UC Davis Leading the Way to Launch New Research Startup Companies

Entrepreneur magazine recently included Sacramento in its list of 9 Hot Startup Cities That Aren’t San Francisco or New York. California’s capital is in a unique position for innovation at the crossroads of agriculture, public policy, and cutting-edge research.



UC Davis plays a key role in this mosaic, connecting researchers, business leaders, farmers, and policy makers to create innovative products and policies. In fact, we established the Venture Catalyst program in the UC Davis Office of Research in 2012 to assist faculty in development of their research ideas into commercial companies that create jobs and economic activity for our region.

Read more about how UC Davis is launching startups in the Sacramento region

UC Davis is Teaming Up with Man’s Best Friend for Cancer Research

Despite the marvels of modern medicine, many types of cancer remain difficult to detect reliably in their early stages. Finding these diseases in the “golden hour” is critical for timely and effective treatment to achieve the best possible prognosis.

alfie charlie

A dog’s sense of smell is roughly 10,000-100,000 times stronger than a human’s, and now a UC Davis Medical Center team of physicians, veterinarians and animal behaviorists has begun training Labradoodle Alfie and German Shepard Charlie to better screen for cancer – especially at early stages of the disease.

Read more about UC Davis’ Innovative Cancer Research

Introducing the Leadership of the Associated Students of the University of California Davis

With the start of a new academic year, there are many new faces among us, including those of campus leadership. In the coming months, I will be introducing some of them to you on this blog. Let me first introduce our Associated Students of the University of California Davis (ASUCD) executive leadership. Both of these wonderful individuals are passionate advocates for their peers and proud Aggies.


Mariah K. Watson President of ASUCD, born and raised in Los Angeles, is a senior majoring in international relations and political science. She is also a UC Regent Scholar. During her time at UC Davis, Mariah has been actively involved in many different clubs and organizations on campus.

Read more about campus leadership at UC Davis 

Welcoming the Class of 2019, Transfer Class of 2017 and the University of the 21st Century

Convocation is a time for looking ahead, an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to come together with the greater UC Davis community around our shared vision of making the world a better place through education, research and service. It is always exciting when a new academic year begins. This past Tuesday, it was an honor for me to attend our Fall 2015 Convocation organized around the theme of “Building Our Future.”


UC Davis is on a mission to become the University of the 21st Century. While we’re striving toward solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, we are building a campus and future to provide our students the best possible education and community experience today and in the decades ahead.

Read more about university innovation

Janet Napolitano Talks About Her Story at Sacramento Women’s Leadership Luncheon

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a luncheon meeting of a Sacramento women’s group known as “She Shares” that featured UC President Janet Napolitano as the keynote speaker. At the luncheon, President Napolitano shared her personal story as the first woman in many leadership roles, including her current one as President of the University of California. She talked about a wide range of influences, including the willingness to take risk and the importance of forgiving yourself when you make a mistake. She also stressed the value of having good mentors and role models.

In listening to Janet’s talk, I was reminded of the times that I have been able to share my story, including at “She Shares”, as a woman in higher education. Like Janet, I too am a big believer in mentorship and supporting our students so they feel empowered and supported by faculty and leaders on campus. In doing so, we are giving the next generation of leaders the necessary tools and foundation to go out into the world and be trailblazers in industry, higher education and public service.

Read more about leadership

UC Davis Recognized Again as one of the Nation’s Best Universities

Those of us who work and study at UC Davis are well aware of the outstanding university we have built up over more than a century of achievement, but it is always gratifying to see others who watch the field of higher education closely acknowledge our excellence in national and international rankings.

That’s why I was very happy to learn that UC Davis was ranked so high in ratings released Monday by Washington Monthly magazine.

In the overall national rankings, UC Davis was listed as the 16th best university in the nation, one of six UC campuses to be rated in the top 20. According to Washington Monthly, these ratings are based on a school’s contribution to the public good in three broad categories:

Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students)
Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs)
Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).”

The magazine also ranks universities regionally based on what it calls “Best Bang for Your Buck,” and in that category UC Davis was ranked number 4 in the Western United States. Those rankings are based on what Washington Monthly describes as the “best value for your money based on:

Read more about UC Davis’ ranking as one of the Nation’s Best Universities.

UC Davis Arboretum Named Among the Top in the U.S.

Recently our campus was nationally recognized by BestCollegesOnline.org for our amazing Arboretum and it’s “sprawling landscape” allowing students to participate in hands-on learning experiences through internships, classwork and research, or to just relax and enjoy the beautiful outdoor scenery.

In addition, “the Arboretum recently received a 4-out-of-4 star accreditation by the Professional Grounds Management Society for outstanding performance in the areas of environmental stewardship, economic performance, and social responsibility.”

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Read more about the UC Davis Arboretum

UC Davis was named a “Cool School” Once Again

It was a pleasure to hear that Sierra Magazine once again named UC Davis a “Cool School!” In rankings released on August 11th, we came in at the No. 2 spot, which marks our campus being listed in the top five for four of the last five years. Visit here for the full news release.

Why are we green and cool? Below are summaries of the seven categories that got UC Davis ranked second coolest school in the nation:

Academics: our breadth of coursework on sustainability
Food: most of our food is locally grown
Energy: reduction of greenhouse emissions four years in a row
Waste: about 80 percent of campus waste is diverted from landfills
Water: big reductions in water usage
Green Buildings: our zero-net energy and LEED-platinum buildings
Transportation: all the bikes and other alternative transportation used to get around town

We should all be proud that UC Davis consistently receives such positive recognition. It is a tribute to all the staff, faculty and students who make this happen year after year. At UC Davis we are not only dedicated to sustainability locally, but all around California, our nation and the world.

Read more about UC Davis being named a Cool School.

UC Davis Student Health Services Ranked #1 by The Princeton Review

I was very pleased and proud to learn that in the latest Princeton Review’s rankings of The Best 380 Colleges, UC Davis student health services was rated Number One in the entire nation. That’s wonderful recognition for our campus and great news for our students.

Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our students, and the outstanding services we provide are testimony to the dedication and hard work of Dr. Michelle Famula, Dr. Thomas Ferguson and the Student Health and Counseling team. They all do a wonderful job of ensuring that our students get the best quality care.

Congratulations to our student health services team and Go Ags!


Read More about UC Davis Student Health Services.

A Video from African-American Students at UC Davis

I hope everyone in our campus community takes time to watch and think about a short but compelling video some of our African-American students recorded recently regarding their experiences and feelings about life at UC Davis. Although we have a diverse and friendly campus, these students remind us how much work remains to ensure that everyone on campus feels like they are a welcome and valued member of our community.

We take seriously the concerns of our African-American students, as we do with all our students, and are committed to doing everything in our power to make them feel good about their time at UC Davis. Our students are wonderful ambassadors in telling the story about the value of a UC Davis education and the positive difference it makes in students’ lives. They can do that, however, only if they feel good about their overall experiences while they are here.

Read more aboutAfrican-American students at UC Davis.