Human & Animal Health

Discovering Curiosity: Building Mini-Organs to Fight Pancreatic Cancer with New Faculty Chang-il Hwang

March 21, 2019

When a healthy cell turns cancerous a cascade of events enables the cancer to spread throughout the body. But its origin lies within a single progenitor cell.

“What goes wrong with that particular cell?” asked Assistant Professor Chang-il Hwang, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. “Something happens at the molecular level. One DNA molecule, or one protein molecule changes.”


Sex-swapping Zebrafish Hold Clues for Reproductive Development Diseases in Humans

January 23, 2019
In a study appearing in Genetics, BMCDB Graduate Group faculty chair Bruce Draper and UC Davis researchers relay new discoveries about the molecular mechanisms behind sexual determination. Using zebrafish, they highlighted the gene responsible for determining whether the fish will develop into a female or a male.

Diabetes Research in Huising Lab Emphasizes Importance of Reproducibility in Science

June 21, 2018
In a paper appearing in Cell Metabolism, Associate Professor Mark Huising, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, and Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology graduate student Sharon Lee refute a previous study that claimed an antimalarial drug could be used to treat type 1 diabetes.

Connecting the Molecular Dots of Heart Disease

May 14, 2018
Associate Professor Aldrin Gomes, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, studies the underpinnings of heart disease. He’s searching for molecular clues that will help medical professionals better manage heart disease.

Jennifer Whistler: On the Search for Safer Opioids

April 21, 2018
According to BMCDB Graduate Group member Jennifer Whistler, professor of Physiology and Membrane Biology, opioid drug development is headed in the wrong direction. Whistler wants to create a balanced opioid that more closely mimics the way endorphins in the body switch pain relief on and off.  

Zebrafish Reproductive Development May Hold Insights into Ovarian Cancer

March 31, 2018
BMCDB Graduate Group member Associate Professor Bruce Draper, is studying zebrafish to learn about the genetics of sexual reproduction in vertebrates. Draper’s research, published in PLOS Genetics with postdoc and Dena Leerberg, ’17 Ph.D., may advance discoveries into the origins of ovarian cancer.