August 2020
The June cleaning of the DNA sculpture in the Life Sciences Building produced some spectacular results. Greg Watry/UC Davis
Dean's Message: A Summer Update

Greetings Aggies, 

As summer days slip by, it’s hard to believe that fall quarter is right around the corner. With the current surge of infections in California, the campus expects there to be very limited in person instruction this fall. As of now, all classes with enrollments greater than or equal to 50 students will be taught remotely. For classes with fewer than 50 students enrolled, the decision to hold classes in person or remotely will be made by instructors of record. More information about the decision-making process can be found here. You can also view the recently released Campus Ready plan and the FAQ for undergraduate students

I’m very pleased to announce the College of Biological Sciences set a new record in dollars raised this last academic year. Thanks to your support, we raised more than $11.5 million. The college also received the largest single gift in its history with $2.5 million from the Genentech Foundation to launch our new AvenueB transfer student pipeline program. Thank you to all the donors. We’re so grateful for your support, especially during these challenging times. 

As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we know much remains uncertain, but we’re Aggies and we will persevere.  

Stay strong,

Mark Winey, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Biological Sciences
Distinguished Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology 
P.S. Over 700 donors supported the College of Biological Sciences in academic year 2019-2020. Please join us in welcoming our incoming Aggie class of 2024 with your tax-deductible gift TODAY!
News Highlights
Science Snaps: Neuroscience Graduate Group Student Jaleel Jefferson Explores the Pathology of Neurodegeneration
Neuroscience Graduate Group student Jaleel Jefferson investigates the neuropathology of a condition known as HIV Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND), which encompasses “a spectrum of cognitive, motor, and/or mood problems” that affect people with HIV. In this Science Snapshot, he walks us through some neuronal imagery and shares some of his path to science.

CBS Raises $11.5 Million During 2019-2020 Fiscal Year
The UC Davis College of Biological Sciences set a new fundraising record during the 2019-2020 fiscal year, raising more than $11.5 million.

The fundraising total was also impacted by the heartwarming support of 244 gifts totaling over $427,000 during UC Davis Give Day 2020.

“Students are the big winners this year,” said Shari Kawelo, the college’s executive director of development and external relations. “Every incoming student in fall 2020 will be supported by the BioLaunch and AvenueB programs.”
Study Provides Insights into Molecular Interactions of Breast Cancer Protein

Currently, a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer stands at about 13 percent, but this risk increases drastically for a certain subset of the population.  

For women with BRCA2 gene mutations, the likelihood of developing breast cancer increases to between 50 and 80 percent.

In a study appearing in Nucleic Acids Research, UC Davis College of Biological Sciences researchers identify and show how two molecular partners affect the overall assembly and structure of the BRCA2 protein.
Professor Sharon Strauss Wins Sewall Wright Award from American Society of Naturalists
Congratulations to Professor of Evolution and Ecology Sharon Strauss for winning the American Society of Naturalists’ Sewall Wright Award, which honors a senior and active investigator “promoting the conceptual unification of the biological sciences.”
Distinguished Professor Jodi Nunnari Joins European Molecular Biology Organization as Newly Elected Member

Congratulations to Distinguished Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology Jodi Nunnari for being named as one of the newly elected members to the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).
Questions of Heredity: IGG Ph.D. Student Marwa Zafarullah Wins Emmy Werner and Stanley Jacobsen Fellowship
Marwa Zafarullah, a Ph.D. student in the Integrative Genetics and Genomics Graduate Group, investigates the pathology of a rare neurodegenerative disease called Fragile X- Associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS). As part of her Ph.D. dissertation research, she’s developing a biomarker for the early diagnosis and progression of the disease.
Professors Crystal Rogers and Wilsaan Joiner Respond to Ongoing Injustices Against Black Americans
In a recent interview, UC Davis Professors Crystal Rogers and Wilsaan Joiner offered their thoughts, feelings, and recommendations for ways UC Davis can support our Black community members during these scary and uncertain times.
What is the Connection Between Genotype and Phenotype?
Each cell of your body contains the genetic information to develop its myriad parts. From the same genetic code in each cell, development gives rise to all of the diverse tissues and organs that comprise our bodies.

Biologists have long sought to understand the relationship between genotype (the underlying genetic code) and phenotype (the resulting organismal structure).

In a study appearing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, UC Davis researchers present a statistical method that—by virtue of providing a mathematical description of the relevant biological and technical processes associated with transcriptomic data—allows researchers to identify the expression state of genes.