Human and Animal Health

Jennifer Whistler: On the Search for Safer Opioids

March 08, 2018
As healthcare professionals, pharmaceutical companies, patients and families grapple with the opioid crisis, researchers are rushing to design safer opioids. Center for Neuroscience Associate Director Jennifer Whistler believes drug development is headed in the wrong direction when it comes to opioids. Her solution: design a better drug that mimics the body's natural pain reliever, endorphin.

Engineering Injury Resistance, One Ligament at a Time

January 18, 2018
Neurobiology, physiology and behavior undergrad Alec Avey’s passion for sports was kindled at an early age. An outside linebacker on his high school’s football team, he took hits on the pitch and suffered his share of injuries. Now, as an undergraduate researcher in Professor Keith Baar’s Functional Molecular Biology Lab, Avey examines and modifies ligaments in Petri dishes in hopes of finding new therapeutics to aid ligament recovery.

Mice Help Find Gene for Bad Breath

December 18, 2017
An international team of researchers has identified a cause for chronic bad breath (halitosis), with the help of gene knockout mice from the UC Davis Mouse Biology Program. The results are published Dec. 18 in the journal Nature Genetics.

NIH Grant Supports Collaborative UC Effort to Visualize Brain Learning

December 05, 2017
A three-year, roughly $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health BRAIN Initiative, will aid a team of researchers at UC Davis and UC Berkeley, led by Associate Professor Karen Zito, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior in the College of Biological Sciences, in developing new brain imaging tools to visualize how synaptic connections between neurons shift during learning.

Advocating a Computational Shift in Neuroscience Training

December 04, 2017
How can universities best prepare students for a career in neuroscience? Ask Professor Mark Goldman, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior and the Center for Neuroscience, and he’ll tell you it’s time to rethink the traditional biology curriculum. To unravel complex systems like the brain, students need advanced training in quantitative and computational techniques.

Why Study Bird Brains? A Video by Rebecca Calisi

November 29, 2017
Why study the brains of birds? Do birds even have brains worth talking about? In fact, birds can show complex behavior and mental function. We can learn a lot from studying the neuroscience of birds — knowledge that we can relate to how human brains function in health and disease. In this video, Rebecca Calisi Rodriguez, assistant professor of neurobiology, physiology and behavior in the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences, introduces her own work on bird brains and talks to some prominent neuroscientists about their work.

Creating Research Opportunities in the Calisi Lab, One Undergraduate at a Time

October 25, 2017
To encourage students to gain hands-on experience, Assistant Professor Rebecca M. Calisi, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior in the College of Biological Sciences, launched the Calisi Lab Undergraduate Research Program. Relying heavily on philanthropic support, the program employs students as researchers in animal science, neuroendocrinology and reproductive behavior. Calisi’s goal is to make sure students don’t sacrifice research opportunities to make ends meet.

Kim McAllister Leads Center for Neuroscience

August 31, 2017
Kimberley McAllister, a professor in the Departments of Neurology in the School of Medicine and Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior in the College of Biological Sciences has been appointed permanent director of the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience.

Rebecca Calisi's Pigeon Study Takes on Sexism in Science

April 20, 2017
A new study by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the University of New Hampshire, published April 18 in Scientific Reports, shows surprisingly big differences in tissue gene expression between male and female rock doves. The work is part of an attempt to make science more gender-inclusive and aware of physiological and other differences between the sexes.