Fan Yang, a doctoral student in the molecular, cellular and integrative physiology program (MCIP), received the 2011-12 Loren D. Carlson Prize in Physiology for his work on the molecular mechanisms underlying temperature-dependent activation of thermo-TRP channels. Yang will be recognized at the graduate studies commencement in June 2012.
The Prize in Physiology is awarded each year by the MCIP Support Committee to a doctoral student whose research expands understanding of the fundamental principles of physiology.
Yang has focused on studies that better define how the body senses and controls body temperature, a function that can affect many organ systems. He has published numerous papers, including first-author research studies in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Journal of Biological Chemistry -- two high-impact, peer-reviewed journals.
"Yang's work is improving our understanding of how neurons encode temperature information and is receiving favorable reviews by researchers in the field," said Catherine VandeVoort, MCIP graduate group chair. "He and his faculty mentor, Jie Zheng, exemplify our university's commitment to educating the next generation of leaders in the field who will guide, define and create change within the global community."
The Loren D. Carlson Prize in Physiology is named after the late Loren Daniel Carlson, a former assistant dean and chair of the Division of Sciences Basic to Medicine and chair of the Department of Human Physiology. Carlson directed the physiology graduate group and served as a catalyst in the development of a creative interdepartmental and scientifically productive graduate program.
The Graduate Group in Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology is one of 90 graduate-degree programs offered at UC Davis. The program emphasizes collaborative and interdisciplinary training in the fundamental principles of molecular, cellular and integrative physiology across a wide range of subdisciplines, including cardiorespiratory, cellular, comparative, endocrine, reproductive, exercise, metabolic and neurophysiology.