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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine

News releases

September 2014arrow

Sleep disorders widely undiagnosed in individuals with multiple sclerosis

September 12, 2014

In what may be the largest study of sleep problems among individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), researchers at UC Davis have found that widely undiagnosed sleep disorders may be at the root of the most common and disabling symptom of the disease: fatigue.

UC Davis-developed target leukemia treatment shows promise

September 11, 2014

Noriko Satake, UC Davis pediatric oncologist and researcher, has demonstrated in laboratory studies that a new, targeted treatment for leukemia is effective.

Intervention in 6-month-olds with autism ameliorates symptoms, alleviates developmental delay

September 8, 2014

Treatment at the earliest age when signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) appear – sometimes in infants as young as 6 months old – significantly reduces symptoms so that, by age 3, most who received the therapy had neither ASD nor developmental delay, a UC Davis MIND Institute research study has found. [español]

Breast vs. bottle feeding in rhesus monkeys

September 3, 2014

Infant rhesus monkeys receiving different diets early in life develop distinct immune systems that persist months after weaning, a study by researchers from UC Davis, the California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) at UC Davis and UC San Francisco has shown. The study, which compares breast- and bottle-fed infants, appears online September 3 in Science Translational Medicine. [en español]

Brief depression questionnaires could lead to unnecessary antidepressant prescriptions

September 2, 2014

Short questionnaires used to identify patients at risk for depression are linked with antidepressant medications being prescribed when they may not be needed, according to new research from UC Davis Health System published in the September-October issue of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

August 2014arrow

The early cost of HIV

August 29, 2014

Researchers at UC Davis have made some surprising discoveries about the body’s initial responses to HIV infection. Studying simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), the team found that specialized cells in the intestine called Paneth cells are early responders to viral invasion and are the source of gut inflammation by producing a cytokine called interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β).

UC Davis MIND Institute researchers launch study examining autism in girls

August 28, 2014

Autism is far more common in boys than girls - affecting 1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls — but little is known about biological differences between boys and girls with autism. A new study, called the ‘Girls with Autism — Imaging of Neurodevelopment’ or GAIN Study, led by researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute will explore those differences in very young girls with autism.

Introducing the multi-tasking nanoparticle

August 26, 2014

mKit Lam and colleagues from UC Davis and other institutions have created dynamic nanoparticles (NPs) that could provide an arsenal of applications to diagnose and treat cancer. Built on an easy-to-make polymer, these particles can be used as contrast agents to light up tumors for MRI and PET scans or deliver chemo and other therapies to destroy tumors. In addition, the particles are biocompatible and have shown no toxicity. The study was published online today in Nature Communications.

University of California brings researchers together for statewide autism summit

August 13, 2014

Bringing together the research prowess of the University of California to address the increase in autism incidence, its public health impacts, and the need to speed the development of treatments for affected individuals and their families, internationally respected scientists from UC campuses at Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Davis will converge at the UC Davis MIND Institute for a daylong summit on innovative translational neurodevelopmental research.

Novel drug action against solid tumors explained

August 11, 2014

Researchers at UC Davis, City of Hope, Taipai Medical University and National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan have discovered how a drug that deprives the cells of a key amino acid specifically kills cancer cells.

Pan awarded grant to test 'smart' chemotherapy drug for bladder cancer

August 7, 2014

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center oncologist Chong-Xian Pan has received a $650,000 grant from the VA Northern California Health Care System to conduct the first clinical trial of a novel chemotherapy-delivery drug he developed for bladder cancer patients.

Observing brain synapses in action

August 6, 2014

Lin Tian’s fascination with neuroscience stems from a deep curiosity about the complexity and elegance of the human brain. As one of only five scientists in the U.S. and Canada — and the first at UC Davis —to be named a 2014 Rita Allen Foundation Scholar, Tian will be developing optical sensors and applications to acquire fundamental insights about how the nervous system functions in health and disease.

UC Davis nursing dean selected for national gerontological research award

August 5, 2014

Founding Dean for the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, Heather M. Young, was recently named the 2014 recipient of the Doris Schwartz Gerontological Nursing Research Award by the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — the Gerontological Society of America (GSA).

July 2014arrow

UC Davis nursing school approved for $2.1 million award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

July 31, 2014

A research project led by the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis was approved for a $2.1 million award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study improving health for individuals with diabetes.

Experiences at every stage of life contribute to cognitive abilities in old age

July 24, 2014

Early life experiences, such as childhood socioeconomic status and literacy, may have greater influence on the risk of cognitive impairment late in life than such demographic characteristics as race and ethnicity, a large study by researchers with the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center and the University of Victoria, Canada, has found.

Neither gender nor parenthood force doctors to leave surgery training

July 24, 2014

While having children or being female is often thought to be linked with the decision to leave a general surgery residency, this is not true, according to a 10-year evaluation of UC Davis residents.

UC Davis study researches potential link to care for mothers battling depression: their child's pediatrician

July 21, 2014

Pediatricians will screen mothers for depression in a new research study conducted at UC Davis Children's Hospital. The grant is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

MIND Institute researchers seek infants for study on early signs of autism and ADHD

July 18, 2014

UC Davis MIND Institute researchers are seeking participants for a new study that will examine the early development of infants who have an older sibling with autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or who are developing typically. In an effort to detect the earliest signs of developmental problems, the researchers will test a new online screening measure that uses videos to help parents track their infants’ development.

UC Davis researcher receives NSFC grant to find new gastric cancer genes

July 18, 2014

No Stomach for Cancer Foundation (NSFC) has awarded cancer geneticist Luis Carvajal-Carmona a $50,000 grant to study the genetic characteristics of gastric cancer.

'Support cells' in brain play important role in Down syndrome

July 18, 2014

Researchers from UC Davis School of Medicine and Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California have identified a group of cells in the brain that they say plays an important role in the abnormal neuron development in Down syndrome.

Medicare reimbursement for surgical procedures poorly reflects reality

July 17, 2014

The current system used to determine Medicare payments for surgeries — called relative value units, or RVUs — poorly correlates with the actual work involved in procedures, new research from UC Davis has found. The authors of the study, which will be published in the August issue of the Journal of Surgical Research, call for a more objective system for determining the value of work done by surgeons.

Neural stem cell discovery may aid in treatment research for deafness

July 15, 2014

Researchers at UC Davis School of Medicine have for the first time shown that a polysialylated glycoprotein that regulates neurodevelopment exists on the surface of cells in the adult inner ear.

UC Davis professor receives award to develop preventive treatment for autism

July 14, 2014

The Hartwell Foundation has presented an Individual Biomedical Research Award to Professor Judy A. Van de Water of the University of California, Davis, recognizing research that could affect nearly one in every four cases of autism among children in the U.S.

New combination drug controls tumor growth and metastasis in mice

July 14, 2014

Researchers at UC Davis, University of Massachusetts and Harvard Medical School have created a combination drug that controls both tumor growth and metastasis. By combining a COX-2 inhibitor, similar to Celebrex, and an epoxide hydrolase (sEH) inhibitor, the drug controls angiogenesis (blood vessel formation), limiting a tumor’s ability to grow and spread. The study appears today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Pancreatic surgery complications impact hospital costs more than length of stay

July 10, 2014

When it comes to a specific type of pancreatic surgery, post-operative complications have a far greater impact on total cost than does how long the patient stays in the hospital, according to a published paper by UC Davis researchers.

Minor head injury not reason enough for CT scan in children

July 7, 2014

A nationwide study of more than 40,000 children evaluated in hospital emergency departments for head trauma found that if children had only loss of consciousness, and no other signs or symptoms related to the head trauma, they are very unlikely to have sustained serious brain injuries. Children who have only isolated loss of consciousness after head trauma do not routinely require computed tomography (CT) scans of the head, reported researchers from UC Davis Health System and Boston Children’s Hospital. 

Sickle cell drug passes early phase trial

July 2, 2014

A potentially groundbreaking investigational drug designed to treat the painful vaso-occlusive crises that are the hallmark of sickle cell disease has been found to be safe following a clinical trial at UC Davis.