Making a difference in people's lives is an aspiration many of us share. At UC Davis, it is one of our basic land-grant tenets, and one of the reasons I am proud to be part of this university.
We find real-world solutions to real-world problems – from protecting the environment health of Lake Tahoe and creating cleaner, more sustainable transportation to confronting cancer, a disease that remains one of the leading causes of death.
Endeavors by scientists and physicians to address cancer, a disease that can inflict great pain and suffering on the lives it touches, have resulted in new advances in diagnosis, treatment and understanding. Improving cancer care is one of the many ways in which we make a difference.
For instance, we are making great headway in understanding how cancer differentially affects diverse populations. That is important to the university, which strives to be as inclusive as possible in its research, education and outreach so that people of all backgrounds and perspectives benefit.
Toward that end, our cancer experts are developing culturally appropriate education programs to reach out to Asian Americans, Native Americans and others. Our scientists also are conducting research to better understand how different ethnic groups may have varying response rates to the same cancer treatment and why cancer disproportionately affects certain groups.
In addition, our engineers are developing new tools that will allow physicians to more accurately diagnose and treat cancer. The Department of Biomedical Engineering recently announced the development of a new scanner that for the first time combines positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The new scanner will allow researchers to better understand what's happening inside a cancerous tumor.
Accomplishments such as these reflect our rich tradition at UC Davis to be of service to people and society in the region, state, nation and the world. For that, I am pleased to be part of an institution that is able to help people in ways that matter most to them.