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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine

News releases

March 2015arrow

Protein may improve liver regeneration

March 31, 2015

Researchers at UC Davis have illuminated an important distinction between mice and humans: how human livers heal. The difference centers on a protein called PPARα, which activates liver regeneration. Normally, mouse PPARα is far more active and efficient than the human form, allowing mice to quickly regenerate damaged livers. However, the research shows that protein fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) can boost the regenerative effects of human PPARα.

UC Davis receives $10 million grant to establish center to study schizophrenia

March 26, 2015

UC Davis will establish a prestigious, leading-edge center to advance innovative research into the origins of schizophrenia: A Silvio O. Conte Center for Basic or Translational Mental-Health Research, one of only 15 such centers in the United States.

Nation's first conference on career flexibility for biomedical faculty features insights from Howell

March 19, 2015

In what was the first-ever convening of its kind, medical school leaders from across the nation met in Boston last week to discuss how academic physicians and scientists can have thriving careers with better work-life flexibility in an era of austere academic budget cuts.

Firearm violence trends in the 21st century

March 19, 2015

While the overall death rate from firearm violence has remained unchanged for more than a decade, the patterns for suicide and homicide have changed dramatically, a UC Davis study on the epidemiology of gun violence from 2003 to 2012 has found. The study was published today in the Annual Review of Public Health.

Randi Hagerman receives International Sisley-Lejeune Foundation Award

March 18, 2015

Randi Hagerman, medical director of the UC Davis MIND Institute, has received the prestigious International Sisley-Jerome Lejeune Award 2014 from the Paris-based Jérôme Lejeune Foundation, for her groundbreaking work developing targeted treatments for individuals with fragile X syndrome, a leading cause of intellectual disability and the leading single-gene cause of autism spectrum disorder.  

Commentary says study affirms that varied factors contribute to cognitive decline throughout adulthood

March 16, 2015

A study published online today in JAMA Neurology that finds associations between reduced hippocampal volume (HVa) and being male, but not the gene APOE ɛ4, suggests that there are multiple factors contributing to cognitive decline throughout adulthood, according to an accompanying commentary by UC Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center Director Charles DeCarli.

UC Davis School of Medicine ranks among nation's best in primary care, research

March 10, 2015

U.S. News & World Report has ranked UC Davis School of Medicine among America's best medical schools for the quality of its educational programs in primary care and research. The news magazine's annual listing appeared today on the publication's website and will be published in its guidebook “Best Graduate Schools 2016.”

Lim to receive Kun-Po Soo Award from American Psychiatric Foundation

March 6, 2015

Russell Lim, director of Diversity Education and Training for the UC Davis Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, has received the 2015 Kun-Po Soo Award from the American Psychiatric Foundation, for his contributions to understanding the importance of addressing culture in mental-health issues.

UC Davis scientists describe novel drug mechanism that fights brain cancer

March 3, 2015

Researchers at UC Davis have developed and characterized a molecule that interferes with the internal regulation of cancer cells, causing them to self-destruct. This novel mechanism was found to be effective against glioma cells – responsible for a usually fatal type of brain cancer – and could be applicable to other highly aggressive cancers.

February 2015arrow

Undocumented farmworkers use Medicaid half as often as documented farmworkers

February 23, 2015

Undocumented farmworkers are half as likely as those who are documented to use Medicaid, the federal health insurance program available to low-income individuals and families, according to a new study from UC Davis Health System.

Hispanics develop alcoholic liver disease at younger ages than Caucasians or African Americans

February 20, 2015

Hispanics tend to develop alcoholic liver disease (ALD) — a common cause of liver-disease deaths in the U.S. — between four and 12 years earlier than non-Hispanic Caucasians or African Americans, according to a UC Davis Health System study.

UC Davis researchers identify new compound that takes aim at neuropathic pain

February 10, 2015

A new compound discovered by a team of UC Davis investigators has potent actions against production of a chemical that is implicated in the development of chronic pain following a peripheral nerve injury in the spinal cord.

A simple information sheet can help women avoid pregnancy and acne medication-related birth defects

February 4, 2015

An information sheet for women being treated for severe acne improves understanding of contraceptive effectiveness and ways to avoid pregnancy and medication-induced birth defects, a study published today in JAMA Dermatology has found.

Nerve regeneration therapy has potential to prevent arrhythmias, sudden cardiac death after heart attack

February 2, 2015

A therapy currently under development for spinal cord injuries has been shown to stimulate nerve regeneration in the heart and provide resistance to arrhythmias following a heart attack, according to a new study published today in the journal Nature Communications.

UC Davis scientists awarded nearly $4 million for technology in vascular disease treatment and bone and cartilage repair

February 2, 2015

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has awarded a pair of $1.8 million grants to two UC Davis scientists to develop better tools for enabling physicians to assess the safety and efficacy of bioengineered tissues used to treat cardiovascular disease and bone and cartilage repair.

January 2015arrow

California breast density law slow to have an impact

January 28, 2015

Ten months after California legislators enacted a controversial law mandating that radiologists notify women if they have dense breast tissue, UC Davis researchers have found that half of primary care physicians are still unfamiliar with the law and many don’t feel comfortable answering breast density-related questions from patients.

Institute for Population Health Improvement recruits California-based labs for no-cost mapping services

January 21, 2015

The UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement (IPHI) is recruiting California-based labs to participate in the Laboratory Mapping Assistance Project (Lab MAP). Participating labs will receive free code mapping to convert proprietary order, result and observation codes to standard codes, namely the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) and Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine — Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT®) terminologies.

Moon Chen's research featured in ASCO's 2015 cancer progress report

January 21, 2015

UC Davis professor Moon Chen’s research on the under-representation of minorities in clinical trials appears in the American Society in Clinical Oncology (ASCO)’s annual cancer progress report released Tuesday.

Trauma surgery moves outside of the OR, fills gaps across specialties

January 20, 2015

Historically known as heroes who put people back together after accidents, trauma surgeons today perform a broad array of surgical procedures, are involved in planning patient care and treat patients at hospital bedsides in addition to operating rooms, a UC Davis Health System study has found.

Treating non-healing bone fractures with stem cells

January 15, 2015

A new device that can rapidly concentrate and extract young cells from irrigation fluid used during orthopaedic surgery holds promise for improving the delivery of stem cell therapy in cases of non-healing fractures.

UC Davis nursing professor increases Spanish health-care knowledge and confidence in graduate students

January 12, 2015

A Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis faculty member received the Provost Hybrid Course Award for a course designed to educate clinical graduate students in Spanish health terminology.

Aubyn Stahmer, expert in translating autism research into community practice, joins UC Davis MIND Institute

January 8, 2015

Aubyn Stahmer, an expert in the translation of evidence-based autism research to community-based practice and delivery, has joined the UC Davis MIND Institute as an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Study identifies patients at higher risk for overdose and death from prescription painkillers

January 7, 2015

Patients started on prescription painkillers who have substance-use disorders or who frequently contact their doctors’ offices are at greater risk of having their medication doses increase early in therapy, also increasing their risk of opioid-related overdose or death, UC Davis Health System researchers have found.