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A Message from the Chair

Dear UC Davis BME students, faculty and staff,

As we wrap up 2020, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the entire BME community for rising to meet the challenges of this highly unusual year. Our students adjusted to learning in a virtual environment, our faculty and lecturers adjusted to teaching in a virtual environment and our staff remained ready and willing to support the research needs of our department.

UC Davis Engineers Make Advances in Cell Adhesion

Sanjeevi Sivasankar and Soichiro Yamada, both associate professors in the department of biomedical engineering, took on the challenge of developing a technology capable of discovering membrane protein binding partners on the cell surface.

UC Davis Researchers Collaborating with Yale on $10.2M BRAIN Initiative Grant

Scientists from Yale and UC Davis will work with United Imaging to build the next-generation human brain PET scanner, the NeuroeXplorer (NX), to be installed at the Yale Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Center in two years. Funded by a five-year, $10.2 million BRAIN Initiative grant from the National Institutes of Health, the NX will replace the Yale PET Center’s HRRT system, which is currently the highest resolution brain scanner in the world.

Student Spotlight: Amy Becker

From presenting research to policy makers via the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) Science Translators Showcase held at the California State Capitol, to being named a UC Davis 2020 Bradshaw Scholar, Amy Becker has been quite busy this year. We caught up with the Ph.D. candidate and Boone Lab researcher for a first-hand view of her experiences and her vision for the future.

UC Davis BME Chair Receives TERMIS-AM Senior Scientist Award

Steven C. George, Professor and Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, is the latest recipient of the TERMIS-AM 2020 Senior Scientist Award. The award is based on an individual’s significant contributions to the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine field.

Using Imaging Tools to Treat Pancreatic Cancer

Biomedical engineering professor Julie Sutcliffe and her team are using their expertise in cancer imaging and diagnosis to develop a new, effective treatment for pancreatic cancer. After her team created a therapeutic based on a radioactive imaging tool they previously developed, the team received $4 million from the Lustgarten Foundation and Stand Up to Cancer to bring their drug to clinical trials to help patients suffering from the disease.

A New Gold Standard for Early-Stage Cancer Diagnosis

Biomedical engineering assistant professor Randy Carney and his lab are on a mission to find new tools to diagnose very early-stage cancer. A new five-year, $2.5 million project funded by the NIH National Cancer Institute seeks to develop next-generation nanotechnology to identify traces of cancer in blood, saliva or sweat samples to find the disease earlier and save more lives.

UC Davis BME Takes Home Young Investigator Awards at SNMMI Meeting

The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) held a virtual edition of their annual meeting July 11-14, 2020. The experience featured an exceptional program highlighted by some of the hottest topics in nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, including a science pavilion featuring the latest scientific research, an interactive virtual exhibit hall, networking events, and more.

EXPLORER Scans Cancer Patients

EXPLORER – the world’s first total-body PET scanner – has now been used to scan about 200 patients and 65 research subjects. Developed by Simon Cherry and Ramsey Badawi, professors in the biomedical engineering department, EXPLORER can scan up to 40 times faster than current PET scanners along with a much lower dose of radiation.

Tan Lab Develops Tool for Tuning Cellular Noise

Cells are noisy entities. This noise manifests through the heterogeneity of protein synthesis and cellular behavior. Understanding and controlling the noise is paramount to various biomedical applications, including drug treatment, tissue engineering, and the design of synthetic cells.