Food is a unifying issue. Every living creature on the planet requires nutrition, and it affects
every aspect of our health and well-being.
UC Davis plays a major role nationally and internationally in improving health through its diverse nutrition
research, education and community engagement. Our beginning as an agricultural college is certainly a
key factor in our established leadership role in nutrition issues. As a land grant university, we also
have an obligation and responsibility for the welfare of our community and region.
Our research extends into many of UC Davis' schools and colleges from veterinary medicine, which recently
found that animals are able to recognize when their diet is deficient in amino acids, to agricultural
and environmental sciences, which recently established that genetically modified rice in China benefits
The nutrition research at UC Davis Health System, highlighted in this issue of UC Davis Medicine, continues
to demonstrate the capability of the university to truly examine an issue from all angles.
UC Davis' partnerships with other entities also enhance our research strength. These include collaborations
among our schools and other universities, and with scientific agencies, such as Lawrence Livermore National
Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the state Department of Health Services and community
We also excel at engaging our communities in health and well-being through educational opportunities
and activities aimed at fitness. A recent childhood obesity conference we sponsored engaged community
leaders, educators and public health officers in discussing the best avenues for addressing the problem
among school children. In addition, we have experts at UC Davis who play significant roles in international,
federal and state policy-making. At the other end of the spectrum, our Activities and Recreation Center
on campus ensures that our students have the resources available to them to develop lifelong, healthful
An issue as complex as nutrition requires a multidimensional approach. As you can see, we developed our
leadership role in nutrition largely because we are expert at addressing complex issues.
UC Davis shines when a problem requires a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach. It is our history,
and it is our future.
Virginia S. Hinshaw
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor