Fellowships, Grants and Awards

Defects in DNA Packaging May Drive Age-Related Decline in Fertility

Yasuhisa Munakata, a postdoctoral fellow in the College of Biological Sciences, has received a grant to study how egg cells in the ovary change over time. “Our goal is to understand female reproductive aging, and why fertility rapidly declines starting in the mid-30s,” says Satoshi Namekawa, a professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, in whose lab Munakata works.

Maize Researcher Wins Prestigious $100K National Academy of Science Prize

Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra, a professor in the Department of Evolution and Ecology at the University of California, Davis, has been awarded the prestigious National Academy of Science Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences for 2024. Ross-Ibarra was awarded the prize in recognition of his “pioneering studies on the evolutionary genetics of maize, a key crop species for global food production.”

Postdoctoral Researchers Awarded Hartwell Fellowships to Probe Tissue Regeneration and Molecular Roots of Dystonia

Ben Cox and Rebecca McGillivary, postdoctoral researchers in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, are among 10 early career scientists selected to receive 2022 Hartwell Biomedical Research Fellowships, which were announced in August, 2023.

The Hartwell Foundation, which supports innovative and cutting-edge biomedical research that may benefit children, provides fellows with $100,000 in funding, split between two years.

$15 Million Grant Will Support Study on the Role of the Thalamus in Cognitive Control and Schizophrenia

When it comes to brain anatomy, the thalamus occupies a humble position.  It sits at the top of our brainstem — an apparent vestige of our reptilian past — and is dwarfed by the massive, wrinkled cerebral cortex, which sits above it. The cortex is often credited as the throne of human intellect. But a team of researchers across the country, with UC Davis led by W. Martin Usrey, sees the thalamus as a critical coordinator of our thoughts and perceptions – and pivotal in human disease.

NIH Awards Priya Shah $2.8 Million to Research How Zika Virus Causes Brain-Related Birth Defects

For most people, contracting Zika virus, a flavivirus carried by mosquitos, is akin to getting any mildly inconvenient virus. 

You might get a fever and a rash, and it's gone in a few days. But for pregnant people, there is a roughly 4% chance that a bite from a mosquito with Zika virus could have life-altering effects on developing fetuses in the form of microcephaly, a neurological condition that indicates an under-developed brain.  

Distinguished Ichthyologist Peter Wainwright Receives Prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award

Peter Wainwright, a Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Evolution and Ecology, has been honored with the 2023 Joseph S. Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award in Ichthyology. Conferred by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH), the award recognizes exceptional contributions to the realm of fish biology and aquatic ecosystems.

Wainwright received the award in honor of a distinguished career marked by groundbreaking research, transformative education and dedicated service to his field.

Kate Laskowski Named 2023 Sloan Fellow

Three UC Davis faculty members are among 125 recipients of this year’s Sloan Research Fellowships, prestigious awards given by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to early-career scientific researchers seen as emerging leaders in their fields.

The 2023 fellows, including UC Davis’ Kate L. Laskowski, Jesús M. Velázquez and Alexander S. Wein, “represent the most promising scientific researchers working today,” the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation said in announcing its selections Feb. 15.