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The code of life Volume 31, Number 1 Fall 2013


“When you are a UC Davis parent, giving becomes more personal. I wanted to do something to support my daughter’s college experience and other students like her.” — Jane Rosenberg ’79 UC Davis Parents Fund donor

Every gift to the UC Davis Parents Fund helps every student, every day. 530-754-4438

ACTION REQUIRED! Our mailing list is changing. If you’d like to keep receiving UC Davis Magazine, please see the back cover to learn what you need to do.

M A G A Z I N E Volume 31, Number 1/Fall 2013

FE ATU R ES ENTER THE GENOMICS M ATRIX 16 The ability to map all of an organism’s genes is revolutionizing the way scientists look at the world—and changing your future. BY AN DY FE LL


THE M ASTER OF THE ART OF THE POSSIBLE 24 Oncologist David Gandara is a physician on a mission—to save lung cancer patients through personalized treatment based on genetics. BY DO RSE Y GRI FFITH

A CL ASSIC RIVALRY 42 The long-standing competition between UC Davis and Sacramento State is about a lot more than football these days. BY JOE WALTA STI


30 ALUMNI Students get a




head start on career networking with the help of alums.



When a group of female students took up residence in converted Army barracks, the result was a new kind of drill team.

14 PARENTS A tongue-in-


James Watson and Francis Crick’s 1953 discovery of the structure of DNA ushered in today’s genomics revolution. Cover design by Jay Leek.

cheek checklist of the pluses and minuses of parenting college students.


that grew out of the space race invests in UC Davis’ rising stars of science and engineering.

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writes about biology, the physical sciences and engineering for UC Davis Public Affairs. He is continually amazed and grateful that as part of his job, he gets to talk to very smart people doing very interesting things and then write about it. ANDY FELL

is a senior public information representative for UC Davis Health System, handling communications and media relations for the Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dorsey joined UC Davis after a 22-year career as a newspaper reporter, including 14 years at the Sacramento Bee covering the medical beat. When cancer center communications aren’t keeping her busy, she tries to practice her own brand of cancer prevention as an avid swimmer, cyclist and cross-country skier. DORSEY GRIFFITH

After six years, humor writer ROBIN DERIEUX ends her parenting column with this issue. Now an empty nester, she needs time to dress up her dog in doll clothing. Email her at rdderieux@

is an assistant director of athletics communications at the University of Oregon. In prior career stops, he spent time at both Sacramento State and UC Davis, developing a unique respect for the Causeway Cup rivalry. Waltasti grew up in suburban Chicago, where he was groomed on great rivalry games, like Bears versus Packers and Cubs against Cardinals. While he enthusiastically roots for one side in each of those games—go Bears, come on Cubs —he tries to straddle the line in the Causeway Cup. Go, uh, Ag-nets?! JOE WALTASTI

(not pictured)—artist (weaver/fabric/painter) extraordinaire, world traveler, sister and mom. ANNE (HERMANN) LAMBORN

C A R O L E KO B L I K —custom

jewelry designer and owner of a gallery in Sacramento ( and, finally, a grandmother!

Four 1965 alumnae who joined forces to write this issue’s “Aggies Remember” article, describe themselves: MOLLY (HANNA) COLE —our resilient

leader, wife, grandmother and water colorist who has long been active in League of Women Voters and Women’s Refuge. J U L I E (L O GA N) R I C H M O N D —cat

lover, bicyclist, retired from California state public service and hoping that PERS outlasts her!



Clifton B. Parker




Please email address changes to, or mail to UC Davis Magazine, University of California, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616-8687.




Jay Leek

Luanne Lawrence



Laurie Lewis, Russell Thebaud, Lisa Wells ’03 PHOTOGRAPHERS

Karin Higgins, Gregory Urquiaga MULTIMEDIA SPECIALIST


Gheed Saeed ’15

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(USPS 002723, ISSN 1092-6135) Published quarterly by Strategic Communications, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, for alumni, faculty, parents of students, donors and other friends of the campus. Periodicals postage paid at Davis, CA.

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of UC Davis Magazine— unless you are a dues-paying member of the California Aggie Alumni Association or the Aggie Parent and Family Association. Up until now, the magazine has been mailed to most alumni and parents of current students. After this issue, that will no longer be the case. In part, the change is due to UC Davis’ success—and yours—as well as the university’s commitment to sustainability. Our circulation has grown with each graduating class. So too have our production and mailing costs. Now, with more than 200,000 living alumni and 33,000-plus students, the university is streamlining costs, saving paper and fossil fuels, and making the magazine a benefit of CAAA membership. We hope you’ll choose to stay connected through CAAA programs—and keep reading. • Our readers are a sharp bunch. After all, most of you attended UC Davis or sent your kids here to study—sometimes both. So perhaps we should have known better than to ask you to find the misprint in our summer issue. Not only did many of you spot the goof that we were talking about—missing and repeating text in the “Driving Innovations” feature—you found other errors as well. Believe me, I winced at each email pointing out a new one. But many of those emails—written in signature Aggie form with wit and kindness—also made me laugh, and warmed my heart. One reader even asked for a sequel to the proofreading contest. Dan Brook, M.A. ’95, Ph.D. ’97, of San Francisco, wrote: “As much as we don’t want you to make errors, 1) it’s inevitable and everyone does so, and 2) it would be fun to have something like this as a regular feature, which would undoubtedly get people to read more close.” Alum Donna Driscoll ’77, of Daly City, said she was saddened by the loss of the opening paragraph of a section on AVID founder Mary Catherine Swanson. “Her story is so much like mine and [like those of] many of our friends who met and fell in love with their future spouses and the Davis campus all the while chanting ‘Bossy Cow Cow.’” We were sad about the missing lines too. At the request of Driscoll and other readers, we reprint Swanson’s story on page 4. Many thanks to everyone who participated in our online survey. Your feedback will help us make UC Davis Magazine a better publication. Winners of the drawing for the two iPads were Lindsay Harrington ’97, of West Sacramento, and Suellen Newton Noland, M.S. ’85, of Pleasant Hill. THIS COULD BE YOUR LAST ISSUE

“Up until now, the magazine has been mailed to most alumni and parents of current students. After this issue, that will no longer be the case.”

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COLLEGE PREPAR ATION ADVOCATE Reprinted from the “Driving Innovation” feature, appearing in the summer ’13 issue. Mary Catherine Swanson, Cred. ’67, was studying journalism at UC Berkeley when she took a trip to Davis to attend a senior prom with her now-husband Tom Swanson ’67, M.S. ’69. The opportunity to be closer to Tom, not to mention doing the “Bossy Cow Cow” cheer in the barn, helped win her over to the slower pace at Davis. Though she received a fellowship to continue her journalism studies at Columbia University, she chose instead to enter the teaching credential program at UC Davis. She taught full time in Woodland while working on her credential. She loved teaching so much, she told Tom at the time, that she would teach for free. He asked her to please remember to pick up her paycheck anyway. Early in her career, Swanson couldn’t help but notice that many of her students were being left behind, placed in remedial courses with no pathway to college. It was 1980, Swanson was then head of the English department at San Diego’s

Clairemont High School and the federal courts had issued an order to desegregate the city’s schools. The court order brought large numbers of inner-city students to suburban schools. Swanson supported the decision, but was concerned that these new, underserved students would struggle in the academically rigorous Clairemont High. She had a brainstorm. Rather than feed her students remedial coursework, she raised the bar, creating a new program called Advancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID, for 32 students that would provide them with extra time and the skills they needed to succeed academically. Nearly all of those first AVID students went on to college. And today, more than 30 years later, AVID is an international phenomenon, helping more than 700,000 students in more than 4,900 schools and 28 postsecondary institutions in 46 states, the District of Columbia and across 16 other countries and territories. Harold Levine, dean of the UC Davis School of Education, has called AVID

“arguably the most successful college preparation program in the world,” with 95 percent of AVID graduates enrolling in college. Today, Swanson serves as a member of the School of Education’s Board of Advisors. She received the Cal Aggie Alumni Association’s Distinguished Achievement Award in 2010. And she continues to question the status quo in education, insisting on taking AVID further, with the newest focus on postsecondary programs and community colleges. All of her hard work has caught the eye of Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews, who wrote: “I don’t know any single person in the country who has done more for our schoolchildren than AVID founder Mary Catherine Swanson.”

chose me as the 1972 Picnic Day ch air m an and we s oug ht to bring back the histor y of UC Davis with the parade, hot air balloon, and e ve nt s ac ro s s campus. PublicBen Sharpsteen ’16 ity chairwoman Linda Clingan and I heard about Ben being a UC Davis alum and Disney artist. The two of us drove to his Calistoga home to ask for his help with the cover for our program. He was very gracious

and volunteered the use of one of his lithographs, Briarcliff. The picnickers in the picture inspired our costumes for Picnic Day. Ben rode in the parade in front of the Cal Aggie All-Male Marching Band (there were a few ladies), and we also debuted newly restored farm equipment in the parade, including a 1916 Case tractor, an 1884 H.W. Rice straw burner and an 1879 Bronson-Pitts threshing bee from the newly formed Antique Mechanics Club, of which I was a member. Ben also showed his generosity in another way, making a sizable donation to the campus for the establishment of an agricultural museum. It was a grand day for the university, and one of the many high-


[Re: Two letters, “Taking Aim at Gun Sales Report,” summer ’13] I was encouraged that you would allow other voices to be heard on a very complex issue. Susan Lancaster ’78 Danville


Your article in the summer ’13 edition on “Driving Innovation” and Ben Sharpsteen brought back a lot of great memories. In 1971, a group of us from Beckett Hall petitioned the then-radical student senate not to end Picnic Day. The group

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A lithograph by Disney animator/director Ben Sharpsteen ’16, left, illustrated the cover of the 1972 Picnic Day program. The fence-hopping picnickers in the artwork inspired Picnic Day committee members to dress in period costume in the photo above, according to Dennis Packer ’72, center, with his hair parted in the middle.

lights of my time at UC Davis. Someday, I hope to come back for Picnic Day. Dennis Packer ’72 Sierra Madre S E E DS OF C H A N G E

I recently had the pleasure of reading Ann Evans’ “The education of a food rebel” [Aggies Remember, summer ’13]. As I read, I smiled when she spoke of the back-to-the-land movement. I got excited, yelling to my wife as I got to the part where Mrs. Evans argued with professors on the nutritional superiority of raw milk. My mouth just hung open when she stated her senior paper was on a topic so unknown as the Codex Alimentarius. In short, this one inspiring article invoked the emotions that first motivated me to pursue transfer acceptance into UC Davis’ Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems major. The early accomplishments of Mrs. Evans are astonishing, and I find it very telling that the Davis Food Co-op opened the same year Masanobu Fukuoka published One Straw Revolution. It certainly takes nothing less than a revolution to change a food system and both authors are important catalysts. Without the early actions of a young Ann, this 34-year-old might have never entered college. My children may never have seen me graduate community college nor get accepted into my dream school. I

might still be in an industry chosen for me by a military entrance exam, forever searching for that passion now realized through my work in agriculture. I commend Ann Evans on watering the seeds that I and so many others can now see to fruition. She truly did change her environment, and in effect, she changed mine. Andy Codd ’15 Merced


[“Goat Medicine,” spring ’13, reports on goats] genetically modified to produce milk with higher levels of lysozyme. The biggest joke about this is that the emotionally immature and psychologically lazy human race has still not figured out that the milk a mother produces is for her offspring and not another species. We are the only species that intentionally consumes milk from other species. [Regarding the spring ’13 story] “9 Billion Mouths to Feed”: Maybe someday the focus will be on the human species acting responsibly for controlling the number of offspring to which they give birth. There are too many people on the planet as it is. Barry Duncan ’89 Bronson, Mich.

for our next issue to UC Davis Magazine, UC Davis, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616-8687 or email us at Letters should be less than 250 words and timely—within two issues following any articles they address. Letters may be edited for length, clarity and civility. SEND YOUR LETTERS


“Driving Innovation” in the summer ’13 issue misstated the year of death for “father of American wine” Maynard Amerine ’32. He died in 1998. “A Museum for the 21st Century” gave the wrong amount for funds needed to build the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. The correct total is $30 million. A yearbook photo of Karen (Yates) Lafferty ’63 accompanying the Cal Aggie Alumni Association feature, “Class of 1963 Looks Back,” was incorrectly identified as Karen Green ’63. Football coach Ron Gould worked with the University of Oregon Ducks as a graduate assistant in 1990–91.

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ENTER THE SCI-FI WORLD OF A LIVE-ACTION GRAPHIC NOVEL T H E S TAG E The Intergalactic Nemesis LiveAction Graphic Novel, radio drama meets comic books. Mondavi Center, Jackson Hall Nov. 15

Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist and co-author of Half The Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, this year’s selection for the UC Davis Campus Community Book Project.

Mondavi Center, Jackson Hall Jan. 13

MUSIC Empyrean Ensemble, Mika Pelo and Kurt Rohde, directors. Mondavi Center, Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, Nov. 22 INTERGALACTIC NEMESIS

Rock musical Spring Awakening, directed by Granada Artistin-Residence Stafford Arima and choreographed by graduate student Chris McCoy. Main Theatre, Wright Hall Nov. 21-24, Dec. 5-7

TA L K In Conversation with Laura Dern, actress and activist, with Q&A moderDERN ated by Gina Bloom, associate professor of English. Mondavi Center, Jackson Hall Nov. 13

UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, Christian Baldini, music director and conductor.

Mondavi Center, Jackson Hall, Nov. 23

UC Davis Concert Band, Pete Nowlen, director. Mondavi Center, Jackson Hall, Dec. 4

University Chorus and the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, Jeffrey Thomas, chorus conductor, and Christian Baldini, orchestra music director and conductor. Mondavi Center, Jackson Hall Dec. 6

Pink Martini in a holiday concert of songs from around the world.

Mondavi Center, Jackson Hall Dec. 2

Eric Hoeprich, basset clarinet, and the London-Haydn String Quartet.

Mondavi Center, Jackson Hall Jan. 10

EXHIBITIONS Another California: Selections From the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, works focused on identity and politics at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Foundations: Contemporary Native American Art. Works from the 1960s and ’70s by Oscar Howe, George Morrison, Andrew Tsinajinnie, Fritz Scholder, Allan Houser and others.









1316 Hart Hall, 530-752-6567




South Silo, 530-752-3096



Welcome Center (first floor of Conference Center) 530-752-8111

124 Cruess Hall, 530-752-6150

Second floor, Memorial Union 530-752-2027


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Spirit of Uganda, young musicians and dancers. Mondavi Center, Jackson Hall, Jan. 26

Brazilian dance company Grupo Corpo. Mondavi Center, Jackson Hall Feb. 4

C.N. Gorman Museum Continuing through Dec. 6




Nelson Gallery Continuing through May 4






Nelson Hall (formerly the University Club) 530-752-8500 More event information at



as food and health, UC Davis this summer established a World Food Center to help feed and nurture people in the coming decades. The big-picture thinking is to do what few universities have done so far—bring together faculty in agricultural and environmental science s, veter i n ar y med ici ne, nursing, medicine, social sciences, engineering and management to solve humanity’s most pressing problems in food, health and nutrition. One key will be to do this in sustainable ways. Located on the Davis campus—in the midst of one of the world’s most fertile growing regions—the World Food Center will seek to connect with outside innovators, philanthropists, industry and public leaders to generate visionary research and practical policy solutions. Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi consulted with faculty members and other experts inside and outside the university for nearly two years before establishing the center in June. Then, in mid-July, she gave a briefing to the UC Board of Regents: “We did this to fully capitalize on our depth and expertise as the world’s leading university for education, research and scholarship on all aspects of food, but especially the nexus between food and health,” she said in her prepared remarks. The global population is expected to hit 9 billion by 2050, and there’s an urgent need to reform our food production to meet the rising demand. Through IMPORTANT

Josette Lewis ’88 is associate director of UC Davis' new World Food Center. the World Food Center, UC Davis can lead the way in developing sustainable agricultural practices and training the next generation of farmers. ‘A PERFECT FIT’

An alumna with a background in international development and food security is the center’s first hire. Josette Lewis ’88, who started as the center’s associate director in August, had a 16-year career at the U.S. Agency for International Development, working in international research and development, then as senior biotechnology adviser and finally as director of the Office of Agriculture, where she played a lead role in developing the Obama administration’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future. “The majority of the world’s poor work in agriculture,” she said, so, they can improve their incomes by using better farming practices.

“It helps the world’s food supply; it helps economies; it helps nutrition; it helps society.” Lewis grew up in Davis (her father worked as associate librarian in the UC Davis School of Law) and graduated magna cum laude from UC Davis with a bachelor’s degree in genetics in 1988, before going on to UCLA where she earned a Ph.D. in molecular genetics in 1994. In November 2010, after deciding “it was important for me to understand how the private sector works,” she left USAID for a job with Arcadia Biosciences in Davis. And so she was back in her hometown when the World Food Center position opened. “It was the perfect fit,” Lewis said about her new job. The university was nearing the end of its search for the center’s founding director as the magazine went to press.

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Celebrity chef Martin Yan ’73, M.S. ’77, is culinary adviser to the new Confucius Institute at UC Davis. N E WS I N R E V I E W BOOST FOR MATH, SCIENCE TEACHING

UC Davis will continue its work to improve teaching in science, technology, engineering and mathematics—including redesigning introductory courses that enroll thousands—as part of an upcoming Association of American Universities initiative. UC Davis is one of eight universities each receiving $500,000 over three years through the AAU’s five-year initiative to improve the quality of undergraduate education and help retain students in STEM majors, especially those from historically underrepresented ethnic groups. The university is investing $575,000 in matching funds.



the flavors of China as a new institute devoted to Chinese food and beverage culture— the world’s first of its kind—gets cooking at UC Davis. The Confucius Institute at UC Davis, which celebrated its opening in September, will offer courses, public lectures and workshops, and other events on Chinese food and beverage, culture and language. The institute combines signature strengths of UC Davis and China’s Jiangnan University in food and beverage science and technology, with the goal of promoting understanding of Chinese food and beverage culture. In addition to fostering education and research, the institute will encourage conversation between the food and beverage industries of China and California. Charlie Shoemaker, a UC Davis professor emeritus of food science and technology with extensive experience in China, serves as director. “The Confucius Institute at UC Davis will expand the efforts of UC Davis to foster diverse and international experiences for its students and the broader community,” he said. Serving as an honorary adviser for the new institute will be celebrity chef, restaurateur and UC Davis alumnus Martin Yan ’73, M.S. ’77. Three visiting scholars from Jiangnan University are working with UC Davis representatives this fall to plan the fare for the institute. What’s being explored includes: BE SAVORING

•• lectures on Chinese tea and cuisine, and the mores


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of social drinking; •• workshops teaching Chinese cooking; sampling Chinese holiday food; and providing cultural instruction for doing business with Chinese partners, clients and colleagues; •• intensive Mandarin-language learning camps for high school students; and •• graduate student and faculty research opportunities. Since 2004, the Hanban arm of China’s Ministry of Education has partnered with universities and other organizations to establish more than 400 institutes worldwide to promote understanding of Chinese culture. There are more than 90 Confucius Institutes in the United States including four others in California at UCLA, Stanford University, and San Diego and San Francisco state universities. UC Davis’ institute is the only one focused on Chinese food and beverage culture. The institutes are named for the iconic Chinese philosopher Confucius (551–479 B.C.), whose teachings espoused individual and governmental morality and correctness of social relationships. — Julia Ann Easley More online

If this story whets your appetite for what the institute will be doing, visit confuciusinstitute.html where you can join an email list to receive information as it becomes available.




experience metabolic stress that could make them more susceptible than breast-fed infants to a wide range of health issues such as obesity, diabetes, liver problems and cardiovascular disease, according to new UC Davis research. A study by biochemists Carolyn Slupsky and Bo Lönnerdal in the Department of Nutrition sheds new light on the link between infant formula feeding and increased risk of chronic diseases later in life. “We’re not saying formula-fed babies will grow up with health issues, but these results indicate that choice of infant feeding may hold future consequences,” said Slupsky, lead author of the study and also a faculty member in the Department of Food Science and Technology. The researchers used nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to look at how diet affects compounds in F O R M U L A - F E D I N FA N T S

blood and urine in infant rhesus monkeys, which provide an animal model similar to humans in this type of research. After just four weeks, the formula-fed infants were larger than their breastfed counterparts, had developed distinct bacterial communities in their gut, had higher insulin levels and were m et a b ol i z i n g amino acids differently. — Pat Bailey


Laboratory recently achieved the first successful captive spawning of the endangered white abalone in nearly a decade. The work may be the white abalone’s last chance at avoiding extinction. Prized by sport and commercial fisheries, the white abalone experienced a drastic population decline caused by overfishing. Currently, males and females are spread so far apart that they have little to no chance of reproducing successfully. In 2001, the white abalone became the first marine invertebrate to be listed as an endangered species. Scientists now believe white abalone are no longer reproducing in the wild. To solve this problem, the Bodega Marine Laboratory captive breeding program for white abalone was started up in 2010. Researchers encourage the mollusks to breed in an advanced facility that allows scientists to use moodsetting enhancements, like optimum lighting and temperature controls, to cue the

abalone to reproduce. In 2012, the program experienced the first successful spawning since 2003, and the lab repeated that success this past spring. There are currently about 60 adult abalone in captivity through the program now. “UC Davis is the for white abalone,” said Kristin Aquilino, a postdoctoral scholar at the laboratory. — Kat Kerlin More, with video, online: ucdavismagazine. edu/extra


Chancellor Linda P. B. Katehi in July joined other university presidents and chancellors across the country in calling on political leaders in Washington, D.C., to increase investment in research and education and close the “innovation deficit.” In an open letter to the White House and Congress, the presidents and chancellors wrote that closing the widening gap between needed and actual investments in research and education—the innovation deficit—is a national imperative. Investments in research and education lead to innovation and new technologies that power the nation’s economy, create jobs, and reduce the budget deficit while ensuring the U.S. maintains its role as global leader, they said.



Undergraduate Admissions opened a new Welcome Center this fall at the south entry of campus. The center is the new starting place for campus tours. Inside are a digital, touchscreen wall, a 135-seat auditorium and a branch of UC Davis Stores, selling Aggie clothing and other memorabilia. The Welcome Center, located on the first floor of the Conference Center across from the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.


grows is killing fishers, weasel-like animals, in the southern Sierra Nevada, according to a recent study conducted by UC Davis, the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station, UC Berkeley and the Integral Ecology Research Center in Humboldt County. A study published last summer by a team of UC Davis veterinary scientists documented that rodenticides were being found in the tissues of fishers—cat-sized predators that live in rugged portions of the southern Sierra Nevada. Lead author of that study, Mourad Gabriel, a Veterinary Genetics Laboratory researcher and president of Integral Ecology Research Center,

sp ec ul ated t h at the most likely source of the poisons was the illegal marijuana grows found throughout the Sierra Nevada. The new study solidifies that link, showing that female fishers who live in areas with a higher number of marijuana sites had more exposure to rodenticides and subsequently had lower survival rates. — Kat Kerlin

ANCIENT REMEDY FOR MODERN DIET a new herbal supplement, while also exercising and controlling their food intake, had greater success in losing weight and slimming down than did those who didn’t take the supplement, report researchers at UC Davis and in India. The researchers suggest that the s upplement— m ade f rom extracts of a wild herb and a tropical fruit rind—may be a safe and effective aid for dealing with excess body weight and obesit y, wh ich a f fect more than 60 percent of adults in the United States. Two clinical trials involving the supplement were conductSTUDY PARTICIPANTS WHO TOOK

ed at Alluri Sitarama Raju Academy of Medical Sciences in India. Data analysis and study communication was led by Judith Stern, distinguished professor of nutrition and internal medicine at UC Davis. “The results from our study are promising, and we did not see significant side effects with this supplement extract,” Stern said. “This was a short-term study, and we don’t know what happens in the long run; along with a diet and exercise program, the results may be even greater.” That mix was made from extracts of the aromatic annual plant Sphaeranthus indicus, a member of the aster and daisy family, and the rind of the tropical fruit Garcinia mangostana, commonly called mangosteen. Both plants have long been valued as having medicinal properties in Ayurvedic medicine—an ancient system of medicine that originated in India. Funding for the studies was provided by two grants from InterHealth Neutraceuticals Inc. of Benicia — Pat Bailey

Supplements made from the rind of mangosteen, left, and extracts of Sphaeranthus indicus, or East Indian globe thistle, showed promise in clinical studies in helping dieters lose weight.

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caused by the burning of fossil fuels, may create an impact similar to extinction on marine ecosystems, according to a new UC Davis study. The study found that ocean acidification can degrade not only individual species, as past studies have shown, but entire ecosystems. This results in a homogenized marine community, dominated by fewer plants and animals.   The oceans have been growing more acidic from absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. “The background, low-grade stress caused by ocean

acidification can cause a whole shift in the ecosystem so that everything is dominated by the same plants, which tend to be turf algae,” said lead author Kristy Kroeker, a postdoctoral researcher at the Bodega Marine Laboratory. She added: “In most ecosystems, there are lots of different colorful patches of plants and animals—of algae, of sponges, of anemones. With ocean acidification, you lose that patchiness. We call it a loss of functional diversity; everything looks the same.” — Kat Kerlin


9 1st TOP10 th

UC Davis ranked ninth among public universities in U.S. News & World Report’s list of 2014 “Best Colleges.” QS World University Rankings listed UC Davis No. 1 for teaching and research in agriculture—and 85th overall, up from 100th, among 800 top global universities. Sierra magazine named UC Davis one of the 10 “greenest” universities in the U.S. for the third year in row.

Former Vice President Al Gore, in a keynote address at the 17th annual Lake Tahoe Summit in August, credited UC Davis scientists in helping with efforts to restore the lake. UC Davis researchers have been continuously monitoring Lake Tahoe's clarity, physics, chemistry and biology since 1968. The most recent "State of the Lake" released by UC Davis' Tahoe Environmental Research Center found that the lake's clarity improved for a second consecutive year in 2012. However, long-term trends show that climate change is affecting the Lake Tahoe Basin with drier years, less precipitation, higher lake temperatures and projected lower lake levels.

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Daniel Sperling, director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis, is one of two recipients of the 2013 Blue Planet Prize. Awarded by the Asahi Glass Foundation of Tokyo, the prize has been described as the Nobel Prize for the environmental sciences. The prize, which comes with a $527,000 (50 million yen) award, recognizes Sperling for his unique ability to bring together top thinkers and strategists in academia, government and industry to develop new vehicle- and fuels-policy approaches that are models for the world.  

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n UNIVERSIT Y ADMISSIONS UC-eligible students with weaker high school grades and test scores typically fared about as well, after four years in college, as higher-ranking students who were admitted, according to UC Davis research. The study on a specific group of students admitted under special circumstances in 2004 shows that students who are mismatched, or go to universities where fellow students have a higher record of achievement than they do, are not poor academic performers. Michal Kurlaender, an associate professor in the School of Education, was a co-author of the study along with a University of Wisconsin professor. Kurlaender suggests that their findings are important for understanding a legal challenge to affirmative action. “The plaintiffs in the recent U.S. Supreme Court’s Fischer case claimed that the beneficiaries of affirmative action are actually among the victims because of mismatch. Our study shows just the opposite; mismatched students are more likely to persist in college at elite UCs and do not pay a penalty in terms of grades for doing so.” n VISION AND BALANCE People worried about their risk of injuring themselves in a fall might want to get their eyes examined. UC Davis Health System The eyes have it Eye Center research has found that among visually impaired individuals and those with uncorrected refractive error—those who could benefit from glasses to achieve normal vision but don’t wear glasses—have a significantly greater risk of diminished balance with their eyes closed on a compliant, foam surface than individuals with normal vision. The research, led by ophthalmology resident Jeffrey Willis, suggests that vision may play an important role in calibrating the vestibular system, which includes the inner ear, to help optimize physical balance. “These results have important implications for improving balance and mobility in the U.S. population and preventing falls,” Willis said.

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n MEDFLY ‘HERE TO STAY’ New UC Davis research demonstrates that at least five and as many as nine species of tropical fruit flies, including the infaEntrenched mous Medfly, are permanently established in California and inexorably spreading, despite more than 30 years of intervention and nearly 300 state-sponsored eradication programs aimed at the flies. “Regulatory policies as well as pest management and agricultural practices need to be revised to reflect the reality that these insects are here to stay,” said entomology professor James Carey, an international authority on fruit fly invasion biology and co-author of the study, which examined more than 60 years of state fruit fly capture data.

CAMPUS AUTHORS Judith Newton, an emerita professor of women and gender studies, illustrates how she used food to sustain personal and political relationships in the memoir Tasting Home: Coming of Age in the Kitchen (Perfect Paperback, $17 paperback). Along with the storytelling, the work is seasoned with recipes. Anupam Chander, a professor of law, analyzes the difficulties of regulating Internet trade in The Electronic Silk Road: How the Web Binds the World Together in Commerce (Yale University Press, $28 hardback). He lays out a framework for future policies, showing how countries can dismantle barriers while still protecting consumer interests. Roberto De Vogli’s new book, Progress or Collapse: The Crises of Market Greed (Routledge, $30 paperback), examines the connections between

emerging ecological crises and the psychological, social, cultural, political and economic emergencies affecting modern societies. De Vogli is an associate professor of public health sciences. Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism (W.W. Norton & Co. Inc., $28 hardback), by law professor Karima Bennoune, examines news coverage of terrorism and how groups of Islamic men and women have stood up to fundamentalist violence. Learn how to establish a healthy relationship with your feline friends in Your Ideal Cat: Insights into Breed and Gender Differences in Cat Behavior (Purdue Press, $15 paperback). The authors are Benjamin Hart, an emeritus professor of veterinary medicine, and Lynette Hart, founding director of the Center for Animals in Society at UC Davis.

Robert Arneson, an icon of the UC Davis art faculty, is the focus of a new book, A Troublesome Subject: The Art of Robert Arneson (UC Press, $60 hardback). Author Jonathan Fineberg, an emeritus professor of art history at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, chronicles the life and work of the sculptor who created the Eggheads on campus. Arneson taught at UC Davis for 29 years before his death in 1992.

18 consecutive years ranked among the ToP 10% of mBa programs in u.s. U.S. NewS & worlD rePorT


innovative Leaders for global imPact

Full-Time + Part-Time MBA | Master of Professional Accountancy | Davis • Sacramento • San Francisco Bay Area U C D A V I S M A G A Z I N E / Fa l l 2 013 13


e g e l l o c g n e nt i ars

s t n e stud

Parn take ye.

ca li fe r u o of f y e r: k c o sh The ay e ve n i t m h i t. or t w e b

re o f Be by R obin DeR ieux digital illustration by Jay Leek

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I’ve been parenting college students and writing about it for six years. That’s a photo of me up there on the left, back when I started the column. Next to it is a photo of me now. Although I’ve grown older, I don’t feel wiser. I feel more like Thomas Edison, when he said he hadn’t failed, he had just found 10,000 ways that don’t work. All I’ve really learned is that parenting college students is about nuance. There’s a fine line between support and interference. If it feels like we’re being drawn and quartered while we watch our student make mistakes—mistakes that we could easily have prevented by intervening— then we’ve probably found the sweet spot. Maybe you’re wondering—isn’t there



some fun to being the parents of college students? Of course! Oh, wait, did you say fun or funny? Maybe fun isn’t exactly the right word, but it can be deeply gratifying to watch a teen bloom into adulthood, if viewed from a great enough distance, like perhaps from the surface of Mars. Back on Earth, it’s a little harder to stomach. Here are some of the challenges we encounter as the parents of college students:

They don’t call.

College students prefer to initiate phone calls or texts home. That way parents don’t interrupt them during busy or awkward times, such as the entire first term of freshman year. College students can become so absorbed with figuring out

who they are apart from family and community that they don’t realize we at home would love an update. Text messages that start with “Send my…” do not count. Plus side: Maybe we’ll miss their vegan phase.

They do call.

College students play parents like yo-yos: reel us out, dangle us on a string, leave us spinning at arm’s length, until suddenly, they need us right then, and with a flick of the wrist, they reel us back in. When the crisis ends, we are once again relegated to the sleeping yo-yo position. Plus side: They still need us!

They have it good.

College students live with their peers. Set their own schedules. Eat piping hot, healthy meals prepared for them by others. Take interesting classes. Reside within footsteps of a fully equipped gym. The next time they have it this good, they’ll be living in a nursing home. We feel envious. College students are expanding their horizons—intellectually, socially, sexually, spiritually and professionally. The sky’s the limit! Parents, on the other hand, have horizons so diminished from the demands of adulthood that we can fit them into a single carry-on item and stow them in the overhead bin. Plus side: No envy during finals week.

They have it bad.

The demands of college can be overwhelming. Students may experience tremendous stress over grades, finances, relationships and the challenges of independent living. They might reside in a crowded dorm room with two other roommates. One of their roommates might arrive home drunk late on Friday night, throw up all over the floor, then depart early the next morning when his

buddies hammer on the door to take him away for the weekend. Without cleaning up. Poor students—the next time they have it this bad, they’ll be parents. Plus side: These are the best years of their lives.

They’re in charge.

As college students learn to manage their own health, they do crazy things that will make for funny stories one day in the distant future when the whole family gathers around the holiday table. But not yet. It’s too soon. “Hey, remember sophomore year when I went to the beach for the weekend to surf and I wiped out and the board hit my head and I stumbled to shore, bleeding, and I staggered along the sand until I happened to run into this guy who said he was a nurse, and he drove me to the hospital. Then I called you on Sunday night to tell you not to worry, that my stitches were healing fine and that I was almost over my concussion, and you said, ‘Wait, you were at the beach this weekend?’ Ha! Wasn’t that hilarious?” Plus side: She survived.

They like to charge.

For all their bravado, most college students are still reliant on mom and dad for financial support. They know it, we know it, they know we know it, and they just can’t stand it. Especially when we tell them that charging a tropical getaway for spring break is not the sort of financial emergency we envisioned when we said OK to a credit card. Plus side: Money is still a card we hold in our hand.

They’re expensive.

week at a party. Plus side: That phone was more than three months old and obsolete anyway.

They change.

Their hair, their major, their political affiliation, their diet, their interests, their beliefs—in the search for identity, college students experiment. Of course we expect our children to experience personal growth while they’re away at school, but not the kind that causes them to return home and stomp all over our family values in their thrift store combat boots. Plus side: Eventually, parents are able to look beyond the superficial changes and accept that the college accidentally swapped roommates in the dorms and sent the wrong kid home.

They fudge.

College students will skirt the truth in order to avoid a lecture. If they’ve done something dumb, they will be vague. They will omit certain facts. They will make Richard Nixon look like an amateur. When parents eventually stumble across the real story, no one will be more surprised than our disingenuous college students. “What?! I won’t be graduating in four years? Why wasn’t I informed?” Plus side: Knowing too little about our student’s life can be better than knowing too much.

They age us.

College students mature into educated adults, while we mature into stretch pants and reading glasses. As the years go by, we can enjoy the challenge of learning to maintain the proper balance in parenting. Plus side: They fudge, we fudge.

Even students who receive financial aid and work a part-time job will still need a new smartphone with a killer data plan to replace the one they lost last

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THE ABILITY TO MAP ALL OF AN ORGANISM’S GENES IS REVOLUTIONIZING movie The Matrix, the hero learns to see what he thought was the real world as computer code—streams of glowing ones and zeros. And with that knowledge, he has the power to alter the world around him. Now, the young science of genomics is showing us the world as streams of DNA, copying and reproducing and making living things work. While invisible to your eye, DNA is all around you: your own DNA, your relatives’ and neighbors’; the DNA of the cat on your lap, the trees and plants outside, the insects and worms squirming in the grass; the DNA of billions of bacteria inside you and on your skin, keeping you healthy or making you sick; the DNA of invisible films of microbes on my desk, over the walls, across my keyboard, and f loating through the air on specks of dust. Enabled by technology, genomics is radically changing how scientists look at the world, much as the invention of the telescope and microscope did centuries ago. Genomics is the study of genomes— IN THE SCIENCE FICTION


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1953 James Watson and Francis Crick model the DNA double helix structure. Their research was based, in part, on X-ray crystallography experiments by Rosalind Franklin.

1959 UC Davis biologists RALPH STOCKING and ERNEST GIFFORD show that plant chloroplasts, which carry out photosynthesis in plant cells, have their own DNA, separate from the nucleus.


determine genetic code.










1972 SUSUMO OHNO coins term “junk DNA” for DNA sequences without an obvious (at the time) function.





significantly to genomic and DNA science since its beginnings. Some highlights are picked out

in blue in this timeline. From Ralph Stocking and Ernest Gifford showing that plant chloroplasts have their own DNA, to Carl Schmid’s work on so-called “junk” DNA, to contributing to the sequencing of species including cucumbers, chickens, horses and wheat, the breadth of expertise on campus makes UC Davis uniquely placed to apply this new technology.

all the genetic material of an organism. While classical genetics zooms in on individual genes, genomics pulls back the focus, allowing scientists to see all the genes of an organism at the same time, then to comb through them for trends, associations and interactions. If genetics were baseball, the classical approach would be to know all about a single player. Genomics, on the other hand, means knowing something about all the players in every team in the league. “We used to be limited by the amount of data, and that’s no longer the case. The limiting step in science now is adding knowledge that adds value to the data,” said Richard Michelmore, director of the UC Davis Genome Center. At UC Davis, genomics is now being used to study crops like tomatoes, peppers and wheat; search for clues to cancer and autism; find ways to make new green fuels; and understand the microbes that live in, on and around us and make

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us healthy or sick. “At UC Davis, we are very well placed to exploit the genome revolution because we study everything here. We have probably the largest, certainly the most diverse collection of biologists in the world,” Michelmore said.

A SHORT HISTORY Sixty years ago last February, Francis Crick announced to a crowded Cambridge pub that he and James Watson had discovered the “secret of life”—the double helix structure of DNA, the molecule that carries genetic information from generation to generation. Watson and Crick’s double helix showed how the four molecules at the heart of DNA—adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine, or A, G, C and T—can pair up: A with T, G with C. This meant, they realized, that any stretch of DNA could be copied and duplicated. Over the next 30 years, molecular

biologists learned how to identify and sequence stretches of DNA coding for genes for particular traits, and transferred snippets into other organisms to study them or to develop new breeds and products. This recombinant DNA technology is now widely used to make medicines and vaccines, as well as for new varieties of crops such as corn, cotton and soybeans. But these efforts dealt with relatively small pieces of DNA. In 1990, the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health formally launched the Human Genome Project, an international effort led by the U.S. to determine the complete sequence of DNA of a human being—about 3 billion letters of DNA code. Enter J. Craig Venter, an entrepreneurial biologist who believed genome sequencing would move faster with a different technical approach that became known as “shotgun sequencing.” He



1977 ALLAN MAXAM AND WALTER GILBERT develop a widely adopted DNA sequencing method, as does

1982 GenBank database established. 1983 BARBARA MCCLINTOCK awarded Nobel Prize for discovery of mobile genetic elements, or “jumping genes,” in maize.






1990 Human Genome Project launched.

1996 Yeast genome sequenced 1998 CARL SCHMID proposes that “Alu” repeat sequences, so-called junk DNA, play a role in stress response. 1998 Roundworm genome sequenced.


“shotgun sequencing.”





established a nonprofit organization, The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), and later a company, Celera Genomics, to pursue genome sequencing with the new methods, which dep ende d he av i ly on autom ate d sequencing machines. Jonathan Eisen, now a professor at the UC Davis Genome Center, was a graduate student at Stanford University in 1995 when one of Venter’s partners, Hamilton “Ham” Smith, gave a talk at the campus. “I was trying to clone individual genes from one organism, and Ham presented a list of organisms for which they were trying to sequence not one gene but the entire genome—including the one I was working on,” Eisen said. “I knew immediately this was a big deal.” A couple of years later, Venter himself visited Stanford. Eisen finagled a dinner invitation, outlined on a napkin why he thought Venter was wrong on a couple of things, and was offered a job—although by the time he got to TIGR, Venter had moved on to Celera. “I’ve never actually worked for Craig,


but I’ve worked with him on a number of projects,” Eisen said. “He has pushed the field forward in extraordinary ways.” Tensions between the governmentfunded Human Genome Project and Venter’s private-sector efforts would flare up through the 1990s. In 2000, the groups united to announce a “working draft” of the human genome sequence, with then-President Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair presiding over a joint news conference. The Human Genome Project, completed in 2003, cost $3 billion. Today, sequencing a human genome costs about $3,000, and the price is falling. Within a decade, your personal genome sequence could just be part of your medical record. Perhaps we will carry them around on a thumb drive or store them in our cell phones. “If I can measure my heart rate on my phone now, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to have my DNA sequence on my phone,” said Bart Weimer, professor in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, director of the 100K Pathogen Genome Project to sequence disease-



causing microorganisms and co-director of the BGI@UC Davis genome sequencing facility. “You will know more than your physician,” said Harris Lewin, vice chancellor for research and a genome scientist. “Doctors aren’t trained in this yet, but it’s going to become an integral part of medicine.” Conditions like heart disease, diabetes and cancer arise from a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors. If you know the risk factors in your DNA, you can take steps to change your environment—avoiding certain foods, for example—to improve your chances of a healthy life. Actress Angelina Jolie recently had a double mastectomy based on a genetic risk of developing breast cancer. In the future, genomics might give us more accurate estimates of your risk of developing certain cancers, predict which tumors will become malignant, and tailor chemotherapy to your DNA profile. A specialist at UC Davis Health System is already advancing the use of genetic testing to determine the best possible treatment for patients with lung cancer. [See “The Master

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2000 ANNE BRITT contributes to first flowering plant genome. Mouse genome sequenced. 2003 Human Genome Project ends. 2004 MARY DELANY contributes to chicken genome map. Human genome sequence published. 2004 UC Davis Genome Center opens.

2005 Dog, chimpanzee genomes sequenced 2009 Cucumber genome sequenced by

2010 Water flea and amoeba genomes sequenced.



2009 UC Davis-led consortium with researchers BRUCE GERMAN and DANIELLE LEMAY publishes “milk genome.” 2009 UC Davis vets contribute to sequencing of horse genome.


of the Art of the Possible,” page 24.] Lewin predicted that genomics will also have a big impact in agriculture, energy and even manufacturing—guiding the breeding of new crops and livestock, the development of new biofuels and inspirations for industrial materials. In agriculture, genomics could speed the creation of new varieties for desired traits, such as tolerance for the effects of climate change. Instead of introducing single genes as in genetically modified crops, genomics allows breeders to see exactly which traits they are selecting. It will also bring about a more profound understanding of the microorganisms that are vital to agriculture, whether helping plants fix nitrogen from the air or allowing cattle to digest tough plant material. Researchers like Oliver Fiehn at UC Davis’ NIH-funded West Coast Metabolomics Center are searching for new ways to coax single-celled plants, or algae, into making biofuels. Genomics could also help us identify microbes that can clean up oil and gas wells. Those microbes might even be created from

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scratch, through “synthetic biology,” a new piece of DNA custom-made and engineered into a living cell. “I envision genomics having a huge impact on synthetic biology and bioinspired design of materials for biomedical, computing and industrial applications,” Lewin said.

FULL-SERVICE ‘OMICS’ UC Davis’ Genome Center was established in 2004 with Michelmore, a professor of plant sciences in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, as founding director. Michelmore deliberately decided against focusing only on DNA sequencing. “The Genome Center is the technology antenna for the campus—if you have a bright idea, then we will provide access to state-of-the-art equipment and technology at cost, as needed,” he said. The center has core facilities in proteomics and metabolomics—large-scale studies of the proteins and metabolites that make living beings work—as well as DNA technology. “We try to provide things you can’t get elsewhere,” Michelmore said.

In 2011, UC Davis signed an agreement with BGI, formerly the Beijing Genomics Institute, to establish a genome sequencing facility on the Sacramento campus. BGI is by far the world’s largest genome sequencing institute. The BGI@UC Davis facility currently has three sequencing machines and will eventually have up to 20. The joint facility gives UC Davis researchers access to BGI’s DNA sequencing facilities and expertise, and complements the resources of the Genome Center. In turn, BGI can tap the deep knowledge of UC Davis researchers about problems in biology, medicine, agriculture and the environment. The breadth of that expertise is reflected in the Graduate Group in Genetics, with more than 100 faculty members from 25 departments across the campus. The genetics graduate program, which marked its 50th anniversary last year, is preparing to change its name to Integrated Genetics and Genomics. Janine LaSalle, a professor in the School of Medicine and chair of the


graduate group, said the name change recognizes the growing importance of genomics and how it integrates different disciplines. “Genomics plays to our strengths, the huge breadth of organisms that we study on campus,” LaSalle said. Genomics is giving us unprecedented insight into ourselves and our environments— and with that knowledge, potentially, comes the power to manipulate our health, our environments, our animals and perhaps even ourselves. For biologists, it’s comparable to the moment four centuries ago when Galileo saw the moons of Jupiter through his telescope and realized that what we thought we knew about the world was wrong. In this new genomics revolution, UC Davis scientists are peeling back the old precepts to reveal a whole new universe of possibilities. “We’re in for exciting times,” said veterinary professor Weimer. n


THE NEW MATH ONE OF THE GREAT CHALLENGES of genomics is “Big Data”—how to handle and analyze very large, very complex sets of information. Thanks to new “high-throughput” technology that allows processing of large quantities of DNA, the amount of sequence data worldwide is growing at a faster rate than the memory capacity of computer hard drives that store it, said Ian Korf [pictured], director of the UC Davis Genome Center’s Bioinformatics Core and professor of molecular and cellular biology. That makes finding a match in a database a little like searching for a needle in a haystack as more and more hay piles on. “It gets harder every year,” Korf said. A whole new field, bioinformatics— blending biology, computer science and statistics—has grown up specifically to deal with the problems of handling biological sequence data. That means that students who hope to pursue careers in genetics or biology research need exposure to math and programming like never before, and UC Davis is addressing this need. In 2012–13, UC Davis offered a new genomics track within the undergraduate major in genetics. The track includes lecture classes on principles of genomics, functional genomics and comparative genomics as well as a lab class. The lab class looks a lot more like a

computer science classroom than biology class. The students learn some basic programming skills and have to work with and analyze large sets of real-world DNA data. “We want them to be familiar with genom ic s met hodolog y and h ave hands-on experience,” said Siobhan Brady, assistant professor of plant biology, who teaches functional genomics and the lab class. The program is among the first of its kind in the UC system, said John Harada, a professor of plant biology who organized it. Previously, students looking to learn genomics would take special workshop classes, through the Genome Center or elsewhere. Similarly, graduate genetics students at UC Davis now begin to learn programming in their first year. The Graduate Group in Genetics, which is preparing to change its name to Integrated Genetics and Genomics, is also attracting interest from students who already have a background in computer science, said program chair Janine LaSalle, a professor in the School of Medicine. While doctoral students still need the basics of genetics, LaSalle said, if they want to pursue careers in genetics research they need to be comfortable with big data. — Andy Fell

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(pictured) and research partner R ALPH say Europeans are all one big family.


is rounding up the bugs in our food supply to keep us safe and healthy. BART WEIMER

is sequencing the DNA of wheat —the daily bread for billions.


looks at inherited information beyond DNA in autism. JANINE L ASALLE


G E N O M I C S AC RO S S T H E M A P Life scientists at UC Davis are using genomics to investigate a sweeping range of topics. Here’s a sampling: The 100K Genome Project at UC Davis is working toward sequencing the genomes of 100,000 microorganisms that cause foodborne illness, including Salmonella and Listeria. The data will help speed the diagnosis of disease outbreaks. The project, launched in 2012, is led by Professor Bart Weimer of the School of Veterinary Medicine. Weimer aims to complete the first 25,000 genomes in 2014—creating a tenfold increase in the number of complete genomes in the public domain. RO U N D U P T H E B U G S :

Plant sciences professor Jan Dvorak is part of an international effort to sequence the genome of wheat, one of the world’s staple foods. Modern wheat was created thousands of years ago by combining three species of grasses—so it effectively has three genomes, one from each of its ancestors, DAILY BREAD:

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and five times as much DNA as a human. Having a complete wheat genome will aid in finding new pest-resistant varieties and in maintaining food security for billions of people. Genetics is not just about the DNA code. Professor Janine LaSalle at the School of Medicine and MIND Institute studies epigenetics— inherited information layered on top of the basic DNA code, including folding and structure of DNA, and chemical alterations of DNA that take place in different tissues at different times. The genome-wide view of DNA has changed our view of epigenetics from a quirky exception to the rule, LaSalle said. “Every tissue and every stage of development is different,” she said. LaSalle’s laboratory studies autism spectrum disorders by studying rare genetic conditions that affect epigenetic layers. B E YO N D D N A:

and (pictured) compare wild and domestic tomatoes. JULIN MALOOF

(pictured) and MASANORI ARITA are turning green algae into green fuel. OLIVER FIEHN



have two parents, so your number of ancestors doubles as you go back each generation. But there are more people alive today than ever, so at some point in the past our family trees must intersect. By studying a database of human genomes, Graham Coop, professor of evolution and ecology, and Peter Ralph (now a professor at the University of Southern California) showed that in Europe this happened within about the last millennium. “What’s remarkable about this is how closely everyone is related to each other. On a genealogical level, everyone in Europe traces back to nearly the same set of ancestors only a thousand years ago,” Coop said. GREEN FUEL: UC Davis and the Univer-

sity of Tokyo are using metabolomics to find new ways to make fuels from algae. Currently, scientists can identify only a small fraction of the 10,000 or so chemical metabolites that exist in a plant cell. Metabolomics—using technology that can identify large numbers of chemicals in a mixture at the same time—could

ponders our health as it relates to the microbiology of buildings.


lead to entirely new approaches for increasing biofuel production and reducing pesticide use. The project is led by Oliver Fiehn at UC Davis and Masanori Arita of the University of Tokyo. If DNA is an instruction book, a related molecule, RNA, is responsible for turning those instructions into action. A hot area in genomics lies in sequencing RNA sequences and comparing them between cells, organisms and tissues. That tells scientists which genes, or combinations of genes, are being switched on under different conditions. A team led by UC Davis plant biologists Julin Maloof and Neelima Sinha recently published a comparison of RNA sequences in domestic tomatoes and their wild relatives, shedding light on how tomato genetics has changed with domestication. I N S T R U C T I O N S I N T O AC T I O N :


DNA sequencing allows us to study microbes that won’t grow in a lab dish— which turns out to be most of them. We

are just beginning to grasp how these invisible microbes might influence our well-being. As part of the Microbiology of the Built Environment program funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Professor Jonathan Eisen is leading development of microBEnet, a network of scientists, architects and engineers interested in microbes in buildings and other human-made environments. His lab at the UC Davis Genome Center is also working with the Science Cheerleader organization on a project to be conducted on the International Space Station, sampling microbes there as well as running tests on bacteria collected at sports venues on Earth. The International Space Station makes an interesting comparison with buildings on Earth for several reasons, Eisen said. For example, radiation levels are higher than on the ground, and the only way new microbes can enter is through the people and equipment that get delivered via space vehicles. n

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Master art possible OF THE


by Dorsey Griffith

Oncologist David Gandara is a physician on a mission—to save lung cancer patients through personalized treatment based on genetics.

was in her mid40s, recently married, healthy and athletic when she developed a stubborn cough that would not go away. A long series of doctor visits and tests finally led to an improbable diagnosis: advanced lung cancer. Lacasia, who had a career in biotechnology and cancer drug development, sought out the leading lung cancer ELIZABETH LACASIA

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experts in the San Francisco Bay Area. Still, after a surgery and chemotherapy, the disease progressed. Dissatisfied with the options presented her, she kept looking. That’s when she heard about David Gandara, a leading thoracic oncologist, researcher and advocate for a revolutionary approach to the nation’s deadliest malignancy. Gandara, senior adviser for clinical


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very smart institutions agendas gets it done.”






T H E S A M E R O O M . . . D AV I D


research at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, took a different tack. First, he ordered a battery of genetic tests. Then, based on the molecular fingerprint of Lacasia’s tumor, he put her on two drugs in a novel alternating schedule. It’s the kind of approach Gandara uses with all of his patients—and one he anticipates that all oncologists will use in the future to determine the most precise cancer treatment. TAILORED MEDICINE Lung cancer, the leading cancer killer in the U.S., is classified into two primary types, according to the way the cancer cells appear under a microscope: small cell and non-small cell. About 85 percent of lung cancers, like Lacasia’s, are non-small cell cancers. But within this group is a vast variation of malignancies with different biological properties and responses to treatment. Gandara’s approach exploits a seeming paradox of non-small cell lung cancer: Its complexity makes it an excellent candidate for promising new “designer” or custom treatments developed to target specific genetic mutations. For more than two decades, Gandara has conducted hundreds of trials of new drugs and combinations of drugs that can personalize lung cancer treatment for individual patients. His research has uncovered genetic variations between lung cancer patients who smoked or never smoked, and between lung cancer patients in the U.S. and in Japan—differences that affect treatment choices and outcomes. He is venturing into the hunt for a lung cancer blood biomarker—a measureable characteristic detectable in the blood—for

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early diagnosis. Gandara also has launched a collaboration with the Jackson Laboratory, a National Cancer Institute-designated research center, to take patients’ tumors and grows them in mice that do not have immune systems. The mice are then tested with new cancer agents that may be effective for those individual patients when other treatments fail. In journal articles, international symposia and through advocacy and outreach, Gandara has sounded a steady drumbeat for a new approach to evaluating patients with lung cancer and then customizing their treatment plans. “He is the master of the art of the possible,” says Ross Camidge, director of the thoracic oncology clinical program at the University of Colorado Hospital’s comprehensive cancer center. Gandara’s persistence has paid off. This past spring, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer issued guidelines about which patients should be tested for molecular abnormalities, when they should undergo testing and how those tests should be administered. Gandara, the immediate past president of the lung specialists group, says: “The education of specialists is undergoing transition. There has been a lot of progress made since 2009.” M ASTER OF COLL ABOR ATION Gandara didn’t foresee a career as a lung cancer specialist. He began his medical career at the Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco in the late 1970s focusing on breast cancer. But Gandara quickly became aware of the relative lack of expertise in lung cancer and the urgent demand for care, particularly

among war veterans because of their high smoking rates. “It was a great opportunity and a major unmet need,” he says. Hormone therapy was improving the outlook for breast cancer patients, but at that time “there was very little that could be done about advanced lung cancer.” Gandara switched his focus. He joined the UC Davis medical faculty in 1985 and seven years later became associate director of clinical research at the UC Davis Cancer Center. He played a key role in the center’s successful quest for National Cancer Institute designation, an achievement that elevated the cancer center to the nation’s top tier in 2001. Today, Gandara’s international reputation is based on his proven ability to organize effective research teams that include experts from diverse fields, and for working cooperatively with other cancer centers to improve lung cancer diagnostics and treatments through large-scale clinical trials. Colorado’s Camidge said Gandara harnesses two distinct talents—an unusual ability to expertly unravel complex issues for nonexperts and a remarkable agility in steering clinicians and scientists with varied points of view in the same—though sometimes completely new—direction. “We can have a whole bunch of very smart people from different institutions with different agendas in the same room,” Camidge says. “David uses communications skills and his ability to see the wood for the trees and gets it done.” For Gandara, collaboration has gone hand in hand with innovation to help guide his advances. With a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, for


Lung cancer expert David Gandara and Philip Mack, director of molecular pharmacology, have identified differences in the tumors of smokers and nonsmokers—findings that can help in tailoring treatments for individual patients.

example, Gandara and a multidisciplinary team of scientists at UC Davis, including cancer biologist Suzanne Miyamoto, are collaborating w ith researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver to find biomarkers in blood to identify lung cancers at their earliest stages, since early detection of the disease is a key to survival. In addition, for 17 years, Gandara has directed a prestigious NCI NO1 grant that funds a consortium of researchers to conduct early-phase trials of genetically targeted drugs. It is one of seven such grants in the country. To get the job done, Gandara formed the California Cancer Consortium, a group consisting of researchers at UC Davis, City of Hope, University of Southern California’s cancer center, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania State

University and the Karmano Cancer Insititute at Wayne State University. Gandara also chairs the lung committee for the Southwest Oncology Group, (SWOG) which includes 300 sites for clinical research. One SWOG study led by Gandara broke new ground in the emerging science of pharmacogenomics, the field that tailors drug regimens to a patient’s genetic profile. The study found that a group of Japanese patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer survived longer—and had a higher rate of side effects—than U.S. patients with the same diagnoses when both groups were given identical therapy for the disease. A follow-up study with Primo Lara Jr., associate director for translational research at UC Davis, shed light on the differences, suggesting that subtle genetic variations can affect a person’s metabolism of chemotherapy drugs. Similarly, Gandara and colleagues

including Philip Mack, director of molecular pharmacology at UC Davis, have explored differences in the tumors of smokers and patient who had never smoked. They found that nonsmokers have fewer genetic abnormalities in their cancers, and different oncogenes (genes that, when mutated or expressed at high levels, help turn a normal cell into a cancerous one) than smokers, whose tumors often have rampant mutations. When there are fewer genetic mutations, scientists have an easier time predicting which targeted molecular therapies might work to kill the cancer cells. Those therapies include drugs that work against the most common lung cancer mutation, that of the epidermal growth factor receptor, present in 40 percent of lung cancer patients who have never smoked, and anaplastic lymphoma kinase, a gene mutation far less common in lung cancer patients.

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Four years after receiving tailored treatment for advanced lung cancer, Elizabeth Lacasia has no detectable cancer. She credits UC Davis oncologist David Gandara and his genetics-based approach for saving her life.

Gandara also helped launch the cancer center’s collaboration with Jackson Laboratory, the NCI-designated research organization also known as JAX, which is based in Bar Harbor, Maine, and also has a Sacramento facility. JAX is home to thousands of mice engineered to have reduced immune systems, which makes them unique models for studying diseases and potential treatments. Neal Goodwin is director of research and development for in vivo pharmacology services at JAX. Since starting the project with UC Davis researchers in 2010, Goodwin says, more than 1,000 patient tumors are growing in mice at JAX, representing patients from cancer centers across the country. “We have an opportunity to create mouse avatars of actual patients and to use those to research what therapies actually do to these tumors, which tumors are resistant to therapies, and how patients can over-

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come resistance and extend their lives,” he says. The collaboration exemplifies translational medicine. Immediately after a patient’s tumor biopsy, tissue samples are rushed to JAX and engrafted onto mice where they can be tested for genetic abnormalities and response to different drugs. “You can only treat one patient with one regimen at a time,” Gandara explains. “But if you have 50 mice with the same patient’s tumor, you can treat it multiple different ways and also have controls. Then, you can do a genomic analysis and see what molecular pathways change in the tumor.” Twelve hours after a mouse is given a specific treatment, scientists can biopsy the engrafted tumor to determine which pathways are turned on and off. The information allows them to extrapolate the findings to larger populations for whom a certain treatment may be effec-

tive. Use of mice speeds the pace of discovery to directly benefit patients, since a new drug can be readied for a patient when that patient’s current drug regimen fails. These and other innovations spearheaded by Gandara have attracted the attention of Bonnie Addario, founder of the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, a leading grass-roots advocacy and research organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Addario, a nine-year lung cancer survivor, points out that the lung cancer sur v ival rate —15 percent—hasn’t changed much in 45 years. The disease remains the leading cancer killer, and also one of the most neglected cancers in terms of research funding, in part because it is most commonly associated with smoking. “I have one lung, one vocal cord and part of my esophagus is gone,” says

“Now, ability to figure out cancer genes W E A C T U A L LY H AV E T H E





A R E .”

Addario. “I made a promise to myself that if I survived this disease, I was going to change things. There is injustice with lung cancer. It is a disease that is stigmatized. But we are learning that anyone can get lung cancer.” Addario enlisted Gandara in an international consortium of lung cancer thought leaders. The consortium, developed in 2008, operates a lung cancer tissue bank and partners with a genetic analysis testing company to conduct research. In addition to Gandara’s individualized therapeutic approach based on patient and tumor genetics, Addario also liked his drive to share data to ultimately improve outcomes for all patients, regardless of their health system affiliation. “By sharing, we not only succeed faster, but we fail faster,” Addario explains. “If you share what failed in the lab, you avoid spending month upon month and millions of dollars to get to the same place. Our goal is to make lung cancer a chronically manageable disease by 2023. With the study of the genome and working it into precision medicine, it’s possible.” SPEEDING DRUG TRIALS Indeed, Gandara and his fellow oncologists are encouraged by the possibilities of genetically targeted drug therapies. At the same time, though, they share a growing frustration with the slow pace of turning new knowledge about the disease into effective, accessible treatments. He points out that only two of the last 22 late-stage trials of drugs to treat lung cancer improved survival. “If you think about both the monetary investment and also the patient resourc-

es,” Gandara says, “hundreds of millions of dollars and clinical trials enrolling many tens of thousands of patients are wasted because we have an ineffective way of developing new anti-cancer drugs.” Teamed with the nonprofit Friends of Cancer Research in Washington, D.C., and with the support of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Foundation of the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute, Gandara has helped develop a new paradigm to test new anti-lung cancer drugs that will be far less costly, much faster and more effective. The so-called “Master Protocol” could truly change the way cancer therapies are developed and delivered to patients. In partnership with several pharmaceutical companies, which will provide the drugs, the protocol will screen patients for various tumor biomarkers using the latest DNA sequencing technology and put them in trials for drugs most likely to be effective. “This is really visionary,” Gandara says. “It’s saying we can’t continue to do business as usual.” It was 10 years ago that Gandara first approached the NCI with his idea, well before researchers understood the genetics that differentiate patients and their tumors. “Now, we actually have the ability to screen a large number of patients who have cancer and figure out what the drivers for their cancer genes are,” he says. Slated to launch in 2014, the Master Protocol project will allow oncologists to rapidly screen lung cancer patients and place them into arms of the protocol, each matching a tumor biomarker with a drug directed against it, at clinics throughout the U.S. The approach is designed to more quickly find new treat-


ments for specific patients, even if a patient’s tumor has a rare mutation. Until now, a drug maker might ask individual clinicians and individual centers to screen up to 1,000 patients to find just a handful who might benefit from a given drug—a difficult task for such a heterogeneous disease. With the Master Protocol, patients in clinics across the country will have their tumors screened for hundreds of different genetic abnormalities all at the same time. The information will be used to plug them into one or another arm of the project testing a specific drug to treat that particular genetic mutation. “This Master Protocol is designed to discard drugs and targets that don’t have a major effect,” Gandara explains. “We are purposely making each of the arms of these trials smaller and hoping for a really significant effect—that is, increasing the response rate and survival. We are looking for home runs so that at the end of the day, we’re putting drugs on the market that are really effective.” It has been nearly seven years since Elizabeth Lacasia was diagnosed with lung cancer, and four years since she has been receiving her treatment at UC Davis. Today, there is no detectable cancer, she has regained strength, is back to gardening, writing poetry, traveling and enjoying time with her husband. “I believe,” she says without reservation, that “Dr. Gandara and the approach he took saved my life.” In the challenging field of lung cancer, Gandara hopes that turning what is possible into hope and survival for Lacasia and others like her will be the standard of care for cancer patients everywhere. n

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Students and alumni connect during a company tour. Pictured, from left, are Janak Jobanputra, Ana Soria ’02, Mark Moretti ’92, Baotuan Nguyen, Shivani Singh, Alvin Jong ’13, Sergio Hernandez, Sebastian Anaya, Michael Torres ’06 and Corey Ching.

WHEN NET WORKING COMPUTES STUDENTS GET AN INSIDE LOOK AT CAREER POSSIBILITIES DURING ALUMNI-LED TOUR OF ORACLE CAMPUS. by Alexander Hanway ’04 and Kathleen Holder Moretti, who earned an MBA at the University of Notre remembers how overwhelming it can be for Dame after graduating from UC Davis with a degree in sociundergraduates to make career decisions. So he welcomed a ology, had mentored a student for a day through Take an chance this summer to show some Aggie to Work before. This year, he offered UC Davis students his world of work. to host a whole group. He recruited colLearn more about CAAA He and three Aggie colleagues at Oracle leagues Michael Torres ’06, and Andrew networking opportunities: took eight members of the Student Alumni Tran, MBA ’12, to help with the tour. Student Alumni Association Association (SAA) on a daylong tour of the Torres, who works as a manufacturing technology company’s Santa Clara campus. solutions consultant at Oracle, said he was The event grew out of Take an Aggie to eager to help. After participating in a Business Membership Program, Work, one of SAA’s professional networkcareer fair on campus, he said, “I ing initiatives where students spend a day nitely saw a need. College can be daunting shadowing a UC Davis alum on the job. at times with the amount of work necesSAA is a student leadership and networking organization sary to be awarded a degree, but by developing ties with within the Cal Aggie Alumni Association. alumni it can help alleviate some misconceptions as well as “When I was at UC Davis, SAA didn’t exist,” Moretti said. act as a proof point that it is feasible.” “I think it’s a great way to connect students earlier and more CAAA asked Moretti and SAA participant Alvin Jong ’13 often with alumni. What a great way to share experiences, about their experience with the July event at Oracle: mentor students and help them get a head start into the professional world.” MARK MORETTI ’92, A MARKETING PROFESSIONAL AT OR ACLE ,

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What motivated you and the other alumni to organize the tour? I was looking for a way to “give back” to UC Davis. When you are a student, it’s hard to imagine what different jobs/industries are like. We are in the high-tech industry, we live it every day, so why not give a UC Davis student an inside look at what this industry is like? From your experience, how did the students enjoy the tour? Honestly, at first, I think they were a bit overwhelmed. We have a lot of products, we serve a lot of industries and it can be a bit daunting when looking at everything we sell and deliver to customers. But by the time they got to the hands-on tour of the data center and felt the heat exhaust of the big servers blowing in their faces, they were asking questions, they were taking pictures, they were hooked. How does having a group like SAA tour its campus benefit Oracle? We want to attract the best talent and we want people to be excited about what Oracle provides to our customers. Having SAA visit our campus gives us a chance to share with students who we are, what we do and maybe someday there will be a good match.

How did you enjoy the tour? The tour was amazing. We were given the opportunity to see one of Oracle’s Solution Centers. Did touring the Oracle campus make a difference in how you’re thinking about an eventual career? As a recent graduate, it gave me insight into a company that I would have not had the chance to explore and visit. Meeting and discussing with the alumni working there was very useful because they helped me compare and contrast between Oracle and other companies as well as career choices. Is it important for alumni to be involved with SAA? As the former director of alumni relations on the SAA board of directors, I have a bias . . . . I believe it is crucial for alumni to be involved with SAA. Alumni have helped many students and graduates get a glimpse into the real world through events such as Aggie Dinner, Interview with an Aggie and Take an Aggie to Work. It has certainly helped me personally in developing essential networking skills. Other thoughts? Join SAA!



Cut out and save

Membership in YOUR alumni association has its benefits Career connections


• Princeton Review, 15 percent off all products

• Aggie Shopping Network—support CAAA while you shop online

• UC Davis Extension, class discounts

• Play it Forward Golf, discounted tee times

• FlexJobs, 30 percent off membership

• UC Davis Stores, 10 percent off UC Davis imprinted items

Finance and Insurance Access to a variety of insurance and financial services including health, auto, home and life, as well as checking, savings and credit card service options.



• Office Depot, special pricing on everyday items

• Aggie Adventures, access to group travel with fellow UC Davis supporters

• Sprint, 10 percent off new and existing contracts • VPI Pet Insurance, reduced rates

For a full list of benefits, visit Already a member? Cut this out and save it as a reference for the many discounts and benefits of membership. Membership matters. Join the Cal Aggie Alumni Association today at

• Hotels, up to 20 percent off • Car rentals, up to 20 percent off car rentals around the world


U C D A V I S M A G A Z I N E / Fa l l 2 013







For more information or to register for events, visit alumni.ucdavis. edu/rsvp or contact CAAA at or 530-752-0286.




Members of the Class of 1964 are invited to a festive reunion during Picnic Day weekend as we welcome them to our Golden Society. Activities include tours of the Nelson Gallery and lunch with classmates.

Find something special for the Aggie in your life at our member sale, with discounts on imprinted merchandise for all CAAA, Parent Association and Student Alumni Association members. Friday, Dec. 6 UC Davis Stores, downtown Davis


Join us in recognizing the achievements of seven outstanding alumni and friends of UC Davis. Buy tickets in advance at alumniawards. Friday, Feb. 28, 5:30 p.m. Silverado Resort, Napa

Friday—Saturday, April 11–12 Buehler Alumni Center



Join us at a new series of networking events for alumni business owners, Aggies in industry, UC Davis business partners and friends of the university. Late January San Francisco

Looking for a venue for your next special event? Consider the Walter A. Buehler Alumni Center! The alumni center is located in the University Gateway District near the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts and the Hyatt Place UC Davis hotel. With more than 15,000 square feet of event space, the alumni center can accommodate a variety of festivities—a cocktail reception under the trees on Moss Patio, a formal sit-down dinner in the Alpha Gamma Rho Hall or an executive meeting in the Founders Boardroom. If you are a life member of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association, you are entitled to exclusive benefits for booking your special event with the alumni center. Interested in a tour or more information?

Contact Katrina Evans at 530-752-6733 or

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A Golden Society Reunion will celebrate the Class of 1964 during Picnic Day weekend April 11–12. Picnic Day will mark a milestone of its own in 2014—the 100th held since the campus open house began in 1909. (Picnic Day skipped some years in between.)

Participate in mock interviews with students interested in your professional field, and give them feedback on their résumés, attire and interview skills. Afterward, mingle with students and fellow alumni over refreshments. Wednesday, Feb. 19 Buehler Alumni Center


alumni reunion. Saturday, Nov. 30




tion is in the Walter A. Buehler Alumni Center. Heading east or

Wear Aggie blue to an athle tic event.

west on I-80, take the UC Davis exit and go north. Follow the

Watch the Picnic Day parade.


The Cal Aggie Alumni Associa-

signs to your campus home.

Arrange to mee t friends at the Egghead outside Shields Library for a finals study session.


530-752-0286 800-242-4723

How may Aggie traditions have you participated in?

FA X: 530-752-3395

How many can you count?


The Student Alumni Association and the Associated Students of UC Davis have developed a list of 50 most recognized Aggie traditions. And now there’s an Aggie Traditions app to help keep track of your progress in completing all 50.

WEB: President:

Charles Nichols ’83, ’84 Vice Presdent/President-Elect:

To download the free app, visit the iTunes store at and search for UC Davis Aggie Traditions.

Ramak Siadatan ’99, M.B.A. ’06 Executive Director:

Richard Engel ’90, Cred. ’91

To learn more about Aggie Traditions, visit







An adventure in Mississippi and Louisiana April 11–19 • from $2,549

Spain, France, Monaco and Italy May 7–15 • from $2,499

Cal Aggie Alumni Association’s travel program


offers adventure, culture and education to

Bangkok to Bali April 22–May 4 • from $8,895

UC Davis alumni, family and friends. At least one traveler in each party must be a CAAA member. Upcoming trips include:


Denmark, Norway and Scotland May 21–29 • from $3,995 Prices are subject to change.


April 25–May 3 • from $2,495 PARADORES AND POUSADAS

For more information Visit: Email: Call: 530-752-4502

Historic lodgings of Spain and Portugal April 29–May 8 • from $5,507

Explore. Connect. Learn. U C D A V I S M A G A Z I N E / Fa l l 2 013




an expert on early childhood programs, received an award in April from the Society for Research in Child Development for his contributions to public policy for children. He worked 18 years as a researcher for Mathematica Policy Research, where, among other things, he directed a 1995–2002 study on the federal Early Head Start program for low-income infants and toddlers. Now retired, he lives in Ashland, Ore., with his wife, MARILYN M c SHANE LOVE ’62. 1968 RON CLAUSEN ,

J.D. ’71, was recently elected to the board of directors of the National Wildlife Federation. He practices corporate law and business succession planning in Point Richmond. • L U C A S D O B R Z A N S K I , who was founding president of the UC Davis fencing club in 1966, competed for the U.S. fencing team in the Veterans World Championships in Varna, Bulgaria, in October. He placed 21st in the 70-years-plus saber category. The recipient of the 1992 UC Davis Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award, he is now partly retired, runs a consulting business and is president of the nonprofit Kern Athletic Fencing Foundation (, which promotes healthy behavior for at-risk kids through fencing and academic tutoring. He and his wife, A N N A (BE N DA R ZE WS K I) ’68, live in Bakersfield, as do their daughter L A R A ’89 and her husband, M I K E RICCOMINI ’89; son, ROBERT ’92; and daughter Eva and her husband, MATT BILLINGS ’97. Lucas and Anna hope some of their eight grandchildren will become Aggies someday. wrote the novel, Pointman (Delizon). The book is loosely based on his experiences in the Vietnam War and the Cambodian invasion, where he received the Combat Medical Badge, Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals. Before retiring, he served as the Lassen County schools superintendent for nine years and was a teacher and administrator for an additional 27 years. 1969 ROBERT (BOB) OWENS

A reunion of Malcolm Hall Experimental Freshman Program residents is being planned for sum1972

2 mer 2014. If you lived in Malcolm in 1968–69 and would like to participate, contact M I C A E L A S W I F TPH I LP OT and L AU R E L H E NSO N at co-edited the book, Creative Ways to Build Christian Community, released this past spring by Wipf and Stock Publishers. A former actress and teacher, she holds a master’s degree in religion from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and currently is an Athanasian Teaching Scholar at the seminary’s Center for Urban Ministerial Education in Boston. She divides her time between Davis and Beverly, Mass. • REED MA XSON recently released the music suite Evolutions in CD and MP3 formats. The suite is based on flute and guitar duets that he composed in 1975 at UC Davis’ Solano Park student apartments. His website is 1973 J E A N N E D E FA Z I O

authored The Key to the Castle: Zen and Travel Stories of Trust (Journeys Press, 2013), available on Amazon and Smashwords. •  C A R LY N C H R I S T I A N S O N was elected to the San Luis Obispo City Council in June. She previously spent 10 years on the city and county planning commissions. She works as practice administrator for a 23-physician anesthesiology group. 

He i s d irector of student publicat ions and teaches journalism courses at Western Illinois University.



M.S., Ph.D. ’82, is the new director of the Center for Enology and Viticulture at Walla Walla Community College in Walla Walla, Wash. Nicknamed “Dr. Dirt,” he spent nearly 25 years as a professor of soil science and geology at Washington State University in Pullman, Wash., before leaving in 2005 to become a winemaker and industr y consultant. • Solano County Superior Court Judge BRADLEY NELSON , J.D., was selected by his colleagues on the bench to serve as the court’s presiding officer, beginning in January. Judge ROBERT F R AC C H I A , J.D., will be assistant presiding judge.


wrote Myths and Mysteries of Illinois: True Stories of the Unsolved and Unexplained (Globe Pequot Publishing). It is his third book about Illinois. The former Nevada Magazine publisher has written 10 books covering the history and curiosities of Nevada.

1981 RON LEWIS , a professor of ani-

mal and poultry sciences at Virginia Tech, received a university award for excellence in technology-assisted teaching. He and two colleagues developed CyberSheep, a Web-based game where players apply principles in quantitative genetics to a virtual sheep breeding cooperative. Undergraduate and graduate students from 25 universities have played the game.

19 78 R I C H A R D M O R E N O

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was featured in an article in ALIVE East Bay Magazine last December for juggling his work as a plastic surgeon with serving as an assistant varsity football coach at California High School in San Ramon. Read the story at alivee1982 BRETT STOMPRO won an Orlando Award from the A Room of Her Own Foundation for her flashfiction piece, “Boardwalk 1969.” The 453-word story will be published in the fall issue of The Los Angeles Review. Jones also has an essay forthcoming in EQUUS magazine, and is working on a memoir. A resource planner, she lives in Port Orchard, Wash., with her husband, two donkeys, three cats and five hens. 1985 HELEN (SMITH) JONES

1 Brig. Gen. BR ADLEY BECKER is the new commanding general of 1986

the U.S. Army Training Center and Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C. He assumed command in late August. He previously served as assistant deputy director for joint training, J-7, Joint Staff, in Suffolk, Va. In addition to his bachelor’s degree from UC Davis, he holds two master’s degrees—one in political science from Auburn University in Montgomery, Ala., and the other in strategic studies from the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. His military awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Valorous Unit Award, Combat Action Badge, Airborne Badge, Air Assault Badge, and Ranger Tab. He was deployed


3 to Iraq three times and also served overseas in Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Storm, in Germany and in Korea. Becker and his wife, Sherri, have two sons. • CO R R I E BROW N , Ph.D., a veterinary pathology professor at the University of Georgia, received an International Veterinary Congress Prize from the American Veterinary Medical Association in July for her work helping to improve the lives of animals and people around the world. An authority on infectious diseases of food-producing animals and emerging diseases, she has helped train veterinarians in basic field necropsy and diagnostic techniques in 30 countries. In 2003, she received the University of Georgia’s highest teaching award. 1987 JEANETTE VAN EMON ,

Ph.D., a research chemist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was recently named a fellow of the American Chemical Society for her work in immunoassay methods for environmental contaminants. 19 8 9 J A C Q U E L I N E O ’C O N N O R ,

M.A., Ph.D. ’93, wrote Documentary Trial Plays in Contemporary American Theater (Southern Illinois University Press, 2013). She is a professor of English at Boise State University. Atmospheric scientist CATHY CAHILL was recently promoted to the rank of professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She also received the 2013 Emil Usibelli Distinguished Service Award, the university’s highest faculty award for public service, for her work in educating the public and policymakers about air pollution. • KIM DARLING LOISEL recently marked her 10th year of teaching elementary school in Fremont. She is in her sixth year of teaching first 1990

grade at Ardenwood Elementary, where her husband, Jerry Loisel, is also a teacher. She previously worked as a secretary for nonprofit organizations and corporations. She invites her American studies classmates to look her up on Facebook. • E R I C S A N D E R S O N , Ph.D. ’98, a senior conservation ecologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society, wrote the book, Terra Nova: The New World After Oil, Cars, and Suburbs (Abrams, 2013). 19 92 S U SA N BA R T H ,

writing as Susan Adrian, has sold her first novel, Tunnel Vision, a young adult thriller, to Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press for fall 2014 publication. In addition to her English degree from UC Davis, she holds a master’s degree in technical communication from Montana Tech. She works at the Butte, Mont., campus as publications editor for the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology. She lives in Butte with her husband and daughter. •  2 DAN BROWN , sports writer at the San José Mercury News, wrote a book, 100 Things 49ers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. Published by Triumph Books in September, it can be ordered from online sellers or by emailing Brown at • BRIAN EBBERT, assistant chief clerk and parliamentarian for the California State Assembly, was selected as a Council of State Governments’ 2013 Henry Toll Fellow. The fellowship program brings 48 state government officials from across the country to Lexington, Ky., for a six-day “intellectual boot camp.” • Business litigation attorney DAVID LEE recently joined the San Francisco office of the Michelman & Robinson law firm as a partner. Named a 2012–13 Super Lawyer by Super Lawyer Magazine, he previously co-chaired the litigation department at Fitzgerald Abbott & Beardsley. After four years with UC Berkeley athletics, BL AKE SA SAKI recently joined San José State Uni19 9 4

5 versity as senior associate athletic director for external relations. He oversees marketing, promotions, ticket sales and corporate sponsorships and raises funds for the new Vermeil-Walsh Athletic Complex. 19 95 PAT R I C K C O T T R E L L ,

assistant professor of political science at Linfield College in McMinnville., Ore., recently received the college’s Marvin and Laurie Henberg International Scholar Award. His research focuse s on global gover n ance, political change, international security and U.S. foreign policy. • A MY (U’REN) GUTIERREZ , better known to San Francisco Giants fans as Amy G., received two Northern California Emmy Awards in June—one for her work as Giants field reporter for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and the other, shared with Giants broadcasters Duane Kuiper and Jon Miller, for live game coverage.

3 HOLLY BERKLEY wrote a children’s book, Mommy, Me & My Chickens: An Urban Family’s Guide to Raising and Caring for Backyard Chickens (Watermelon Books, 2012). She is an Internet marketing professional and teaches social media courses at San Diego State University. • DEBOR AH STANGER EDELMAN , M.S., co-authored The California Naturalist Handbook (UC Press, 2013). The guide to California’s natural environment was developed as part of a new statewide naturalist educational program, which she helped develop at UC Cooperative Extension in Ukiah. 1996


graduated in May from The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, with a master’s degree in educational leadership. She also holds an M.A. in education, curriculum and instruction from California State University, Sacramento. She works at the National Trust for Historic Preservation as the curator of education at Drayton Hall, a circa 1738 house museum and plantation in Charleston, S.C. She and her husband, Scott ’94, have a 7-year-old

son, Caleb. • K ARIN ENSTAM JAFFE , M.A., Ph.D. ’02, has been promoted to the rank of professor at Sonoma State University. She began her second term as chair of the anthropology department this fall. She joined the faculty there in 2002 and received tenure in 2008. • Commercial litigation attorney DA N A ( F O W L E R ) TSUBOTA joined the Oakland-based law firm of Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean as a partner this spring. was recently certified by the National Registry of Certified Microbiologists as a specialist microbiologist in pharmaceutical and medical device microbiology. She works as a manager at WuXi AppTec in Marietta, Ga. 1999 ARLENE ARSITIO


M.S., Ph.D. ’04, has been named global technology director for pork at Cargill’s innovation campus in Elk River, Minn. Humphrey joined the Minneapolis-based agribusiness in 2010, after seven years teaching and researching animal science at the University of Maryland and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. A second story collection by M.A. ’03, You Only Get Letters from Jail (Tin House Books) was released this summer to widespread critical praise. Her work has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes and appeared in Esquire magazine and literary journals. She teaches writing at Sacramento City College. •  4 E R I C B RO C A L E S and RO D E L I A BUSALPA were married in July at a St. Helena winery. They had met as students in Professor Michael Denison’s “Environmental Toxicology 101” class, but went their separate ways after graduating. They reconnected in 2006 and were engaged in 2011. Eric works as an industrial hygenist for CalEPA’s Department of Toxic Substances Control in Berkeley. Rodelia is an emergency room nurse practitioner at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco. • 5 B R A N D O N   TAK AHASHI , an employment attorney in the Los Angeles office of Jackson Lewis law firm, was recently named to the Lawyers of Color’s inaugural Hot List of rising young attorneys. A story on his selection appeared on the front page of the Rafu Shimpo Los Angeles Japanese 2001


U C D A V I S M A G A Z I N E / Fa l l 2 013



newspaper in August. • Larkin Patrick O’Sullivan was born in May, joining big brother Jack and proud parents J.T. O’SULLIVAN and LAUR A GA L D O R I S I O ’S U L L I VA N . J.T. has retired from professional football and is pursuing a Ph.D. in leadership studies at the University of San Diego. The family lives in Coronado, and hopes to introduce Larkin to UC Davis and Aggie football this fall. 2002 M ARK PAL MERSTON ,

Cred. ’03, has been named executive director of Santa Ynez Valley Charter School. He previously served as assistant director of Family Partnership Charter School in Santa Maria. He also is a doctoral candidate in educational leadership at California Lutheran University. 2003 GREGORY THURSTON ,

after working three years as an electrical engineer at Boeing Satellite Systems, enrolled in UCLA’s School of Dentistry. He graduated in 2012, practices in Los Angeles and teaches part time at the UCLA dental school. • A new novel by MOLLY WINTER , M.A., Persephone’s Orchard, written under her pen name Molly Ringle, was released in paperback and ebook by Central Avenue Publishing in June. A reworking of the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades, it is her fifth full-length novel. A Seattle resident, she won the grand prize in the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for an intentionally bad opening sentence. Read more about her books at and follow her blog at


joined Sacramento-based 3fold Communications as a senior public relations manager this summer. She previously worked for Lucas Public Affairs and the Northern California division of Safeway. • M I C H A E L KU R L A N D recently completed his Doctor of Education degree in educational psychology and leadership at the University of Southern California. This summer, he launched a Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $10,000 for publishing his new children’s book, The Peach Twins, an updated version of the Japanese Momotaro, or Peach Boy, folktale. 2004



a public health doctoral student at Emory University, has been awarded



a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to study in Swaziland this academic year. She will be doing research for her dissertation on transactional sex and HIV risk. She previously lived in Swaziland while earning her master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University. As a Peace Corps volunteer during 2006–08, she lived in a South African village. • EVA GILLHAM , of Sioux Falls, S.D., was recently certified as a consultant by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. She is the assistant director of research and analytics at Educational Services of America, where she researches best practices in alternative and special education for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. She received her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Idaho. • BO BEC K MO DJTAH E D I , M.D. ’09, finished an ophthalmology residency at UC Davis in June and received a $10,000 fellowship from the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation to continue his postgraduate training in retina surgery at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital in Boston. recently joined the Sacramento firm Ellis Law Group as an associate attorney. His focus is business, commercial and creditors’ rights litigation. He previously practiced at the Stone Law Firm in Santa Ana and The Law Offices of Nick Alden in Beverly Hills. 2006 PETER VU

7 ANTONY HAYES received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee in May, then began a residency at Milwaukee’s Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare–St. Joseph Hospital. He will begin a radiology residency in July 2014 at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. • After completing postdoctoral research positions in The Netherlands and South Korea, E D W A R D K I M , M.A., Ph.D. ’10, joined the University of Wisconsin2007

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8 La Crosse this fall as an assistant professor in mathematics. 2 0 0 9 A N D R E W B A R K E T T,

MBA, received widespread media coverage after his selection this past June as the Republican National Committee’s first-ever chief technology officer. A former Facebook engineer, he was named by the multimedia Politico journalism organization as one of “50 politicos to watch.” His hiring was also reported in Huffington Post and The Washington Post. The UC Davis Graduate School of Management also posted an interview with Barkett this spring (gsm.ucdavis. edu/AndrewBarkett-BigBang) after he pledged $50,000 over five years to strengthen its Big Bang! business plan competition. • Baja California shark research and preservation efforts of TAYLOR CHAPPLE , Ph.D., JA M E S K E T C H U M , Ph.D. ’11, and UC Davis’ “Dr. Hammerhead” marine biologist Peter Klimley were featured in the cover story of Discover magazine’s June issue. The article, “Desperately Seeking Sharks,” described Chapple as “one of the shark world’s rising stars.” He is a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station. Ketchum co-directs a nonprofit research organization, Pelagios Kakunjá, that is tracking sharks and other migrating marine species in the Mexican Pacific. Ketchum, Klimley and former colleague Alex Hearn also appeared in a number of episodes of National Geographic’s 2010–12 documentary TV series Shark Men. and K AITLYN ’12 co-directed their second Feather Falls Run in Davis in September to raise money for Okizu, an organization that benefits families with childhood cancer. The first event in 2012 raised $14,000, with the help of a number of Aggie alumni volunteers. Learn more at 2010 HOLLY LOCKE


2 011 K A R L F R O S T ,

M.F.A., M.S. ’12, a choreographer and a UC Davis ecology doctoral student, will spend this academic year at the University of British Columbia on a Fulbright Canada scholarship. His dissertation work focuses on the evolution of religion and ritual and their effects on human cooperation and altruism. He directs the dance theater company, Body Research. • WILL SINKS is a technical marketing engineer for Cisco Systems, where he helps script and stage keynote presentations by CEO John Chambers and other executives of the San José-based computer networking corporation. Three other members of his 10-person team are Aggies— SCOTT NEUMANN ’94, MATT WONG ’05 and DAVID SUN ’11.

8 After an internship at Merlot Marketing in Sacramento, S A M A N T H A B O S I O was hired by the marketing agency in May as a public relations assistant account coordinator. She lives in Sacramento. • VERONICA MARTINEZ is serving in the nation’s first class of FEMA Corps, a new unit of the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps devoted to disaster preparedness and response. She began her 10-month term in Denver in February. 2 012

Two weeks after joining ACRT vegetation management company in August as a consulting utility forester, T. CHASE BULKIN was sent to the Sierra Nevada’s massive Rim Fire. He and his crew identified thousands of burned trees that needed to be removed because of the hazard they pose to utility lines. • Former Aggie football punter and kick-off specialist COLTON SCHMIDT signed a threeyear contract with the San Francisco 49ers in July. He joined the team as an undrafted free agent, and was later placed on waivers and claimed by the Cleveland Browns. 2013

IN MEMORIAM ALUMNI ’32, a Sacramento farmer who saved the farms of interned Japanese Americans during World War II, died in May at age 101. His story is recounted in history books, and his death was reported in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and other newspapers. BOB FLETCHER

’40 of Etna died at a Yreka hospice home in March. She was 92. She and her husband, Glenn, whom she met at UC Davis, ran a ranch in Scott Valley. Glenn died in 1994. Survivors include their sons, Steve, of Castro Valley, and Rick ’73, M.S., ’74, of Callahan; and daughter, Patty Davie ’72, of Susanville. B E T T Y (BA D G L E Y ) BA R N E S

’47 died in March at a Brawley health care center. He was 92. A World War II veteran who participated in the battles of D-Day, and Okinawa, Japan, he farmed in the Imperial Valley. JA MES FERRELL

’48, of Sacramento, died in July at age 90. A World War II U.S. Army veteran, he worked for the U.S. Postal Service for nearly 30 years. HENRY YIP

’52 died in June in San Mateo at age 84. He was a Korean War U.S. Army veteran, a retired high school science and math teacher and owner of a wine and spirits store. PETER PITKIN

ROBERT YOUNG ’54, ’57, a prominent

water economist and an emeritus professor at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., died in July after suffering a stroke. He was 81. Survivors include his wife, Lynn ’56, Cred. ’57; five children; and sister Peg ’56, of Davis.

’58, of Lake Forest, died in June at age 79. A retired U.S. Army 1st lieutenant, he worked for State Farm Insurance for 36 years. He was active in the Cal Aggie Alumni Association. JOHN “JACK” HUHN

’60, Cred. ’66, died in June after a long battle with leukemia. She was 75. She founded Sierra Heritage Magazine, serving as its publisher for 30 years, and published the Auburn Sentinel newspaper for 18 years. JANICE FORBES GEIL

’60, a farmer in Colusa and Yolo counties, died in June. He was 77. Survivors include DONALD PEART

his wife, Vesta, ’62, Cred. ’62, and two sons. Artist DAVID GILHOOLY ’65, M.A., ’67, best known for his sculptures of whimsical frogs, died in August at his home in Newport, Ore. He was 70 and had recently been diagnosed with cancer. A leader of the Northern California funk art movement, he taught in the 1970s and 1980s at several universities, including UC Davis. J OA N (B AU S L AU G H) G U N D L AC H

’66, a retired nurse, died in April in Post Falls, Idaho. She was 70. ’71 died in his Roseville home in May at age 64. He had been a park ranger and a state farmland and open space conservation research analyst. ROBERT BLANFORD


M.S., ’71, an environmental engineer for more than 35 years, died in an Escondido senior home in January from complications of Lewy body dementia. He was 71. ’71, of Sacramento, died in February at age 80. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a photographer. His 30 years of public service include work for the Oakland Police Department and the state. ROLAND JAMES

’72, a Boulder Creek attorney, died in San José in January. He was 62. VICTOR WAHL


’73, M.A. ’75, died in her San Diego home in January of multiple system atrophy, a degenerative neurological disease. She worked at the UCLA and UC San Diego medical centers. Sister N A N C Y T E S K E Y, Ph.D. ’78, a science faculty member at Holy Names University in Oakland for 34 years, died at an Oakland care center in July. She was 70. A 49-year member of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, she received the university’s 1999 Outstanding Faculty Award. JACK WALLACE , Cred. ’79, died in his

Roseville home in February. He was 82. He spent 27 years as a military police officer and Russian linguist before attending UC Davis. He taught languages in Roseville high schools for 16 years. DARRELL HAYNES ,

M.S. ’80, Ph.D.

’85, died of cancer at his Rochester, N.Y., home in July. He was 58. He worked for 22 years for Johnson & Johnson Ortho Clinical Diagnostics. JOHN J. “JJ” MALONEY, M.S. ’81, of

Essex Junction, Vt., died at home in May after a lengthy illness. He was 55. He worked as an IBM engineer for 29 years. CHERYL “CHERI” (O’BRIEN) JONES

’85, D.V.M. ’89, of Leawood, Kan., died in June of complications of duodenal cancer. She was 50. She practiced at State Line Animal Hospital. ’87, Cred. ’89, died in July following complications of a stroke. She was 76. Born in England, she worked as a secretary for property and insurance companies for several years before going back to college. She taught in Benicia and Vallejo and was named Benicia’s 1997 Woman of the Year. EDNA ALDINGER

’91, of Turlock, died in June after collapsing during an organized run. She was 44. She was an adapted physical education specialist for Stanislaus County and bookkeeper for the veterinary practice of her husband, Ted ’90, D.V.M. ’94. SHARON (ACHONDO) HOWZE


M.A. ’96, Ph.D. ’98, a psychology faculty member at California State University, Sacramento, died of complications of melanoma in a Folsom hospital in May. She was 49. ’92, a Rocklin middle school teacher, died in May at age 43. SHANNON KNEPPER MAVEETY

Eight days after June commencement, LORETO GODOY, M.P.V.M ’09, Ph.D. ’13, died in a car crash that also killed her mother- and father-in-law, and injured her husband, Fernando Mardones, M.P.V.M ’09, Ph.D. ’13, and their two children. She was 32. GENEVIEVE COSTELLO ,

’10, a former point guard and captain of the Aggie women’s basketball team, died in San Diego in May, less than a month after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was 26.

ish literature and language, died of natural causes on Aug. 7 at his Davis home. He was 85. His scholarly work ranged from the ballads of Spain and North Africa to the dying language of the Isleños of St. Bernard Parish, La. He wrote some 30 books and more than 500 articles. BENJAMIN FRENCH , professor emer-

itus and former chair of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, died in August at his Davis home. He was 90. An authority on economic effiency in plant operations and agricultural marketing, he served as a consultant to Congress, federal agencies and agricultural firms. In World War II, he fought as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division in France and Germany. PAU L G U M E R L O C K ,

Ph.D. ’88, an adjunct faculty member at the UC Davis Cancer Center, died in Sacramento in July after an extended illness. He was 58. One of the first researchers to use polymerase chain reaction techniques in investigating multiple molecular abnormalities in cancer, he was also known for his ability to explain the science to nonscientists. WILLIAM KNOX ,

a professor emeritus of physics and a former Manhattan Project scientist who became an anti-war activist, died in July at age 92. During World War II, he worked on production and separation of the plutonium that was used in the first atomic bomb test in New Mexico. He joined other Manhattan Project scientists in signing a letter urging President Truman to detonate the bomb at sea as a demonstration of power rather than on a city. Joining UC Davis in 1960, he helped develop the physics program and became an early protester of the Vietnam War. Survivors include his wife, Barbara, daughters Margaret, Sarah ’82; and sons William Jr. and Reggie. JOHN OWENS ,

a professor emeritus of political science and a Davis resident, died in May shortly before his 87th birday. His research focused on California politcs, campaign financing and the legislative process. LLOYD SMITH ,

FACULTY Distinguished professor emeritus S A M U E L A R M I S T E A D , one of the world’s leading scholars of Span-

a professor emeritus of food science and technology, died in Davis in June. He was 96, and an expert on edible oils, fats and dairy processing.

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Marrow donor Jason Tzou ’05 and recipient Jack Chin.

‘IT’S A MIR ACLE’ by Gheed Saeed ’15 F I F T E E N M O N T H S A F T E R D O N AT I N G H I S M A R R O W, JASON TZOU ’05,

of Sunnyvale, got a chance to meet the man whose life he saved—Jack Chin, a Cupertino man who was diagnosed at age 22 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Their meeting at a San José restaurant in July was arranged by the Asian American Donor Program. Family and friends gathered to thank Tzou. “It’s a miracle,” said Chin’s mother, Ja-Nei Chin. “The love I have for Jack is small compared to the great love shared by Jason for saving Jack’s life.” Chin, a UCLA alum, learned of his cancer in 2011. His brother, Jim, was not a marrow match. The odds of finding a suitable marrow or stem cell donor who is unrelated range from one in 20,000 to one in 100,000. Patients are most likely to match someone of the same ethnicity. Due to a shortage of ethnic minority donors, non-Caucasians are more likely to succumb to leukemia and other blood cancers. Tzou and Chin attended the same high school, although they did not know each other. The marrow donation came six years after Tzou had joined the national marrow and stem cell registry. A friend persuaded him to sign up during a health fair at Intuit, where Tzou worked. About two months after learning that he was a match, Tzou traveled to Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., to donate his marrow. His parents were vacationing in Taiwan and South Korea, and he did not tell them. “The only person who really knew was my sister.” His sister, Olivia, said: “I’m really proud of what my brother did, it’s so heroic to actually be able to save someone’s life. . . . I always knew that was the kind of brother he was.” Tzou said “It’s not as scary as people say. It’s one of the easiest ways to save a life.”

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The Cal Aggie Alumni Association invites you to the 2014 Alumni Awards Gala at the Silverado Resort in Napa next Feb. 28. These seven alumni and one friend of campus will be honored for their contributions to UC Davis: SANDI REDENBACH ’72, CRED ’73 Aggie Service Award JERRY LOHR Distinguished Friend of the University Award FR ANCIS LEE ’74 Distinguished Achievement Award DANIEL EVANS ’88 Emil M. Mrak International Award JOHN CHUCK ’89 Outstanding Alumnus Award JASON LUCASH ’06 Young Alumnus Award PAM FAIR ’80 Jerry W. Fielder Award For more information, visit


The small moments in life have the biggest ripple effects.


by Debra Minnema-Dingman trace their passions in life to simple moments. Their love of the arts started with small events during childhood—for John, hearing the North Carolina Symphony play in his rural North Carolina community when he was 8 years old; for Lois, taking a school bus trip as a girl to downtown Los Angeles to see children’s programs performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Their love of each other began early in their scientific careers at UC Davis. Lois was a graduate student on campus when John joined the faculty and moved into the lab next door. From there grew a friendship, then a courtship, then a marriage. So did a decadeslong research collaboration in molecular and cellular biology. Together, they invented a number of biomedical products, the patents for which have been top revenue producers for UC Davis for many years. Their desire to give to UC Davis arose from their lifelong involvement in both the sciences and the arts. The couple has donated time and resources to both for decades. For example, in 2005 the Davis couple attended a recital by young music students at the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. The Crowes were so moved by the performance that they made a donation to support the program. Their donations, and those of two other donors, enabled the program’s director to transform the recital into a Young Artists Competition. Part of the Mondavi Center’s Young Artists Program, the competition highlights the talents of young classical musicians who range from elementary school to college age. It has grown each year and is holding auditions this fall in seven cities nationwide. “We’re proud of the extraordinarily high quality of the programming at the Mondavi Center and that we can be part of the support necessary to enrich life in this community through these performances,” said Lois, who along with John makes annual gifts and JOHN AND LOIS CROWE

Above: Grace Zhou, winner of the Junior Division Piano Award in the 2011 Mondavi Center Young Artists Competition, performs a solo during the 2012 UC Davis Convocation at the Mondavi Center.


Below: Donors Lois and John Crowe

They are simple. A commitment is made by adding a few sentences to a will or trust.

created an endowment to support the program. On another occasion in 2006, after retiring from her research position, Lois was volunteering as a docent at the UC Davis A rb oret u m when she noticed the garden at the downtown Davis Commons retail center was missing a few elements typically found in a Mediterranean-style garden. She and John approached arboretum director Kathleen Socolofsky about funding a renovation. When the garden reopened in May 2007, it had vine-covered pergolas, decorative paving and cooling fountains. John dedicated the garden to his wife, naming it the Lois Crowe Patio. “These are not people who just write the check,” Socolofsky said. “They really want to be involved. They believed in the possibilities of the university and they help other people believe in us too. They give from the heart.” Now, through an estate gift to support the Young Artist Program and the UC Davis Arboretum, the Crowes are ensuring that their legacy will allow others to experience the special moments they created during their lifetime. “By making a planned gift, we are helping to provide sound financial underpinning not only for the parts of the community we love, such as the Mondavi Center and the arboretum, but also to help provide these opportunities for the next generation,” Lois said. “This is our community,” John added, “and we feel this is part of our responsibility to give back.”

Benefits include:

They are flexible. A gift can be made during or after one’s lifetime. They can provide tax relief. If made during life, the donation eliminates the obligation and asset from one’s estate and provides a charitable income tax deduction. For more information, contact Brian Casey, executive director of planned giving, at 530-754-4105 or plannedgiving

Scan with your mobile device to watch young artists like Grace Zhou:

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ARCS Foundation recognizes UC Davis up-and-coming ‘world changers.’ by Debra Minnema-Dingman at the School of Veterinary Medicine, Chris Barnhart researches how exposure of the developing brain to polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) during pregnancy or breastfeeding may impede brain development. Not far away at the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology, Lisa Komoroske studies how climate change affects fish populations. In exploring different aspects of how living things are influenced by their environment, the two doctoral students share a common benefactor: Both have been supported by the Northern California chapter of the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation. The ARCS Foundation initially grew out of the space race between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union. After the Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite, a group of women in Los Angeles started the nonprofit organization in 1958 to support the education of young U.S. scientists. The Northern California chapter was founded in 1970, and since then the women’s organization has awarded more than $2 million to UC Davis for dozens of students pursuing degrees in science, medicine and engineering-related fields. Not restricted to tuition expenses alone, each ARCS Award is designed to offer generous flexibility to each student, inviting them to a wider array of research choices than they might otherwise have been able to pursue. Barnhart and Komoroske are among 12 ARCS Scholars at UC Davis this year. Barnhart has been awarded a $10,000 annual fellowship for four consecutive years for his research on cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the developmental neurotoxicity of PCBs. The man-made organic pollutants were widely used in industry as cooling and insulating fluids until they were banned in the 1970s over concerns about their toxicity and accumulation in the environment. Human PCB exposure occurs primarily through consumption of contaminated fish or dairy products, or by breathing PCBs in the air released from paints and caulking. In collaboration with the School of Veterinary Medicine and UC Davis MIND Institute faculty, Barnhart led a complex, collaborative research project to study the effects of PCBs on learning and memory in mice exposed via their mothers’ diet before and after birth. This research strongly suggests that PCBs could add to autism risk in genetically predisposed children. The complex brain development

Ph.D. students Chris Barnhart and Lisa Komoroske are recipients of ARCS Foundation awards. Barnhart works at the MIND Institute and is researching PCBs and their effect on brain development. Komoroske works at the Bodega Marine Laboratory and is researching climate change’s effects on California Delta fish.

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CIENTISTS students as


UC DAVIS KEEPS RISING disorder affects one in every 88 children. Barnhart said recognition by the ARCS Foundation has led to opportunities to share his research findings with colleagues at regional scientific meetings. “The ARCS Awards have allowed me to devote my energy and time to intellectual endeavors and participate in conferences and dissertation research,” he said. Komoroske, a doctoral student in the Graduate Group in Ecology, received her second ARCS fellowship for her research on how coastal and estuarine fish will physiologically cope with climate change. Collaborating with the Bodega Ocean Acidification Research group, Komoroske investigates how predicted pH changes affect protein expression in rockfish that are important for California coastal fisheries. She is currently studying the effects of salinity and temperature increase on the threatened delta smelt, which may be important for management of the California Delta. “Being able to be flexible to try new approaches is so critical to innovation in science and technology, but oftentimes many funding sources are hesitant to fund these ideas because they have more ‘unknowns’ and a higher perceived risk of failure,” said Komoroske. “Receiving the ARCS fellowship has allowed me to increase both the breadth and depth of my dissertation research because I could use cutting-edge methodologies.” UC Davis is one of just seven universities in Northern California that receives ARCS funds, said ARCS spokesperson Ann-Marie Fowler, “Since the beginning, the organization pursued a regional approach with recognition offered for the finest departments in their fields—where world changers and innovators were going to go, study and succeed in life.”


From Sept. 18 through the end of October, UC Davis along with the entire University of California system participated in a new ‘crowdfunding’ initiative that will help raise scholarship funds for UC students in need. Through the program, called Promise for Education, students, alumni, faculty, friends, and family could make a promise (run a marathon, volunteer at a homeless shelter, wear

Backers of student-support and other initiatives boost 2012–13 fundraising totals. NEARLY 40,000 DONORS committed more than $149 million

to UC Davis during the 2012–13 fiscal year. The figure surpassed the previous year’s total of $132.4 million and marked the seventh consecutive year that philanthropic gifts exceeded $100 million. Support for student scholarships, fellowships and awards reached $21.7 million, more than double the previous year’s total. These contributions helped the university exceed its goal of raising $120 million for student support through The Campaign for UC Davis. Launched in 2006, the university’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign seeks to raise an overall $1 billion from 100,000 donors by 2014. As of June 30, 2013, UC Davis raised $973.4 million through the campaign. Among student-support initiatives this past year: • The UC Davis Foundation Board of Trustees and UC Davis administrators created a $1 million-plus matching fund, from which the university raised about $4 million to create 40 endowed scholarships, fellowships and awards. • The university hosted its first Stride for Aggie Pride 5K run, which was organized by students and raised about $17,500 for student scholarships and emergency aid. • UC Davis alumna Ann Pitzer ’58 gave $1 million to the Education Abroad Center so more UC Davis students can study in other countries and add a global perspective to their academic careers. Learn more about The Campaign for UC Davis at

flippers for a week—anything) at in exchange for donations to support UC undergraduate scholarships. Promisers shared their promises with their networks, asking for contributions toward their promises. Once the crowdfunding goal has been met, the promiser fulfills his or her promise and shares proof. The money that people raised will help fund scholarships across the University of California system. For more information, visit

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A Classic Rivalry The long competition between UC Davis and Sacramento State is about a lot more than football these days. by Joe Waltasti

who had this to say about the rivalry between UC Davis and Sacramento State University: “I love being a part of it. Over the years there have been so many great battles between our teams. . . . For me, one thing has remained constant while competing against the Hornets as both a player and a coach—it always feels like a playoff game.” Bob Biggs ’73, a former Aggies quarterback and longtime football coach, would be a good guess, but it would be wrong. Tr y women’s basketball head coach Jennifer Gross ’97, who played for the Aggies in 1993–97 before taking over as head coach two years ago. The Aggies-Hornets rivalry—which started Oct. 9, 1954, with a 14–0 victory by the Aggies football team over the Hornets—has spread from the gridiron to the fields and courts of 16 other varsity sports. To be sure, the football Causeway Classic rivalry is still going strong. The Aggies hold a 42–18 record against the Hornets, and the game has become an annual point of pride for each fan base, with bragging rights on the line each and every year. The 60th Causeway Classic game on Nov. 23 in Sacramento will be the finale of the 2013 regular season for both teams. But the Causeway Cup—launched in 2004–05 as the Aggies began the transition to Division I—has created an all-year, 17-team competition between the two campuses on opposite ends of Interstate 80’s Yolo Causeway. And in 2012–13, the competition for the Causeway Cup grew even more intense with the football and men’s NAME THE AGGIES COACH

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soccer meetings becoming conference games—the Aggies joined the Big Sky for football while the Sacramento State’s men’s soccer program joined the Big West. “We have always had a good rivalry, but now with us playing in the Big West, it gives our games even more meaning because we are playing for points and a bid to the Big West Tournament,” Sacramento State men’s soccer head coach Michael Linenberger said. “Last year is a good example, as the final game of the season at Davis was for the Big West Northern Division championship. It was a great crowd and game with a lot on the line. We are hoping for the same thing this year when we host the Aggies on the final day of the regular season.” The UC Davis men’s soccer team won the season finale against the Hornets last year, 2–1. The victory clinched the Big West North Division title for the Aggies and gave them another 2.5 points in the Causeway Cup, after also beating the Hornets, 3–1, on the road earlier in the season. For the Causeway Cup, the winner of each matchup is given a predetermined amount of points—10 each for football, volleyball, men’s basketball and women’s basketball, and five each for women’s soccer, men’s soccer, men’s golf, women’s golf, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, gymnastics, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s track and field, women’s track and field, softball and baseball. If the two schools meet just once each season, like in football, then all the points go to the winning team of that one game. But if the teams play each other two

M ark H onb o/UC Da vis

times or more, the points are divided for each contest. A 19th-century carriage, the CauseFor example, the softball teams usually meet twice each way Carriage (opposite page), used to go to the football team that won year, so each game is worth 2.5 points. Last year, UC Davis won the cup, defeating Sacramento the Causeway Classic game. Now the teams exchange a trophy made State, 60.42 to 39.58, after a dominating fall and winter. from cement from the Yolo Causeway. The Aggies jumped out to a big lead early by scoring 30 points with wins in volleyball, football, men’s cross exciting. . . . The crowd is enercountry and men’s soccer. An 87–76 win by the gized, the emotions are high, the UC Davis men’s basketball team at The Nest in Sacra- game is physical and both teams mento gave the Aggies another 10 points. In February, leave everything on the floor.” a 4–3 women’s tennis upset of the powerhouse Hornets Women’s soccer head coach clinched the cup for the Aggies. Maryclaire Robinson, now in her Last year’s margin of victory was the second biggest 22nd year, said: “I think the rivalry by the Aggies in the series, and the largest since is important for our entire athletics UC Davis posted a 40-point win (67.5 to 37.5) in 2007– department. Having a game our students, fans and 08. The Aggies currently own an overall 5–4 edge in other student-athletes can circle on each sport’s schedthe nine-year history of the competition. ule helps create more support here for athletics in genThe Causeway Cup revives eral. The Causeway Cup a rivalry that some of the helps the entire campus rally sports have experienced in the around one another when past, but sporadically because the Aggies play the Hornets.” they often competed in differThe Causeway Cup is now ent conferences. The Hornets sponsored by ScholarShare, moved to Division I ahead of the state’s 529 college investthe Aggies in 1993–94. ment plan. In women’s basketball, the This year’s competition Aggies and Hornets first batbegan on Aug. 23 with womtled in 1971–72 and competed en’s soccer at Aggie Field. each year until 1994–95, but “Given our start date, we did not play again for a decade. generally kick off the CauseCoach Gross said the Causeway Cup and enjoy that way Cup has raised the level of The UC Davis/Sacramento State rivalry has responsibility,” Robinson play. “Rivalries bring out grown in men’s soccer with the two teams said. “Being the first compeincredible emotion and chal- now playing in the same conference. tition in a rivalry series, it’s lenge players to perform at important to create momentheir best when the stakes are high,” she said. “Over the tum, put points on the board and set the tone for the years there have been so many great battles between new year. It feels like a conference game in August for our teams. There have been decisive victories and last- us, because it’s more gritty, more intense, the tackles second finishes. You never know what will happen in are tougher and the goals are sweeter. We love playing a Causeway Cup matchup, and that’s what makes it the game, it’s a great local event!” A scene, below, from a 1964 rally. Aggies used to hold a rally on the eve of the football game against Sacramento State to rouse spirit and to give student living groups an opportunity to compete with one another. Each dorm or fraternity entered a skit focused on the rivalry between the Sac State Hornets and the Aggies. The rally was followed by the Beauty and the Beast Ball, with all benefits going to the Cal Camp fund.

U C D A V I S M A G A Z I N E / Fa l l 2 013 43


You’re in the

literary drill team now Students marched to a new tune after moving into converted military barracks. by Molly (Hanna) Cole, Julie (Logan) Richmond, Anne (Hermann) Lamborn and Carole Koblik, Class of 1965 IN THE SPRING OF OUR SOPHOMORE YEAR,

Student Housing announced that one of the ABC buildings—short for the converted World War II Army barracks named Ash, Birch and Cedar Halls— would open to female undergraduates the next year. We had lived since we were freshmen in Malcolm Hall, which had opened in 1960, just a year before we first arrived on campus. We had made many good friends at Malcolm, but after two years there, we were ready for a new experience. A real plus for us was that Ash Hall would have no house mother! Only an older student would be in charge. Many of us from Malcolm applied to live there, and when we returned to Davis in fall 1963, we checked into Ash Hall. Ash Hall was anything but posh. The rooms and hallways were battleship gray and had been repainted so many times that all the corners were slightly rounded. However, the spartan circumstances didn’t dampen our spirits. The rooms were small, with miniscule closets—if they had closets at all. The lack of closet space didn’t really bother us, since by then we were mainly wearing ­44 U C D A V I S M A G A Z I N E / Fa l l 2 013

cutoffs. Besides, many of us were given a second smaller room directly across the hall where we could store clothes or even, as one of us did, turn it into an art studio. In our downstairs entry “living room,” we proudly displayed a picture of our purported founder, Thaddeus Ash, framed in an old toilet seat. We painted the small tin trash cans

spread throughout the building with red and white lettering that read, “ASH HALL.” For one campus event, we ran Salvador Dali for Co-ed King, and he did not come in last! Then came Picnic Day in spring 1964. Many of us remember vividly our decision to join the parade. Part of the excite-

Here’s how the 1964 yearbook described student life in the former Ash Hall:

ment of participating in the parade was working hard on your entry. Our first two years at UC Davis, we had worked on floats for Malcolm Hall. Even though we no longer were in a large dorm, we still wanted to participate. So we came up with what we thought was a perfect idea: an Ash Hall drill team. Every night after dinner, we met in a field behind Ash Hall to practice. With Molly Hanna, our drill team leader, keeping time with a teacher’s whistle, we practiced figure eights and choreographed routines. We had fun, but were very serious about our marching practice. Many of our parents were coming to Picnic Day and we wanted to impress them. We dubbed our team the Art, Garden and Literary Society. Wanting to portray older, educated women, we got in touch with some of our mothers and shopped at used clothing stores in Old Sacramento for clothing representing eras from the 1890s to the 1940s. We worked hard on our outfits. Two male student friends offered to carry our banner in the parade, and we purchased appropriate outfits for them too—complete with hats and canes. Many of our parents came to Picnic

Day and cheered for our drill team. We may not have won any trophies for marching in the parade, but our “prizes” are ones we’ll treasure forever: wonderful memories and enduring friendships. In May, we held our 50th reunion of Ash Hall and our Art, Garden and Literary Society. Eight women from those days and their significant others were able to attend the Redding gathering. When our children were young, we used to get together at least every few years. Now that many of us are retired we have reunions once or twice a year.

Above, Ash Hall residents march as the Art, Garden and Literary Society drill team in the 1964 Picnic Day parade. Below, drill team alumni and their significant others gather at a recent reunion in Redding: from left, Ramon Urbano ’66, Karen (Palermo) Urbano ’65, Charlie Ludeman ’65, Judy (Moshofsky) Ludeman ’65, Sue (Menke) Jobe ’66, Carole Koblik ’65, Paul Caffo ’63, Nancy (Sturges) Caffo ’65, Brad Louie, Julie (Logan) Richmond ’65, Molly (Hanna) Cole ’65, George Cole ’65, Mary Lou (Claassen) Cope ’65, and Butch Cope ’64.

U C D A V I S M A G A Z I N E / Fa l l 2 013


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UC Davis Magazine, Fall 2013  

Life scientists at the University of California, Davis, are using genomics to investigate a sweeping range of topics. UC Davis Magazine is...

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