A Notable Start

a major gift and black history month

Winter quarter is rolling right along. In fact, we’re somehow already in the second month of what still feels like an hours-old year. That’s the sign of having been busy. On campus, students are all around us. Our faculty are teaching, publishing and mentoring, and in the Dean’s Office we’ve been hard at work on several notable things.

I’m very pleased to share the announcement of a major philanthropic contribution to our college. CBS has received a $1 million gift from UC Davis alumni Kamaljeet Singh-Khaira and Ravinder Khaira, which will support a broad coalition of priorities throughout the college. I am deeply humbled by the Khairas' generosity and vision, and I am inspired by their charitable and compassionate spirit.

There have been notable rankings for the college, too. From placing 2nd in the nation for graduate study in evolutionary biology, to the exceptional percentages of students who enjoy positive outcomes after studying in the college, I invite to you take a look at our rankings and distinctions, and join me in applauding our faculty, staff and students.

February is Black History Month. The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has curated a list of events in honor of this month. Especially in light of recent tragic events, honoring Black Americans seems ever more important. A raised fist has long been a symbol of resistance to oppression. I raise mine in solidarity with all those who have suffered, and in honor of the many Black scientists whose contributions to our nation are undeniable. 

Valentine’s Day is in two weeks. Let’s all reflect on those we love, and the gratitude that comes with having them in our lives.


Mark Winey, Ph.D.

Dean, College of Biological Sciences

Distinguished Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology 

Featured image: The single-celled Tetrahymena sp. uses a different set of proteins for respiration from plants, animals or yeast. The discovery, made by Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology researchers, revealed unsuspected diversity in how living things carry out fundamental processes. (Wikimedia)


A Life in Service: Alumni Couple Give $1M to Name Lecture Hall

Kamaljeet Singh-Khaira and Dr. Ravinder Khaira’s gift will provide support for student success initiatives, faculty excellence and advances in life sciences research. In recognition of their gift, the Sciences Lecture Hall will be renamed the Ravinder and Kamaljeet Khaira Lecture Hall.

>> Read more

Research & Discovery


First Complete Structures of Plant Respiratory Proteins

New research from the Departments of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Plant Biology has shed light on the structure of proteins vital to energy production in mung beans - insights that may help determine how biofuel crops could grow more rapidly.

>> Read more


Circadian Clock Controls Sunflower Blooms, Optimizing for Pollinators

Researchers in the Department of Plant Biology have found that the circadian rhythm of sunflowers is optimized to attract visiting pollinators.

>> Read more


Rice Breeding Breakthrough to Feed Billions

Researchers in the Department of Plant Biology have developed a method to propagate hybrid rice as cloned seeds, which could lower the cost of hybrid rice seed, making high-yielding, disease resistant rice strains more available worldwide. 

>> Read more

From the UC Davis Blog


Buzz Killer: Caffeine Pollutes. Can Bacteria Help?

Researchers in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics are investigating how caffeine-addicted bacteria may be used as a cleanup crew for caffeine, which enters our waterways through the wastewater system, and impacts water quality and marine life. 

>> Take a look

Community Spotlight


Science Storytelling Through a Camera Lens

Graduate students in the "Scientific Filmmaking" course, offered through the Department of Evolution and Ecology, made short films that explore their ecology-related research topics through the lens of visual storytelling.

>> Read more

Featured Event


Storer Lectureship on the Evolutionary History of Life Explored Through Genomes


Tuesday, March 7 @ 4:10pm

Sequence Homology Searches: The Future of Deciphering the Past

Sean Eddy is a computational biologist at Harvard University. Before moving to Harvard in 2015, he was a group leader at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Research Campus, and before that, a faculty member in the Genetics department at Washington University in St. Louis.

>> Registration and info

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When you support UC Davis with a gift to the College of Biological Sciences, you are making an investment in the continued exploration of life sciences by a new generation of researchers and future leaders.

Give to the College of Biological Sciences Annual Fund

Land Acknowledgement Statement

UC Davis acknowledges the land on which it stands. For thousands of years, this land has been the home of Patwin people. Today, there are three federally recognized Patwin tribes: Cachil DeHe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community, Kletsel Dehe Wintun Nation, and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation. The Patwin people have remained committed to the stewardship of this land over many centuries. It has been cherished and protected, as elders have instructed the young through generations. We are honored and grateful to be here today on their traditional lands.

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