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New Research Suggests Cerebellum May Play Important Role in Autism

Researchers in the College of Biological Sciences have received a grant to study the role of the cerebellum in autism. “We need a more holistic understanding of the brain circuits that drive this disorder,” says Alex Nord, an associate professor of neurobiology, physiology and behavior (NPB), and a researcher at the Center for Neuroscience (CNS). “The cerebellum is a key component that has been largely overlooked until recently.”

$15 Million Grant Will Support Study on the Role of the Thalamus in Cognitive Control and Schizophrenia

When it comes to brain anatomy, the thalamus occupies a humble position.  It sits at the top of our brainstem — an apparent vestige of our reptilian past — and is dwarfed by the massive, wrinkled cerebral cortex, which sits above it. The cortex is often credited as the throne of human intellect. But a team of researchers across the country, with UC Davis led by W. Martin Usrey, sees the thalamus as a critical coordinator of our thoughts and perceptions – and pivotal in human disease.

2023 Distinguished Graduate and Postdoctoral Mentorship Award Recipients

The quality and quantity of mentorship at UC Davis is on the rise, and the university’s graduate students and postdoctoral scholars have taken note as demonstrated by the more than 40 nominations that were submitted for the Distinguished Graduate and Postdoctoral Mentorship Awards this year.

A Distinguished Legacy: Recognizing Barbara Horwitz

In the first part of the UC Davis Emeriti spring celebration, one of the most distinguished professors of the UC Davis emeriti family, Barbara A. Horwitz, was honored for more than five decades of service as a Professor of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior within the College of Biological Sciences.

The Keto Diet’s Muscle and Brain Boost

A new UC Davis Health study led by physiologist Keith Baar, a professor in the Departments of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, found that a ketogenic (keto) diet improves muscle function in older animals by preventing muscle mass loss due to age (sarcopenia).

How Dragonflies Catch Prey in Midair

Despite their small size, dragonflies are arguably one of the most impressive predators in the animal kingdom. According to Rachel Crane, a biologist at the University of California Davis, dragonflies often catch up to 95% of the prey they go after, a rate she described as “wildly high compared to where most predators are.” 

Making Prosthetics More Lifelike

Professor Wilsaan Joiner is part of a team of engineers, scientists and surgeons at UC Davis working to make life easier for amputees through a combination of surgery, advanced machine learning and smart prosthetics. Their goal is “prosthesis embodiment,” to get these devices to mimic a biological limb so amputees gain better muscle control and sensory feedback without increased complexity.

Karen Zito Elected as a 2021 AAAS Fellow

Nine faculty from UC Davis are among 564 newly elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, announced today (Jan. 26). AAAS fellows are scientists, engineers and innovators who have been recognized for their achievements across disciplines ranging from research, teaching and technology, to administration in academia, industry and government, to excellence in communicating and interpreting science to the public.

A Life of Movement: Remembering Professor Emeritus Edmund Bernauer

The University of California flag was flown at half-staff at the Memorial Union, Mark Hall and the UC Davis Airport recently to honor the memory of Professor Emeritus of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior Edmund Bernauer. Born on Sept. 27, 1926, Bernauer passed away on Aug. 12, 2021, at the age of 94.