UC Davis research has far-reaching impact

From COVID-19 vaccine trials to discoveries related to the role dead trees play in fueling wildfires, research conducted at UC Davis over the past year has had far-reaching effects on medicine. , industry, environment and other spheres of life, according to a research impact report for fiscal year 2020-2021, which was released this week.

During the campus’s last fiscal year, which ended June 30, UC Davis secured a record $ 968 million in research funding. Research conducted by the campus led to the creation of nine startups, 130 invention files and more than 1,500 new patents.

“As the world battles a global pandemic, extreme environmental stresses, wildfires, and complex social challenges, our researchers delved into the challenge of providing information and solutions to help the world move on. before, “said UC Davis vice-chancellor for research, Prasant Mohapatra. introduction of the report.

Research at UC Davis has played a role in responding to many facets of the pandemic. UC Davis School of Medicine was a site for several COVID-19 vaccine trials, including vaccines made by Pfizer and Novavax, and conducted studies on people who received the Moderna vaccine.

Currently, the Faculty of Medicine is recruiting for clinical trials of investigational drugs used to treat COVID-19, including remdesivir, the monoclonal antibody cocktail made by Regeneron, and an IV drug made by Pfizer.

Research at UC Davis has also contributed to a better understanding of the impact of the pandemic. One study found that low-income communities face significant barriers to isolating themselves and physically moving away, largely due to the nature of their work. Another study explored the effectiveness of different types of face coverings. A third study analyzed the risk of COVID-19 infection for different animal species.

Beyond the pandemic, research at UC Davis has linked exposure to traffic-related air pollution to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Another study found that dogs experience more joint problems if they are spayed too early. Researchers at UC Davis’ Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing have found that listening to personalized music playlists decreases the need for antipsychotic medications in patients with dementia.

UC Davis researchers also explored social inequalities. A study by computer scientists, environmentalists, pathologists and lawyers analyzed the racial biases embedded in artificial technologies such as facial recognition, which uses algorithms to detect anomalies.

“As anomaly detection is often applied to people who are then suspected of unusual behavior, ensuring fairness becomes paramount,” said Ian Davidson, professor of computer science at UC Davis. “If any of these algorithms are used for surveillance, it’s much more likely to identify people of color. If a white person walks in, it probably won’t trigger an abnormal event. If a black person comes in, it will.

The Research Impact Report also highlighted innovations and new technologies created at UC Davis. Scientists at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine have partnered with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the nonprofit Wild Neighbors database project to design a surveillance system that helps identify unusual patterns of disease and deaths in wildlife using data from the Wildlife Rehabilitation Organization across California.

Meanwhile, UC Davis’s Strawberry Breeding Program has launched two new varieties of strawberries, which have been bred to be large, sweet, and ripen in winter.

In 2020-2021, UC Davis received $ 514 million in federal research grants, according to a breakdown of campus research funds. Federal grants represented more than half of UC Davis’ overall research budget. UC Davis also received $ 164 million from the state of California and $ 116 million from corporations, while other sources of funding including charities and interest groups contributed tens of millions of dollars.

More information on the research conducted at UC Davis over the past year can be found at https://2021researchimpact.ucdavis.edu/.

– Contact Caleb Hampton at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @calebmhampton.

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