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Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy

Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy

Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy

UC Davis, the third largest of the 10 campus UC System, is now ranked among the top 10 public universities in the nation. UCD includes the main campus in Davis, and the Health System campus in Sacramento, which includes the School of Medicine. Our department is one of the 6 basic science departments in the School of Medicine. While the Health System clinical and educational facilities are located on the Sacramento campus, the Health System research mission has a presence on both campuses, with the basic science departments located on the Davis campus. This arrangement places us in a great position to bridge the research missions of the Health System, with that of the main campus, which is home to one of the largest biological science faculties in the nation, and which includes both the College of Biological Sciences and School of Veterinary Medicine.

As part of an overall strategy of building its research strength, the School of Medicine committed to renovation and expansion of its basic research mission. As a result, UC Davis Medical School has had the fastest growth in basic research funding of all US medical schools for several years running. Our department is now nearing completion of the renovation of 19,000 square feet of research space, and is in the middle of hiring 6 new faculty and enhancing the research core facilities. Our growth is occurring in parallel with the expansion and renovation of several of the biological science units on campus, and in the Health System, creating an environment rich in opportunity for creative young scientists motivated to take advantage of a wealth of collaborative opportunities.



 Of all the recent advances in science and medicine, one of the most promising relates to stem cells. Are they a miracle cure? What dangers lurk? Dr. Paul Knoepfler from UC Davis School of Medicine and author of Stem Cells - An Insider's Guide discusses the research and future of stem cells. Click here to learn more.


 A Recent publication of the SDSL EPR and crystallographic structure of a tetrameric fragment of Vimentin, from the FitzGerald and Voss labs, was featured on the Nature Structural Biology website, under Research Advances: Symmetry from Asymmetry . The feature may be found here.



Subject: [cvnet] 2015 Verriest Medal awarded to Professor John S. Werner

The International Colour Vision Society (ICVS) is pleased to announce that the 2015 Verriest Medal will be awarded to Professor John S. Werner at the 23nd Biennial ICVS Symposium to take place in Sendai, Japan, July 3rd-7th, 2015. This award was established in 1991 in memory of the founding member of the Society, Dr. Guy Verriest, and honors outstanding contributions in the field of color vision.

Professor Werner received his Ph.D. from Brown University under the supervision of Professor Billy Wooten in the Walter S. Hunter Laboratory of Psychology. He conducted postdoctoral research with Professor Jan Walraven at the Institute for Perception – TNO in Soesterberg, The Netherlands. He was a member of the Psychology faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder and is presently a Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of California Davis where also holds appointments in Vision Science, and Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior.

An active member of ICVS and of it predecessor, IRGCVD, he is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Psychological Association, American Psychological Society, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the Gerontological Society of America and the Optical Society of America. He received the Pisart Vision Award from Lighthouse International and he presented the University of Colorado, Boulder distinguished research lecture and the Optical Society of America Robert M. Boynton lecture.

He has made important contributions to our knowledge of the development and aging of color mechanisms using psychophysics, VEP's and most recently optical imaging techniques, OCT and adaptive optics. He has contributed to our understanding of the processes of aging in perception particularly as they relate to plasticity and potential clinical applications. Throughout his career he has maintained an active interest in opponent color mechanisms, color in art and color illusions.

A generation of vision scientists has enjoyed the benefits of reading the many books he has coedited. These include, Visual Perception: The Neurophysiological Foundations, Color Vision: Perspectives from Different Disciplines, The Visual Neurosciences , and The New Visual Neurosciences, which like Professor Werner’s own research have brought together discoveries from anatomy, physiology and psychophysics to illuminate fundamental mechanisms underlying human perception.




Douglas S. Gross, M.D., Ph.D.Douglas S. Gross, M.D., Ph.D., senior lecturer of cell biology and human anatomy, was recognized with the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award by UC Davis School of Medicine Alumni Day. This news article can be found here.


Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D.Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D., associate professor of cell biology and human anatomy, is a recipient of the 2014 Dean’s Excellence Award.  He is being recognized for his outstanding contributions as a transformative leader in the mission area of Community Engagement. 


Ed Pugh, Jr., Ph.D.Ed Pugh, Jr., Ph.D. Principal Investigator on a UC Davis RISE proposal which was awarded almost $900,000 to develop optical capabilities to image retinal cells.


Richard Tucker, Ph.D.Richard Tucker, Ph.D., for receiving both the UC Davis Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award, and the School of Medicine's Kaiser Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Basic Science to medical students.


Jan Nolta, Ph.D.Jan Nolta, Ph.D., Director of the UC Davis Stem Cell Program and its Institute for Regenerative Cures, whose teams recently received $53 Million in funding for the application of stem cells to the treatment of several different human diseases.



Li-En Jao, Ph.D.In August 2014, Li-En Jao, Ph.D. joined the department. Dr. Jao's laboratory is interested in understanding how the centrosome and its related organelles such as the cilium coordinate signals that regulate cell function and influence development.


Henry Ho, Ph.D.In July 2013, Henry Ho. Ph.D. joined us from Harvard Medical School, where he conducted his graduate and postdoctoral training. Dr. Ho’s laboratory uses mouse genetics and biochemistry to understand the basic principles of cell-cell interactions during mammalian development, and how dysregulation of these mechanisms gives rise to birth defect, tissue degeneration and malignancy.


Blogosphere as a means of scientific communication?

Dr. Paul Knoepfler Associate Professor Paul Knoepfler explains why he joined the ranks of the blogosphere, and why you should too.

More about Dr. Knoepfler's blog in "Nature News"