Volume 2.2 | January 2023

News from the SOM Office of Research
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Message from the Associate Dean of Data Science and Innovation

Happy New Year to all of you!

Each new year is filled with a sense of excitement about the possibilities that lay ahead and 2023 is poised to be a great year for the School of Medicine.

We just celebrated our incredible accomplishment of record extramural research funding and are well positioned to continue the trend into the new year. Construction and occupancy planning for Aggie Square is also well underway. Aggie Square will give us the ability to bring together the community, industry partners and our faculty to collaborate on transformational health solutions. We are also watching with great enthusiasm as construction of the California Tower is now underway.

In each of these areas, innovation will play an important role in our School of Medicine strategic roadmap. I am delighted to serve as the inaugural Associate Dean of Data Science and Innovation for the School of Medicine. The development of this new position is a reflection of our commitment to growing and developing our academic footprint in the rapidly expanding arenas that encompass digital health, data science, and informatics.

Innovation is at the heart of UC Davis Health and the School of Medicine. I am glad to be partnering with many groups across both the health campus and UC Davis to expand our abilities to support School of Medicine faculty in their academic endeavors in the data science and related fields. One of these pivot projects for us has been the multiyear implementation of an enterprise-wide Clinical Trials Management System (CTMS) which is well underway. I have had the privilege for the last several years of leading the talented team assembled across the school and information technology that have worked tirelessly to make this reality. Despite the many pandemic challenges that we faced in the research domain, we have successfully created 600 clinical trial protocols with the new system and are actively enrolling patients into these protocols.

With every new change there are certainly growing pains, but the new system has great potential to make our work more efficient, timely, and consistent across our departments. We are eagerly looking forward to later in 2023 when we will have our next two large scale deployments of the CTMS which will include the Cancer Center. Platforms like the CTMS are just one of the many tools the school has partnered with the IT Data Center of Excellence to bring to our faculty. A few other examples of the many recent advancements include a Part 11 compliant DocuSign Electronic Signature for Research, transition to UC Profiles for faculty profiles, and the acquisition of the geocoding data for all UC Davis electronic medical records.

Having the right tools for our research community in the data science space is a necessity and this is just one of the many areas that we will evaluate over the next year. As I embark on this new role, I look forward to spending time meeting with many of you as we evaluate, build, and grow our expertise in data science.

Rachael Callcut, M.D., M.S.P.H., F.A.C.S.

Associate Dean of Data Science and Innovation

Vice Chair, Clinical Science

Annual Research Impact Report

The School of Medicine Office of Research is pleased to provide our Annual Research Impact Report for fiscal year 2021-2022. This report provides a snapshot of just a few of the more than 500 principal investigators directing basic, translational and clinical research projects at UC Davis School of Medicine. The report is available here.

UC Davis Health Patient Address Geocoding and ADI/HPI Health Indexes Available

This past year, the UC Davis Data Center of Excellence (DCOE) acquired data from Esri geocoding solution, Street Map, to assign geolocation reference points for all patients in the UC Davis electronic medical record. Every patient’s current address that is stored within the EMR Clarity and Caboodle databases has been updated with Census Tract and Census Block Group map boundaries for the Map Visualization, and with new filters for a patient’s census tract, census block group, and Area Deprivation Index (ADI) and Healthy Places Index (HPI) scores. These ADI/HPI scores were additionally validated as part of the DCOE’s development effort this year. The Esri geocoding solution, along with pre-processing algorithms, allows UCDH to geocode approximately 93% of patient addresses with high-quality addressable strings. The process is automated using Python to reduce the processing and staff support time. Researchers interested in utilizing ADI/HPI geocoded patient information can access through Epic SlicerDicer filter criteria:

Additional information regarding the geocoding services can be found here (VPN required):

Geocoding-Health-indexes Gitlab

Geocoding Data Dictionary V1.1.xlsx

Impactful Publications

Miguel Martín-Aragón Baudel is first author of “Spatiotemporal Control of Vascular CaV1.2 by α1C S1928 Phosphorylation,” published in the November 8 edition of Circulation Research. Baudel is a post-doc researacher in the lab of Manuel Navedo (corresponding author), professor in the Department of Pharmacology. Additional UC Davis co-authors of this study are post-docs Victor Flores-Tamez, Junyoung Hong, Raghavender R. Gopireddy Kwon Nuk Mimi Kan associate professional researcher Pauline Maillard, student Abby Burns, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Pharmacolgy Donald M. Bers, pharmacology professor Johannes W. Hell and pharmacology assistant professor Madeline Nieves-Cintron. This study reports on the results of controlling CAV1.2 activity through phosphorylation (addition of a phosphoryl group to a molecule), with implications for the development of therapeutics to correct CAV1.2 and arterial function during diabetic hyperglycemia.

George Thompson is lead author of study published by a team of international researchers and trial investigators, “Rezafungin versus caspofungin for treatment of candidaemia and invasive candidiasis (ReSTORE): A multicentre, double-blind, double-dummy, randomised phase 3 trial,” which appeared in the November 25 edition of The Lancet. Thompson is a professor with a joint appointment in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Medical Microbiology and Immunology. The study looks at a next-generation drug, rezafungin, in the treatment of of candidaemia and invasive candidiasis and for the prevention of invasive fungal disease caused by Candida, Aspergillus, and Pneumocystis spp after blood and marrow transplantation.

Professor and Chair of Pediatrics, Satyanarayana Lakshminrusimha is co-author of a study published in the December edition of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. “Maldevelopment of the Immature Pulmonary Vasculature and Prolonged Patency of the Ductus Arteriosus – Association or Cause?” examines the importance of enhanced surveillance for pulmonary arterial hypertension in high-risk preterm infants with prolonged patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) exposure. PDA is a persistent opening between the two major blood vessels leading from the heart.


Diana Miglioretti

A UC Davis Team led by Diana Miglioretti secured a $15 million grant renewal to develop and assess artificial intelligence for breast cancer detection and risk model. This study aims to reduce health disparities by improving breast cancer screening and risk prediction. The grant renewal allows for the incorporation of artificial intelligence algorithms into risk prediction models to identify patients who are at high risk of advanced cancer despite regular screening or at risk of second cancer missed by annual mammography. Miglioretti is dean’s professor and division chief of biostatistics at the UC Davis Department of Public Health Sciences and a researcher at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.


Five School of Medicine Researchers Among ‘1,000 Best Female Scientists in the World’

Five UC Davis Health faculty members have been recognized among the top female scientists around the globe according to Research.com’s 2022 ranking of the Top 1000 Female Scientists in the World. The list, compiled by the online research portal for scientists, was created to help provide more opportunities, visibility and equal chances for women in science. The ranked scientists are Jacqueline N. Crawley, Randi Jenssen Hagerman, Sally J. Rogers, Irva Hertz-Piciotto and Nancy E. Lane.


Get to know SOMOR

Grants Project Funding Grant Application

Grants Facilitation Unit

Can you guess what is essential for research but can be a daunting task for most investigators? If you guessed “grant writing,” you’re correct! Grant writing can be intimidating and overwhelming, even for well-established investigators. The School of Medicine Office of Research Grants Facilitation Unit (GFU) is here to help School of Medicine investigators with their grant writing challenges. The GFU offers high-quality support to meet the needs of investigators, including providing one-on-one consultations, organizing strategic initiatives, critically reviewing proposals, offering educational classes and seminars, and connecting researchers across disciplines. 


KOHORT Applications Open Now

KOHORT is a Grants Facilitation Unit-led program that enables participants to create, submit and receive an NIH career development award.

The application process will be open from January 4 – February 15, 2023, participants will be notified of their acceptance by March 15, 2023, and the program will run from April 20 – September 20, 2023.

Download Program Flyer

Contact Erica Chédin, Ph.D., at [email protected] with questions.

Feature: Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 9 out of 10 cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, making it among the most preventable of cancers. Yet, despite the availability of an HPV vaccine, about 13,000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States and about 4,000 women die of this cancer.

UC Davis Health research tackles this issue with new studies on preventing cervical cancer and novel therapies for treating it.


2022 School of Medicine Research Celebration

The participants heard from UC Davis Leadership, including and School of Medicine Vice Dean for Research, Kim E. Barrett (above) welcomed the crowd and the presenters, including Susan Brown (below), Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine.

A capacity crowd got to hear UC Davis Vice Chancellor for Research, Prasant Mohapatra (above) remark on the exceptional year of research milestones enjoyed by the UC Davis School of Medicine.

School of Medicine Office of Research leadership socialized with the crowd. Associate Deans Angela Haczku and Ted Wun are shown above, with Internal Medicine Chair Tim Albertson, middle. Assistant Dean Anuurad Erdembileg (below, with Professor Yvonne Wan) announced the raffle winners.

Research News

Request for Applications:

Cultivating Team Science Awards

The Vice Dean for Research of the School of Medicine announces the third round of funding intended to incentivize collaborative science by new research teams. We are seeking bold ideas that will open new areas of investigation between departments/schools and have a multiplicative effect on extramural research funding in the near future. The program will provide two years of support for two multi-department teams to fund planning, preparation and submission of large team-based applications.

Budget for this intramural award is up to $100K per year (total funding $200K)

  • Allowable expenses include graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, supplies, data analysis/statistical support, support of clinical and adjunct faculty.
  • Not allowable: tenure-track faculty salary and benefits


Submission Details

All proposals must be sent electronically as ONE single PDF file to Nguyet Kong, Research Operations Manager, [email protected]

  • Deadline for Applications: February 28, 2023, at 5 pm.
  • Awards announced: April 2023
  • Anticipated funding commences: May 2023

Go to this link for more details on application submission, selection requirements and review criteria.

Study Help Needed: Family Caregivers of People Living with Dementia

Researchers at Drexel University and University of California, Davis are seeking family caregivers of people living with dementia for a nationwide study. The WeCareAdvisor is a tool to help family caregivers manage dementia-related behaviors. By walking caregivers through a step-by-step approach to understand why behaviors may be occurring, the WeCareAdvisor provides tailored strategies to help manage them. Eligible caregivers are 21 or older; the primary caregiver of a person with dementia; currently managing dementia-related behaviors; have an internet-capable device; and live in the United States. For more information, email [email protected], call 267-359-1111, or visit http://wecareadvisorstudy.com.

Research in the News

For all the latest, follow the UC Davis Health research news aggregate.


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