Awards and Distinctions

UC Davis Receives $15 Million Grant to Study the Effects of Maternal Infection on Risk for Psychiatric Illness in Offspring

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has awarded a $15.7 million grant to the UC Davis Silvio O. Conte Center, one of only 15 Conte Centers nationwide.

Psychiatric illnesses and neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia, affect 15-20 percent of the population worldwide, yet current treatments are at best only partially effective. The UC Davis Conte Center was first established in 2016 through the Center for Neuroscience to determine how maternal infection increases risk for these disorders and to identify new targets for novel treatments.

David Amaral of UC Davis Health elected to the National Academy of Medicine

David Amaral, distinguished professor and Beneto Foundation Chair in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the MIND Institute, has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine.

An autism expert, Amaral joins an elite group of physicians and scientists in the National Academy of Medicine. Only 100 new members are elected each year from the U.S. He is one of 13 UC Davis faculty members who have been elected to the Academy since its founding in 1970 and the only one from UC Davis elected this year.

Mark Goldman appointed to Joel Keizer Endowed Chair in Theoretical and Computational Biology

An advocate for computational and quantitative biology, CNS faculty member Mark Goldman has been appointed to the Joel Keizer Endowed Chair in Theoretical and Computational Biology. The position honors the late Professor Joel Keizer, a pioneering UC Davis faculty member and theoretical biologist who spent 28 years on campus. He died on May 16, 1999 from lung cancer at the age of 56.

Cameron Carter: a UC Davis Most-Cited Researcher

Cameron Carter, MD, professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and former director of the Center for Neuroscience, is one of 19 researchers from the University of California, Davis, named in the annual Highly Cited Researchers 2018 list released by Clarivate Analytics. The list identifies exceptional scientists and social scientists who have demonstrated significant influence by publishing multiple papers that rank in the top 1 percent by citations in a particular field and year, over a 10-year period.

Exploring Vision, Perception and Behavior: W. Martin Usrey Named Barbara A. Horwitz and John M. Horowitz Endowed Chair in Physiology

Recently, the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences named Professor W. Martin Usrey, a neurobiologist interested in the physiology of vision, to the Barbara A. Horwitz and John M. Horowitz Endowed Chair in Physiology. Usrey, who is the chair of the Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior and a faculty member of the Center for Neuroscience,  will hold the appointment for five years. The endowment will support his research, teaching and service activities.     

NIH Grant Supports Collaborative UC Effort to Visualize Brain Learning

A three-year, roughly $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health BRAIN Initiative, will aid a team of researchers at UC Davis and UC Berkeley, led by Associate Professor Karen Zito, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior in the College of Biological Sciences, in developing new brain imaging tools to visualize how synaptic connections between neurons shift during learning.


Michael Sramek Receives Excellence in STEM Award

Michael Sramek, a genetics and genomics junior in the College of Biological Sciences, received the 2017-2018 Excellence in STEM Award, which honors a UC Davis transfer student with high academic performance.

“I feel honored and humbled to receive this award,” said Sramek, who plans to graduate in 2018. “It’s fantastic to receive recognition for the work


Med student focusing on brain research awarded 2017 O'Connor research grant

John Paul Aboubechara, a fifth-year student in the combined M.D./Ph.D. program at UC Davis School of Medicine, has been honored with this year’s Daniel T. O’Connor, M.D., Memorial Research Grant.

Medical student John Paul Aboubechara, who also is working on a doctorate in neuroscience, has a 'bench-to-bedside' vision for his careeer in medicine.

Aboubechara, who is pursuing a doctorate in neuroscience, earned the award for his research into the role that immune dysregulation plays in neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia.

Hellman Fellows: Early-career faculty members get a boost

Vice Provost Maureen Stanton, who leads Academic Affairs, has named UC Davis’ newest class of Hellman Fellows — early-career faculty members chosen to receive financial support for their research and to assist them in making progress toward tenure. Center for Neuroscience faculty, Dr. Diasynou Fioravante is named one of 12 Hellman Fellows.


Fioravante, Nord and Gray received NARSAD Young Investigator Awards

The UC Davis Center for Neuroscience continues to attract the brightest, most innovative young investigators. All three of its new junior faculty, Drs. Fioravante, Nord and Gray were recognized with a NARSAD Young Investigator Award, a Brain & Behavior Research Foundation grant providing two-year awards of up to $70,000 to support the most promising young scientists conducting mental health research in the world. 

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Ranganath, Wiltgen and Antzoulatos authored three of top 10 Neuron publications of 2014-2015

Each year, Neuron celebrates the top 10 groundbreaking research papers selected by its high-achieving scientific editors and readers communities.  In the latest Best of Neuron, 2014-2015, UC Davis Center for Neuroscience research projects by Drs. Wiltgen, Ranaganath and Antzoulatos were named among the top 10.

High impact and prestigious scientific journal of neuroscience, Neuron is a biweekly peer-reviewed publication of Cell Press. Check out its “Best of…” collection and request a PDF version.