- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Honey bee geneticist and UC Davis alumnus Robert E. Page Jr., will teach a course on "The Social Contract: from Rousseau to the Honey Bee" on Monday, Feb. 7 from 2 to 4 p.m. He is an emeritus professor and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and a university provost emeritus and a regents' professor emeritus at Arizona State University. A UC Davis alumnus and the 2019 recipient of the UC Davis Distinguished Emeritus Award, administered by the UC Davis Emeriti Association, Page has published more than 230 research papers and three books on honey bee genetics and behavior. Course specifics: 213SNR388 $25 Zoom.
Molecular geneticist and physiologist Joanna Chiu, professor and vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and a Chancellor's Fellow, will cover "The Circadian Clock and Chronomedicine" on Wednesday, March 23 from 10 a.m. to noon. Chiu, who holds a doctorate in molecular genetics from New York University, received postdoctoral training at the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine at Rutgers University. Course specifics: 213SNR383 $25 Zoom.
Social Contract: from Rousseau to the Honey Bee Animals
"Animals that live together in a society, like the social insects, have a tacit agreement, a social contract, that guarantees that their interests are protected in exchange for their social cooperation," Page says. "Like social contracts that bind human societies, this contract isn't written on paper, it is implied, though in humans its enforcement is expressed in explicit written laws and national constitutions. The social contract of insects has been written by natural selection in their DNA over thousands of generations. In this class we will explore elements of the social contract of honey bee societies, its origins and 'laws for enforcement,' and the social services honey bees get as a consequence of being members of a society. Specifically, we will explore their systems of national defense, internal police, public works, public health and border control. Without these features, their society would fail, as would ours. Discover what we can learn about ourselves from studying social insects."
"The circadian clock is an internal body clock that controls all aspects of physiology and behavior in every single one of us. It interprets environmental and metabolic time cues to ensure our body performs at its best," Chiu says. "A sequel to the OLLI course 'What Time is it and Why Does it Matter?,' this course will revisit the very important, yet infrequently discussed physiological machinery that controls sleep- wake cycles, hormone production and immune system. Because disruptions in the circadian clock have been associated with a range of human diseases, we will highlight life-style choices and work schedules that cause clock disruptions. Finally, we will discuss new strategies in the medical field that leverage circadian biology concepts to increase the efficacy of medical treatments."
OLLI is headquartered at 463 California Ave. Davis, CA 95616. Members of the UC Davis Retirees' Association and the UC Davis Emeriti Association are offered a complimentary course credit equivalent to their paid OLLI membership fee.
The annual OLLI membership is $60 for the academic year (Oct. 4, 2021- June 30, 2022). More information on OLLI, which is part of the UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education, is available online or contact (530) 752-9695 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Her research expertise involves molecular genetics of animal behavior, circadian rhythm biology, and posttranslational regulation of proteins.
By using Drosophila melanogaster as a model to study the mechanisms that regulate circadian clocks, Chiu has discovered new insights into the function of key proteins that control animal circadian clocks. In particular, she has identified new mechanisms that slow down or speed up the internal clock of fruit flies and mechanisms that allow the internal clock to interpret food as timing cues--research that could help lead the way to alleviate human circadian disorders.
“Dr. Chiu is a prolific, phenomenal and talented scholar whose research is innovative, cutting-edge and groundbreaking,” said Helene Dillard, dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the Department of Entomology and Nematology, describes her as “a rising star.”
In announcing the Chancellor's Fellows, Chancellor Gary S. May said: “They've clearly made a mark both at UC Davis and within the academy generally. I have no doubt their contributions will continue to grow.” Each will retain the title for five years and receive a prize of $25,000 earmarked for research or scholarly work. Private donations to the UC Davis Annual Fund and the UC Davis Parents' Fund finance the program.
Chiu joined the Department of Entomology and Nematology in 2010 as an assistant professor and advanced to associate professor and vice chair in 2016. She 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 served as a postdoctoral fellow from 2004 to 2010 in chronobiology (biological rhythms and internal clocks)--molecular genetics and biochemistry--at the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
Major grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation fund Chiu's biological rhythms research.
In addition to her research in biological rhythms, Chiu also aims to leverage her expertise in genomics to address key issues in global food security. She is the principal investigator (PI) or co-PI on six grant awards from the State of California to research various fruit crops damaged by the spotted-wing Drosophila. At the time of her nomination, her publication record included 41 journal publications and book chapters, one U.S. Patent, and more than 3,235 journal citations (Google Scholar).
Chiu targets the spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, first detected in North America in central California in August 2008. A native of Southeast Asia, the invasive species has already caused billions of dollars in damage to U.S. agriculture. Chiu took the lead role in sequencing the genome and is now heavily involved in finding new and more sustainable strategies to control the pest.
Chiu instigated the drive to obtain genomic data prior to its adaptation to a variety of local environments, which can differ in climate, pesticide use, natural enemies and types of fruits available. She played a leading role in establishing the SpottedWingFlyBase, a publicly available web portal documenting a variety of genomic databases for this species.
Chiu co-founded and co-directs (with professor Jay Rosenheim and associate professor 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.
Under her tutelage, many of Chiu's students are first authors of publications in prestigious journals. She continues to provide guidance and advice to undergraduate and graduate students and those who have embarked on their careers.
Former UC Davis graduate student Kelly Hamby, now assistant professor/Extension specialist in the Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, said Chiu “is so generous of her time and advice. Her office is always open to students, whether they are visiting high school students, undergraduates, or graduate students, her own students or someone else's. She carefully guides students throughout their experiments, directly providing technical training—side by side at the bench—while developing their critical thinking and communication skills. Joanna not only imparts excellent analytic and laboratory molecular skills to her students, but also commits to providing ongoing professional advice and development. Joanna's mentorship continues long after graduate and she leaves a lasting impression on students.”
“Joanna's teaching philosophy is clearly targeted towards the professional development of her students, modeling assignments on the activities of practicing scientists,” Hamby added.
The previous recipient from the Department of Entomology and Nematology was pollination ecologist Neal Williams, now a professor.
See list of this year's Chancellor's Fellows on UC Davis Dateline.