News and Highlights
Archives:  2014 | 2013 | 2012  

Hammock/Hashimoto/RIKEN Research Could Lead to Drug to Prevent or Reduce Disabilities Associated with Autism, Schizophrenia

Monday, March 18, 2019

An enzyme inhibitor developed in the UC Davis laboratory of Bruce Hammock and tested in mice by a team of international researchers shows promise that it could lead to a drug to prevent or reduce the disabilities associated with the neurodevelopmental disorders of autism and schizophrenia.

Testing Sonoma Ash and Air for Fire-Formed Pollutants

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

When fires ripped through suburban subdivisions in Santa Rosa last October, they may have done more than reduce homes to ashes. By incinerating all kinds of materials — insulation, electronics, furniture, cleaning products, pesticides — at very high temperatures, they could have created unknown or previously unrecognized health hazards in the smoke and ash. Researchers from the University of California, Davis, are trying to figure out just what is in that ash and air. Dr. Thomas Young, who is mentioned in the article, is the Associate Director of the Superfund Program and the Leader of Project 1.

Bruce Hammock Elected Fellow of National Academy of Innovators

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bruce Hammock,  Director of the UC Davis Superfund Research Program, as well as a distinguished professor of entomology at UC Davis who holds a joint appointment with the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been selected a  fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), which honors academic invention and encourages translations of inventions to benefit society. Congratulations on a well-deserved accolade!

 

Entomology and Nematology News

Dateline, UC Davis News and Information

Postdoctoral Researcher Sing Lee of Hammock Lab Received Coveted NIH K99 Award

Monday, December 08, 2014

Chemist Kin Sing Stephen "Sing" Lee, a postdoctoral researcher and Superfund Trainee in the Bruce Hammock lab in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, has won a coveted National Institutes of Health K99 Award, often called the "NIH Pathway to Independence Award" or the "Career Transition Award/Research Transition Award." The award will enable Lee to shift rapidly into a permanent tenure-track or equivalent faculty position. The title of his project is "Identifying the Receptors of Environmentally Sensitive Epoxy-Eicosanoids with AMS". Congratulations Sing! Keep up the great and highly relevant work!

Posters, panels, and oral presentations: UCD has heaps to share at the SRP Annual Meeting

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Annual meeting of SRP investigators was convened in San Jose, CA from Nov 12-14 and hosted by UC Berkeley. UC Davis' SRP focuses on identifying and utilizing biomarkers in determining exposure to harmful chemicals. Participants from the UCD SRP presented in a myriad of platforms including oral presentations by Postdoctoral Trainee Candace Spier Bever and Senior Investigator Michele La Merrill, Co-Director and Senior Investigator Michael Denison served as a panelist and a slue of other investigators, both Trainees and Lead Scientists, presented a total of 18 posters. Of the poster presentations, Graduate Student Trainee, Sarah Carratt was bestowed a best poster presentation award for her contribution. Congratulations Sarah for presenting an outstanding poster and thank you to all investigators for sharing your exciting research findings!

Superfund Scientists Teach Elementary Students about Watershed Pollution

Saturday, May 17, 2014

On April 25th, a group of scientists from the UC Davis Superfund Research Program (SRP) and the UC Davis Aquatic Health Program braved the rainy weather to participate in Marguerite Montgomery Elementary School (MME)'s Science Fair. The grey sky and constant drizzle, however, was an unexpected boon that helped the scientists to explain the topic of this year’s exhibit: watershed pollution. The team of scientists led a ten-minute interactive workshop for 2nd and 3rd graders about watersheds and potential pollution sources (such as litter, pet feces, agricultural run-off, car pollution, etc.). Locally, this is very important since Davis is located in one of many watersheds that washes out into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which consequently is a substantial part of the statewide water system. Pollution in this watershed may have drastic consequences to human and environmental health. After understanding how pollution from the landscape could be washed into rivers and then the ocean when it rained, students learned how these substances could harm marine wildlife. The scientists used stuffed animals – a copepod, fish, and killer whale – as members of a food chain. Students quickly caught on to the problem: not only does the killer whale get the largest dose of toxin, but humans are also part of that marine food chain.

 

When asked how to prevent this pollution from harming animals (and humans!), students had some creative answers: “use a policeman to stop people from polluting,” “become an ‘environmentalogist,’” and, finally, “clean it up before it can go into the river!” It sounds like they have the right idea.

SRP PI Bruce Hammock receives the Brodie Award for Outstanding Research in Drug Metabolism

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Distinguished Professor Bruce Hammock, who holds a joint appointment with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and the UCD Comprehensive Cancer Center, is the recipient of the biennial Bernard B. Brodie Award in Drug Metabolism, sponsored by American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPECT).  The award ceremony was held at the Experimental Biology Conference in San Diego on April 26.  

 

The award recognizes Hammock’s outstanding original research contributions to the understanding of human drug metabolism and transport and the continued impact of his research in the area of drug discovery and development. In selecting Hammock, ASPET acknowledged Hammock’s collaborative studies in drug metabolism and metabolomics. The society also noted his tradition of sharing reagents for research to enable investigators in both the private and public sectors to make substantial advances for the development of potentially useful therapeutic compounds to treat stroke, atherosclerosis, heart failure, renal failure, inflammation and neuropathic pain.

UC Davis SRP Business Announced in Class of Startups by Davis Roots

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

UC Davis SRP Researchers, Ian Kennedy and Sudhee Lakshmana founded a food-tech startup that was selected by Davis Roots, a non-profit start-up business accelerator, to be part of their mentoring program. Kennedy and Lakshmana participated in Davis Roots' inaugural Demo Day to discuss their company, SonanuTech that has spun out of the UC Davis SRP. They expanded their biosensor technology to enable rapid and ultrasensitive pathogen detection for cheese manufacturers. Congratulations on taking research-derived technology from the lab to the field!

Seminar Series Promotes the Exchange of Scientific Information

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

On Monday, April 21st, the Superfund Research Programs at UC Davis (UCD) and the University of Arizona (UA) collaborated to showcase cell-based tools for environmental assessment in the seminar series titled: “New Research on Toxicity Screening Methods.” Dr. Scott Boitano (UA) described how he conducts Real Time Cell Analysis (RTCA) using the XCELLigence system, while Dr. Michael Denison explained his technology called the Chemically-Activated Luciferase Expression (CALUX) Bioassay. Both technologies are radically new means in which scientists can measure human cell responses after exposure to varying levels of environmental toxins.

Spreading the word about toxin exposure: Superfund research highlighted at the annual UC Davis Picnic Day

Friday, April 18, 2014

On April 12th, 2014, UC Davis celebrated its 100th Picnic Day, a celebration of its agricultural roots and of its premier research facilities and projects. The UC Davis Superfund Research Program (SRP) again took advantage of this tremendous opportunity to engage with the public and developed an exhibit to inform the public about their research and their mission. Graduate students Sean Kodani and Erika Fritsch, as well as Research Translation Core Leader Dr. Candace Bever and intern Allison Dycaico, led an exhibit which focused on how organisms accumulate toxins through the food chain via the ecological processes known as bioaccumulation and biomagnification. This year, the UCD SRP invited the Oregon State University (OSU) SRP to participate, which included Training Core Leader, Dr. Craig Marcus, and trainees Andrea Knecht and Erin Madeen. Alongside the UCD SRP exhibit about biomagnification and daily toxin exposure, the OSU SRP presented posters about their research on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in smoked meat prepared by Native Americans and the effect of PAHs on development in zebrafish.

2014 Current News Postdoctoral Researchers participate in Career Day at local school

Friday, February 07, 2014

No two career paths are the same. Sacramento's School of Engineering & Sciences is very aware of this concept and so each year, they invite two speakers to each of their 7th-11th grade classrooms. This year, two postdoctoral scholars from the UC Davis Superfund Research Program, Amy Rand and Candace Bever, participated in the school's annual Career Day. Both of these postdoc researchers were assigned to different classrooms and paired with a more senior colleague in order for the students to gain different perspectives of both career paths. Amy brought in props, such as a non-stick cooking pan and a raincoat, to illustrate how her research involves everyday items. Candace punctuated her career path experiences by reminding the students that you won't always be successful in every application, but you have to put in an application in order to have a chance at obtaining that position. Both speakers were commended by their fellow professionals as exhibiting fearless enthusiasm and being natural teachers. Thank you, Amy and Candace, for taking time to inform others about your career path and by inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers!

Sean Kodani received fellowship to study Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Core C trainee, Sean Kodani, has received the fellowship from the Center for Content Rich Evaluation of Therapeutic Efficacy (cCRETE) of the Research Investments in Science and Engineering (RISE) Program. Kondai's research focuses on the specific pathways involved in metabolites of omega 3 fatty acids reduced angiogenesis, tumor growth and tumor metastasis. He also investigates the biological activity of other omega 3 metabolites. 

Amy Rand received fellowship in Oncogenic Signals and Chromosome Biology

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cancer Biology Researcher Amy Rand has been selected a fellow in the T32 Postdoctoral Training Program in Oncogenic Signals and Chromosome Biology. Her research will be looking at how metabolites of omega-3 fatty acids can protect against cancer. Amy aims to further explore the specific mechanism that links omega-3 fatty acid metabolism and their anticancer activity.  According to her, Omega-3 fatty acids are increasingly being used as dietary supplements, and are marketed for their many beneficial health effects. This research will help Amy and her team to further clarify the specific relationship between the dietary exposure to and metabolism of omega-3 fatty acids and their role in the regulation of certain cancers

Consumer Products giants are removing triclosan and other harmful chemicals from their products

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

By the end of 2014, Procter & Gamble will eliminate triclosan from its personal care and other household products.  Johnson & Johnson states that they, too, are looking to phase out triclosan from their adult products by the end of 2015-- their beauty and baby care products already do not contain triclosan.

Triclosan is an antibacterial ingredient used to prevent the growth of germs. It is also a chemical of concern that the UC Davis Superfund Research Program studies to better understand its potential health effects. Scientists from our Program found that triclosan impairs muscle function in fish and mice and stated the results they found show “strong evidence that triclosan could have effects on animal and human health at current levels of exposure.”

Other chemicals targeted for removal include parabens, 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde-releasing perservatives, and phthalates. You can read more related topics here: Campaign for Safe CosmeticsBeyond Pesticides

UC Davis Scientists Reveal Clues Linking Bisphenol A (BPA) Exposure to Lung Disease

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) has been shown to alter the development of reproductive organs, but little is known about its impacts on other organ systems. This paper on BPA health effects is important because it shows an effect in a non endocrine organ, the fetal lung, at circulating levels similar to humans. The authors found BPA increases MUc5B, a mucin, that is found in mucous cells. Increases in mucous cell abundance are a hallmark of asthma. Recent epidemiology studies show a link between neonatal BPA exposure and asthma. While this study is not conclusive in linking BPA to asthma or AHR (airways hyperresponsiveness), as there is no long term follow up on the exposed fetus, it provides an important clue about how BPA alters lung development, which in turn may predispose to airway disease.

Candace (Spier) Bever helped secure funding for international meeting

Thursday, August 01, 2013

SRP Research Translation Core Leader, Candace (Spier) Bever, Ph.D. along with Co-PI Dr. Myrto Petreas from the CA Department of Toxic Substances Control, has received a NIEHS conference funding award (R13) to help support the upcoming 6th International Flame Retardant Symposium.  The symposium will be held in San Francisco, from April 6th to the 10th.  The symposium will bring together many of the world's experts in both the science and policy involving the use, regulations, and harm of flame retardants.  This award will help support student presenters who have been recognized for their contribution and advancement to the field of flame retardant research - ranging from toxicology to policy and all the chemistry in between.  This award will also highlight the Superfund Research Program, which is a network of university grants administered by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, an institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Chris Barnhart received NorCal SOT Graduate Student Achievement Award

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Project 5 trainee, Chris Barnhart, received the 2013 NorCal SOT Graduate Student Achievement Award for his presentation titled, "Developmental PCB 95 exposure affects spatial memory in weanling mice". This award is given annually to one graduate student that has a research project deemed exceptional by a panel of Northern California Society of Toxicology (NCSOT) members. 

Trainees Provide a Science Demostration for a Local Elementary School

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

UC Davis Superfund Enthusiasts, including Investigators, Trainees, and Staff, participated in César Chávez Elementary (K-6) School's Biannual Science Fair called Festival de Ciencias 2013. The UC Davis Superfund Team presented an interactive exhibit which allowed the students to see an oil spill and construct sorbent booms to clean it up. Much to the children's surprise, the booms were nylon stockings stuffed with dog hair. The demonstration showed how effective this material was in cleaning up oil spills and helped lead discussions of other technologies used in oil spill clean up. Further discussions ensued regarding how oil spills are harmful to the environment and wildlife.

Superfund Poster Educates Picnic Day Visitors about Household Toxins

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Davis, CA basked in the ripe heat of spring this Picnic Day as thousands flocked to the 99th annual gala of cow milking, cockroach racing, and pitbull kissing. Tucked in the air-conditioned cool of Meyer Hall, UC Davis' Superfund Research Program (SRP) engaged Picnic Day attendees with a different kind of exhibit—one that left them better-informed of household toxins.

SRP’s interactive “Hide and Seek” poster prompted visitors to find the hidden toxin (under flaps) and seek its respective solution (on the side panels). Since SRP investigates hazardous waste and its impact on human health, the poster aimed to inform audiences of everyday toxins that might be lurking in their homes. Pharmacology and Toxicology graduate students Sean Kodani and Lindsey Curley moderated the poster exhibit throughout the day.

“You kind of have to ring people into the conversation,” said Kodani. “But when you do, you get people from all different levels of knowledge interested in finding out more, because it’s so relevant to their lives.”

UC Davis Researchers' Key Discovery Involving Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cancer

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have discovered a key mechanism by which dietary omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils) could reduce the tumor growth and spread of cancer, a disease that kills some 580,000 Americans a year.

 

In groundbreaking research, the team of 16 scientists led by Dr. Guodong Zhang of the Bruce Hammock laboratory, Department of Entomology and the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, discovered cytochrome P450 epoxygenase metabolites of omega-3 fatty acid DHA or epoxy docosapentaenoic acids (EDPs) block blood supply to the tumor and thus inhibit tumor growth and metastasis.

The natural EDPs were further stabilized by a drug called a soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitor which is already under development to control pain and hypertension. The research is to be published the week of April 1-5 in the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The studies, conducted on mice, also suggest that a combination of omega-3 diet and some anti-cancer drugs such as sorafenib.

Other co-authors of the paper in addition to Hammock were Jun Yang, Jun-Yan Liu, Kin Sing Stephen Lee, Arzu Ulu, and Sung Hee Hwang, all of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center; Lisa Mahakian, Xiaowen Hu, Katherine Ferrara, Sarah Tam, and Elizabeth Ingham, UC Davis Department of Biomedical Engineering; Hiromi Wettersten of the UC Davis Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine; Robert Weiss, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Division of Nephrology and U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center, Sacramento; and Dipak Panigrahy and Mark Kieran of the Vascular Biology Program, Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

UC Davis to Test Experimental Drug for Laminitis in Horses

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase Inhibitor developed in Dr. Hammock's lab has shown positive results in treating late stage laminitis, a non-treatable, painful and often life-threatening foot-related disease in horses.  Clinical trials are currently underway in horses.

UC Davis Bioassay Adopted for EPA Screening Program

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

An estrogenic cell bioassay, developed in UCD Superfund Research Program (SRP) group led by Michael S. Denison, Ph.D., was accepted as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 1 screening program for estrogenic chemicals.

Cell Biologist Dr. Henry Sun gave tips to UC Davis Grad Students about Survival Skills for Young Investigators

Monday, June 18, 2012

World-renowned cell biologist and former UCD Ph.D. student Dr. Henry Sun gave a workshop to graduate students on June 16 on how to be successful in doing research. He did this during a visit in 2000 that was a smashing suceess and got rave reviews from the students and faculty in attendance. That experience inspired him to develop his ideas more fornally, leading to a Nature article and development of a workship. 

 

This year, the workshop was again very well-received and was attended by 100 people comprised mostly of graduate students, but postdoctoral scholars, faculty and staff were also in attendance. The one-day workshop covered topics including experimental design, scientific writing, grant writing and oral presentation. 

Please reload

Contact

Email us:   superfund@ucdavis.edu

Phone us:   530-754-8879