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LAURELS: Meet UC Davis’ CZI Imaging Scientist

By Dateline Staff on April 2, 2019 in University

Quick Summary

  • Research scientist at Center for Molecular and Genomic Imaging will share $17 million in funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
  • Dean Michael Lairmore begins term as president of Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
  • Hao Chen of statistics and Eduardo H. da Silva Neto of physics earn NSF CAREER awards
  • Professors Emeritae Kathryn Dewey and Barbara Schneeman serve on U.S. dietary guidelines scientific advisory committee
  • Eva Mroczek of religious studies faculty receives American Council of Learned Societies fellowship

Doug Rowland, a research scientist at the Center for Molecular and Genomic Imaging, part of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, has been named a CZI Imaging Scientist, as announced March 19.

CZI is the San Francisco-based Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which is providing $17 million to Rowland and 16 other Imaging Scientists in support of their work aimed at developing new techniques to better see and understand disease.

Founded by wife-and-husband Priscilla Chan and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2015, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative leverages technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease, to improving education, to reforming the criminal justice system.

The CZI Imaging Scientists, representing 17 imaging centers across the United States, work at the interface of biology, microscopy hardware and imaging software.

Rowland, who has more than 18 years of experience in biomedical imaging, joined the Center for Molecular and Genomic Imaging in 2007 and has been responsible for collaborating with principal investigators on the design and implementation of experiments on small-animal in vivo imaging technologies, including MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and PET (positron emission tomography). These preclinical technologies are used to understand animal models for human disease.

In his CZI project, he will refine and optimize the imaging protocols and software for these scanners to correlate with microscopy. He will also consult with scientists to identify their image analysis bottlenecks and needs, and work collaboratively to document unsolved image analysis challenges and communicate them to the wider imaging communities. Additionally, he will create instructional videos to cover basic and advanced image analysis approaches.

Michael Lairmore mugshot

Dean Michael Lairmore of the School of Veterinary Medicine has taken office as president of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, after serving the last year as president-elect.

“I am proud to have this opportunity to lead the AAVMC, the association that unites efforts worldwide to advance veterinary education,” said Lairmore, a veterinarian and scientist who is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. “By advancing veterinary education, the association is improving health care for animals and humans, to the benefit of society.”

His one-year presidential term began during the association’s annual conference, held March 8-10 in Washington, D.C. In the coming months, Lairmore will work to raise the profile of the veterinary medicine profession through communications and public appearances.

— School of Veterinary Medicine

Two UC Davis faculty members are the recipients of CAREER awards from the National Science Foundation. The NSF’s Faculty Early Career Development Program — CAREER for short — supports junior faculty who perform outstanding research, are excellent educators and integrate outreach in their work.

Eduardo H. da Silva Neto mugshot
da Silva Neto
Hao Chen mugshot

The UC Davis recipients, both in the College of Letters and Science:

  • Hao Chen, assistant professor, Department of Statistics, received $400,000 from the NSF’s Division of Mathematical Sciences for her project titled “New Change-Point Problems in Analyzing High-Dimensional and Non-Euclidean Data.”
  • Eduardo H. da Silva Neto, assistant professor, Department of Physics, received $582,289 from NSF’s Division of Materials Research for his project titled “Determining the Role of Intertwined Orders in Superconducting Quantum Materials.”

Read more about the recipients in this article by Becky Oskin, content strategist, on the College of Letters and Science website.

Kathryn Dewey and Barbara Schneeman, emeritae of the Department of Nutrition, have been named to the scientific panel tasked with advising the federal government on its next update of U.S. dietary guidelines.

Secretary Sonny Perdue of the Department of Agriculture and Secretary Alex Azar of Health and Homeland Security appointed the UC Davis professors and 18 other nationally recognized scientists to serve on the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and selected Schneeman to be the committee chair.

Learn more about the process of updating the dietary guidelines, and the committee’s role in the process.

Barbara Schneeman mugshot

Schneeman held a joint appointment in nutrition and the Department of Food Science and Technology from 1976 to 2007, and served as dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences from 1993 to 1999. She took a leave of absence in 2004 upon her appointment as director of the Office of Nutrition, Labeling and Dietary Supplements in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, part of the Food and Drug Administration; she served in this role for more than eight years (during which time she retired from the university).

Kathryn Dewey mugshot

Professor Emerita Dewey was a member of the nutrition faculty for almost 38 years, retiring in 2018. She and her former colleague, Professor Schneeman, also serve together on the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

The government updates its dietary guidelines every five years. “The independent advisory committee will review scientific evidence on topics and questions identified by the departments and will provide a report on their findings to the secretaries,” according to a news release.  “Their review, along with public and agency comments, will help inform USDA and HHS’ development of the 2020-25 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”

The forthcoming update will continue to focus on dietary patterns of what Americans eat and drink as a whole, on average and over time, to help prevent disease and keep people healthy. Additionally, the review process will take a life-stage approach and will, for the first time, include pregnant women and children from birth to 24 months as mandated by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Eva Mroczek mugshot

Eva Mroczek, associate professor of religious studies, has received an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship for research into the often exaggerated stories about the discovery of ancient manuscripts.

The Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars, announced March 12, provides her with resources to work on a project titled “Out of the Cave: The Possibility of a New Scriptural Past.”

“The project is a history of the very idea of textual discovery,” said Mroczek, who joined the Department of Religious Studies, College of Letters and Science, in 2015. “I’ll be looking at the stories themselves and how they really are their own entities. They are not just about religious writings; they are religious writings. These stories are where basic problems of the historical and religious imagination are worked out.”

Most discovery stories are a mix of truth and sometimes outrageous fiction, and the discovery often gets more attention than the thing discovered, she said. 

Mroczek will complete her fellowship at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, during the 2019-20 academic year.

Another grant that came her way is from the Centre for Advanced Study at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, for the long-term collaborative project, “Books Known Only by Title: Exploring the Gendered Structures of First Millennium Imagined Libraries.”

— Jeffrey Day, content strategist, College of Letters and Science

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About the author(s)

Dateline Staff Dave Jones, editor, can be reached at 530-752-6556 or Cody Kitaura, news and media relations specialist, can be reached at 530-752-1932 or