July 20, 2006
Message from the Dean
A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Centers and Institutes Update
Pasha Aronov: NIEHS Graduate Training Grant
Charlie Bamforth Receives Honors
Bill Reisen: John N. Belkin Award
Kara Schmelzer: John E. Kinsella Memorial Award
Cindy Tsai: Howard Hughes Medical Institute Award
Tim Weaver: Howard Hughes Medical Institute-NIH Research Scholar Award
Food Science Laurels in Orlando
Official UC Davis Fonts
Health and Safety Input Wanted
Humboldt Research Fellowships
Balancing Water Demands in Agriculture: August 22–24, 2006
Fresh-cut Products Workshop, Sept. 19–21, 2006
Agricultural Health and Safety Conference, Sept. 20–22, 2006
International Strawberry Symposium; Feb. 9–12, 2007
A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Centers and Institutes Update
Our college has been actively developing a small number of centers and institutes that will serve to integrate activities that cut across normal disciplinary lines and serve as significant centers for outreach to our stakeholders. The success of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science serves as a model for what we hope to achieve in our other centers and institutes.
To update you on our progress:
Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI) – I am happy to announce that Tom Tomich, Director of the Alternatives to Slash and Burn Agriculture, an integrative program of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) headquartered in Kenya, has accepted our offer to be director of both the ASI and the statewide SAREP program run by ANR. These programs will be jointly administered by Tom through our college. Tom will hold a joint faculty appointment in the Community Studies and Development Unit (Department of Human and Community Development) and in the Environmental Science and Policy department. He will assume his responsibilities in January 2007.
Foods for Health Initiative – this campuswide initiative is being jointly led on an interim basis by Carl Keen, who stepped down as chair of the Department of Nutrition to become co-interim director of the initiative with Eric Gershwin, a division chief in the School of Medicine. An international search for a permanent director will be initiated soon.
Center for Urban Horticulture – a proposal to establish the center has been approved, following extensive internal and external consultation. The search for an executive director for the center will be launched soon.
Center for the Study of Regional Change – after internal and external consultation, the implementation committee recently submitted a proposal to establish the center to “provide the innovative and comprehensive regional studies that will assist local governments and organizations cope with the many changes that are occurring in this region.” This proposal is currently being considered by my office.
These centers and institutes serve to enhance the capabilities of our college in addressing the dynamic issues that the citizens of California face. We will keep you informed of their progress. As always, I value your feedback. If you have questions or comments, please e-mail me.
Neal K. Van Alfen
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
A graduate student in entomology professor Bruce Hammock’s lab, Pavel “Pasha” Aronov was selected for a NIEHS Graduate Training Grant in Environmental Toxicology. Already working on the fellowship at UC Davis, he has developed an analytical method for the analysis of vitamin D metabolites as they relate to osteoporosis, inflammation, and cancer. The training program, directed by Bob Rice at UC Davis, is the oldest NIEHS training grant in the nation.
Food science and technology department chair Charlie Bamforth was honored at the Institute of Food Technologists annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, as the “2006 Fermented Foods and Beverages Division Lecturer” for his leadership, expertise, and extraordinary contributions in the field of fermentation technology.
Bamforth has also been invited to join the University of Nottingham as a Special Professor in the School of Biosciences. These appointments are given in recognition of distinguished service and are to facilitate collaboration in research and to strengthen links between University of Nottingham personnel and those engaged in research outside.
Food Science and Technology
Research entomologist William Reisen, a mosquito specialist at the Center for Vectorborne Diseases (CVEC) and an adjunct professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine, is the 2006 recipient of the international John N. Belkin Award for his contributions to mosquito biology. Reisen’s research is on Culex mosquitoes and their ability to transmit arboviruses, including West Nile virus.
The Belkin Award, given by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA), is for meritorious contributions to mosquito systematics and/or biology. Reisen is the second UC Davis-affiliated entomologist to receive the award. Tom Zavortink, research associate with the Bohart Museum of Entomology and a retired professor of biology at the University of San Francisco, won the award in 1984.
A staff research associate in the Department of Entomology, Kara Schmelzer won the 2006 John E. Kinsella Memorial Award from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Her upcoming paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences describes an approach to increase the safety of Cox inhibitors such as Vioxx and celebrex and technology to evaluate the role of nutrition on inflammation.
The annual Kinsella award, memorializing a former dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, recognizes doctoral students who have made major contributions to nutrition and human health.
Hsing-Ju “Cindy” Tsai, a graduate student working with entomology professor Bruce Hammock, won a Howard Hughes Medical Institute-Integrating Medicine into Basic Science Fellowship Award, and won a Henry A. Jastro and Peter J. Shields Graduate Research Scholarship Award. Tsai is studying the uptake and distribution of a new class of drugs that she hopes will treat inflammatory bowel disease.
Tim Weaver, a graduate student in entomology professor Bruce Hammock’s lab, received a Howard Hughes Medical Institute-NIH Research Scholar Award, a one- to two-year fellowship. He also received a Howard Hughes Medical Institute-Research Training Fellowship for Medical and Dental Students Award, but chose to accept the research scholar award. Weaver will investigate the biochemistry of why some transplanted kidneys are rejected and others are not.
Several members of the food science and technology department won awards at the Institute of Food Technologists annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. The UC Davis Food Science team won the 2006 College Bowl competition, with outstanding team members Michelle Danyluk (captain), Kit Meyers, Jon Hutchinson, Ferlinda Kowara, and Pat Noonan. The team battled mightily against many other teams in the nationwide contest, and triumphed over five teams in the finals.
Jerome Diaz, previously reported as a finalist in the Food Chemistry Division Poster Competition, placed first in the finals. In the Food Packaging Division Poster Competition, Laura Pallas won first place. Jaime Rudolf earned top honors for her fundraising in the IFT Student Association Fun Run. Diaz, Pallas, and Rudolf are graduate students in the Department of Food Science and Technology.
Food Science and Technology
The official UC Davis fonts -- the Berkeley Oldstyle and Futura families -- are now available from the campus Software License Coordination home page. The cost for 18 weights of the two font families, which allows for plenty of variety in print publications while still supporting campus graphic standards, is only $15 per computer workstation. The fonts are in the OpenType format and work with all the Mac and Windows operating systems listed on the fonts license site. You can access the site through MyUCDavis, via http://my.ucdavis.edu/software.
On the MyUCDavis page, select Software (under the UCD Resources tab). This brings up the Software License Coordination Home. Select Software. From the long list on that page select Official UC Davis Fonts.
The Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (WCAHS) sponsors a monthly seminar addressing topical health and safety issues in agriculture as part of its outreach and community service activities. The 2005–2006 series was very successful, addressing topics ranging from agricultural labor to heat stress to California's growing dairy industry.
Your input is requested on health and safety topics and speakers that would be of interest to the agricultural community. Please contact Sandy Freeland with your suggestions (ideally both a topic and a speaker) by August 1, 2006.
The Humboldt Research Fellowship Program supports highly qualified scientists and scholars of all nationalities and all disciplines so that they may carry out long-term research projects in Germany. Fellowships are awarded on the basis of academic achievement, the quality and feasibility of the proposed research project, and the candidate’s refereed publications.
Applicants design their own research projects and may stay in Germany for 6 to 24 months. Monthly stipends are available. Applicants must have a doctoral degree and be less than 40 years of age. Applications can be submitted at any time.
For more information, see http://www.humboldt-foundation.de/en/programme/stip_aus/stp.htm.
The guided tours listed below are free and open to the public. For more information, visit the arboretum Web site: http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
“Under the Redwoods,” Saturday, July 22, 10:00 a.m., Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center
Learn about gardening under redwood trees and which plants grow best in a moist, shady microclimate during this free guided tour, led by docent Shirley Maus. The tour will explore the arboretum’s Redwood Grove, one of the largest groves of coast redwoods outside their natural habitat.
“Ecology of the Coast Redwood Forest,” Saturday, August 5, 10:00 am, Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center
Learn about the complex and fascinating ecosystem of the redwood forest during a walk led by docent Shannon Murphy. The walk will provide a brief introduction to the ecology and history of the coast redwood and the fascinating adaptations that allow redwoods to survive fire, drought, and attack by predators.
A symposium on water resources and its management for agriculture, “Balancing Water Scarcity and Growing Demands in Agriculture,” will be held in Amman, Jordan, on August 22–24, 2006. The symposium will bring scientists from the Middle East region and the United States together to discuss critical water issues and will provide a forum to encourage research collaboration. Titles and abstracts for oral and poster presentations are being accepted for the symposium until July 2, 2006.
The three main themes for the meeting are trans-boundary water resources, agricultural water management (water use efficiency and conservation), and wastewater treatment and its use in agriculture or agro-ecosystems. The symposium is sponsored by Multinational Agricultural Research and Development (MARD), the National Center for Agricultural Research and Technology Transfer (NCARTT), and Al Quds University. To submit abstracts or to receive registration information, send an e-mail to [email protected].
A small number of travel grants are available through the CA&ES Dean’s Office. For information, contact:
CA&ES Dean’s Office
The 11th annual, three-day workshop, “Fresh-cut Products: Maintaining Quality & Safety,” is designed for food professionals and researchers in the fresh and processed fruit and vegetable industries. The program includes lectures, demonstrations, and discussions that include UC Davis research. The program is sponsored by the UC Davis Postharvest Technology Research and Information Center, partnering with the International Fresh-cut Produce Association.
For more information, see http://postharvest.ucdavis.edu/Announce/freshcut2006brochure.pdf.
“Health and Safety in Western Agriculture: Research to Practice (r2p)”, a conference sponsored by the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, will be held at the Asilomar Conference Ground in Pacific Grove, Calif., on September 20–22.
Agriculture remains one of the most hazardous occupations in the country, so researchers, educators, administrators, public health workers, farm owners/managers, producers, and farmworker groups are invited to the conference to find out how research is translated into effective programs to reduce illness and injury in the agricultural workplace. For more information, see http://agcenter.ucdavis.edu/Announce/R2P2006.php.
Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety
The sixth North American Strawberry Symposium -- along with the North American Strawberry Growers Association (NASGA) 2007 Berry Conference -- will be held in Ventura Beach, Calif., February 9–12, 2007.
Members of the strawberry research community in North America and around the world are invited to attend the 2007 North American Strawberry Symposium. The symposium includes two days of research presentations, poster sessions, and special events, a one-day tour of the nearby 12,000-acre Oxnard strawberry district, and a special banquet to honor the strawberry breeding careers of Royce Bringhurst and Gene Galletta. Program details, abstract deadlines, and opportunities for sponsorship will be posted on the NASGA website: http://www.nasga.org/.
Department of Plant Sciences