Four members of the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences are recipients of 2021 Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Research. Two undergraduate students, a faculty member and a postdoctoral researcher were among those honored by UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May at the virtual awards ceremony.
Department of Population Health and Reproduction (PHR)
Research Interests: My research topics include parental gene expression in placenta and the reciprocal paternal and maternal gene interaction in the equine's placental development and its pathologies, effects of assisted reproductive techniques on epigenetic of equine placenta, and host-pathogen interaction during equine placentitis. We use high-throughput sequencing along with classical molecular and cellular biology techniques to explore these topics.
Marwa Zafarullah, a Ph.D. student in the Integrative Genetics and Genomics Graduate Group, investigates the pathology of a rare neurodegenerative disease called Fragile X- Associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS). As part of her Ph.D. dissertation research, she’s developing a biomarker for the early diagnosis and progression of the disease.
Of the major food crops, only rice is currently able to survive flooding. Thanks to new research, that could soon change -- good news for a world in which rains are increasing in both frequency and intensity.
Professor Paul Knoepfler, UC Davis Genome Center, studies the epigenetic and transcriptional control mechanisms that direct stem cell fate and tissue growth. He's also a writer, recently co-authoring the book How to Build a Dragon or Die Trying: A Satirical Look at Cutting-Edge Science with his daughter Julie Knoepfler. Helen Pilcher recently reviewed the book in Nature.