February 2022
News Briefs
UC Davis School of Medicine achieves record year in NIH funding
As was announced last week, the final Blue Ridge rankings have been released, making official the School of Medicine’s record-breaking year of National Institute of Health (NIH) funding.

In 2021, UC Davis School of Medicine secured its highest-ever level of NIH funding at more than $194 million, an increase of about $13 million over the previous year. This achievement translates to an overall ranking of 33 out 143 US medical schools. Eight school of medicine departments ranked in the top 20 nationally. (Read more at this link.)
The top 5 NIH-funded faculty for UC Davis School of Medicine in 2021 were:

  • Charles DeCarli, Department of Neurology, $13,212,214
  • Ted Wun, Department of Internal Medicine $4,914,569
  • Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Department of Public Health Sciences $3,922,143
  • Rachel Whitmer, Department of Public Health Sciences $3,603,025
  • Primo Lara, Department of Internal Medicine $3,501,603
Congratulations to all the amazing investigators who contributed to our success!
Seed Grant Opportunities
 Seed grants allow faculty to develop programs resulting in new partnerships and serve as a platform to build a larger externally funded program in engagement and outreach activities.
SOMOR maintains a list of existing seed and pilot grant opportunities on our Research Operations page. The direct link to the opportunities is here.
Researcher Recognition
 Congratulations to Lin Tian, professor and vice chair for the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, for her major grant for medical research from the W.M. Keck Foundation.  Dr. Tian’s $1 million grant was awarded for her project to develop and test near-infrared protein sensors for neurochemical neuron signals. This work aims to achieve understanding of when and where neurochemicals release, an important step in developing therapeutic neural drugs without undesired side effects. Dr. Tian’s co-grantee is Na Ji, associate professor of Physics at UC Berkeley. 
Kent Lloyd, professor in the Department of Surgery, has been appointed to serve a second term as a member of the NIH Council of Councils. He was nominated for this prestigious appointment by the NIH Office of the Director and will serve a six-year term. The Council of Councils is composed of 27 members nominated by the NIH Institutes and Centers and offices within the Office of the Director. Members use their knowledge and expertise to advise the NIH Director on matters related to the policies and activities of the Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives. Dr. Lloyd is associate director for the Comprehensive Cancer Center and director of the UC Davis Mouse Biology Program. He is an internationally respected expert in mouse biology and genetics.
Satya Dandekar, professor and chair for the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, with a joint appointment in the Department of Internal Medicine, has been named a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. The Academy is the honorific leadership group within the American Society of Microbiology and members are appointed based on their high ethical standards, scientific excellence, originality, scholarly and creative achievement and leadership. Dr. Dandekar achieved this distinction after a competitive nomination process. She is a highly regarded researcher known for her groundbreaking research on HIV/AIDS. See full story here
Nathan Kuppermann, distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, with a joint faculty appointment in the Department of Pediatrics, has been named the 2022 Maureen Andrew Mentor Awardee by the Society for Pediatric Research. This award recognizes outstanding mentor leadership that generates excitement, creativity, and scholarship leading to outstanding research and teaching. Dr. Kuppermann has an extensive history of mentorship, including multiple times as a mentor for scholars in UC Davis CTSC’s Mentored Clinical Research Training Program. See full story and statement from Dr. Kuppermann here
Publication Precis
Nathan Kuppermann and Daniel Tancredi (pictured) have contributed to a pediatric COVID study published in the January JAMA Network Open, titled "Outcomes of SARS-CoV-2-Positive Youths Tested in Emergency Departments." This study found that approximately 3% of SARS-CoV-2-positive youths tested in Emergency Departments (EDs) experienced severe outcomes within 2 weeks of their ED visits; among children discharged home from the ED, the risk was much lower.

Dr. Kuppermann is distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, with a joint faculty appointment in the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Tancredi is a professor in the Department of Pediatircs. Read their article at this link.
Early Investigator Updates
FY2022 has been a standout year in research awards, including several large awards of over $1 million procured by early career faculty. Among these are Sarah Waldman, assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, recipient of a $1.45 million award from Gilead Science and Deborah Lieu, assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, recipient of a $1.26 million award from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine.  

Dr. Waldman's study focuses on the efficacy of experimental drug lenacapavir in preventing HIV risk. Dr. Lieu's study objective is to develop a proof-of-concept biopacemaker constructed by bioprinting hiPSC-derived pacemaking cells and support cells.
Sarah Waldman
Deborah Lieu
Congratulations to these researchers and all of the early career investigators who have received extramural funding. UC Davis is especially proud of our support of these faculty. You can find a list of the FY2022-awarded funding for Assistant Professors at this link.
COVID Compendium
Request for Applications
The UC Davis School of Medicine (SOM) is inviting new pilot project applications to investigate clinical and pathophysiological aspects of Long COVID. Collaborative applications between clinical, translational and/or basic biomedical researchers are highly encouraged. Competitive projects will provide crucial preliminary data for new extramural grant applications to be submitted to NIH or another federal funding agency by June 2023.
Up to five awards will be made for up to $30,000 in total costs for a 12-month period to support purchase of supplies and other research-related expenses, staff and/or graduate student salaries and expenses related to extramural grant submissions.
Submission Details
All proposals due March 1, 2022 at 5pm, must be sent electronically as ONE single PDF file to Research Operations Manager, Nguyet Kong.