Designated Emphasis

Designated Emphasis Options:

Designated Emphasis programs are UC Davis academic programs for Ph.D. students that span multiple graduate groups and provide special training. Ph.D. graduate students in Microbiology can also seek a Designated Emphasis in Biology of Vector-borne Diseases, Biotechnology, Host-Microbe Interactions, or Translational Research.

Biology of Vector-borne Diseases (program website)

The academic focus of the Designated Emphasis in the Biology of Vector-borne Diseases is the scientific study of pathogens, the diseases they cause and the arthropod vectors that transmit these pathogens to plants, animals, and humans. Students trained in this DE will be well poised to design, implement and evaluate methods and interventions to interrupt and control pathogens of agricultural, veterinary, and medical importance.

Biotechnology (program website)

The designated emphasis in Biotechnology provides a very effective multidisciplinary biotechnology concentration, which includes exposure to bioethics, business and legal aspects of biotechnology as well as a 3-6 month internship in a biotechnology company or research laboratory in another college or national laboratory. Dr. Kjelstrom, the Program Coordinator assists the students in locating internships, preparation of a strong cover letter and curriculum vitae, and the development of professional skills related to the business environment.

Host-Microbe Interactions

We live in a world teeming with microbes. One of the most influential areas of modern biomedical science is elucidating the ramifications and complexity of host-microbe interactions that affect animal and plant health, and dramatically influence micro- and macro-ecosystems. Fueled by technological advances, we are entering a new era of interdisciplinary approaches that enable investigators to delve deeply into the reciprocal influence of host and microbes. Training new scientists in this area will fill an unmet potential for UC Davis graduate education. The DE-HMI will synergize the campus' scholarly power to train scientific leaders that will drive new technological transformation both in the academic and private sector arenas. In addition, training students to work within an arena of interdisciplinary investigation will enable them to tackle pressing and difficult problems that they will encounter throughout their scientific careers. The DE-HMI will train students with various backgrounds to engage in science that requires a multidisciplinary approach. No graduate program at UC Davis provides the necessary educational background to enable students to rigorously investigate the complex mechanisms that underlie host-microbe interaction. The DE-HMI fills that need.

Translational Research

The Designated Emphasis in Translational Research (DETR) is an inter-graduate group program that allows Ph.D. students to receive and be credited for training in the area of translational research. This training is a key component of a larger UCD strategy for creating a groundbreaking translational research program that is team-based and multidisciplinary and to make bold new changes in how we train our basic scientist students to discover answers to medical challenges. The overarching goal of the initiative is to provide an innovative, cost-effective, and sustainable model for training a new cadre of Ph.D. biologists who will have productive careers in clinically-relevant basic research.

DEBVBD Symposium
Graduate Students from the Ph.D. programs in Entomology, Epidemiology, Microbiology, Ecology, and Integrative Pathobiology presented their research at the Annual Symposium for the Designated Emphasis in the Biology of Vector-Borne Diseases (May 2018, Photo by Jessica W. Toan).