COVID testing kiosk
(Max Whittaker/The New York Times)

UC Davis Genome Center Featured in The New York Times

Late in January, the UC Davis Genome Center—a keystone part of the collaborative effort between UC Davis and surrounding communities to fight the spread of COVID-19—appeared in a New York Times article that suggested the approach to rapid testing and contact tracing in Davis might be a national model.

Richard Michelmore, a plant geneticist in the department molecular and cellular biology and the director of the genome center, received special attention in the article, which covered his innovative repurposing of a machine originally used to identify plant DNA for agricultural breeding as a way to quickly and accurately test saliva samples. Open not only to UC Davis students, faculty and staff, the Healthy Davis Together initiative, which is supported by the center’s testing efforts, allows community members to get regularly tested free of charge, with results usually delivered within 24-48 hours.

Cited in the story as "the most ambitious program of its type in the country," the initiative in Davis has been informed by the experiences of other college campuses nationwide. Said UC Davis Chancellor Gary May, “We had a chance to observe some of the missteps at other universities and we were dead set on not making those same mistakes.”

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