s from 1976-79; upon Burtis’ return to UC Davis from graduate school as an assistant professor in 1988, he became Mel’s officemate. Joking about sharing an office with someone who was hard of hearing and a bit of a curmudgeon, Burtis admitted that Mel “turned out to be an incredibly valuable resource” for both Burtis and generations of biology faculty and students. “He had two passions,” Burtis said: “Listening to what was going on now (in biology fields), and making sure people remembered the old days.” Added Professor Dan Starr, “He cared about students more than anybody, (and) even in his 90s, he cared about all of his colleagues. He wanted all of his colleagues to be successful.” Starr met Mel long after his retirement in 1982 — “I met him in my first faculty reception here in 2003. I knew of him before because I was a grad student in drosophila (fruit flies).” — and admired how the senior biologist put in the effort to get to know you. “He walked around the offices and showed us journals (relating to our research),” Starr said. “His engagement with science was so genuine.” Burtis agreed. “The amazing thing is he never lost his curiosity after retirement.” Melvin Green sits at his laboratory bench at UC Davis in 1967; Kathleen Green poses circa 1967. Courtesy photosKathleen C. Green As for Kathleen, who also trained as a biologist, Mel would say she was smarter than he and would have made a better scientist, according to Starr. But, as Burtis explained, “Most germane to her story, (Kathleen was) part of a generation of women who were good scientists in their own right but subordinated their careers” to their spouses’. Which, Burtis added, made her very supportive of young women pursuing science. In fact, after her death when Burtis was dean of CBS, Mel approached him with his idea to endow a scholarship for women in science in Kathleen’s name. The Kathleen C. Green Scholarship in Biology recognizes the outstanding academic achievements of female biology students. Kathleen’s influence was especially large in the city of Davis, “when the city was more university-centric,” Burtis said. In 1958, she was the first woman to ever run for Davis City Council, winning a seat and serving until 1962. She also was charter member of the League of Women Voters in Davis, as well as its president; she served on the Sutter Davis Board of Directors, and she was given the Covell Award, also known as Davis’ Citizen of the Year, in 1971. These renderings show the new sign for Green Hall, inset, and how it will look as you approach the building. UC Davis graphicsGreen Hall And why does it make sense to name a building for the Greens, aside from the fact that having a biology building named “Green Hall” is quite fitting? Starr offered a couple of reasons. “(Mel) grew up in the Jewish ghetto in Minneapolis during the Depression,” Starr said. Pre-World War II, he explained, antisemitism was rampant, and finding success was not predestined. “His experience is very parallel to what first-generation immigrants are going through now.” “To me, it’s more what these two did in their careers: Mel working out of the Jewish ghetto, becoming a war hero, then scientist, (and Kathleen) becoming a great politician.” — Dan Starr, professor of molecular and cellular biology Star continued. Mel became a “war hero, (who) took his service to the country very seriously,” working his way up to medical service in France and Belgium. “Then he had a 60-year career where he was a National Academy of Sciences member,” Starr said with admiration, as well as receiving two Guggenheim fellowships. “To me, it’s more what these two did in their careers: Mel working out of the Jewish ghetto, becoming a war hero, then scientist, (and Kathleen) becoming a great politician,” Starr said, praising the longterm impacts both made on the campus and city communities. As well, Starr said, “He is UC Davis. I think the faculty will be thrilled.” Burtis agreed. “I think of him as someone who epitomized a lot of the qualities that we most treasure in faculty,” he said: his deep commitment to research and to mentoring the next generation of scientists. “He came to the lab every day until he was physically unable,” Burtis said. And while there are many “faculty who were worthy” of having a UC Davis building named for them, Burtis added, “You know, Mel, you’re representing &#039;em all.” In August 2016, a crowd gathered to celebrate his 100th birthday with Mel Green, center. David Slipher/UC Davis photo  "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook"></a> <a class="addthis_button_linkedin"></a> <script> var addthis_share = { templates: { twitter: "Longtime faculty member and wife had ‘amazing partnership’ After 23 years, the Life Sciences building is getting a new name that befits its purpose: Melvin M. and Kathleen C. Green Hall. The building — which opened in 1997 as an addition to Briggs Hall and houses the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences’ research laboratories, faculty and staff — will honor the late pioneering biology faculty member and his late wife, a biologist and a local politician." } } </script> <a class="addthis_button_twitter"></a> <a class="addthis_button_email"></a> <a class="addthis_button_compact"></a> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>Longtime faculty member and wife had ‘amazing partnership’</h3> <p>After 23 years, the Life Sciences building is getting a new name that befits its purpose: Melvin M. and Kathleen C. Green Hall.</p> <p>The building — which opened in 1997 as an addition to Briggs Hall and houses the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences’ research laboratories, faculty and staff — will honor the late pioneering biology faculty member and his late wife, a biologist and a local politician.</p> <p>“I think he’d be tickled,” said Ken Burtis, about his friend and mentor, Mel, on having a biology building named for him and his wife. “He’d really get a charge out of it.”</p> <figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="Entrance to Green Hall" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="b2e9a262-c2b8-4c55-a7a8-5cd1d3afdc0a" src="/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2646/files/inline-images/Melvin%20%26%20Kathleen%20Green%20Hall%20entrance.jpg" /><figcaption>Photographic illustration shows the Life Science Building's new name as it will appear above the doors. UC Davis graphic</figcaption></figure><h4><strong>Melvin M. Green</strong></h4> <p>Burtis, who recently retired after a long career at UC Davis, most recently as faculty adviser to Provost Ralph Hexter, worked in a laboratory directly under Mel’s from 1976-79; upon Burtis’ return to UC Davis from graduate school as an assistant professor in 1988, he became Mel’s officemate.</p> <p>Joking about sharing an office with someone who was hard of hearing and a bit of a curmudgeon, Burtis admitted that Mel “turned out to be an incredibly valuable resource” for both Burtis and generations of biology faculty and students.</p> <p>“He had two passions,” Burtis said: “Listening to what was going on now (in biology fields), and making sure people remembered the old days.”</p> <p>Added Professor Dan Starr, “He cared about students more than anybody, (and) even in his 90s, he cared about all of his colleagues. He wanted all of his colleagues to be successful.”</p> <p>Starr met Mel long after his retirement in 1982 — “I met him in my first faculty reception here in 2003. I knew of him before because I was a grad student in drosophila (fruit flies).” — and admired how the senior biologist put in the effort to get to know you.</p> <p>“He walked around the offices and showed us journals (relating to our research),” Starr said. “His engagement with science was so genuine.”</p> <p>Burtis agreed. “The amazing thing is he never lost his curiosity after retirement.”</p> <figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="Mel and Kathleen Green" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="96bf6bc8-95dd-4bef-9729-ec1e1ebf0abb" src="/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2646/files/inline-images/Mel%20and%20Kathleen%20Green%201967.jpg" /><figcaption>Melvin Green sits at his laboratory bench at UC Davis in 1967; Kathleen Green poses circa 1967. Courtesy photos</figcaption></figure><h4><strong>Kathleen C. Green</strong></h4> <p>As for Kathleen, who also trained as a biologist, Mel would say she was smarter than he and would have made a better scientist, according to Starr.</p> <p>But, as Burtis explained, “Most germane to her story, (Kathleen was) part of a generation of women who were good scientists in their own right but subordinated their careers” to their spouses’. Which, Burtis added, made her very supportive of young women pursuing science.</p> <p>In fact, after her death when Burtis was dean of CBS, Mel approached him with his idea to endow a scholarship for women in science in Kathleen’s name. The Kathleen C. Green Scholarship in Biology recognizes the outstanding academic achievements of female biology students.</p> <p>Kathleen’s influence was especially large in the city of Davis, “when the city was more university-centric,” Burtis said. In 1958, she was the first woman to ever run for Davis City Council, winning a seat and serving until 1962.</p> <p>She also was charter member of the League of Women Voters in Davis, as well as its president; she served on the Sutter Davis Board of Directors, and she was given the Covell Award, also known as Davis’ Citizen of the Year, in 1971.</p> <figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="Green Hall sign" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="fdcff25c-5c33-4d88-a5f8-184de8109c49" src="/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2646/files/inline-images/green%20hall%20streetview%20sign%20inset.jpg" /><figcaption>These renderings show the new sign for Green Hall, inset, and how it will look as you approach the building. UC Davis graphics</figcaption></figure><h4><strong>Green Hall</strong></h4> <p>And why does it make sense to name a building for the Greens, aside from the fact that having a biology building named “Green Hall” is quite fitting?</p> <p>Starr offered a couple of reasons.</p> <p>“(Mel) grew up in the Jewish ghetto in Minneapolis during the Depression,” Starr said. Pre-World War II, he explained, antisemitism was rampant, and finding success was not predestined. “His experience is very parallel to what first-generation immigrants are going through now.”</p> <blockquote> <p>“To me, it’s more what these two did in their careers: Mel working out of the Jewish ghetto, becoming a war hero, then scientist, (and Kathleen) becoming a great politician.”<br /> — <em>Dan Starr, professor of molecular and cellular biology</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Star continued. Mel became a “war hero, (who) took his service to the country very seriously,” working his way up to medical service in France and Belgium.</p> <p>“Then he had a 60-year career where he was a National Academy of Sciences member,” Starr said with admiration, as well as receiving two Guggenheim fellowships.</p> <p>“To me, it’s more what these two did in their careers: Mel working out of the Jewish ghetto, becoming a war hero, then scientist, (and Kathleen) becoming a great politician,” Starr said, praising the longterm impacts both made on the campus and city communities.</p> <p>As well, Starr said, “He <em>is</em> UC Davis. I think the faculty will be thrilled.”</p> <p>Burtis agreed.</p> <p>“I think of him as someone who epitomized a lot of the qualities that we most treasure in faculty,” he said: his deep commitment to research and to mentoring the next generation of scientists. “He came to the lab every day until he was physically unable,” Burtis said.</p> <p>And while there are many “faculty who were worthy” of having a UC Davis building named for them, Burtis added, “You know, Mel, you’re representing 'em all.”</p> <figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><img alt="Mel Green sits with crowd in auditorium" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="1480c37c-f19d-4b4c-ad00-058884194273" src="/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2646/files/inline-images/Mel%20Green%20100th%20bday%202016.jpg" /><figcaption>In August 2016, a crowd gathered to celebrate his 100th birthday with Mel Green, center. David Slipher/UC Davis photo</figcaption></figure><p> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-article-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Category</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/articles/campus-community" hreflang="en">Campus and Community</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/college-biological-sciences" hreflang="en">College of Biological Sciences</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/green-hall" hreflang="en">Green Hall</a></div> </div> </div> Mon, 21 Sep 2020 23:17:29 +0000 Tanya Perez 4376 at https://biology.ucdavis.edu Start Here to Make a Protein https://biology.ucdavis.edu/news/start-here-make-protein <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Start Here to Make a Protein</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <span lang="" about="/user/5461" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Andy Fell</span> </span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">September 08, 2020</span> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-primary-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2646/files/styles/sf_landscape_16x9/public/images/article/mRNA%20for%20protein%20story.jpg?h=c673cd1c&amp;itok=etithorv" width="1280" height="720" alt="image of DNA structure" typeof="foaf:Image" loading="lazy" class="image-style-sf-landscape-16x9" /> </div> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style addthis_32x32_style" addthis:url="https://biology.ucdavis.edu/articles.rss" addthis:title="Recent News" addthis:description="Structure of mRNA Initiation Complex Could Give Insight Into Cancer and Other Diseases Researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, U.K., have solved the structure of the complex formed when mRNA is being scanned to find the starting point for translating RNA into a protein. The discovery, published Sept. 4 in Science, provides new understanding of this fundamental process. “This structure transforms what we know about translation initiation in human cells and there has been a tremendous excitement from people in the field,” said Christopher Fraser, professor of molecular and cellular biology at UC Davis and corresponding author on the paper. Although nearly all our cells contain our entire genome, cells use different subsets of genes to make the proteins they need to perform their various functions. This requires precise control over the processes by which the DNA is first transcribed to produce mRNA and then mRNA is translated to make protein. Translation begins when a ribosome attaches to a piece of mRNA and scans along it until it finds a start codon, three letters of RNA that say, “start translating here.” There are over a dozen different proteins known as initiation factors involved in this process. Many of these initiation factors have been found to be dysregulated in various cancers. However, just how the factors come together and scan mRNA has been poorly understood, due to the lack of understanding of the structures of the entire complex. Translation initiation caught in the act To investigate this, Fraser and postdoctoral researcher Masaaki Sokabe at the UC Davis Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology collaborated with Venki Ramakrishnan, Jailson Brito Querido, Sebastian Kraatz and Yuliya Gordiyenko at the LMB to visualize the structure of the complex. Ramakrishnan shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work on the structure of the ribosome. The team used an mRNA that lacked a start codon so that it would be trapped in the act of scanning. While big for a biological machine, you could fit about 3,000 of these complexes across the width of a human hair. The team therefore used cryoelectron microscopy at the LMB to obtain a structure of the complex including the trapped mRNA. Cryoelectron microscopy allows biologists to capture 3D movies of biological molecules down to the scale of single atoms.  Based on this structure, the researchers proposed a model of how the mRNA slots into a channel in the small ribosomal subunit, and a mechanism for how the mRNA might be pulled through the ribosome for scanning, like a strip of film through an old-style projector. They were able to predict that for most mRNAs, the start codon would need to be sufficiently far from the front end of the mRNA for it to be found in the scanning process, which was then confirmed biochemically by Sokabe and Fraser. Further confirmation of the model was obtained by mass spectrometry carried out by Mark Skehel of the LMB. The UC Davis College of Biological Sciences recently opened its own cryoelectron microscopy facility, which will make this kind of work possible on campus, Fraser said.  The work was funded by UKRI MRC, Federation of European Biochemical Societies, Wellcome, Louis-Jeantet Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health. Media contact(s) Christopher Fraser, Molecular and Cellular Biology, csfraser@ucdavis.edu Andy Fell, News and Media Relations, 530-752-4533, ahfell@ucdavis.edu Media Resources Read the paper (Science) "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook"></a> <a class="addthis_button_linkedin"></a> <script> var addthis_share = { templates: { twitter: "Structure of mRNA Initiation Complex Could Give Insight Into Cancer and Other Diseases Researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, U.K., have solved the s" } } </script> <a class="addthis_button_twitter"></a> <a class="addthis_button_email"></a> <a class="addthis_button_compact"></a> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>Structure of mRNA Initiation Complex Could Give Insight Into Cancer and Other Diseases</h3> <div class="responsive-embed" style="padding-bottom: 74.946%"><iframe width="459" height="344" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tI20ASc7TAc?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" loading="lazy"></iframe></div> <p>Researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the <a href="https://www2.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk/">MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology</a> in Cambridge, U.K., have solved the structure of the complex formed when mRNA is being scanned to find the starting point for translating RNA into a protein. The discovery, published Sept. 4 in <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/369/6508/1220">Science</a>, provides new understanding of this fundamental process.</p> <p>“This structure transforms what we know about translation initiation in human cells and there has been a tremendous excitement from people in the field,” said <a href="https://biology.ucdavis.edu/people/christopher-fraser">Christopher Fraser</a>, professor of molecular and cellular biology at UC Davis and corresponding author on the paper.</p> <p>Although nearly all our cells contain our entire genome, cells use different subsets of genes to make the proteins they need to perform their various functions. This requires precise control over the processes by which the DNA is first transcribed to produce mRNA and then mRNA is translated to make protein.</p> <p>Translation begins when a ribosome attaches to a piece of mRNA and scans along it until it finds a start codon, three letters of RNA that say, “start translating here.” There are over a dozen different proteins known as initiation factors involved in this process. Many of these initiation factors have been found to be dysregulated in various cancers.</p> <p>However, just how the factors come together and scan mRNA has been poorly understood, due to the lack of understanding of the structures of the entire complex.</p> <h2>Translation initiation caught in the act</h2> <p>To investigate this, Fraser and postdoctoral researcher Masaaki Sokabe at the UC Davis Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology collaborated with Venki Ramakrishnan, Jailson Brito Querido, Sebastian Kraatz and Yuliya Gordiyenko at the LMB to visualize the structure of the complex. Ramakrishnan shared the <a href="https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/2009/summary/">2009 Nobel Prize in chemistry</a> for his work on the structure of the ribosome.</p> <p>The team used an mRNA that lacked a start codon so that it would be trapped in the act of scanning. While big for a biological machine, you could fit about 3,000 of these complexes across the width of a human hair. The team therefore used cryoelectron microscopy at the LMB to obtain a structure of the complex including the trapped mRNA. Cryoelectron microscopy allows biologists to capture 3D movies of biological molecules down to the scale of single atoms. </p> <p>Based on this structure, the researchers proposed a model of how the mRNA slots into a channel in the small ribosomal subunit, and a mechanism for how the mRNA might be pulled through the ribosome for scanning, like a strip of film through an old-style projector.</p> <p>They were able to predict that for most mRNAs, the start codon would need to be sufficiently far from the front end of the mRNA for it to be found in the scanning process, which was then confirmed biochemically by Sokabe and Fraser. Further confirmation of the model was obtained by mass spectrometry carried out by Mark Skehel of the LMB.</p> <p>The UC Davis College of Biological Sciences recently opened its own <a href="https://biology.ucdavis.edu/news/new-cryo-electron-microscope-powers-biological-sciences-discovery">cryoelectron microscopy facility</a>, which will make this kind of work possible on campus, Fraser said. </p> <p>The work was funded by UKRI MRC, Federation of European Biochemical Societies, Wellcome, Louis-Jeantet Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.</p> <h2>Media contact(s)</h2> <p><a href="https://www.ucdavis.edu/person/articles/27316">Christopher Fraser</a>, Molecular and Cellular Biology, csfraser@ucdavis.edu</p> <p><a href="https://www.ucdavis.edu/person/articles/432">Andy Fell</a>, News and Media Relations, 530-752-4533, ahfell@ucdavis.edu</p> <h2>Media Resources</h2> <ul><li><a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/369/6508/1220">Read the paper (Science)</a></li> </ul></div> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-article-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Category</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/articles/genetics-microbiology" hreflang="en">Cellular and Microbiology</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/college-biological-sciences" hreflang="en">College of Biological Sciences</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/molecular-and-cellular-biology" hreflang="en">Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology</a></div> </div> </div> Tue, 08 Sep 2020 16:42:04 +0000 Andy Fell 4361 at https://biology.ucdavis.edu The Late Professor Inoue Would Be Proud https://biology.ucdavis.edu/news/late-professor-inoue-would-be-proud <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Late Professor Inoue Would Be Proud</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <span lang="" about="/user/20386" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Tanya Perez</span> </span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">September 07, 2020</span> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-primary-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2646/files/styles/sf_landscape_16x9/public/images/article/Philip%20Day%20Steve%20Theg%20lab.jpg?h=c673cd1c&amp;itok=A3OWKkZy" width="1280" height="720" alt="Two men look at plants in a laboratory" title="Ph.D. student Philip Day and Professor Steven Theg, Department of Plant Biology, work on protein sorting in plant chloroplasts. (David Slipher/UC Davis)" typeof="foaf:Image" loading="lazy" class="image-style-sf-landscape-16x9" /> </div> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style addthis_32x32_style" addthis:url="https://biology.ucdavis.edu/articles.rss" addthis:title="Recent News" addthis:description="Students Finish His and Their Research, Earn Ph.D.s By Kristin Burns Four years after plant sciences professor Kentaro Inoue was struck and killed while riding his bike, the last three graduate students from his lab are ensuring his scientific legacy lives on through their published research, careers in industry and academia, and mentoring of future science students. Philip Day, Laura Klasek and Lucas McKinnon successfully completed their doctoral degrees in the past year, having continued their studies with the support of plant biology professor Steven Theg, one of Inoue’s colleagues, and the Department of Plant Sciences. Kentaro InoueInoue, a member of the faculty for 15 years, died while cycling through West Sacramento, en route to campus, Aug. 31, 2016. Day, Klasek and McKinnon “had to make a decision to stay in science, stay with projects Kentaro gave them, not knowing how they would turn out, so they really persevered,” Theg said. “I thought it took a lot of fortitude.” Theg would become their mentor — fortunate, he said, to have inherited such talented students. The trio has flourished, he said, citing publication of their work in one of the leading journals in plant sciences, The Plant Cell — research that focuses on chloroplasts, which are responsible for photosynthesis in plants. Theg’s own work involves protein translocation across chloroplast membranes. “They should be very proud of their research, and I’m proud of them, too,” he said. “Having their papers all in the same top plant sciences journal is a really nice way to celebrate Kentaro’s final scientific contributions.” ‘A beautiful collaboration’ Georgia Drakakaki, associate professor in plant sciences and a colleague of Inoue, described the work of Theg and the students as “a beautiful collaboration — something really good that came out of a tragic moment that Kentaro would be proud of.” Inoue, whose appointment was in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and Theg, of the College of Biological Sciences, were close colleagues, had overlapping research and served on committees for each other’s students. To work with Day, Klasek and McKinnon just made sense, Theg said, because he was so familiar with Inoue’s research. “It’s a tribute to Kentaro that all three students decided to keep their existing projects rather than start new ones,” Theg said. “They were good projects — Kentaro had really thought about what was important in the field.&quot; It takes a village The grad students acknowledged that what Theg did was no easy task, accepting established students and meeting with them weekly. Theg“All three of us are grateful for what Professor Theg did, taking us on,” Day said. “It must have been very difficult to start thinking about new projects that weren’t originally his, but he did a great job and pushed us through to publish and graduate.” Klasek added: “Professor Theg was an important part of being able to continue research. He was a solid sounding board, a great source of support and a great mentor for the last two-thirds of my Ph.D.” The Department of Plant Sciences also invested in the students to help them finish theirs and Inoue’s research. Chairs Joe DiTomaso and later, Gail Taylor, along with the chief administrative officer, Dee Madderra, arranged to continue the students’ support until they graduated, including travel funding. “We wanted to do what was right — whatever we could to make sure Philip, Lucas and Laura were well taken care of,” Madderra said. “We hoped that with the department’s support, it would help them move through the transition.” Good scientists The students said Inoue prepared them well and taught them to be good scientists — to think like scientists and to be good scientific citizens. Klasek recalled how Inoue emphasized that scientists should always acknowledge anyone who helped with their work, whether it was someone who prepared a reagent or someone who, in discussion, spurred new ideas or direction. “He was really conscientious about recognizing those contributions and how we would never get everything done without everyone in the lab and other people doing research in our field and beyond,” Klasek said. She added that Inoue’s students always knew they had managed to do something really well if the professor simply said, “good,” and moved on with the conversation. “That was cause for celebration,” she said. As understated as he was, though, Inoue’s influence went a long way — inspiring these three graduate students to their Ph.D.s. even in his absence. “Kentaro was demanding and pushed us very hard to defend our conclusions and support our data,” Klasek said. “But he also had our backs 100 percent. If we started to get discouraged or had other stuff going on, he wanted to see how he could help.” LAST OF THE INOUE LAB ‘Think like a scientist’ DayPhilip Day completed his Ph.D. in 2019. His research at UC Davis helped determine how beta-barrel proteins are sorted to the correct location in the outer envelope membrane of plant chloroplasts. Protein sorting to this membrane is one of the least understood aspects of chloroplast protein targeting. Day continued his chloroplast research with Professor Henning Kunz at Washington State University for a year, until Kunz moved his laboratory to Germany. Due to travel difficulties during the pandemic, Day decided not to follow. He is considering his next career steps. Working with Inoue for more than 3½ years, Day said he credits him with teaching him the importance of rigor, how to design a good experiment and carry it out, and, above all, making sure he knew how to think like a scientist. Said Day: “I find myself always thinking, ‘Are these the results that Kentaro would have agreed with, would they have convinced him they were true?’ We’re carrying on his scientific legacy, and we’re doing things the way that he taught us.” Day joined Inoue’s lab because they were both interested in evolution and the origin of chloroplasts. Chloroplasts evolved about a billion years ago from an ancient endosymbiotic relationship between a cyanobacterial species and a eukaryotic cell. “I think Professor Inoue would have been pretty proud that we kept putting in the work, and that we did justice to those projects,” Day said. ‘A scientific citizen’ Laura Klasek completed her Ph.D. in June and joined Elemental Enzymes in St. Louis, Mo., as a research scientist, providing support to research and development efforts and regulatory efforts. KlasekIn July, at the annual summit of the American Society of Plant Biologists, or ASPB, she gave a presentation that comprised the bulk of her dissertation, on how molecular chaperones help proteins reach their final destination in the chloroplast. She discovered a previously unappreciated new role for these chaperones, one that had escaped detection in 30 years of study. Her paper is under review. She spent two years in Inoue’s lab, studying the targeting of chloroplast proteins. She recalled she was 13 days short of taking her qualifying exams at the time of Inoue’s death, and faced a very tough decision about whether to proceed. Ultimately, she took her exams, then started making choices about continuing her project. It was its early stages, she said, “but I was invested in it.” “And there was an element of wanting to honor the trust Kentaro had placed in me as a student and pushing the research forward,” Klasek said. Inoue had an indelible impact on who she is as a scientist, she said. “He was also an enormous influence in how I consider myself in the broader scientific community, what makes a good scientific citizen.” She also cited Inoue’s influence in her interest in mentoring. She serves on an ASPB early career committee in support of programming and research promotion for graduate students and postdoctoral students. ‘He prepared me well’ McKinnonLucas McKinnon, who worked under Inoue for more than three years, completed his studies in March, earning his doctorate in plant biology with a designated emphasis in biotechnology. His paper on protein folding was one of the first to show how the membrane environment can help to chaperone proteins to their final folded state that confers their activity. In July, McKinnon joined Bayer Crop Science in Chesterfield, Mo., as a protein scientist in the regulatory science group; he is involved in safety assessment studies to support Bayer’s submissions of its genetically modified organism, or GMO, crop products to regulatory agencies around the globe. “My work is similar to the types of things I did in both Kentaro Inoue’s lab and Steven Theg’s lab,” McKinnon said. “I did lots of protein work, purification experiments and biochemical analyses to study the biology of proteins and their properties, and I’ll be doing that at Bayer at a much larger scale.” On working with Inoue: “Even though I was in grad school for another three years after he passed, I still feel like I was prepared enough to finish — he prepared me to graduate ... and I’m very thankful for that.” In a tribute he posted online shortly after Inoue’s death, McKinnon wrote: “I have never known or worked with someone so dedicated to ensuring his/her students would be successful in the future. He relentlessly pushed us to be the best scientists we could be, and I am grateful to have worked with him.” "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook"></a> <a class="addthis_button_linkedin"></a> <script> var addthis_share = { templates: { twitter: "Students Finish His and Their Research, Earn Ph.D.s By Kristin Burns Four years after plant sciences professor Kentaro Inoue was struck and killed while riding his bike, the last three graduate students from his lab are ensuring his scientific legacy lives on through their published research, careers in industry and academia, and mentoring of future science students." } } </script> <a class="addthis_button_twitter"></a> <a class="addthis_button_email"></a> <a class="addthis_button_compact"></a> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>Students Finish His and Their Research, Earn Ph.D.s</h3> <h5>By Kristin Burns</h5> <p>Four years after plant sciences professor Kentaro Inoue was struck and killed while riding his bike, the last three graduate students from his lab are ensuring his scientific legacy lives on through their published research, careers in industry and academia, and mentoring of future science students.</p> <p>Philip Day, Laura Klasek and Lucas McKinnon successfully completed their doctoral degrees in the past year, having continued their studies with the support of plant biology professor Steven Theg, one of Inoue’s colleagues, and the Department of Plant Sciences.</p> <figure role="group" class="caption caption-img align-left"><img alt="Kentaro Inoue smiles" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="1750fc97-ed21-4a59-a554-79d20c633288" height="234" src="/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2646/files/inline-images/Kentaro%20Inoue%20hiking.jpg" width="415" /><figcaption>Kentaro Inoue</figcaption></figure><p>Inoue, a member of the faculty for 15 years, died while cycling through West Sacramento, en route to campus, Aug. 31, 2016.</p> <p>Day, Klasek and McKinnon “had to make a decision to stay in science, stay with projects Kentaro gave them, not knowing how they would turn out, so they really persevered,” Theg said. “I thought it took a lot of fortitude.”</p> <p>Theg would become their mentor — fortunate, he said, to have inherited such talented students. The trio has flourished, he said, citing publication of their work in one of the leading journals in plant sciences, <em>The Plant Cell</em> — research that focuses on chloroplasts, which are responsible for photosynthesis in plants. Theg’s own work involves protein translocation across chloroplast membranes.</p> <p>“They should be very proud of their research, and I’m proud of them, too,” he said. “Having their papers all in the same top plant sciences journal is a really nice way to celebrate Kentaro’s final scientific contributions.”</p> <h2><strong><strong>‘A beautiful collaboration’</strong></strong></h2> <p>Georgia Drakakaki, associate professor in plant sciences and a colleague of Inoue, described the work of Theg and the students as “a beautiful collaboration — something really good that came out of a tragic moment that Kentaro would be proud of.”</p> <p>Inoue, whose appointment was in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and Theg, of the College of Biological Sciences, were close colleagues, had overlapping research and served on committees for each other’s students. To work with Day, Klasek and McKinnon just made sense, Theg said, because he was so familiar with Inoue’s research.</p> <p>“It’s a tribute to Kentaro that all three students decided to keep their existing projects rather than start new ones,” Theg said. “They were good projects — Kentaro had really thought about what was important in the field."</p> <h2><strong>It takes a village</strong></h2> <p>The grad students acknowledged that what Theg did was no easy task, accepting established students and meeting with them weekly.</p> <figure role="group" class="caption caption-img align-left"><img alt="Headshot of Steven Theg" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="adcd8035-fe34-4499-ba25-75a834e48979" height="262" src="/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2646/files/inline-images/Steve%20Theg%20mug_0.jpg" width="160" /><figcaption>Theg</figcaption></figure><p>“All three of us are grateful for what Professor Theg did, taking us on,” Day said. “It must have been very difficult to start thinking about new projects that weren’t originally his, but he did a great job and pushed us through to publish and graduate.”</p> <p>Klasek added: “Professor Theg was an important part of being able to continue research. He was a solid sounding board, a great source of support and a great mentor for the last two-thirds of my Ph.D.”</p> <p>The Department of Plant Sciences also invested in the students to help them finish theirs and Inoue’s research. Chairs Joe DiTomaso and later, Gail Taylor, along with the chief administrative officer, Dee Madderra, arranged to continue the students’ support until they graduated, including travel funding.</p> <p>“We wanted to do what was right — whatever we could to make sure Philip, Lucas and Laura were well taken care of,” Madderra said. “We hoped that with the department’s support, it would help them move through the transition.”</p> <h2><strong>Good scientists</strong></h2> <p>The students said Inoue prepared them well and taught them to be good scientists — to think like scientists and to be good scientific citizens. Klasek recalled how Inoue emphasized that scientists should always acknowledge anyone who helped with their work, whether it was someone who prepared a reagent or someone who, in discussion, spurred new ideas or direction.</p> <p>“He was really conscientious about recognizing those contributions and how we would never get everything done without everyone in the lab and other people doing research in our field and beyond,” Klasek said.</p> <p>She added that Inoue’s students always knew they had managed to do something really well if the professor simply said, “good,” and moved on with the conversation.</p> <p>“That was cause for celebration,” she said.</p> <p>As understated as he was, though, Inoue’s influence went a long way — inspiring these three graduate students to their Ph.D.s. even in his absence.</p> <p>“Kentaro was demanding and pushed us very hard to defend our conclusions and support our data,” Klasek said. “But he also had our backs 100 percent. If we started to get discouraged or had other stuff going on, he wanted to see how he could help.”</p> <h2 class="heading--underline">LAST OF THE INOUE LAB</h2> <h2><strong>‘Think like a scientist’</strong></h2> <figure role="group" class="caption caption-img align-right"><img alt="Philip Day headshot" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="8ff73aad-aa97-42d3-b34c-11ddf49933f3" src="/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2646/files/inline-images/Philip%20Day%20mug.jpg" /><figcaption>Day</figcaption></figure><p><strong>Philip Day </strong>completed his Ph.D. in 2019<strong>. </strong><a href="https://www.plantsciences.ucdavis.edu/news/chloroplasts-b-barrel-proteins-and-traversing-through-graduate-school">His research at UC Davis</a> helped determine how beta-barrel proteins are sorted to the correct location in the outer envelope membrane of plant chloroplasts. Protein sorting to this membrane is one of the least understood aspects of chloroplast protein targeting.</p> <p>Day continued his chloroplast research with Professor Henning Kunz at Washington State University for a year, until Kunz moved his laboratory to Germany. Due to travel difficulties during the pandemic, Day decided not to follow. He is considering his next career steps.</p> <p>Working with Inoue for more than 3½ years, Day said he credits him with teaching him the importance of rigor, how to design a good experiment and carry it out, and, above all, making sure he knew how to think like a scientist.</p> <p>Said Day: “I find myself always thinking, ‘Are these the results that Kentaro would have agreed with, would they have convinced him they were true?’ We’re carrying on his scientific legacy, and we’re doing things the way that he taught us.”</p> <p>Day joined Inoue’s lab because they were both interested in evolution and the origin of chloroplasts. Chloroplasts evolved about a billion years ago from an ancient endosymbiotic relationship between a cyanobacterial species and a eukaryotic cell.</p> <p>“I think Professor Inoue would have been pretty proud that we kept putting in the work, and that we did justice to those projects,” Day said.</p> <h2><strong>‘A scientific citizen’</strong></h2> <p><strong>Laura Klasek</strong> completed her Ph.D. in June and joined Elemental Enzymes in St. Louis, Mo., as a research scientist, providing support to research and development efforts and regulatory efforts.</p> <figure role="group" class="caption caption-img align-left"><img alt="Laura Klasek headshot" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="4c512a3d-c32c-415f-8c9c-1be6974b0cf2" height="177" src="/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2646/files/inline-images/Laura%20Klasek%20mug.jpg" width="152" /><figcaption>Klasek</figcaption></figure><p>In July, at the annual summit of the American Society of Plant Biologists, or ASPB, she gave a presentation that comprised the bulk of her dissertation, on how molecular chaperones help proteins reach their final destination in the chloroplast. She discovered a previously unappreciated new role for these chaperones, one that had escaped detection in 30 years of study. Her paper is under review.</p> <p>She spent two years in Inoue’s lab, studying the targeting of chloroplast proteins. She recalled she was 13 days short of taking her qualifying exams at the time of Inoue’s death, and faced a very tough decision about whether to proceed. Ultimately, she took her exams, then started making choices about continuing her project. It was its early stages, she said, “but I was invested in it.”</p> <p>“And there was an element of wanting to honor the trust Kentaro had placed in me as a student and pushing the research forward,” Klasek said.</p> <p>Inoue had an indelible impact on who she is as a scientist, she said. “He was also an enormous influence in how I consider myself in the broader scientific community, what makes a good scientific citizen.”</p> <p>She also cited Inoue’s influence in her interest in mentoring. She serves on an ASPB early career committee in support of programming and research promotion for graduate students and postdoctoral students.</p> <h2><strong>‘He prepared me well’</strong></h2> <figure role="group" class="caption caption-img align-right"><img alt="Lucas McKinnon headshot" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="9f8a467b-8e34-4ed9-8317-9c3282ca1c3b" height="196" src="/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2646/files/inline-images/Lucas%20McKinnon%20mug.jpg" width="142" /><figcaption>McKinnon</figcaption></figure><p><strong>Lucas McKinnon</strong>, who worked under Inoue for more than three years, completed his studies in March, earning his doctorate in plant biology with a designated emphasis in biotechnology. <a href="http://www.plantcell.org/content/32/5/1589">His paper on protein folding</a> was one of the first to show how the membrane environment can help to chaperone proteins to their final folded state that confers their activity.</p> <p>In July, McKinnon joined Bayer Crop Science in Chesterfield, Mo., as a protein scientist in the regulatory science group; he is involved in safety assessment studies to support Bayer’s submissions of its genetically modified organism, or GMO, crop products to regulatory agencies around the globe.</p> <p>“My work is similar to the types of things I did in both Kentaro Inoue’s lab and Steven Theg’s lab,” McKinnon said. “I did lots of protein work, purification experiments and biochemical analyses to study the biology of proteins and their properties, and I’ll be doing that at Bayer at a much larger scale.”</p> <p>On working with Inoue: “Even though I was in grad school for another three years after he passed, I still feel like I was prepared enough to finish — he prepared me to graduate ... and I’m very thankful for that.”</p> <p>In a tribute he posted online shortly after Inoue’s death, McKinnon wrote: “I have never known or worked with someone so dedicated to ensuring his/her students would be successful in the future. He relentlessly pushed us to be the best scientists we could be, and I am grateful to have worked with him.”</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-article-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Category</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/articles/campus-community" hreflang="en">Campus and Community</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-sf-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/kentaro-inoue" hreflang="en">Kentaro Inoue</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/graduate-studies" hreflang="en">Graduate Studies</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/college-biological-sciences" hreflang="en">College of Biological Sciences</a></div> </div> </div> Mon, 07 Sep 2020 17:25:56 +0000 Tanya Perez 4356 at https://biology.ucdavis.edu