Undergraduate Stories

Student-Led Research Reveals “Off-Switch” for Autophagy

A chance observation in an undergraduate laboratory class has shed light on a key cleaning and recycling process carried out by all eukaryotic cells. Autophagy breaks down organelles, proteins and other molecules so their components can be reused and plays a protective role in preventing disease. However, when autophagy doesn’t work correctly, it’s associated with cancer and neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s. Previous research has uncovered how cells activate autophagy, but little is known about how it is switched off.

Meet the 2023-24 BioBooster Student Club Officers

BioBoosters, the student club that organizes the ever-popular sales of College of Biological Sciences apparel is back and gearing up for a quarter of swag sales, social events and networking activities.

Best known to the college community for their swag sales, which are held at pop-up booths around campus, the club sells hoodies, vests, caps, shirts and more emblazoned with the CBS logo. Proceeds help BioBoosters organize community-focused gatherings, connect with peers, and—most importantly—continue to supply comfortable, affordable swag for students, faculty and staff!

CBS Senior Gains Cross-Cultural Experience Shadowing Doctors in Italy

College seniors don’t get assigned “what I did last summer” essays for homework, but if they did, Amrit Bains’s summer would have the whole class envious. Bains—a pre-med biological sciences major who is a member of the Phi Sigma Honor Society—traveled to Milan with a program called Doctors in Italy, which lets undergraduates shadow physicians abroad.

How Students Dive into Marine Science at UC Davis

UC Davis junior Caroline Donohew watched the everyday power of biology in just five minutes during her summer session class at UC Davis’ Bodega Marine Laboratory, or BML, a coastal research and education facility about 100 miles west of campus. 

While observing a mussel’s muscle through a microscope, “I saw it create a byssal thread in real time,” said Donohew, who is from San Anselmo. “And it was just so cool.” 

A Summer of Student Research: Donor-Supported Program Fuels Continuing Exploration and Hands-On Learning

Many students who embark on research projects during the academic year face a roadblock during summer break when they leave campus to seek employment and have to shelve their scientific pursuits. To bridge this gap, the CBS Dean's Circle Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) offers an invaluable opportunity.

The program provides undergraduates with mentorship, financial support and enables them to extend their research through a 10-week summer quarter. Generous contributions to the CBS Dean's Circle Fund make this annual initiative possible.

CBS Year-End Awards Celebrate Undergraduate Achievement

The college’s top graduating seniors were honored for their achievements at an award ceremony on Saturday, June 3. The event included both college and campus awards.

With promising futures ahead for each, the students took to the mic upon receiving their awards to share their post-graduation plans, including remaining at UC Davis for graduate school, attending medical school and continued volunteer and community service efforts.

CBS Students Receive First, Third Place at 2023 Lang Prize

Earlier this month, the UC Davis Library announced the 2023 winners of the library’s Lang Prize! Now in its seventh year, the Norma J. Lang Prize for Undergraduate Information Research recognizes students who make exceptional use of library resources and services — such as primary source materials and special collections, online databases and journal articles, interlibrary loan services, or consulting with a librarian.

Students Collect Samples at Arboretum to Measure Water Quality

The Arboretum and Public Garden at UC Davis is about to get a fresh set of water quality data after students fanned out earlier this month along the Arboretum Waterway to measure salinity and fecal coliform levels.

The three-hour session began with a lecture, then moved to the Arboretum for sampling and back to a lab to analyze what students collected. The information will be shared with Arboretum management to help provide a glimpse into the health of the creek.