How Far We've Come
closing out an unconventional year

Somehow December is here already. With the end of the year just around the corner, we can look back on what we have accomplished over the last 12 months, and reflect on how far we’ve come.

For starters, UC Davis successfully transitioned back to in-person instruction. In the college alone we welcomed over 6,000 students to campus. Those who were admitted as freshman in 2020 were new to campus, despite having been UC Davis students for a year! It has been a great pleasure for all of us to see the courtyard outside Green Hall full of activity and students biking across campus again.

By now you have likely read about the UC Davis Genome Center’s role in providing free, rapid COVID testing for the Davis community. As a result of this effort (the center has tested over 1 million saliva samples), on-campus positivity rates are less than 1 percent, and our on-campus vaccination rate is 98 percent. Together, these factors have helped ensure a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to learning, teaching and exploration.

On the note of students, we are also celebrating the accomplishments of our graduating class. In just over a week, in-person commencement ceremonies will be taking place in the University Credit Union Center (formerly The Pavilion) – and not just for the class of 2021. More than 1,600 students from the class of 2020 have accepted the invitation to attend makeup ceremonies this year. Like everyone on campus, I am so pleased to know our students will once again be participating in such a significant and meaningful celebration of their academic success.

And speaking of success, this year donors to the college supported everything from COVID-19 testing resources to laboratory spaces for current and future life sciences students. To all who have given in support of the college, thank you. If you are interested in making a gift, the college has many priority giving areas, which benefit from gifts of any amount, and help ensure that we continue to deepen our support of the next generation of scientists.

In closing, I hope you can gather safely with your families and loved ones this year. And, from all of us in the College of Biological Sciences, I wish you a safe, happy and healthy holiday season. 


Mark Winey, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Biological Sciences
Distinguished Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology 


Study Highlights Molecular Targets Integral to Breast Cancer Treatment
A new study by researchers in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics sheds light on a promising new approach to developing targeted breast cancer treatments.

Research & Discovery

Breeding Plants With Genes From 1 Parent
Research from the Department of Plant Biology published in Science Advances could make for easier breeding of crop plants with desirable traits such as disease resistance.

Awards & Laurels

Researcher Studying the Microbiome and Chemical Communication of Cats Named a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow
Connie Rojas, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Evolution and Ecology, studies the microbiome’s role in how cats and other predators communicate via scent.


CBS Students Among 2021 Recipients of Prestigious Global Fellowship
Five students in the College of Biological Sciences have been selected for a United Nations fellowship that focuses on social impact projects.

Supporting Curiosity
When you make a gift to the College of Biological Sciences this year, you may benefit from charitable tax advantages under the CARES Act. 

College of Biological Sciences

Gifts to the college amplify the impact the university makes through research, teaching, and outreach, and support the life sciences footprint at UC Davis.


Center for Population Biology

The center promotes integrative, multidisciplinary research in population biology through collaboration, mentorships, workshops and meetings.

Center for Neuroscience

Where foundational discoveries reveal the remarkable complexity of the brain and catalyze new treatments and technologies to improve lives.

Best of Social

Sex-swapping Zebrafish
When Bruce Draper, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, looks at an animal, he sees two things: the gonad and the rest of the body, or what he calls “the gonad protector.”


Upcoming Events
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.