November 2022

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Celebrate with Us

Please join us in celebration of a fabulous year of research!  We are inviting all faculty, staff and student members of School of Medicine research teams - it is your contributions that have made this success possible.

The event will open with Vice Chancellor for Research Prasant Mohapatra and School of Medicine Vice Dean for Research Kim E. Barrett. It will feature short presentations on trailblazing work by our School of Medicine researchers, including Alicia Agnoli, Susan Brown, Ching-Hsien Chen, Eamonn Dickson, Anna La Torre Vila, Rebecca Schmidt and Rachel Whitmer. There will be ample time to socialize with colleagues and learn about the many ways our Office of Research supports investigators. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

We hope you celebrate with us this year. The event will be held at Betty Irene Moore Hall (BIMH) School of Nursing in Sacramento on Wednesday, November 16, from 3:00-5:00 pm. 

As an RSVP is required, please register through Eventbrite.

Show Us Your Work!


We would like to see and share images of research teams as part of the celebration. If you have any pictures of yourself or your team, please send to [email protected] for inclusion in our research celebration presentation. We look forward to seeing you!

School of Medicine Finalist for AAMC Award

The UC Davis School of Medicine earned a top three placement in the 2022 Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Spencer Foreman award for Outstanding Community Engagement. This award is presented annually to an AAMC-member medical school or teaching hospital with a long-standing, major institutional commitment to partnering with the community it serves to identify and address community needs.


The nomination was submitted by the School of Medicine Office of Research on behalf of the school. It highlighted the school’s strong tradition of community-focused initiatives, such as the Student-Run Clinics and Healthy Davis Together. As a top finalist, our school received a site visit by the AAMC in July.


UC Davis Health neuroscientist Sergey Stavisky has been selected by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to receive the 2022 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. Stavisky joins the ranks of other exceptional New Innovators and their groundbreaking research as part of the NIH Common Fund’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research program.

The NIH awards this grant to exceptionally creative early career investigators who propose innovative, high-impact projects in the biomedical, behavioral or social sciences. Besides the recognition, the award provides $2.3 million over five years for selected early career researchers. Read the full story here:

Faculty from the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Patrick Leung, Weici Zhang, William Ridgway, Aftab Ansari and M. Eric Gershwin (corresponding author, pictured), are co-authors of a study published in the October 2022 edition of Cellular and Molecular Immunology. This study tested the hypothesis that the downregulation of interferon (IFN) signaling pathways with a JAK1/2 inhibitor (ruxonlitnib) would inhibit the development and progression of cholangitis, an inflammation of the bile duct system.

Featured Research Center

UC Davis Eye Center

The Eye Center at UC Davis Health is a hub of collaborative vision research and in the development of cures for blinding eye disease from cornea to cortex. The Eye Center investigators participate in interdisciplinary vision research with the School of Medicine, Veterinary School and the Primate Center, and campus vision scientists in 15 different departments and the Center for Neuroscience. This level of collaboration distinguishes it from virtually every university eye center in the United States.

The Eye Center also encompasses a growing research program that is designed to focus efforts on new treatments and cures for disabling eye disease. Faculty participate in numerous clinical trials, affording patients access to the newest medical and surgical therapies. In addition, the faculty at the UC Davis Health collaborates with advanced scientists on the UC Davis Campus in many disciplines brought together by the Center for Vision Science.


In Fall 2022, the Eye Center is scheduled to move to the new Ernest E. Tschannen Eye Institute building, which will be an enhanced hub for research and patient care. It was funded in 2016 by a historically large donation from patient Ernest E. Tschannen. In addition to supporting the construction of the new institute, donations from Tschannen included $1.5 million to advance research on the optic nerve and to help find a cure for glaucoma and other eye diseases.

Read more

Vision Research at UC Davis School of Medicine

A small sample of current vision research

Professor and Vice Chair for Research Paul Sieving

Sieving’s current studies focus on human X-linked juvenile retinoschisis (XLRS). XLRS is an inherited disease and is a leading cause of juvenile macular degeneration.

Professor Nicholas Marsh-Armstrong

The Marsh-Armstrong laboratory team is working on several studies with implications for the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and other blindness-causing diseases.

Professor Susanna Park

Park is researching potential new therapies for retinal vein occlusion (RVO). RVO occurs when a blood clot blocks the vein and is more likely to occur in people with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, or other health problems that affect blood flow.

Professor Glenn Yiu

Yiu’s research seeks to develop and test a non-invasive, nano-particle therapy delivery system for age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in the elderly.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes and Diabetes Eye Disease Awareness Month.

The impact of diabetes on American health is widespread and severe. The seventh leading cause of death and number one cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputation and adult blindness, diabetes prevention and treatment are major areas of concern for a variety of specialists, such as neurologists, nutritionists and ophthalmologists. UC Davis has several active studies on diabetes, of which the following are a few examples:

Bethany Cummings, associate professor in the surgery department, is using state-of-the-art mouse modeling to generate new insights into the regulation of pancreatic islet function that will serve as the basis for developing therapeutics for type 2 diabetes.

Pediatrician Craig Warden has been conducting a study to identify the genes that influence the development and severity of type 2 diabetes in obese Zucker rats.

Thomas Jue, professor of biochemistry and molecular medicine, has a project, funded by the California Department of Public Health, on the link between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease.

The Diabetes and Dementia Prevention Program (DDPP) is a research study that is looking at the potential of lifestyle changes to protect memory and thinking as we age. The study consists of control, diet and exercise intervention cohorts. The PI is David K. Johnson, associate clinical professor in the department of neurology.


Ophthalmology professor Glenn Yiu is conducting a study on an early treatment for Diabetic macular edema (DME) using a subthreshold micropulse diode laser (SML). This is a laser treatment that delivers laser energy in a “chopped” fashion allowing the tissue being treated to cool between pulses. Previous studies have shown that early intervention with SML may significantly improve or stabilize vision loss.

Diabetes Resources

UC Davis Diabetes Programs

Assess your risk for Type 2 Diabetes

The sooner you know you have prediabetes, the sooner you can take action to reverse it and prevent type 2 diabetes.

UC Davis Diabetes Prevention Program  

The group-based Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Program (T2DPP) at UC Davis includes 22 sessions during a 1-year period. This program is open and offered at no-cost to UC Davis staff and faculty.

UC Davis Health Online Classes

Research Review

Postdoc Celebration Week

Postdoc Appreciation Week was October 17-21. A national event since 2009, this celebration recognizes the contributions that postdoctoral scholars make to research.

The School of Medicine got into the action by hosting two events for School of Medicine postdocs. Coffee and bagels were served on Monday, October 17, on the Sacramento Campus. Ice cream was served outside Tupper Hall in Davis on the afternoon of October 18. School of Medicine Office of Research leadership, including Kim E. Barrett, Angela Haczku and Anuurad Erdembileg met with the postdocs for fun and conversation.

Climate, Health and Equity Symposium

On September 23, 2022, over 300 healthcare professionals and students gathered over zoom for the 3rd annual NorCal Symposium on Climate, Health and Equity to learn and discuss about climate change as a social justice issue. Hosted this year by UC Davis School of Medicine, and chaired by Associate Dean Angela Haczku, the CME-credited symposium was organized as a collaboration between Stanford, UCSF and UC Davis medical and graduate students, expert practitioners and faculty.

To enhance the learning experience, a comprehensive toolkit has been developed by the organizers to help participants translate the symposium presentations and discussions into real-world climate justice. The toolkit includes resources, action plans and speaker information and is available at this link.


A mini symposium will follow in February 2023. 

Nor Cal Symposium website

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Research in the News

Follow UC Davis Health Research News

Get the latest UC Davis Health research news at this link:

Save the Date: Inaugural School of Medicine/School of Veterinary Medicine Research Day

“Reaching Across the Causeway”

Wednesday, January 11, 2023 from 9am to 7pm

UC Davis Conference and Events Center

Come listen to researchers from the Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine present their current research and identify areas for cross-causeway collaboration. Breakout sessions will include presentations on:

·      Aging and metabolic health

·      Complex disorders spanning the gut-brain

·      Stem cell,  gene therapies and regenerative medicine

·      Applications and implications of AI

·      Advancing cardiovascular and lung health

·      Neuroscience

Following the symposium, plan to join us for a poster session, wine and hors d’oeuvres.

For more information, please contact the School of Veterinary Medicine Office of Research & Graduate Education at [email protected] or School of Medicine Office of Research at [email protected].

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