Bayh-Dole: A Vital Research Catalyst

Last year at the UC Davis Children’s Hospital, a two-year-old girl was admitted who was suffering from difficult-to-control and life-threatening epileptic seizures.

Her condition was grave. When she was put into a medically induced coma using general anesthesia, the customary treatment for a condition known as super-refractory status epilepticus, her blood pressure dropped to dangerously low levels.

The girl was given new medication developed, licensed and manufactured by a team of UC Davis researchers led by Dr. Michael Rogawski. Doctors said it seemed to be what allowed the anesthesia to be withdrawn and the girl’s life was saved. Today, she is reportedly doing well.

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The Economic Impact of UC Davis

Since Congress passed the Bayh-Dole Act in 1980, allowing universities and other institutions to retain title to inventions and breakthroughs discovered under federally funded research, UC Davis and other universities have been steadily creating start-up companies and incubators.

Today, with a $4 billion annual budget that includes more than $700 million in research and $1.5 billion in clinical activities, UC Davis is the region’s largest employer, after state government. All told, UC Davis is responsible for $7 billion a year in annual economic activity and supports nearly 70,000 jobs. It generates more than $3.4 billion a year in employee pay alone. With our role as employer, purchaser, real-estate and workforce developer, collaborator and facilitator, UC Davis is arguably the most dynamic economic development engine in the region. Since we now receive about $340 million in state funding, that’s an impressive return on investment of more than 20:1.

These are exciting times and opportunities for our university and for our region. California’s economy is growing again after the last devastating downturn. Pillars of the future economy such as high-tech, clean energy, public health and food-related innovation and health care are core strengths for UC Davis. – Chancellor Linda Katehi

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