UC Davis health research creates real-world impacts beyond laboratory walls and scientific journals.

Some highlights:

Surgeons in Iraq

Air Force surgeon Dustin Zierold, second from right, stands with his trauma team inside the Kirkuk Air Base in Northern Iraq. He received his trauma training at UC Davis.

Saving lives

UC Davis has long served Northern California as a Level 1 trauma center treating the most serious injuries. Since its founding in the 1980s, the center has helped lower the Sacramento region's preventable death rate to less than half the national average.

The impact of this specialized care now extends far beyond the Capital, as military surgeons in Iraq and trauma centers across the nation save many lives using techniques pioneered by UC Davis trauma surgeons. Read more about the global reach of UC Davis trauma training

The war on pain

While they use the latest technologies to minimize suffering among their own patients, UC Davis pain experts also work to change national political attitudes toward pain management. UC Davis physicians have led national academic organizations dedicated to this relatively new medical discipline, testified before lawmakers, and authored books that received national media attention.

Their groundwork led Congress to propose legislation that would make it easier to treat suffering. UC Davis research also helped California revamp its description-monitoring program, and become the first state to require that all physicians complete additional education on pain management. More about UC Davis and the war on pain

Gov. Schwarzenegger

UC Davis telemedicine experts are working with the Federal Communications Commission, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other state agencies to link rural health clinics with academic medical expertise.

Connecting every corner

Doctors and patients in the most rural areas of the state have access to immediate specialized care, thanks to a UC Davis "telemedicine" program that uses high-speed data and video to provide live interactive consultation with specialists at the UC Davis Medical Center.

UC Davis physicians have conducted more than 14,000 video consultations since 1997 with the help of the UC Davis Center for Health and Technology. Now they are the hub of an expansion effort that will link more than 300 rural clinics and hospitals with academic medicine via the California Telehealth Network.  Read more about telemedicine

Finding the right words

UC Davis Health System is nationally recognized for its decades of work improving health-care access for communities and cultures with unmet needs. For 30 years, UC Davis student-run clinics have provided free, culturally sensitive medical care to underserved communities here in the nation's most diverse city.

This committment has grown to include programs such as the Center for Reducing Health Disparities, founded to identify, understand, and offer solutions to socioeconomic and cultural barriers to health care. For example, Hmong immigrants are overcoming fears and traditional beliefs that once prevented many from getting regular cancer screenings, through a culturally relevant outreach effort developed by UC Davis and local Hmong leaders. Read more about culturally relevant care

Death and dying

Patients in advanced stages of illness and their families benefit from an early UC Davis role in integrating hospice care into both medical education and clinical operations. When UC Davis professors founded the West Coast Center for Palliative Care Education and Research here in 1994, it was among the first in the nation to conduct research and train health-care providers in palliative or end-of-life care.

The nation's largest medical-specialty organization, the American College of Physicians, has formally noted this pioneering role. The UC Davis role in the history of hospice care

PICU nurse

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing will result from the largest philanthropic gift in the nation in support of nursing education.

Nursing leaders

A $100-million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation — the largest in UC Davis history — is creating a new kind of nursing school here where graduates will learn, discover and share new ways to improve patients' lives and transform the nation's health-care system.

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing's close proximity to and association with the UC Davis Medical School is designed to promote increased communication and coordination between doctors and nurses, ultimately improving patient care. Read more about the new school

New insights into disease

UC Davis scientists consistently produce research breakthroughs that allow physicians to better understand and treat diseases. Sometimes they discover new diseases, as when the unique UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute staff discovered Fragile X associated tremor-ataxia syndrome or FXTAS.

The previously unidentified neurodegenerative condition causes balance, tremor and memory problems in some male relatives of children with fragile X syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder that is the most common cause of inherited mental impairment and autism. Staff at the multidisciplinary M.I.N.D. Institute remain international authorities on autism and fragile X. Discovering an unrecognized disease

Gun violence

Beyond medical research, UC Davis has a long-standing interest in social issues that affect health. Researchers at the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis are pioneers in the field of injury epidemiology, and were among the first to focus attention on and identify firearm violence as a public-health problem and preventable cause of death.

Armed with hard scientific data developed at UC Davis, lawmakers have implemented state and federal laws restricting sales of assault weapons and improved strategies to prevent gun trafficking. UC Davis professors now consult for the World Health Organization and have been honored among international "heroes of medicine" by a national news magazine. Read more about the latest gun violence study.