Grant That Supports the UC Davis Biomolecular Technology Training Program Renewed for 5 More Years; Awarded to P.I. Bruce Hammock
Jan. 5, 2012
DAVIS--A federally funded grant that supports the Biomolecular Technology Training Program (BTTP) at the University of California, Davis, has been renewed for another five years.
Bruce Hammock is the principal investigator of the Biomolecular Technology Training Program (BTTP) grant. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The $2.4 million grant, funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health, was awarded to principal investigator Bruce Hammock of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, who obtained the initial grant 10 years ago.
“At a time when training grants are being ended left and right, this is good news,” said Hammock, a distinguished professor of entomology who also directs several other federally funded programs on campus and does research with the UC Davis Cancer Center. “This means that we can continue to nurture exceptional graduate students and provide them with a training experience that will prepare them to be world-class scientists and leaders, who will advance the foundation of U.S. healthcare research.”
The formal training program for the biotechnology training grant is the Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology (DEB) graduate program. DEB is part of the UC Davis Biotechnology Program, a special research program of the Office of Research that's located in the dean's offices of the College of Biological Sciences, Life Sciences Building.
The BTTP provides graduate students with multidisciplinary training and research opportunities in disease modeling, diagnosis, prevention and health care.
Hammock credited the “heavy lifting” involved in the program operation and grant renewal to Judith Kjelstrom, director of the UC Davis Biotechnology Program and program coordinator of BTTP and DEB; BTTP associate directors Martina Newell-McGloughlin and Karen McDonald; and Marianne Hunter, BTTP grant administrator and program manager of the UC Davis Biotechnology Program.
Students supported by the NIH Biomolecular Technology Training Grant are also members of the UC Davis DEB program, which boasts more than 200 Ph.D students. The training grant includes 50 mentors drawn from 72 departments and 29 graduate groups and programs. Of the mentors, seven are distinguished or chaired professors, five are fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and one is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
UC Davis Cancer Center Closely Linked with Biomolecular Training Program
The UC Davis Cancer Center, directed by Ralph deVere White, is closely linked with the Biomolecular Technology Training Program. The grant's principal investigator Bruce Hammock does research at the Cancer Center.
Many other UC Davis faculty are or have been affiliated with the Cancer Center and the grant. Among them: Kit Lam, John Voss and David Segal, (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine), Paul Knoepfler (Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy), John Rutledge (Department of Internal Medicine); Earl Sawaii (Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine); Tilahun Yilma (Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine) and David Rocke ( Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering).
Among the affiliates from the different labs:
Kit Lam lab: Diana Lac is a current biotech fellow. Scott Wong was a NIH biotech fellow.
John Voss lab: Silvia Hilt is a current NIH biotech fellow
David Segal lab: Sarah Lockwood was a biotech fellow for two years.
John Rutledge lab: Laura Higgins was a biotech fellow
Tilahun Yilma lab: Fatema Aziz was a biotech fellow
David Rocke lab: Blythe Durbin was a NIH biotech fellow
Paul Knoepfler lab: Benjamin Yuen is a 2011-12 Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scholar. (Knoepfler is the recipient of a Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Research Award for his work in stem cell research.)
Frederick Meyers, executive associate dean of the School of Medicine, directs the HHMI IMBS training grant. Judith Kjelstrom serves as co-director.
In their summary statement, NIH officials said that UC Davis “has a long and distinguished history in interdisciplinary scientific research and biotechnology is a notable example of this.”
“The training program has extensive interaction with industrial biotechnologists,” they said, also praising “the leadership and executive management of the training program as both efficient and well-conceived.” Hammock has “enjoyed a long and distinguished career in biotechnology research and education,” the NIH report said. “His research group has made seminal contributions in enzymology, bioanalytical chemistry, toxicology, agricultural chemistry and pharmacology.”
“Particularly noteworthy is his work on the structure, function and inhibition of epoxide hydrolases. He has been a leader on the UC Davis campus in promoting biotechnology, as evidenced by his leadership of this training program and the NIEHS-funded Superfund Basic Research and Training Program. His research efforts are well funded from external sources, and his work is highly regarded nationally and internationally, as reflected in election to the National Academy in 1999.” (NIEHS is the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.)
The NIH training grant in biomolecular technology is one of only four biotechnology training grants in California; the others are at UCLA, Stanford, and The Scripps Institute.
Hammock, who joined the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty in 1980, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the Entomological Society of America. As the principal investigator of the grant that funds the UC Davis Superfund Research Program, he received a $13.2 million, five-year competitive renewal grant in 2010 from NIEHS. He also directs the NIEHS Combined Analytical Laboratory.
About Bruce Hammock
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About the UC Davis Biotechnology Program
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology