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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine

News releases

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.

December 2014arrow

New technique for bioengineering stem cells shows promise in HIV resistance

December 22, 2014

Using modified human stem cells, a team of UC Davis scientists has developed an improved gene therapy strategy that in animal models shows promise as a functional cure for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS.  The achievement, which involves an improved technique to purify populations of HIV-resistant stem cells, opens the door for human clinical trials that were recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Study funded on the clinical, financial effectiveness of telemedicine versus telephone consultations

December 16, 2014

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a $1,198,384 grant to UC Davis pediatrician James Marcin to investigate how telemedicine consultations in emergency departments impact clinical outcomes, including cost effectiveness, compared with telephone consultations. 

Firearm violence trends in the 21st century

December 16, 2014

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 posted online in the Annual Review of Public Health on Dec. 12 and will appear in the print edition in January.

Too much, too little, just right

December 15, 2014

Scientists have long known the p53 protein suppresses tumors. However, a recent animal study by UC Davis researchers has uncovered a complicated relationship between p53 and another protein, Rbm38, highlighting how the body calibrates protein levels. Too much Rbm38 reduces p53 levels, increasing the risk of cancer. Too little Rbm38 allows p53 overexpression, causing premature aging. The study was published in the journal PNAS on Dec. 15. 

Preeclampsia during mother's pregnancy associated with greater autism risk

December 8, 2014

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were more than twice as likely to have been exposed in utero to preeclampsia, and the likelihood of an autism diagnosis was even greater if the mother experienced more severe disease, a large study by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute has found.

MIND Institute says "thank you" to hundreds of participants in its research

December 3, 2014

Hundreds of participants in UC Davis MIND Institute research and their families will head into the woods to “Explore the Great Outdoors” during its 12th Annual Thank You Party on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 1 to 4 p.m. The party is held to thank the children, adolescents, adults and their families who make the MIND Institute's groundbreaking research into autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions possible.