Uncovering the hidden life of soil

Soil might look relatively barren but it is actually a living entity, a diverse ecosystem that is one of the most complex on the planet. A quarter teaspoon of soil may have upwards of a billion organisms and 10,000 to 50,000 different taxa. Researchers at UC Davis are uncovering secrets of the soil microbiome and exploring ways soil may help mitigate climate change.


Research Highlights
New drug for heart disease shows promise for cats and humans
The novel drug, MYK-461, proved effective in a study of cats with a naturally occurring form of inherited hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a currently incurable disease that also affects humans. HCM affects approximately one in 500 people and was recently reported to affect a startling one in seven cats. 

New machine simulates human digestion to improve nutrition

How do humans digest food? It’s a complicated question, with no easy answer. But in a food engineering lab at UC Davis, a mechanical digestive system is churning out information that may help solve the age-old mystery.


Mass oyster die-off in S.F. Bay related to atmospheric rivers
A recent study found that atmospheric rivers contributed to a mass die-off of wild Olympia oysters in north San Francisco Bay. The study is the first to document biological impacts of atmospheric rivers, which are predicted to increase in frequency and intensity under future climate change.
Promising new therapy for diabetics with heart failure
A team of scientists at UC Davis and the University of Iowa found that two different drugs — a beta blocker and an antidepressant — may have potential for preventing or treating heart failure associated with type 2 diabetes.

Astronomers measure universe expansion, get hints of ‘new physics’
A stronomers at UC Davis have made a new measurement of the Hubble constant, the rate at which the universe is expanding, and it doesn’t quite line up with a different estimate of the same number. That discrepancy could hint at “new physics” beyond the standard model of cosmology, according to the team. 

Innovation News
UC Davis receives $2.2 million as part of State Innovation and Entrepreneurship Expansion Bill, AB 2664
The initiative is designed to propel new innovation and entrepreneurship efforts across the University of California through investments in infrastructure, incubators and entrepreneurship education programs.

Sierra Nevada Brewing owners give $2 million to UC Davis Brewing Program
Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and his wife, Katie Gonser, have presented UC Davis with a $2 million gift to support the campus’s renowned brewing science program. The gift establishes an endowment to provide ongoing funding for a full-time staff brewing position, focused on excellence in hands-on brewing education in the UC Davis Department of Food Science and Technology.

Startup licenses novel compound developed at the university that helps stem cells regenerate bone to treat bone diseases
The hybrid molecule, LLP2A-Alendronate, has been found to effectively direct mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to induce bone regeneration. The compound works by guiding transplanted and endogenous MSCs to the surface of the bone where they differentiate into bone-forming cells, thereby increasing bone mass and strength.

Researcher Spotlight

Reina Engle-Stone assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition

When Reina Engle - Stone tells people that she works on nutrition in Africa, most people assume Africans simply need more food. Which, she says, can be the case when it comes to famine or drought. But the ongoing challenge Is not just having enough food, but having the right quality of food in order to be healthy and economically productive and live a full life.

Featured Events

Migrant Labor and Global Health Conference
This conference brings together a multidisciplinary group of scholars and scientists to explore and debate the interrelated issues of labor migration, occupational health and economics.
March 2-3  
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Lessons Learned from the Affordable Care Act Implementation in California
Peter Lee, Executive Director of Covered California will present a unique perspective on the goals, achievements and future of Covered California, the state's health insurance marketplace.
March 7
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UC Davis Research Expo
The Research Expo provides a unique opportunity for research faculty, staff and students to explore the services, facilities and programs available to advance their research.
April 18

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Ag Innovation Showcase
A conference dedicated to emerging commercial innovations for high-value, nutritious food and agriculture.

May 8-9
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Honors and Awards
UC Davis ranked Most Sustainable University in the world 
UC Davis was named Most Sustainable University in the world by the seventh annual GreenMetric ranking from the University of Indonesia. Our green campus includes rooftop gardens like in the image above, at the LEED-platinum Segundo Services Center. Rooftop plots absorb sunlight that would otherwise be converted to heat energy, provide extra insulation and capture rainwater, thus reducing storm runoff.

Faculty Awards

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Elected Fellows

  • James B. Ames, professor in the Department of Chemistry
  • Simon Cherry, distinguished professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Wolf-Dietrich Heyer, professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
  • Neil Hunter, professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
  • Peter B. Moyle, distinguished professor emeritus in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology
  • Francisco J. Samaniego, distinguished research professor emeritus in the Department of Statistics 
  • Dean J. Tantillo, professor in the Department of Chemistry

National Academy of Engineering Elected Members 

  • Ross Boulanger, professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Debbie Niemeier, professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

  View more awards and rankings
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