May 2024


Cultivating Team Science Awards

Distinguished Professor Andreas Bäumler

Assistant Professor Derek J. Bays

Professor Anna La Torre

This month, the School of Medicine announced the winners of its 2024 Cultivating Team Science seed grant program. The competitive grants fund medical school science projects that involve multiple departments. The principal investigators of these projects are School of Medicine faculty members. They lead teams with researchers from at least two departments. This year’s winners are:

Distinguished professor Andreas Bäumler and assistant professor Derek J. Bays

Title: “Preventing invasive candidiasis by restoring gut epithelial hypoxia.”

The study aims to show how a host resists infection with the fungal pathogen Candida. The researchers hope to develop ways to restore immune function during antibiotic therapy. Invasive candidiasis is a rare but serious outcome of this common yeast infection.

Professor Anna La Torre

Title: “ON-SIGHT (Optic Nerve Special Interest Group for Human Therapeutics): Developing novel models of retinal ganglion cell degeneration.”

Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) pass all visual stimuli from the retina to the brain. Their axons form the optic nerves. Diseases affecting RGCs can lead to visual impairment or blindness. Researchers will characterize novel models of RGC degeneration in mice and nonhuman primates to advance RGC replacement therapies.

The Cultivating Team Science award will provide each team $100,000 annually for two years. These funds are for planning, preparation and submission of large team-based grant applications. Diana Farmer, the chair of the Department of Surgery, and Brad Pollock, the chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences oversaw this year’s award review process. Nineteen faculty members reviewed the proposals. They assessed significance and impact, the makeup and synergy of each team and the potential for federal funding.

“In the fourth year of the Cultivating Team Science scheme, we are excited to support these new projects, which came from a large and competitive pool of applications,” said Kim Barrett, vice dean for research. “The funds should allow the teams to generate preliminary data as well as the evidence of meaningful interactions that are needed to apply successfully for large NIH awards, such as Program Project and Center grants.”

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First Annual Convergence Research Celebration

Professor Wil Joiner presents at the May 1 Convergence Research Celebration

The first annual Convergence Research Celebration was held on Wednesday, May 1 on the Davis Campus. Featuring speakers from six different UC Davis schools and colleges, the event focused on collaborative research between School of Medicine investigators and their colleagues across the campus. The speakers were:

Amy Brooks-Kayal, chair of the Department of Neurology, moderated a lively panel about best practices for collaborative research. Melissa Bauman, associate dean for research infrastructure, served as MC of the event. Vice Chancellor for Research Simon Atkinson and School of Medicine Vice Dean for Research Kim E. Barrett provided opening remarks. Barrett also announced the Convergence Research Award, a pilot grant designed to bolster the type of collaborative research celebrated at the event.

Request for Applications: Convergence Research Award

The School of Medicine, UC Davis Clinical and Translational Sciences Center (CTSC) and the UC Davis Office of Research are pleased to announce a new award designed to encourage collaborative work across disciplines.

The Convergence Research Award will provide a year of funding for up to six teams. Each team will receive up to $50,000 to support the planning, preparation and submission of applications to external funding. Every team must include UC Davis representatives from at least one School of Medicine department and at least one department outside of the medical school.

“The goal is to support projects that push the boundaries of individual disciplines and set the stage for breakthroughs that can only occur when different perspectives converge,” said Kim Barrett, vice dean for research.

Submission Details

All proposals must be sent digitally as a single PDF file to UC Davis Internally Coordinated Programs.

Key dates to remember:

  • Deadline for applications is June 14.
  • Awards will be announced Aug. 1
  • Anticipated funding commences Sept. 1

For more information, please read the full request for applications.

Matching Funding for Shared Equipment Awardee

Congratulations to professor of surgery and biomedical engineering Aijun Wang, recipient of the inaugural School of Medicine Matching Funding for Shared Equipment program. This program helps meet the collective needs of School of Medicine researchers by assisting in the purchase of equipment that will have broad use across the School of Medicine. Through this funding, Wang will acquire a high speed, automated, confocal imager system. This system will improve the quality of micrographic images, as well as the speed with which they can be analyzed. It will be the first of its kind on the Sacramento campus, housed at the new lab space at Aggie Square.

The system will be available to all School of Medicine researchers.

The School of Medicine Office of Research is providing 50% of the funding for this purchase.

BioRender Access

We are pleased to announce that BioRender is now licensed for UC Davis employee use. BioRender is an online software tool that helps scientists create and share science figures in minutes. It provides a robust platform on which to create final illustrations, images, figures, drawings and graphics.

To access BioRender:

Option 1 - Go to and click the “Log in now” button.

Option 2 - Go to, click the “Log in with SSO” at the bottom of the page and enter your email address.

Key points about the BioRender tool:

  • BioRender is an online software tool that allows scientists to create and share science figures, illustrations, images, and graphics quickly.
  • It provides a library of over 50,000 science icons/templates across 30+ life science fields that can be dragged-and-dropped to build figures.
  • It has tools specifically designed for creating scientific visuals like membranes, cells, DNA structures, and visualizing 3D protein data.
  • Figures can be customized and auto-aligned. There are graph templates to visualize research data.
  • Collaboration features allow real-time editing with colleagues.
  • High-resolution exports are available in multiple formats (PDF, PNG, JPG) for publications, posters, etc.
  • Access for UC Davis employees is through the campus portal or single sign-on.

Contact Kent Anderson ( or Paul Pannu ( for any additional questions.

How to Get Funding Support to Make Your Research Open Access

Did you know the University of California will help cover the cost of open access publishing for many of your research articles? For many journals, UC automatically pays the first $1,000 of the open access fee. If you don’t have grant funds available to pay the rest, simply check a box for the university to pay the entire amount for you. The UC libraries have signed agreements with several publishers that cover part or all of the cost for open access publishing by repurposing subscription funds (reading access is still included).

How does it work?

After acceptance of your manuscript, you will see the option to publish open access on the publisher’s platform. When you identify yourself as UC affiliated, the article processing charge (APC or open access fee) will be reduced by $1,000, a contribution by UC libraries. If you don’t have research funding to pay for the remaining APC, you can indicate that right there and UC libraries will cover the full APC.

Check the UC Davis Library’s website for more details and to find out if your journal is covered (listed by publisher).

These are UC-wide agreements and funding is provided by the UC library consortium. UC Davis Library provides additional funding for articles that are not covered by such an agreement and published in full open access journals. For more information check our website.

To arrange a consultation or a presentation at your unit, please contact Michael Ladisch, Scholarly Communication Officer (

Publication Metrics Report

The School of Medicine Office of Research’s annual Publication Metrics Report is out now. This report provides a summary of the productivity, contribution, quality and dissemination of research being done in the School of Medicine. It shows the number of UC Davis School of Medicine faculty publications over the most recent five-year period, number and average of citations these publications received and appearance in high impact journals.

Elsevier SciVal and Scopus are the data sources used to generate this report. SciVal offers quick and easy access to research performance for the institution and allows comparison to other institutions. Data on publications can be compared by institution to another institution, by a group of generated researchers, or by an individual researcher. We have handy instructions for using SciVal here. Scopus curates abstracts and citation data from all scholarly journals indexed by Scopus. Indexed authors have a free profile on Scopus and can look up their data using these instructions.

The School of Medicine Office of Research generates an overall report for the school as well as individual reports for each School of Medicine department. These are shared with the department chairs, vice chairs and CAOs. Contact your department for more information on the report.

By the numbers

Documents published by UC Davis School of Medicine faculty between 2018-2023: 14,288

Average citations of publications: 42,284 per year.

Top topics of UC Davis School of Medicine publications:

  • Fragile X Syndrome; Primary Ovarian Insufficiency; Intellectual Disability
  • Gun Violence; Firearms; Licensed Dealers
  • Nivolumab; Pembrolizumab; Immunotherapy
  • Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs; Narcotic Analgesic Agent; Morphinomimetic Agent
  • Intestine Flora; Ruminococcaceae; Microorganisms


Summer 2024 Applied Research Symposium

The Center for Healthcare Policy and Research (CHPR) invites you to join our second Applied Research Symposium (in-person or online via Zoom) on Tuesday, June 4, at 3:30 p.m. PT. All UC Davis faculty, students, and staff are encouraged to register for the symposium. Light refreshments will be provided for those who attend in-person.

The symposium will include expert speakers on various topics on health policy projects, followed by an interactive Q&A with the audience facilitated by Dr. Courtney Lyles. For questions, please contact Kelcie Rodriguez at


Date: June 4, 2024, Time: 3:30 – 5:00 PM

Location: Education Building #1204 or Zoom


Research Image Competition

Due June 15, 2024. We are accepting submissions for the School of Medicine Research Image Competition for this quarter through June 15! Quarterly prize is a gift basket full of UCD swag and eligibility for the grand prize of $1500, to be awarded in the fall. Check out the guidelines and submit your image here.


New fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Four UC Davis School of Medicine faculty members have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The society announced in April the names of the new AAAS fellows, including 10 from UC Davis. They are scientists, engineers and innovators recognized for their achievements in science. The new UC Davis School of Medicine fellows are Andreas Bäumler, Emanual Maverakis, Luis Fernando Santana and Rene Tsolis.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the AAAS Fellows program. A gala celebration to mark the anniversary will be held in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 21, 2024.

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Glenn Yiu

The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) has recognized Glenn Yiu, a professor of ophthalmology at UC Davis Health, with the 2024 Carl Camras Translational Research Award. The $12,000 award is granted to investigators working in translational research that can lead to real-world results and improved human health. The intent of the award is to recognize early-career researchers who have exhibited excellence in research that has led to — or has the promise of leading to — clinical applications.

Yiu received the award May 5 at the 2024 ARVO Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington.

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Impactful Publications

Diana Miglioretti, professor and division chief of biostatistics in the Department of Public Health Sciences, has contributed to a study analyzing six different models of mammogram guidelines. The study was published in the April 30 edition of JAMA Network. These models found that, compared with no screening, biennial mammography screening averted a median of 8.2 breast cancer deaths per 1000 women screened, equal to a 30% reduction in breast cancer mortality. Additionally, for each strategy, benefits were larger for Black women than for all women. The authors conclude that biennial mammography from ages 40 to 74 years has favorable benefit-to-harm tradeoffs.

Jennie Sotelo-Orozco, assistant researcher in the Department of Public Health Sciences, co-wrote an analysis with former UC Davis postdoc Diana Taft that was published in Cell Host and Microbe. In this article, the authors provide an analysis of a new study, “Infant microbes and metabolites point to childhood neurodevelopmental disorders”, by Angelica Ahrens, et al. In a prospective longitudinal study of thousands of children, Ahrens’ team generates evidence for the role of the gut microbiome in neurodevelopmental disorders while highlighting important open questions.

Featured Research

Emergency Medicine

Before 1990, the Department of Emergency Medicine’s primary focus was the education of medical trainees and patient care. However, over the past two decades, the department has increasingly focused on medical research, led in part by world-class pediatric emergency medicine and violence prevention initiatives. The diverse range of research subject matter conducted in the department over the past few years has included trauma, disaster management, traumatic brain injury, infectious disease, diabetic ketoacidosis, and opioid use disorder, to name just a few.

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