For "outstanding achievements and notable contributions in disseminating science-based beekeeping information since 2016,” the UC Davis-based California Master Beekeeper Program (CAMBP) won a 2023 UC Davis Staff Assembly “Citation of Excellence” and praise from Chancellor Gary May.
CAMBP director and founder Elina Lastro Niño, associate professor of Cooperative Extension and a member of UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty, and co-program manager Wendy Mather share the Faculty-Staff Partnership Award.
Niño, UC Extension apiculturist since 2014, founded CAMBP in 2016. Mather joined the program in March of 2018. Also integral to the program is Kian Nikzad, but as a newer employee, was ineligible to be nominated.
The awards ceremony, held Sept. 12 in the International Center on campus, singled out “some of our most exceptional UC Davis individuals and teams,” Chancellor May said in his presentation.
Nikzad accepted the award on behalf of Niño, who was participating in Apimondia in Santiago, Chile, conferring with colleagues at the UC Davis Chile Life Sciences Innovation Center, a part of UC Davis Global Affairs. She was assisting them in developing a sustainable and environmentally friendly science-based beekeeping program to support the success of farmers and beekeepers at all economic levels.
“I truly appreciate everything you do on a daily basis to make UC Davis a wonderful place,” the chancellor said. “You are the heart of UC Davis and I'm grateful for your dedication and hard work...you “contribute to our university's success and make UC Davis a more enjoyable, creative, inclusive and invigorating place to work.”
Nomination. Nominators of "The Bee Team" lauded Niño and Mather for providing a “program of learning, teaching, research, and public service, goes above and beyond in delivering comprehensive, science-based information about honey bees and honey bee health. They continually and consistently develop, improve, and refine their statewide curriculum that educates stewards in a train-the-trainer program to disseminate accurate, timely, and crucial information. Honey bees pollinate more than 30 California crops, including almonds, a $5 billion industry (no bees, no pollination, no almonds). Indeed, California produces more than a third of our country's vegetables and three-quarters of our fruits and nuts. However, colony losses are alarming due to pesticides, pests, predators and pathogens.”
As of Sept. 15, 2023, CAMBP has donated 34,000 hours of volunteer time and served 209,000 individuals in education, outreach and beekeeping mentorship. If a volunteer hour were to be calculated at $26.87, CAMBP has given $913,580 back to California in service of science-based beekeeping and honey bee health.
Scholarships. “No money?” wrote the nominators (Kathy Keatley Garvey, Nora Orozco and Tabatha Yang from the Department of Entomology and Nematology). “No problem. (CAMBP) has donated 12 scholarships, worth $250 each; helped novices who can't afford mentoring or equipment by linking them with veteran beekeepers; and is engaging in free bee removals--rescuing and relocating bees.”
Over the past year, CAMBP has developed and expanded its educational materials. This includes launching an asynchronous online course and in-person preparatory programs with its partners. It is updating safety materials and developing an Epinephrine auto-injector/CPR course, geared toward “everyone from 4-H beekeepers to novice beekeepers to the general public,” the nominators wrote.
CAMBP also teaches “schoolchildren about bees at specially guided garden tours at UC Davis, inspiring them “to care for the bees and plant nectar and pollen resources.”
Its website, accessible to the public, offers a list of classes and knowledge-based information, including backyard beekeeping, bees in the neighborhood, bees and beekeeping regulations, defensive bees, live honey bee removals, and protecting pollinators.
“Bottom line,” the nominators concluded, “our ‘B' Team is really an ‘A' Team, an outstanding example of UC Davis teaching, research and service; a team providing exemplary service and contributions; and a team that creates and maintains high morale and embodies the Principles of Community.”
Joint Statement. In a joint statement following the awards ceremony, Mather and Nikzad said: “We share this award with our passionate and caring member volunteers. Our members are deeply committed to honey bee health, science-based beekeeping practices, and, most importantly, to each other. Their enthusiasm and dedication drive our mission forward. We wish to acknowledge Elina Niño for her visionary leadership; she has brought together various stakeholders, including growers, bee breeders, commercial, sideline, and hobbyist beekeepers, as well as the general public, through CAMBP, UC Davis, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) and UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE). We missed having her at the ceremony.”
At the Staff Assembly ceremony, one other team received a Faculty-Staff Partnership Award Excellence Award: the Graduate Mentoring Initiative, comprised of Ambarish Kulkarni, faculty, Department of Chemical Engineering; Pamela Lein, faculty, Department of Molecular Bioscience; and Elizabeth Sturdy, staff, director of the Mentoring and Academic Success Initiative, Graduate Studies.
Serving as co-chairs of the 2023 Citations of Excellence Committee were Darolyn Striley, manager of the Office of Student Development, School of Medicine, and Mary Carrillo, business operations manager, Languages and Literatures.
Staff Assembly sponsors the annual Citations of Excellence awards program to provide recognition for UC Davis and UC Davis Health individual staff and staff teams “who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in one of the following areas: teaching, research, service, innovation, supervision, mentorship, team awards and faculty/staff partnership award.”
The event, free and family friendly, will take place in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, 455 Crocker Lane, UC Davis. Parking is also free.
Among the presenters will be
- Carla-Cristina "CC" Melo Edwards, a first-year doctoral student in the laboratory of medical entomologist-geneticist Geoffrey Attardo, associate professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. She will share her expertise on mosquitoes and show specimens.
- Moriah Garrison, senior entomologist and research coordinator with Carroll-Loye Biological Research (CLBR). She is scheduled to show live ticks and mosquitoes and field questions.
- Educators from the Sacramento-Yo;o Mosquito and Vector Control District. They will discuss mosquitoes and their program
- Jeff Smith, curator of the Bohart Museum's Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) collection. He will display butterfly specimens collected globally. Also on the "Lep crew" are Bohart volunteers Greg Kareofelas and Brittany Kohler.
CC Edwards. In the Attardo lab, CC focuses her research "on investigating the physiological mechanisms underlying pyrethroid resistance in Aedes aegypti (the yellow fever mosquito)." She was a McNair scholar at Baylor University, where she completed her undergraduate degree in cell and molecular biology in May 2021. "I got interested in the mosquito field through my undergraduate research of studying the sensory and oviposition responses of Aedes aegypti in relation to the compound geosmin."
"I went on to do my masters at Texas Tech University under the advisement of Dr. Corey Brelsfoard where I graduated this past summer (2023)," she said. "I investigated the effects of microplastics in relation to the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus (the Asian tiger mosquito). Plastic pollution has been a worldwide problem and research has shown that microplastics have been found in the guts of various organisms. With Aedes species being container inhabiting species, my master's research was focused on investigating if there are alterations of the mosquitoes' microbiomes and their immunity due to the ingestion of microplastics."
"When I am not in the lab, I enjoy getting involved with my local community by helping out and doing outreach," Edwards said. This past summer she helped the city of Lubbock, Amarillo, and the Texas Public Health Department by identifying mosquitoes for West Nile surveillance. She also served as the outreach chair for the Texas Tech Association of Biologists during her masters' degree pursuit and enjoyed being a mentor for first-generation students.
CLBR, involved in insect repellent testing and natural product development, is owned and managed by scientists Scott Carroll and Jenella Loye, a husband-wife team affiliated with UC Davis Department of Entomology an Nematology. Formed in 1989, the company serves the consumer products industry with testing, development and regulatory services for insect repellents, organic products, and low toxicity pesticides. Carroll, president of CLBR, is an evolutionary biologist, while Loye is a medical entomologist and microbiologist. Carroll holds a doctorate in biology/biological sciences from the University of Utah, while Loye holds a doctorate in zoology, microbiology and epidemiology from the University of Oklahoma.
Photography Displays. Professor Attardo, who maintains a lab website on Vector Biology and Reproductive Biology at http://attardo-lab.com, and chairs the Designated Emphasis in the Biology of Vector-Borne Diseases (DEBVBD), will display some of his mosquito images, including a blood-fed Aedes aegypti, and a female and male Culex tarsalis. Alex Wild, a UC Davis doctoral alumnus and curator of entomology, University of Texas, Austin, will display an image of mosquito larvae that currently hangs in Briggs Hall, home of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. Wild's insect images can be viewed on his website, https://www.alexanderwild.com.
Petting Zoo. A popular attraction is the live petting zoo; visitors are encouraged to hold or get acquainted with live Madagascar hissing cockroaches and stick insects.
Family Arts and Crafts Activity. The event will be held outside and will highlight two collecting techniques, said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator.
- Clear Packing Tape Art. "Clear packing tape is a good way to collect small, hard-to-see insects," Yang said. "Glitter will mimic small insects like fleas or bed bugs. Putting the tape on white paper makes it easy to look at them under a microscope and for this craft it will make a pretty card."
- Making insect collecting or "kill" jars. Participants are asked to bring a recycled jar. "This should be a clean and dried glass jar with a wide, metal top--think jam, pickle, peanut butter jars. Four to 16-ounce jars work well. We will have some on hand as well, but recycling is good! We will fill the bottom with plaster of paris and let it dry and teach people how to use it properly, using something like nail polisher remover containing ethyl acetate as the killing agent. A UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology video explains the procedure: https://youtu.be/s8yCzFGzbn8?si=71sNmA5l8NyP1zj0
The article, noting that World Mosquito Day is Aug. 20, ranks 2023's Most Vulnerable Counties to Mosquito-Borne Diseases.
"We compared nearly 800 counties based on four categories. We looked at the number of mosquito species in each state, recent cases of diseases like West Nile and Eastern equine encephalitis viruses, and mosquito-friendly climate, among 12 total metrics," author Sav Maive wrote.
The 10 most vulnerable:
- Pitt County, N.C.
- Maricopa County, Arizona
- Buncombe County, N.C.
- Brazonia County, Texas
- Liberty County, Ga.
- Jefferson County, Texas
- Knox County, Tenn.
- Cameron County, Texas
- Galveston County, Texas
- Camden County, Ga.
The group gathered data on 772 U.S.counties that reported human cases of mosquito-borne diseases from 2020 to 2022. Then they interviewed three university faculty members from California, Florida and Texas. In addition to Lawler, they were Eva Buckner of the University of Florida and Patricia Pietrantonio of Texas A&M.
Mosquitoes are deemed the world's deadliest animal. How concerned should Americans be about the West Nile Virus, locally transmitted malaria, or other mosquito-borne diseases?
"Americans should be moderately concerned about mosquito-borne illness, to the extent of protecting themselves from bites and preventing accumulation of stagnant water where mosquitoes breed (other than natural wetlands and ponds, which will support beneficial predators). Serious mosquito-borne illness is rare in the Continental U.S.A., thanks to public and private Mosquito Abatement organizations, and certain environmental factors. However, some warm, humid regions, like Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the US Virgin Islands are prone to outbreaks of mosquito-transmitted pathogens, such as Dengue viruses. West Nile Virus is widespread and can be harmful to those with weak immune systems. Other encephalitis-causing viruses may be more localized, but can occasionally be serious, such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Malaria is only found in few places in the South, but it has some capacity to spread if mosquitoes are not controlled."
What types of environments attract mosquitoes into people's homes, and how can they be avoided?
"Puddles and other wet areas that hold water for five or more days can let mosquitoes breed, because their larvae are aquatic. Avoid over-watering such that water accumulates in ditches, empty plant saucers and anything else that collects water (old tires and similar), and drain unused pools. Treehole water can support the mosquitoes that carry heartworm to pets. A hole drilled into the base of the treehole can drain it, while still leaving habitat for nesting birds. Maintain good screens on the house."
What are your top three mosquito repellent recommendations?
"I really only have two: repellents based on DEET, and lemon-eucalyptus oil. Some botanicals other than lemon eucalyptus also work, such as geraniol, but might need to be applied more often."
What are your top three tips for managing itchiness or pain from mosquito bites?
"Prevention: First, wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants if you can, and use repellent. If bitten, you can use a topical antihistamine, or witch hazel. A band-aid can be helpful for compulsive scratchers."
What are the most concerning symptoms from mosquito bites?
"I am not a medical doctor, so the following is not official medical advice, and should not be presented as such in any context. Most of the mosquito-borne diseases take a couple of days or more to incubate. They can cause headaches and fever. Consider consulting a medical doctor if these symptoms arise in the days after bites occur. Secondary infections caused by scratching are also concerning. These are frequently indicated by discharge, excessive swelling and pain, and sometimes red streaks near the bite."
Which animal species are most vulnerable to mosquito-borne diseases? Should pet owners be worried?
"I am also not a veterinarian, so the following is not comprehensive. Owners of some kinds of pets need to be concerned about pet exposure to mosquitoes. Heartworm is carried by mosquitoes. This can affect dogs and sometimes cats. These should be vaccinated, especially where heartworm is common (most of the USA). Horses are quite vulnerable to some of the encephalitis viruses, such as West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and should be vaccinated. Pet birds can contract West Nile virus and some of the other viruses. This often isn't serious, but young birds should be protected as they may have less immunity, and outdoor aviaries should be screened."
Lawler joined the then UC Davis Department of Entomology in 1995, retiring in January 2023. She taught aquatic entomology and community entomology. Her research interests: Aquatic ecology, especially mosquitoes, other aquatic insects and amphibians; experimental studies of food webs and population dynamics; and ecosystem subsidy.
Lawler chaired the Entomology and Nematology Curriculum Committee from 2017 to 2022, and served as the lead faculty advisor of the department from 2003 to 2022. On campus, she chaired the Designated Emphasis in Biology of Vector Borne Disease (DEBVBD) from 2017 to 2020, and served on the DEBVBD Executive Committee from 2021-2022.
Lawler holds a doctorate in ecology and evolution (1992) from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J. and did postdoctoral research at the Imperial College, Silwood Park, Ascot, UK, and at the University of Kentucky, Lexington.
Most studies of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) focus on the pathology of the injured brain, but newly published research indicates that the liver plays an important role in TBI, and a soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) inhibitor discovered by UC Davis distinguished professor Bruce Hammock could lead to therapeutic treatment.
The research, led by Professor Xinhong Zhu of the School of Biology and Biological Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, and tested in the Zhu lab, appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Youngfeng Dai, PhD., is the first author.
“Using animal models, we found that the liver has a neuroprotective effect in the pathophysiology of TBI, although its role was very weak,” Zhu said. “Our data suggest that enhancement of this neuroprotective role of the liver could provide novel strategies for developing treatment of TBI.” Plans call for “moving toward a clinical study to detect whether hepatic sEH manipulation benefits patients with TBI.”
Their results highlight the neuroprotective role of the liver in TBI and suggest that targeting this neuroprotective role may represent a promising therapeutic strategy for TBI. Earlier clinical studies report that the overall mortality in patients with TBI and cirrhosis is nearly twice that in patients without cirrhosis.
In the paper, “Enhancement of the Liver's Neuroprotective Role Ameliorates Traumatic Brain Injury Pathology,” the authors describes TBI as a “pervasive problem worldwide, for which no effective treatment is currently available,” and “as a devastating injury that often results in long-term neurological deficits, including locomotor function and memory impairments.”
“Blood–brain barrier (BBB) disruption is a hallmark feature of TBI and is associated with brain edema and neuronal death,” the authors wrote. “Studies have shown that sEH inhibitors protect the BBB from brain injury. Therefore, we investigated whether deletion of hepatic Ephx2 protected the BBB following controlled cortical injury (CCI).”
“TBI leads to a breakdown of the blood brain barrier,” said co-author Hammock, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Inventors and whose pioneering work on sEH inhibitors spans 50 years. “We see from cases like Muhammad Ali that repeated TBI can lead to chronic central nervous system injury, dementia and other issues.”
“In the study from the Zhu laboratory, one of the exciting basic discoveries is that mammals have a natural mechanism to partially address traumatic brain injury,” said Hammock, who holds a joint appointment with the Department of Entomology and Nematology and the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. “By a mechanism under investigation, the injured brain communicates to the liver to down-regulate the production of an enzyme called the soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) that degrades natural inflammation resolving mediators. Thus, the concentration of these injury-resolving mediators also produced in the liver go up reducing deleterious inflammation throughout the injured animal. This soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitor used as a tool in these studies is building on this natural mechanism to minimize the harmful effects of TBI.”
"Importantly, the soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitor that the authors used here is also currently in human clinical safety trials for treating pain and inflammation,” said psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Pieper, the Rebecca A. Barchas Professor in Translational Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland. “The results shown here indicate that this agent, or related materials altering this same pathway, might mitigate the acute and long-term complications of TBI, or of neuroinflammatory conditions of the brain in general. Pieper, who holds both a Ph.D. and a M.D.. is the Morley-Mather Chair in Neuropsychiatry, University Hospitals of Cleveland Medical Center; director of the Brain Health Medicines Center, Harrington Discovery Institute; and psychiatrist at Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Cleveland.
Neuroscience researcher Daniela Kaufer, associate dean of biological sciences at UC Berkeley and a professor with the Department of Integrative Biology and Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, praised the research possibilities. “The brain has a barrier which helps protect it from harmful materials in the blood,” said Kaufer, who was not involved in the research. “TBI reduces this barrier and its reduction is associated with aging. Possibly the pathway described in this PNAS paper could be manipulated to protect the blood brain barrier and reduce the apparent aging of the brain caused by repeated TBI.”
“My understanding of how we classify milds at UC Davis right now is that these are patients that behaviorally are mild injuries, but that they have something on a CT or MRI scan that indicates that the injury is more than a concussion, said Gurkoff, who was not involved in the research. “These patients are more likely to have long-term effects than concussion alone, but a lot less likely than moderate-severe. They also don't usually end up in the ICU. Then there are the concussions. Head injuries but no evidence of a radiological finding.”
“Add on top of that, repeat mild or repeat concussion,” Gurkoff said. “While some investigators will suggest that we have a good handle on repeat TBI--I still think it is the Wild West. It is clear that in a subset of humans, repeat TBI, even concussive, is catastrophic. Others seem to be fine. We also haven't dissected whether repeat TBI on its own is causal --or because many of the patients are in high risk/high stress situations--and it is the combination of TBI/repeat TBI with something else.”
“What gets me excited about certain compounds--Bruce's would be an example--is that if you have a low-risk compound, is it feasible that you give it to patients who might not develop long-term consequences?” Gurkoff asked. “For example, let's say a patient comes in and based on his injury and history, we might estimate there is a 10 percent chance he has a problem. You aren't going to schedule these patients for surgery--on the extreme--because the risk is too high given they most likely will recover. Having a low-risk compound that can be given to soldiers, athletes, etc, with mild or repeat mild--or concussion/repeat concussion--would be fantastic!”
The research drew financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Scientific and Technological Innovation, and partial support from Hammock's grants from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences' RIVER Award (Revolutionizing Innovative, Visionary Environmental Health Research) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
“This pioneering study provides clear evidence of the importance of liver-derived epoxy fatty acids (EpFAs) and reactive astrocytes from the immune system in protecting the brain from significant damage and post-traumatic dysfunction following percussive injury,” said William Schmidt, EicOsis vice president of clinical development. “As of now, there are no proven drug therapies that provide protective effects to the brain following single or repeated blows to the head from falls, auto accidents, or sports injuries.”
“The data from this study,” Schmidt said, “provides a pathway for developing inhibitors of sEH that, in turn, will enhance the availability of EpFAs circulating in blood to protect and restore the blood-brain barrier following TBI. I am hopeful that further preclinical studies will confirm these data and lead to a new type of drug therapy based on inhibitors of the sEH enzyme.”
“Clinical studies for TBI may still be a year or so away,” Schmidt added, “but EicOsis has an sEH inhibitor in early clinical development that may be suitable in the future for evaluation in patients with TBI.”
Hammock and colleague Sarjeet Gill co-discovered sEH in 1969 when they were researching insect developmental biology and green insecticides in the UC Berkeley lab of John Casida (1929-2018).
The enzyme is a key regulatory enzyme involved in the metabolism of fatty acids. It regulates a new class of natural chemical mediators, which in turn regulates inflammation, blood pressure and pain. The epoxy fatty acids control blood pressure, fibrosis, immunity, tissue growth, depression, pain, and inflammation, to name a few processes, Hammock said.
The three-pronged Chancellor's Award, launched in 1994, annually honors three outstanding mentors: a graduate student; a postdoctoral fellow or project scientist; and a faculty member.
Professor Chiu, who joined the faculty in 2010, focuses her research on the molecular and cellular biology of circadian rhythms and seasonal rhythms.
Chiu lab member and doctoral candidate Christine Tabuloc, who will be receiving her PhD this month, nominated her for the award. A team of five other Chiu lab alumni submitted a group letter of recommendation.
"I joined Dr. Chiu's laboratory at the beginning of my second year here at UC Davis and remained a member of the lab for 3 years as an undergraduate, 2 years as a technician, and 6 years as a graduate student," Tabuloc wrote. "Throughout all my time in the Chiu lab, Joanna has never failed to amaze me with her kindness, patience, and her consistency and perseverance in helping all students, both in her lab and in other labs, succeed. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award than Dr. Chiu."
"Dr. Chiu welcomed me into her lab back in 2012," Tabuloc related. "I had just finished my first year of college, and I had virtually no research experience. Despite this, Joanna took a chance on me and invited me to join her lab. Throughout the years, Joanna has taught me many skills—both at the bench and skills that translate outside the lab and even beyond academia. Joanna has taught me everything I know from performing an experiment with all the proper controls to mentoring students and giving effective and clear presentations. What makes her so outstanding is her commitment to helping us improve as scientists and researchers and preparing us for our future career endeavors."
Tabuloc praised Professor Chiu for teaching her effective communication, organization, time and personnel management, and resilience.
"One thing that I find unique about Joanna is her ability to see our potential before we even see it in ourselves," Tabuloc wrote. "Joanna often says that once we step into the doors of the lab, we are no longer students rather, we are scientists. She encourages us to think like scientists and gives everyone equal opportunity to pursue their scientific questions of interest and carry out independent projects."
"Not only have I experienced Dr. Chiu's mentorship first-hand, but I have also had the privilege of watching her mentor all the undergraduate students that have joined her lab throughout the years. In fact, since my time here, I have watched at least 35 undergraduates be mentored by Joanna, and many of these students were authors on publications in peer-reviewed journals such as Scientific Reports, Journal of Pest Science, BMC, Ecology, Current Biology, Nature Communications, Journal of Economic Entomology, and PLOS Genetics. More so, a true testament to her success as an undergraduate mentor are her students' successes: furthering their education at academic institutions such as Cornell, Stanford, Columbia, UCB, and UCLA or landing industry jobs at companies such as 10X Genomics. Many of these students still keep in contact with Dr. Chiu, and she continues to provide advice and guidance such as reviewing resumes and helping them prepare for interviews. Joanna is not just our mentor when we are at UCD, she is our mentor for life."
Group Letter. The former lab members who teamed to write the group letter, all praised her impactful influence--her mentoring, her encouragement, her constructive feedback, and her strong support:
- Lisa Soyeon Baik, now a postdoctoral fellow at the Carlson lab, Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Yale University
- Daniel Ewels-Labolle, PhD student at Cornell
- Jessica West, PhD student at Cornell
- Katherine "Katie" Freitas, PhD student at Stanford University
- Kiya Jackson, who received her bachelor's degree in biological sciences, then joined the UC Davis Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program, and will be heading to UCLA for her PhD
"She helped me to gain confidence and to envision myself as a scientist. She not only gave me a start in my scientific career, but her mentorship has far exceeded my time in her laboratory. She has continually supported me through graduate school and now as a postdoctoral researcher."--Lisa Soyeon Baik
"I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I would not have been able to get to where I am now without Joanna's mentorship, advice and overwhelming support."--Daniel Ewels-Labolle
"As a PhD student at Cornell, I am immensely grateful for the training I received as an undergrad from Dr. Chiu. Not only did she train me thoroughly in basic biochemistry and molecular biology techniques, but she also pushed me to be independent and think critically about my science, skills essential for graduate school."--Jessica West
"Beyond teaching me practical research skills, Dr. Chiu helped to spark the most important thing a person needs to be a successful scientist: pure joy in the pursuit of knowledge."--Katie Freitas
"I believe Dr. Chiu is a valuable mentor for undergraduate researchers because she offers her time and expertise to train well-rounded scientists, regardless of the stage at which they start their career and regardless of what career they hope to pursue."--Kiya Jackson
Chiu joined the Department of Entomology and Nematology in 2010 as an Assistant Professor, and advanced to Associate Professor and Vice Chair in 2016, and to Professor and Vice Chair in 2021. She was named one of 10 UC Davis Chancellor's Fellows in 2019, a five-year honor awarded to associate professors who excel in research and teaching. The UC Davis Academic Senate honored her with a Distinguished Teaching Award, Graduate/Professional category, in 2022.
Chiu co-founded and co-directs (with professors Jay Rosenheim and Louie Yang) the campuswide Research Scholars Program in Insect Biology, launched in 2011 to provide undergraduates with a closely mentored research experience in biology. The program's goal is to provide academically strong and highly motivated undergraduates with a multi-year research experience that cultivates skills that will prepare them for a career in biological research.
Chiu received her bachelor's degree in biology and music from Mount Holyoke College, Mass., and her doctorate in molecular genetics in 2004 from New York University, New York. She trained as a postdoctoral fellow from 2004 to 2010 in molecular chronobiology at the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.