April 2021
Dean's Message: A Spring of Achievement

The sun is out, the air is warm and the sky is clear. We’re into spring and we have much to celebrate already this season. 

I'm pleased to share that Richard Michelmore, director of the UC Davis Genome Center, has received the Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award for his role in creating the rapid, effective COVID saliva tests that have attracted national attention and helped curb infection rates in Davis. We are all indebted to Richard!

The Center for Neuroscience’s Conte Center has received a $15.7 million grant to study the links between maternal infection and the risk of psychiatric illness in children—an outstanding achievement that speaks to the interdisciplinary strengths of our campus. Meanwhile, two of our graduate students are finalists in this year’s Grad Slam competition. Amelia Munson and Lindsay Cameron will each present their research in three minutes or less for the chance to win $2,500 and compete in the UC-wide Grad Slam competition in May.

Finally, there is no better way to support outstanding faculty and students like those noted above than to participate in Give Day 2021. From the botanical conservatory, which houses over 1,000 plant species (like carnivorous pitcher plants) to the Bodega Marine Lab, gifts of any size to our challenges will make a difference—every Aggie counts!

You'll find more about all of these stories below, as well as a link to the final Storer Lectureship event of this academic year. I hope you'll join us!


Mark Winey, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Biological Sciences
Distinguished Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology 
The Future of Life Sciences
at UC Davis
This Give Day, you can support the College with a donation to a wide range of challenges. Gifts of any amount make a difference and will support more than 6,000 students with an investment in the entire life sciences footprint at UC Davis.
News Highlights
Fish and . . . Psychedelics?
Amelia Munson, who studies animal behavior using fish, and Lindsay Cameron, who studies therapeutic uses for psychedelics, are among the ten finalists in this year's Grad Slam competition. Tomorrow, April 8 @ 1:00pm they'll share their research concisely and compellingly in three minutes or less.
$15 Million Grant to Study the Effects of Maternal Infection on Risk of Psychiatric Illness
When an expectant mother is exposed to a pathogen, her body’s immune response can trigger neurodevelopmental changes in her offspring. But which pregnancies are most at risk, and which are resilient?
Interview with Nobel Laureate Charles Rice
Charles Rice ('74) was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2020 for discovering the hepatitis C virus. In an interview with UC Davis Magazine, he said: "It was really the introductory biology course at Davis that got me interested in biology."
The Plant Scientist Who Helped Create Easy COVID-19 Testing
Richard Michelmore, the Novozymes Chair in Genomics and director of the Genome Center, was recognized by the Academic Senate Committee on Public Service for innovations that helped to create efficient and cost-effective COVID-19 testing using saliva samples.
Storer Lectureship in the Life Sciences
Mucosal Immunity Against Viruses: From Disease Pathogenesis to Vaccine Strategy
Mon., May 10 @ 1:10pm
Akiko Iwasaki has made major discoveries that have resulted in paradigm shifts in our understanding of the immune response to pathogens. She is also well known for her advocacy for women and underrepresented minorities in the science and medicine fields.