Archive for September, 2011

An Evening with the Genome Center and Jonathan Eisen

September 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Jonathan Eisen’s blog.

Thanks to Kasia Kościelska.

Tips For Biking Around Campus 2013

September 20, 2011 1 comment

For the 3rd year in a row, I am putting forth these tips on how to bike safely and avoid an accident or ticket while riding around Davis. HEED THESE WARNINGS!

The first week of all the students being back in Davis is an exciting time but, also an especially hazardous time. The main danger being, riding your bike in a sea of inexperienced freshmen who are unfamiliar with the rules of the road and the responsibilities of riding a bike in Davis. Here are some tips to help avoid an embarrassing, costly and potentially harmful situation on your bike.

First tip: Get familiar with the laws/rules for riding a bike. A summary of the rules of the road can be found here thanks to TAPS. Cops in Davis will pull you over and ticket you on your bike for: running a stop sign or red light, not using your hand to signal, riding with both headphones in (one is alright), riding inebriated (can lead to losing your drivers license) or otherwise biking irresponsibly/dangerously, and I think most importantly – for not having a bike light at night. A strong front light, back light, even wheel lights, and ideally white or reflective clothing are strongly recommended while biking at night.

Second Tip: Pay attention while entering/exiting rotaries on campus! Most sensible people are familiar with rotaries (or roundabouts as we call them on the east coast), but unfortunately most freshman are not very sensible. Technically the riders in the rotary have the right of way. Bikes entering the rotary must yield to bikes already in the rotary however, do not count on other riders to adhere to this rule. Many people will just bike right into a rotary without looking, so just be aware of this. When exiting the rotary it is never a bad idea to signal, and check over your shoulder that you will not hit another rider as you turn out of the rotary. Also be wary of actual traffic in the rotaries, buses, trucks, and cop cars can cause mass confusion when a high volume of bike traffic is present. Rotaries mishaps account for the majority of collisions and injuries on campus, so just be careful!

Third tip: Don’t be afraid to speak up! While riding around campus, especially around lunch of in between classes you will run into groups of slow moving bikes or people walking in the bike lane. Occasionally you can easily pass them by, but it is often necessary to alert those blocking the way of your presence. Just a quick “On your left/right” can save you from getting nailed by a swerving bike or errant pedestrian. Also very helpful with riders who are unable to ride in a straight line or are completely unaware of their surroundings (be especially aware of Cruiser bikes as they tend to be harder to control).

Davis is a great place to ride a bike, just make sure you do it safely and responsibly. If anyone has any other recommendations or stories please feel free to chime in!

Here is a run down of all the awesome places to ride your bike in Davis thanks to DavisWiki

Updates: When walking in a bike lane, remember to walk on the left side so you can see oncoming traffic. It is also a good idea to buy a U-lock, almost any other kind of lock can be easily cut (and there is nothing worse than finishing a long day in lab, and finding out that your bike has been stolen). Also a good idea to register your bike with the campus police for a variety of reasons.

Also, during the day, especially during class transition times, DO NOT ride beside someone (especially in a bigger group), this prevents other bikers from passing you and is generally not a good idea anytime of day.

Pro tip: As we transition from Summer/Fall into winter remember that the weather changes dramatically. Equipping yourself with splash guards on your front and rear bike tires can save you from getting an impromtu mud facial next time it rains. Riding your bike in the rain is not that bad, as long as you have the right equipment. Getting a solid rain jacket, rain pants, and a pair of water resistant gloves will make you much happier when you arrive at your destination.

Remember to stay alert while biking, and always put safety first. Happy Riding!

Joint MCB Seminar Series for Fall 2011

September 19, 2011 Leave a comment


College of Biological Sciences

FALL 2011

Thursdays, 4:10 p.m., 1022 Life Sciences

September 29
“The role of spindle orientation in neural stem cell homeostasis in Drosophila”
Chris Doe, Ph.D.
Faculty Host: Lesliee Rose (

October 6
“H3K9 methylation- mediated silencing in mouse embryonic stem cells- the writers, the readers and what they read”
Matthew Lorincz, Ph.D.
Host: Paul Ginno (

October 13
“Mechanisms of Molecular Motor Proteins”
Ron Vale, Ph.D.
Host: Brandon Zipp (

October 20
“Mechanisms regulating maintenance of stem cells and the stem cell niche”
Leanne Jones, Ph.D.
Faculty Host: Bruce Draper (

October 27
Jonathan Weissman, Ph.D.
Host: Nancy Nilla (

November 3
“Cellular Mechanisms of Insulin Resistance: Implications for Obesity, Lipodystrophy and Type 2 Diabetes”
Gerald Shulman, Ph.D.
Host: Monica Watson (

November 10
“Molecular assembly of neuronal synapses”
Ann Marie Craig, Ph.D.
Host: Lyndsey Kirk (

November 17
“Centrins & Sfi1 proteins in basal body biology”
Mark Winey, Ph.D.
Faculty Host: Scott Dawson (

December 1
“Wnt signaling, stem cells and tissue maintenance”
Roel Nusse, Ph.D.
Faculty Host: Chengji Zhou (

December 8
Thomas Schwartz, Ph.D.
Faculty Host: Dan Starr (

Categories: Seminar Announcements

Storer Lecture: Matthew Wheeler

September 19, 2011 Leave a comment




Matthew B. Wheeler

Professor of Bioengineering, Biotechnology and Developmental Biology,
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

“Strategies for Regenerating Bone: Stem Cells,
Scaffolds, Growth Factors and Patients.”

Monday, October 10, 2011

4:10 P.M.
1005 Genome Center

Dr. Wheeler is a pioneering researcher in the use of stem cells to overcome the limitations imposed by bone grafting as the gold standard for bone replacement. Bone is a tissue that exhibits plasticity and a large capacity for healing under normal circumstances. However, extensive bone loss due to disease or trauma requires tissue-engineering applications. Dr. Wheeler studies adipose-derived stem cells (ASC) that have similar immunophenotype, morphology, multilineage potential, and transcriptome compared to the more commonly used cell source bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSC). His data illustrate that ASC are
much more abundant, more accessible, have lower donor morbidity compared with BMSC, and are able to migrate to the site of injury with immunosuppressive abilities similar to BMSC. This seminar will present results that provide support for the clinical translation of ASC, patient-specific scaffolds and growth factors for bone regeneration. Dr. Wheeler is the recipient of the H.H. Mitchell Award for Excellence in Research and Teaching at the University of Illinois and is a past President of the International Embryo Transfer Society.

Categories: Seminar Announcements

NSF Fellowship Information Meeting

September 19, 2011 Leave a comment

2012-13 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP)


Friday, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011 | 3 – 5 pm (15h00-17h00) (no RSVP required):

ROOM 1005 Auditorium, Genome and Biomedical Sciences Bldg (Genome Center)


Keynote Speaker:     Professor Rob Berman, Professor & Vice Chair of Research, Neurological Surgery

Guest Speakers:       Professor Enoch Baldwin, Molecular & Cellular Biology

Professor Barbara Horwitz, Neurology, Physiology & Behavior and Vice Provost – Academic Personnel

Professor Ted Powers, Molecular & Cellular Biology

Current NSF GRFP Recipients


Meeting: Former and current NSF GRFP National reviewers (above) and recent graduate student recipients will present an informative overview of the application, offering invaluable tips and advice to potential applicants. Sample essays will also be available.


 Program Description 

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in the relevant science, technology, engineering, and mathematics  (STEM) disciplines* pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees, including women in engineering and computer and information science.

Amount:   $30,000 stipend and  $12,000 cost of education annually for up to three years.

Eligibility:  applicants must not have completed more than 12 months of full-time graduate study or the equivalent (senior undergraduates, 1st and 2nd year graduate students are generally eligible). In addition, applicants must have US citizenship, permanent resident or US national status at the time of application. Applicant must be accepted and enrolled in a US university graduate program at the time of the award.

Deadline: mid November 2011 (varies by discipline)

Fields of Study (research-based):  Chemistry, Computer & Information Science, Engineering, Geosciences, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physics & Astronomy, Psychology, Social Sciences, STEM Education & Learning.


For more information and application see url:


The Office of Graduate Studies is pleased to share the results of the 2011-12 competition. UCD graduate students received an unprecedented number of new awards for the upcoming year. The results may be viewed at


Deborah McCook, External Fellowship Advisor,  Office of Graduate Studies, 250 Mrak Hall, UC Davis, Davis, Ca 95616

Email:  ~  Ph. No. (530)752-0653  ~ FAX No.: (530)752-6222

Funding and application processing information may be found at the Graduate Studies Website:

Note: Applicant is responsible for compliance with agency requirements in application submissions.

Categories: Funding opportunities

PhD Comics movie screening

September 16, 2011 3 comments

Here you can find the list of places where the PhD comics movie is going to be screened.

The closest by is in Berkeley this upcoming Wednesday (the day of our colloquium).

It should also be possible to get a screening here in David. All we have to do is:


  • E-mail groups on your campus that might want to sponsor the event:
    • your Graduate Student Council, Government or Association (the people who send you that weekly/quarterly newsletter).
    • your school’s Events Office, Dean of Graduate Students, Graduate Student Office, Career Center, or other campus office that organizes events for students.
  • Let them know you’d like to have the PHD Movie screened on your campus.
  • Point them to this page and have them contact us
Categories: Funny Links/Comics

Scientists have much better pickup lines

September 14, 2011 Leave a comment

by Zack Weiner

Categories: Funny Links/Comics

Career Option Seminar schedule

September 14, 2011 4 comments

As promised before, we bring to you the tentative schedule for the Career Option Seminar series.

Fall quarter
11 Oct 2011* - David Posner, UC Davis graduate, human resources Cisco
08 Nov 2011 – Paul Henderson, National lab + start-up company
13 Dec 2011 – Eric Jonas, CEO of Novia Systems start-up, PhD student at MIT

Winter quarter
10 Jan 2012 – Sharon Bergquist, Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellows, policy and global affairs
14 Feb 2012 – Jane de Lartigue, freelance science writer
13 Mar 2012** – Dave Crotty, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, executive editor CSHL Protocol

Spring quarter
10 Apr 2012 – Mel Bradnam, grant office at UC Davis Cancer Center
08 May 2012 – Megan Hall, associate editor PLoS Biology
12 Jun 2012*** - Jacqueline Alldritt, high-school teacher

All talks will be at 10h30 in LSA1022.

* tentative

** will be on a Friday at 2pm in LSA1022

*** will be on a Tuesday, but at 4pm in LSA1022

Every week we will also post a list of talk for that week, so please come back and check the latest listing and potential chances.

PS. This is the 100th blog posting. Thank you everyone for sticking around.

Categories: Seminar Announcements

HHMI International Student Research Fellowships

September 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Student Research Fellowships

Campus Call for Nominations

Campus Deadline:  November 15, 2011, URL:

Sponsor:  HHMI

 The Office of Graduate Studies (OGS) invites nominees for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s (HHMIInternational Student Research Fellowshipprogram which supports outstanding international predoctoral students studying in the United States. Eligible biomedical-related fields include biology, chemistry, physics, math, computer science, engineering, and plant biology—as well as interdisciplinary research. Students must apply in their 2nd or 3rd year of their graduate program and in be in their 3rd or 4th year of study to activate the fellowship (up to three-years will be awarded). Fellows receive an annual $30,000 stipend, $ 3000 allowance for books, expenses, etc. plus a $10,000 cost of educational (COE) allowance to be used toward fees. *Note: The Office of Graduate Studies will supply supplemental fee support (if needed) for the award period.  This opportunity is a limited submission and campus nominees will be selected by an Ad-hoc Committee appointed by the OGS. Only students nominated by UC Davis, Office of Graduate Studies will be considered.

 Student Eligibility

Must be international students (cannot be a U.S. citizen, noncitizen nationals, or permanent resident of the U.S.).

  • Must be currently enrolled in their 2nd or 3rd year of a Ph.D. program in a biomedical/related program.
  • Must have entered a laboratory in which they will conduct their dissertation research.
  • Must have demonstrated exceptional talent for research.


Application Procedure.  Please submit the following nomination items BY NOVEMBER 15, 2011 as one PDF file by email to Deborah McCook, Office of Graduate

·         Office of Graduate Studies External Fellowship Application Data Form, located at

  • ·         UC Davis HHMI Pre-Application Data Form (attached)
  • ·         Description of thesis project and significance to research field (limited to 1 page on Word Attachment)
  • ·         Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • ·         Letter of Recommendation (1) from advisor.

Selection of HHMI nominees will be confirmed by OGS by 12/2/11. If selected, the students pre-application eligibility information will be submitted  to HHMI. HHMI will contact individuals directly with final application instructions and requirements (due Feb 16, 2012). HHMI fellows will be chosen based on their promise as a scientific investigator, the level of demonstrated innovation and creativity, training environment, and applicants previous research/other accomplishments as well as letters of recommendations. Graduate transcripts will be required. Final requirements can also be viewed at


 Deborah McCook, External Fellowship Advisor,  Office of Graduate Studies, 250 Mrak Hall, UC Davis, Davis, CA 95616

Email:  ~  Ph. No. (530)752-0653  ~ FAX No.: (530)752-6222

Funding opportunities, search engines and application processing information may be found at the Graduate Studies Website:

Note: Applicant is responsible for compliance with agency requirements in application submissions.

How to fail in grad school

September 14, 2011 2 comments

An great article on BitesizeBio send to us by Kasia Kościelska on how to go to grad school and leave without a degree.

In short:

1) Don’t use the resources available (google? pubmed?)

2) Rely on your professor to motivate you (it is all about passing exams)

3) Don’t set goals or timelines (nor stick to them)

4) Don’t read any papers (neglect your intellectual growth)

5) Enjoy some nice tunnel vision (forget the bigger picture of your work)

This might be especially interesting to the incoming students (and those who are stuck in dissertation research). To help the incoming students, this Friday (2011-09-16) at 4PM in LSA1022 there will be a information session where they can ask olders years for advise in advance.

Incoming student panel

When:  Friday, September 16th
Time:  4:00pm
Place:  1022 Life Science

Categories: Uncategorized

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