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Two BMCDB Faculty Named Chancellor's Fellows

Professor John Albeck and Professor Ching-Hsien Chen are among 12 faculty named. “These 12 newest fellows represent our university at its very best,” Chancellor Gary S. May said. “They are now part of a proud 22-year history for the Chancellor’s Fellows program. These fellows are making advances that help solve complex and critical issues, while also helping our students become critical thinkers and problem-solvers.”

Professor Karen Zito Elected 2021 AAAS Fellow

BMCDB is proud to announce the election of Professor Karen Zito as a AAAS fellow. This distinction is one of the highest honors given to a scientist. She was selected "for contributions to understanding excitatory synapse formation and the dynamics of postsynaptic density proteins." She is one of nine UC Davis faculty elected to AAAS this year.

Alumni Profile: Fascinating Fungi with Dr. Fun Guy (Gordon Walker, ’16 Ph.D. Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology)

If you scroll through Gordon Walker’s Instagram account (@FascinatedByFungi), you’ll find a cornucopia of mushroom imagery. Bleeding milk caps, egg-shaped slime molds and kaleidoscopic toadstools have a home here among the hundreds of posts churned out by Walker. Since launching the account three years ago, he’s amassed nearly 45,000 followers.

Generating a Research Award: Assistant Professor Celina Juliano Wins Elizabeth D. Hay New Investigator Award

Assistant Professor Celina Juliano, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, was recently named as the winner of the 2020 Elizabeth D. Hay New Investigator Award. The award, given by the Society for Developmental Biology, recognizes researchers “who have performed outstanding research in developmental biology during the early stages of their independent career.”

Mitochondrial Chitter-Chatter: Unveiling the Molecular Structures of Cellular Respiration

In order to generate energy, our bodies transfer electrons from food—sugars, fats and proteins—to molecular oxygen, which allows our cells to respire and function. Performed by the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC), this process creates energy-storing and -transporting adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the “molecular currency” for energy in the cell.

The Repellence Cocktail: Mosquito Sense of Smell Reveals More Mysteries

When nibbling mosquitoes cause irritation, the sensible move is to grab mosquito repellent. Distinguished Professor Walter Leal, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, likes to remind his students of this. But if they’re stepping outside for only a short period of time during the buggy Davis summers, Leal will offer a natural repellent like methyl salicylate, otherwise known as wintergreen oil.

Mapping Cells in the “Immortal” Regenerating Hydra

Unlike the stem cells of an adult human, the stem cells of an adult Hydra—a small freshwater invertebrate related to jellyfish and corals—are in a constant state of renewal, bestowing it with amazing regenerative capabilities and nearly biological immortality. Around 100,000 cells make up the Hydra body, and amazingly, these cells renew every 20 days thanks to the Hydra’s bottomless well of stem cells.